The blog. What began as the personal ramblings of individuals has now become a useful PR tool to have in the bag. Blogs offer companies the chance to highlight recent news, support recruitment, shout about and republish great coverage, or share the industry experiences of the company bloggers. If your PR team is earning its keep, the chances are it has recommended that you look into blogging. However, if more informal media avenues are new to you, you might be thinking “but why?”

Know why you are blogging

There is no doubt that the media landscape has changed and that your website is now the lead-generating hub of all things media related. Traditional media still has its place, it is well respected and a mention in the FT still brings in the enquiries as much as it plants a huge smile on the face of PRs who secured the hit. But with print media in decline and more and more hard copy content being republished online as well as supplemented with online-only content, there is no doubt that online is where it’s at. With the first port of call for information becoming the Google tool bar, getting your website to the top of the search ranking is business critical and traditional media and social media can be the driving force to get you there.

Get your keywords out there

We spoke about the importance of SEO keywords in our recent intelligence article ‘Writing for SEO’ and blogs are a great way of getting your all important keywords out to the Google buffet for the SEO hungry robots to gobble up and boost your website to the top of the search rankings. Unlike press release coverage that can be copy edited and published with your well thought through keywords left out, blogs offer businesses a keyword outlet that is both regular and controlled while still offering a platform for extended discourse (as opposed to the 140 character limitations of Twitter or the need for brevity when using Facebook).

Engage with the blogosphere

But blogs are not just a place to dump your keywords. This extended discourse must be used to a corporate blogger’s full advantage. While your keywords are busy directing people to your website, your entries must be working hard to engage readers and enhance your blog’s position in the blogosphere. Top notch regular copy that comes from a range of influences, including breaking news stories, corporate announcements, traditional and social media observations and anecdotal sidelines are needed to encourage readers to come back to your blog time and time again. These regular readers will then feel encouraged to comment on your blog posts and republish them using various social media submission sites and bookmarking tools – boosting its credibility and continuing the drive of traffic to your website started by your keywords.

Blogging engagement does not end with frequent readers and two-way communication through comments. Bloggers can interact with each other through blogrolls too. By listing influential and interesting blogs in your blogroll, you give that blog another outlet through which it can be accessed. And the more you get involved with other blogs, the more chance you have of being included in someone else’s blogroll and the more avenues you have for potential customers to reach you – the very purpose of starting a blog in the first place.

Always go back to basics

There is no doubt that blogging is a powerful tool at your fingertips when it comes to boosting the number of prospects that visit your website. But you need to remember the basics. Blog often, blog well and blog with purpose.

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