A blog tied in to your business site helps drive traffic to your site and increases your ranking in the search engines. We’ve covered why you should have a blog in a previous entry; this entry is how to go about it.
What else is out there?
Take a look at the blogs of businesses and business leaders you admire.  You should also have a look at those who you don’t.  That way you will see what you think works and what doesn’t.  What resonates with you or causes you to stop reading? Learn from others.  You’ll pick up what kind of entry receives the most feedback and sharing and what style has people coming back for more.
Choose your platform
If you have never blogged before, starting one can be daunting.  There are many platforms out there; WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and Posterous are just a few. Set one up unpublicised on each and “have a play”. What works for you, what features do you like, what one feels the most right? They all offer different things – Tumblr is ideal if you will be sharing pictures and video with minimal text; WordPress is great for embedding pictures, videos and polls with text copy, and Blogger is where you would go if you are based around the Google platform.  (These will still be indexed on search engines, so either keep them private or go for the Lorem Ipsum content filler, until you want to…)
Find your voice
Blogs use a different kind of business language.  You can be a bit freer, marrying the professional style with the personal. If you want to practice this then set up a hidden personal blog first. Write about anything – let it flow until it becomes natural.  Do as little editing as possible for the first week, then revisit each entry a week later with a fresh eye.  What works?  What style did you use that you liked. How much editing does it need?  Once you are happy with what you produce set up your professional blog.
Business or Pleasure?
Your blog will evolve over time as you become more comfortable with the medium, but how are you going to start out? Will it focus purely on the business side of your life or will you touch on your family, friends and hobbies? At first it’s best to have a fixed idea to help with your blog plans but this will change over time due to feedback from your reading audience.
Make a decision as well as to how much current events will feature in your blog.  Will it just be in passing, or will you focus on them when they pertain to your industry?  The recent episode of The Apprentice where Sir Alan Sugar made a seen-to-be-disparaging comment regarding engineers led to a flurry of interesting and informative posts from engineering companies, and companies founded by engineers. As people learn about you from your blog they will be interested to hear your take on events.
Always, always, provide links to articles and sites that you talk about. It improves your ranking in the search engines, it directs your readers to new content, and the people that you write about will appreciate it. Ensure you are using anchor links to relevant blogs and pages on your site as this will help with your Search Engine Optimisation.
How often will you blog?  Will it be a once a week wrap-up of the week or will it be as and when the mood takes you. We recommend 2-3 times a week minimum to our clients as this really helps the Search Engines get to know you – and they’ll come back more regularly if you are providing plenty of fresh content. If you have an idea for a blog, jot it down immediately. Some platforms have apps for Smartphones so you can blog and save to drafts or publish. Keep every good blogging idea you have; if it doesn’t work straight away then keep it and rewrite it later. Make your blog something that people look forward to reading and want to return to.
Hopefully these few tips will start you off and make you want to learn more.  Let me know if you have any questions or recommendations and we’ll highlight them in a future post.