Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Boost your blog to the next level

Even if you've been blogging for some time now, it pays to review your business blog to determine whether you're taking advantage of all the features that keep readers coming back for more. Here's a checklist to consider when you want to take your blog to the next level:
- Photos, graphics and art: Readers gravitate to blog posts with visual appeal, so if you haven't been uploading photos or other visuals in your blog posts, aim to do it every other time you post. If you lack a ready source of copyright-free photos, take your own -- at meetings you attend, speeches you give, or of your workplace and staff in action. Or look on the Web for sources of freely available photos and art, such as US government agencies, Library of Congress, or Flickr.com, where some artists and photographers offer permission for use of their photos.

- Add more links to make each post a one-stop shop: When you blog about important issues in your work, make sure you're including a comprehensive set of links, so that readers don't need to stray from your blog to find all the background they need. If you're blogging about an industry trend, for example, you might include coverage from today's New York Times, a link from your own webpage that deals with the issue, a link to a industry trade group report on the issue, and even links to previous posts on your blog related to the topic. Remember, links in your blog posts can help readers find what they need on your own website or blog.

- Consider your sidebar: If you haven't been adding links to your sidebar, you're missing out on the chance to give added value to your readers. Most blog platforms allow you to add lists of links to sites that you prefer, and even links to other posts on your blog. While all your posts will be automatically archived by date, you may find it useful to index links by subject using labels or tags, or create more descriptive links to previous posts.  Think of your sidebar as a reference shelf for your readers. What do they need to know to understand your business better?

1 comment:

Liz Ryan said...

These are great tips - thanks!