You already know that having a business blog is an excellent marketing opportunity. Blogs allow you to establish yourself as an expert, increase your business’s visibility on search engines and give your business a marketing boost. But to make your blog as effective as possible, be sure to include these essential elements.
1. Descriptive Titles
It’s important to come up with a distinct and memorable name for your blog as well as descriptive titles for each of your blog posts. When you’re coming up with titles for your blog or article, try to think like your potential readers. Chances are they are going to begin their search for information by typing keywords into a search engine. Make sure your blog and posts come up in their search results by being as descriptive and direct as possible.
If you have a catchy pun that you just have to use for your blog’s title, include a descriptive tagline that includes keywords with it as well.
2. About Section
Give your readers the opportunity to learn more about you and your business by including an About section on your blog. Your blog posts should be informative and useful to readers, which means they probably won’t be direct advertisements for your business. Including an About section gives you the opportunity to describe your business in detail and establish your credentials as a blogger.
3. Contact Information
Start conversing directly with your readers by allowing responses to your blog posts. If you’re worried about the time commitment it might take to monitor comments, you can include your email address instead. Be sure to also include a link to your Web site and list your physical address and phone number. This will not only give your readers multiple ways to contact you, it will also provide legitimacy to your blog.
4. Links to Your Social Media Pages
Use your blog as a vehicle for building your fans on Facebook, connections on LinkedIn and followers on Twitter by including direct links to your social media pages on every page of your blog.
5. RSS Feed and/or Email Subscription
Including an RSS feed and/or email subscription form enables your readers to effortlessly know when you add new blog posts.
Compiling an email list of your readers can also be a great tool for future marketing efforts, such as a newsletter or special offers. Make sure you disclose how you intend on using any email addresses you collect so that your readers feel comfortable giving you their addresses.
6. Social News and Bookmarking Resources
Empower your readers to quickly and easily spread your blog posts around the Internet and increase your blog’s popularity by including popular icons to social news, bookmarking and ranking sites such as Digg, Reddit, del.icio.us, Twitter and others.
7. Search Function
As you continue to post and increase the amount of your content, you’ll want to make sure you give readers a chance to quickly find posts on specific topics by including a search function.
8. Categories and Subcategories
Another way to help your readers quickly scan your blog is to use categories and subcategories. This will help readers identify all your posts that pertain to specific topics.
9. Relevant Links
Include links to other blogs or Web sites that you think your readers will find useful—especially your own Web site. You can also use the relevant links section of your blog as a tool for link building with other blogs or businesses.
Protect your content and your personal opinions by including a copyright notice on your blog. This will signal to readers that your posts are not only original, they also aren’t free to reproduce.