You’ve got a topic, a reader base and a passion to write. That’s enough to start business blogging, right? Unfortunately, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to creating and maintaining a successful, quality blog. What’s more, if you’re doing things right, many of these behind-the-scenes tasks are things that your readers may never even notice. So what, exactly, are the unsung tasks of the business blogger – especially if your blog is actually a business? We’ve put together a rundown for you.
Search engine optimization, better known as the acronym SEO, is all about getting the word out, which in turn is one of a business blogger’s biggest hurdles. Having a well-written, regularly updated blog is important, but that’s only half the battle; it doesn’t take a master’s degree in business administration to see that it may all be for nothing if no one is visiting your website to read it. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO focuses on getting your blog, as well as individual posts within your blog, as highly ranked as possible within the search results whenever someone runs a search. For example, if you’re writing a graphic design blog, you’ll want to make sure your website is listed as close as possible to the top of the search results whenever someone searches for “design,” “graphic design,” “graphic design blog” or any other search terms relating to your site. By paying attention to SEO, business bloggers can attract readers to their websites and maintain a growing audience.
There’s no quick-fix solution to SEO, so business bloggers have to take care of a number of things to maintain a high search engine ranking, including creating meta tags and descriptions, and listing their blogs on other well-trafficked websites. All this can add up to a lot of time, which your readers may never have a clue about.
Just as important as SEO, advertising reaches out to readers in ways that SEO strategies cannot. Think Facebook ads, Google ads on other blogs that your readers visit or ad placements in a myriad of other spaces online that you may find potential readers. There’s more than just money that goes into advertising: namely, you’ll find that you’ll need to spend a relatively large amount of time paying attention to your advertising strategy if you want it to be effective. This includes time spent designing graphic ads (or working with a designer to develop them for you), composing ad copy, deciding where best to place your ads and precisely who you want to target and selecting relevant keywords.
Thanks to out-of-the-box blogging services like Tumblr, WordPress, Drupal and Blogger, it doesn’t take much effort or money to create a good-looking blog these days. However, a professionally designed blog, logo and other graphical elements can often make the difference between a successful, widely-recognized blog and an amateur blog. Many business bloggers will hire professional designers to develop a visual identity that reflects the tone and overall message of your blog. This back-and-forth takes time and creative energy, and often has a limited lifespan; while most business bloggers retain core elements of their visual brand throughout the life of their blog, some will revisit the design every so often (often a year or more) to give it a design refresh, making the blog visually current and true to modern design trends.
Possibly the most unsung and, sometimes, the most arduous of a business blogger’s routine tasks is to moderate comments. This isn’t necessarily true for all bloggers; some are lucky enough to have an agreeable, well-written readership base, but even so, the occasional reader dispute or breakout argument is inevitable. Its the business blogger’s job to read through all comments that readers make on his or her blog, respond to each in a timely manner and to quell any disputes that may arise.
About the Author: Emily Matthews is currently applying to masters degree programs across the U.S., and loves to read about new research into health care, gender issues, and literature. She lives and writes in Seattle, Washington.