Dipping your toes in the business blogging water

So you’ve decided to get your blog up and running on your business website. What now?

Olive Store
Photo owned by indigoprime (cc)

Here’s what I’d advise:

Before you even set up your blog you should actively be reading blogs. Blogs that talk about your business area, Irish Business Blogs, general and respected business blogs and anything you find fun. Make sure there’s an entertaining mix. See how the masters do it and see how general bloggers write blog posts.

Leave constructive comments on the blogs you’re reading. Share links with the bloggers. If you like a blog post than tell the author. Feedback is good. You’d want the same on your blog right?

Set up and go private:
When you have your blog installed, consider making it private to start with and give a few people access to it and have them evaluate your writing. Ask some of the bloggers who you subscribe to to participate in this private evaluation of your blogging style. Take their advise and amend your blogging while still remaining comfortable on what you’re doing. If you feel this new style is not you, don’t do it. The private option is a nice baby step too before going totally live on the big bad web and for some is a better and less nerve-wracking way to start.

If you want, wipe your first few test blog posts where you got private feedback and launch with a new blog post announcing who you are and what the purpose of your blog is. Add your favourite bloggers to the blogroll/link list of your blog. Don’t go asking for a link or asking for a link exchange, you’re too new to ask for a link when the blog is but a day old.

Talk it up:
Ask those who were giving you private feedback to introduce you to the world though they’ll probably do it anyway. You have an address book. Email those on it telling them about the new blog. Without spamming people. Change your email signature and add in the blog address. Announce the blog on the front page of your website. When leaving comments on blogs, use your blog address as your website address. Don’t leave comments on blogs announcing your blog. That’s cheap and old-school. Add your blog feed to your Facebook profile. Add your blog address to your LinkedIn profile.

Listen to the comments from the public and take in their feedback too. Appreciate their feedback. Set up Google Alerts or Google Blogsearch alerts for your blog address and blog name. See what others are saying about it.

Have fun:
Enjoy what you are doing.

Photo owned by SideLong (cc)

17 Responses to “Dipping your toes in the business blogging water”

  1. Stephen O says:

    Hey all good advice. Thanks. Will implement some more of it statrting today

  2. Hi There, good points. Your guidance is really important. I would complement with the post-blog, that’s the maintenance of the Blog. It should keep consistent, relevant and most important: up to date.

    Companies usually likes when it starts, because it’s all new, everybody share and participate, but after some months they will have all kind of excuses to stop posting, like “I’m busy today”, “I was away”, etc.

    The discipline is very important, and it should be part of your Key Goals to have the content up to date on your Company’s blog.

  3. Paul Fabretti says:

    Good stuff Damien.

    Two things for me:

    1) Anyone can set a blog up, learning to listen is the hardest part.

    2) Participation establishes and develops your reputation.


  4. Christian says:

    Hey Damien, really good points. I would definitely agree with Edu too, that participation (from a company point of view) is essential. I think it provides a much rounder blog when it’s clear that there are multiple writers contributing.

  5. […] great tips about business blogging from Damien. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave […]

  6. Thanks Damien. Good tips for a blogging rookie like me !
    With advertising rates pretty high out there we are all relying more on the web and blogging to lift our profiles.
    I’ll take on board what you said and try and make http://www.mcdowellandco.com a better blog !


  7. Leon Quinn says:

    Good advice Damien. Can I also add that people shouldn’t blog just for the search engines as I’ve seen a few people do, ie – fill blog posts and titles with keywords and links back to the main site or shop page at the expense of a good, natural, flowing article.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to ask Damien, how come you’ve never gone beyond the default wordpress theme!!?

  8. Damien says:

    @Leon because I don’t care for design for the sake of it, I do care for UI though. I’ll get around to a new design when I have less content to write. Which is probably never. 🙂

  9. Leon Quinn says:

    @Damien it doesn’t have to be heavily ‘designed’ for the sake of it, there are other reasons, UI is one of course!! I just thought you maybe knew of some magical powers or benefits that the deafult wordpress theme might have – glad to know theres none!

    Off to pimp my blog!

  10. Thanks for the insights Damien.

    I started our blog in Jan which has proved and is proving to be a pretty steep learning curve. I agree however that there is plenty of solid blogging advice available if you are prepared to look.

    Keep up the good work,

  11. Damien says:

    Fire away with questions if you wish. For one thing I’d sign your real name not the company name. Blogs are all about the people. People writing them and people leaving comments.

  12. Niall says:

    Good point Damien, There is a bit cheeky SEO in there but you are right of course.

    One question I would like to put to you is this. If I am being honest, I would probably have to admit that I am not a natural when it comes to writing flair, each post probably takes me much longer than most. Now some established bloggers advise to post at least every other day while others say that quality rules and you should try to aim for fewer higher quality posts. I’d appreciate your opinion bearing in mind that my blog is kinda niche?

    By the way thanks for responding, I appreciate you taking the time.

  13. Damien says:

    And thanks for replying back 🙂

    I’d go for quality. Once a week should be a starting point. The more you write though, the easier it becomes. Just like writing an email.

    I’d help train myself by leaving comments on other blogs though. I think they’re great training grounds for becoming a blogger as you argue or provide other perspectives and you might find over time “this needs a blog post of its own, here I go”.

    It’s like everything else, it takes time and if this concept is new to you, it will take longer than those who have already been writing in other media.

  14. Niall says:

    That’s a great point about leaving comments, and yes I have definitely experienced ” this needs a blog post” after reading other’s blogs. I also agree with going for the once a week quality post to begin.

    I am convinced that more businesses would like to and should blog but are afraid because they feel that if they feck up, they are doing publicly which in turn could potentailly damage the business.

    I often get a sense that there are individuals within a business who would love to start a company blog but feel that the responsibility would be too heavy to handle and mistakes could damage careers.

  15. […] really need to start writing more on my blog. I’m off to read some blogs about […]

  16. Fergal says:

    Cheers Damien,
    I am planning on starting an academic blog for work and your advice has been really helpful. When I do launch I won’t ask for a link immediately but you’d never know…

    The thing that bothers me is the tone, the style. A lot of blogs are chatty, conversational… I’m not used to writing that way but i think it might be liberating.
    Thanks again.

  17. […] the old links I’d saved in my “start the blog” project. I found Damien’s Dipping Your Toes in the Business Blogging Water. I read Chris Brogan’s Best Advice About […]