Do you have a business blog? Are you using it to build a community of engaged viewers who often leave comments and always keep coming back for more? Are you using it to not only generate additional sales but build trust and improve your company’s reputation? If not, then you are not utilizing your blog to its true potential. Read on to find out how to use your business blog the right way.

Put Your Employees Forward

If possible, you want your employees to act as the face of the brand you are building with the blog. They should be prominently featured in some way. Highlighting the importance of your team is an excellent way to show your readers what your business is like behind the scenes, and to show them the camaraderie your employees have. This transparency helps to build trust with your blog’s readers.

Using Photos

You want your business blog to create feelings in your readers, and having photos on your blog is an essential part of this. This does not mean bland stock photos. Your photos must tell a story. You should also pay attention to the picture in your blog’s header. Periodically change it. You could use different pictures for different seasons and holidays. This kind of small touch can make a big difference.

Give Your Readers Plenty of Free Value

The key to building up a large community of devoted readers is adding value to the blog. Whatever your business actually is, your business blog should focus on issues that your target demographic is interested in. Although the blog should be related in some way to the products or services that your company sells, the readers’ needs should be placed first. You might even want to present your blog in such a way that it is not immediately obvious who is running the blog. You need to create a blog that resonates with your readers’ interests and needs.

Try to work with people who are experts in your business’ market, people who will really resonate with your readers. Give them as much free value as you can. Keep your sales messages infrequent and very low key, mentioned only as asides, and keep the blog’s focus on the value-added content. This approach will develop trust with your readers and keep them coming back regularly for more.

Using Cliffhanger Text to Draw Your Readers In

You don’t want your blog to overwhelm its readers with walls of text. Instead, consider using cliffhanger text to draw them deeper into your blog. This will easily let your readers see a bunch of different posts by posting just an excerpt of each blog post on the main page and putting a “read more” button at the bottom. This will get your readers’ attention and entice them into staying a little longer and exploring.

Pay Attention to Layout

Your blog should have two kinds of navigation bars. The one on top is for navigation to the main topics covered by the blog. Another navigation bar lower down, possibly on the side, leads to articles by title, articles by contributors, articles by date, and so forth. These different navigation bars allow your the readers to choose the best way for them to consume the blog’s content.

If your blog includes content for many different topics, then you should consider using a grid layout. It’s easy for readers to understand and lets you showcase multiple topics in an easy-to-read format. Add photos to break things up a bit, and make the text easier to read, if you use this layout.

Take Time with Your Headlines

Eighty percent of all people who look at your blog will only read the headline. In general, keep your title simple. Clear, self-explanatory, and concise headlines get the most clicks. Complicated, punny, or witty headlines do not.

Give Your Posts Structure

When somebody looks at one of your posts, they should get the feeling that it is easy to read. They need to see that they can navigate it and easily find the information they are looking for. Use short paragraphs, as well as subheadings and lists, where helpful.

Update Regularly

Make regular updates, and keep to the schedule you set. You want your readers to come back regularly to be rewarded with new content. Even if you are pressed for time, having just a couple of paragraphs to put up can make a big difference with your readers.

Link to Other Blogs

Links help boost your search engine ranking. Find blogs with similar content or posts to yours. Link to them, and some of them will pay the favor back and link to you too. This will also help new viewers find your blog more easily.

Regardless of what business you are in, these tips should help you increase viewership, time-spent-on-page, clicks, and sharing.

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