Marita Bon Article

Marita Bon Article
Picture of Marita BonMarita Bon, executive editor and co-owner of Bon's Eye Marketing, has more than 23 years of business, news and corporate writing experience. The founding editor of Wilma!, Wilmington, N.C.'s only women's magazine, she has contributed extensively to area newspapers and business journals.

Blog to Connect with Current, Potential Customers

Blog to Connect with Current, Potential Customers

“Blogging” may be a buzzword in the business community, but the thought of writing one scares off a lot of would-be bloggers. This is a shame, because a good blog can help you establish, build and shore up relationships with clients and customers. Besides keeping your brand in front of social network audiences, a well-crafted piece also will boost search engine rankings and draw viewers to your company website.

Don’t let a little fear keep you from your keyboard. Think about information you’d like to share with your customers and begin there. Here are seven practical guidelines to jumpstart your writing career:

  1. Be brief. About 450-500 words will deliver your message. Since Internet users typically hop from one piece to the next, a concise blog also will encourage them to read to the end.
  2. Choose subjects relevant to your business. Besides fostering relationships, a blog’s key purpose is to build brand familiarity with site visitors – so all topics should dovetail with this goal. A real estate broker, for example, might discuss the market for luxury properties, or offer formulas for calculating mortgage affordability. A dentist could talk about tooth whitening methods to use at home. The idea is to provide professional insights and usable information from an expert in the field – in this case, you.
  3. Scout for good ideas. Successful bloggers find relevant subjects all around them – in local news stories, industry happenings and technology breakthroughs. But the richest possibilities likely lie within your customer base. An example: a clothing boutique owner regularly fields questions on keeping colored silk garments vibrant. This single situation could spawn a slew of topics, from identifying quality silk to prolonging the life of delicate fabrics.
  4. Be personable, but don’t get personal. While featuring real-life examples in your blogs makes sense, avoid indulging in riffs on children, pets or home life in general. Rather, talk about a customer who has found a new use for your product, or how you transformed a difficult client into a satisfied one. A good yarn makes for an interesting blog, as long as you use it as a tool to build your business.
  5. Vary content. An easy way to do this is to lay out an editorial calendar. Week 1 might list blogs on identifying experienced service providers and price negotiation, while Week 2 could highlight customer service, with a second blog on team members that do that job well. A calendar also will help you avoid subject repetition and keep blogs fresh.
  6. Be consistent. Post your blogs the same time and with the same frequency every week. If you choose to start with a Monday and Thursday schedule, for instance, stick to it. This way, readers will know when to expect your blogs and will watch for them. To avoid burnout, ask guest bloggers – team members, colleagues or industry experts – to contribute a column or two.
  7. Invite reader interaction. A “comments” section generates discussion, serves as a gage for consumer needs and provides ideas for future blogs. By all means, include links to your company website, other social media pages you host and your complete contact information. You want to make it easy for readers to learn what your business can do for them.

A final word of advice: Always have someone with solid writing skills proofread and correct your work.  Too many bloggers undermine otherwise strong messages with unorganized copy and grammatical errors.