Blogs for business development

Do blogs really work?

Do they generate business?

The answer to these questions depends upon how committed you are to blogging and what you post to your blog. Here are some “best practices” for you to consider if you currently have a blog or are thinking about starting a blog. But before I get to best practices consider these statistics.

  • 38% of in-house counsel say they have been on a blog in the past week and 15% say they use blogs to evaluate credentials. What this tells me is that if your target market is in-house counsel, having a blog might be a good idea.

  • Companies that blog 15 times or more a month have five times more traffic to their websites than companies that don’t blog. Companies that increase blogging from three to five times a month to six to eight times a month double their leads each month.

Best Practices

Determine your audience. Whose attention are you trying to get? This will tell you what types of topics you should cover in your blog. You want to write about things they will be interested in learning or knowing about.

Keep it short. The length of your blog posts should be fairly concise. People are not going to want to read for more than a few minutes, so don’t go overboard with the amount of information you provide. If you have a lot to say, break it up into several shorter posts.

Skip the legalese. You aren’t writing a legal brief. You are writing something that most people can understand and if you are doing it right, re-purpose, share on social media, or incorporate into something that they put on their blogs. So make it easy for everyone to understand.

Use subheads. If it is a rather long post, then break up your text with sub heads to that the reader can easily get the idea from the subheads what the post is about. The subheads should be key points that you want to make with a reader.

Include images. Blog posts with images receive 94% more views than posts without images.

Link to third parties. The more you can substantiate what you are blogging about with third-party information the more credible you will be. Don’t blog in a vacuum.

Have a call to action. If possible, have the reader follow a link for a white paper, more content, an info-graphic, or to contact you for more information. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but if you can think of a call to action, include it.

Appropriate key words. Use the words that someone would use to find you or your services. Look at your post from the outside in. If you were looking for what you are blogging about what search words would you type in the box? Then make sure you have those words and phrases in your blog post.

Re-purpose, re-purpose, re-purpose. Use you blog content in a variety of ways. Some ideas are social media, eBooks or white papers, presentations, slide shares, articles, and newsletters.

Develop a social media road map. For each blog post develop what you will post to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You should post at least 3 tweets and one update on LinkedIn and Facebook for each blog post you provide.

Provide links. Provide links to your blog in your newsletters, client alerts, electronic invitations, and signature block in your email. If possible put a little teaser next to the link about your most recent post.

As you can see, having a blog takes time, effort, and imagination. To do it right and generate business it takes a commitment and persistence. But if you work at it, the results can be impressive.