Mar 16, 2010

The Care and Feeding of Your Blog

…or How a Blog is Like a Puppy

Blogs are the new “it” internet technology. All the cool kids have one. And everyone seems to be buzzing about all the great things they can do for you:

  • Build organic traffic from search engines
  • Establish you as a trusted authority in your field
  • Build buzz for new products and developments
  • Serve as a communication tool between your company and your customers

All of that is true, but if you don’t consider all the responsibilities that come along with your brand new blog, it may just come back to bite you…

Warning #1: Don’t forget to feed your blog
This is the most important thing you need to remember, so I’m going to repeat it: Don’t forget to feed your blog. What I mean, of course, is make sure you feed your blog a steady diet of new articles and content. Nothing is worse for your image online than an empty site, because essentially you’ve tempted a visitor with information, then wasted their time with a useless click. When people see that you haven’t added anything new in 6 months (or more), they assume you just don’t care and will move on. In addition, search engines only like blogs when they have actual content.

Warning #2: Pay Attention to Proper Nutrition
By proper nutrition I mean keywords and key phrases. In order to get the most out of your blog’s search engine benefits, be sure to work from a master list of keywords and phrases that are valuable and relevant to your offerings. Then make sure the content you feed your blog (articles) are chock full of keywords. No, I don’t mean keyword stuffing… don’t overfeed your blog. But wherever possible, make sure the text of your articles focuses on particular keyword themes.

And by all means don’t feed your blog empty calories by posting unrelated content. Keep all of your postings relevant to the keywords and phrases you are trying to optimize for.

Warning #3: Every Blog Needs Love and Attention
As I’m sure you’re beginning to understand, the building of your blog is just the beginning. Once it is launched, your work has just begun. Someone will need to maintain the blog in order to get the most out of your investment. That might be someone in your organization, or it could be your web developer or marketing team. If you are planning to update your blog yourself, make sure you are being realistic about the time and energy you have to spare, then set a schedule and stick to it. Be sure you have a plan beforehand and are ready for the responsibility, both in time and recurring expenses.

Here at NetSource, we maintain our blog and feed it a steady diet through a concerted team effort. Each designer and programmer writes one article per month. Our sales associates contribute items on a more frequent basis. We have a single editor who proof-reads and schedules articles. We have a second team member who writes all of the website launch press releases. In all, the team likely expends around 6 hours in any given month toward the upkeep of the blog.

In closing…
Before you build your blog, be sure you’ve set out your expectations and have established your plan for ongoing updates. In this way you’ll ensure a happy, healthy and productive blog for years to come!

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