posted on May 27, 2010 12:03
Blogging is an absolute necessity in today’s web-driven business world. Long story short, you MUST blog. Luckily, it’s not a hard habit to pick up!
First, you must choose whether you want to launch a blog within your own website or use a free blog service. Both choices have pros and cons – launching a blog within your own site means your hits stay on your site, you have absolute control over design and content, and your blog is streamlined with the rest of your site. However, you’ll have to find a solution for updating and editing your blog that works for you, and it won’t be as plug-and-play as most blog services are. Using a free blog service can help simplify the blogging process, which can be helpful for new users. Many blog services have excellent templates so while design won’t be identical to your site, you can definitely get close. However, most free blog services support themselves with ad revenue, so you might have advertisements on your blog. Furthermore, users will have to leave your main site to access your blog, and the domain won’t match yours.
Once you decide what platform you want to use to blog from, you must think about what to blog. Always, as with anything you publish online, keep your goals in mind. Provide fresh content that is relevant to your goals – and provide it frequently. Blogs should be updated at least twice a month, but weekly or bi-weekly posts tend to be a good, manageable frequency. Make sure your content provides some sort of value to your audience, and has some relevancy to your organization’s industry, field, and goals.
Another thing to keep in mind while blogging is how to increase your audience. Blogs can be a great way to drive traffic to your site, as they can often receive unique hits of their own, and even gain their own followings. So search out where people are gathering and talking about the things you post. Find other bloggers and link to their articles, or find forums centered around some topic you’ve written about. If you can increase your blog’s traffic, you can also increase your website’s traffic!
Always include links back to relevant areas on your website. For example, when we here at MemberPath blog about things related to increasing your website’s traffic, we like to mention our TrafficGrow program, which you can find more information about here. This keeps your audience searching around the site, and points them to information within your own website that might be useful to them (for example, did you know that we do FREE TrafficGrow consultations? Request one now!).
Finally, empower your audience to spread your message. Enabling comments on your blog posts can spark discussions and get people talking about what you write. Get people fired up about your message! Every time someone says “Hey, I read this great blog post the other day…” about something you write is another chance to gain a new visitor to your site and possibly a new donor or customer!
So, to sum it all up: Blog. YOU MUST BLOG. Whether you blog on your own site or use a free blogging service, make sure you’re always thinking about how to increase your traffic and always linking back to your own site (and other sites!). And finally, empower your audience to spread your message. Happy blogging!
How do you use your blog to increase traffic to your website? Tell us about it in a comment!