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How to build community on a business blog

13 Feb

This month on Digital 411 we continue unlocking the mysteries of blogging. On the most recent episode, Tom Williams, president of InnoGage and Lori Crock, principal of Written Impact shared more valuable information than I could possible capture here regarding how to create and manage a successful business blog, but below are a few highlights. Be sure to check back here soon for the live podcast.

Although blogging doesn’t always present itself as such — it’s a great way to build a community. When it comes to blogging for a small or medium-sized business this can be a valuable asset, since regardless of the products or services you offer — you are are ultimately selling yourself to future and current clients. A few points on how you can build community on your business blog.

KEEP IT SOCIAL

At first it may seem a bit scary, but providing readers and opportunity to comment is extremely important. First, as Lori Crock pointed out, allowing for comments illustrates that you are interested in feedback from readers. With most blogging platforms, you can alter the settings so you receive email notification and comments are approved. This should take some of the fear away. However, regardless of a negative or positive comment you need to make a point of responding.

Responding to comments is an easy and fast way to develop a rapport with your current and future readers. If you want to encourage readers to come back, subscribe, or snag your RSS feed, you need to demonstrate that you care about  what they say. Think of the comments as the ongoing conversation about your material.

OPEN UP THE PARTY

Although it’s tempting to give the blogging duties to the marketing or communication division — if you have one — as Tom Williams aptly pointed out, a blog can be a way to provide some inside perspective on what’s happening within the organization. So, by allowing the engineers, customer service reps, sales force, and the like to provide some insight on what’s happening not only in the organization, but also the industry gives valuable perspective.

As an added bonus — this strategy can effectively split up the work load with individuals responsible for writing a blog article once a month depending on your publication schedule. With the work split up, you may need to designated an editor — which is where the marketing or communication division can be very useful given their skill set. In addition to creating community among your followers — you are  facilitating that among your staff members, as well.

LINK-A-PALOOZA

Links are a great way to identify where you’re coming from with a particular article and what other information is important to your thought development. As an added bonus, most websites and blogs have software that alerts admins of when their site has been identified in a link. I’ve found that frequently the author or site admin will come to my blog, leave a comment or contact me directly by email.

What ways have you built community with your business blog? Feel free to share your successes in the comments section below.

Blogging Month on Digital 411 is almost over, but we’ve got two more great episodes left. On the next installment, we’re talking “Blogging Better,” or how to be more productive and effiecient with your blogging efforts. My featured guests for this episode are Nate Riggs of Social Business Strategies and Jacob Stoops AKA Agent SEO and SEO Director, People to My Site.

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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in blog, business, Digital 411

 

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