As part of the Inbound Marketing University certification program, we have homework assignments. What?! Who wants to do homework?! Isn’t that why I decided not to go back to school after launching my professional career? But being the eternal learner that I am, it was only a matter of time before I delved into something new. I couldn’t help but notice that social media was something I needed to at least gain an awareness of. It soon became apparent that developing my skill set was important, so I decided to get certified in inbound marketing.
The first online class, How To Blog Effectively for Business, offered great insight into why blogging is becoming an increasingly common business practice for both large and small businesses in the United States. The homework assignment was to write a blog post about three best practices that I will adopt into my blogging strategy.
I hadn’t really thought about a strategy when I set up this blog last month. Lucky for me I only wrote three posts before coming to this realization. Because I am a natural strategist, I am sure I had a strategy in my head, but as often happens with me, I did not formalize it into a plan or bother writing it down.
So here goes…the three best blog practices I will adopt:
- Respond to all comments personally and respectfully. Blogging is a “social” media practice. It just so happens that the interactions take place online rather than in person. That does not mean the interaction should be any different then if the person is in front of you. If someone were to come up to me after a presentation and offer feedback, I would respond to them on a personal level and with respect. I am not a different person online so why should my blog responses be? A no brainer but worth spelling out as my first best practice.
- Populate my blog roll with good referrals. Again, this is something that translates well from how I deal with people offline. I am constantly doing research and bookmarking good content for use later and/or for referrals. There is a lot of information out there so if I find something good, I want to share it. The blog roll is a great way to do this but the second best practice is to make those referrals worthwhile.
- KISS and update. I strive hard to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) often and this is almost a necessity when it comes to online content. One of my biggest pet peeves is busy, distracting online content whether it’s a blog, Facebook page, or a website. I will leave if I have to; I don’t want that to happen to me. Not only will I make it my third best practice to have a clean, easy to navigate online presence but to also keep it updated. Another source of irritation is to see outdated online content. The world is moving too fast to not have something new to say.
Whew! This homework assignment was not as bad as I thought. It got me to think and it got me to spell it out. At least I won’t be graded.