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Blog Tips

Gimme a Little Credit

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Now more than ever, anyone with a website should incorporate some form of a blog. This regular communication not only keeps your website fresh, but it goes a long way in establishing your credibility.

Look at blogging from the reader's (blogee's?) perspective for a moment. When he can view a blog that is consistently and faithfully updated, it suggests a foundation of permanence. You were here yesterday, you are here today, and odds are you will be here tomorrow when I log in.

Blogs are also your chance to shine as the expert in your field, provided you are willing to maintain excellent standards. If you stay focused on the key concepts that you want to explore or promote, your readers will determine that your website is the place to go for the latest reliable information in your industry.

It works the other way, too. Knowing that you have a steady audience will keep you on your toes when it comes to researching facts carefully, reporting industry-related news, and honing your overall personal presentation. Suddenly each reader becomes a potential client, and you want to deliver your best.

While we are on the subject of your readers, it may help to lose a few stereotypes of who, exactly, reads blogs. Do not mistake blog followers for web-addicted college kids or celebrity fan groupies; the real picture is far different. In his own blog, coincidentally, Phil Bradley offers the new profile of the average reader. He or she is likely mature, educated, and personally and professionally established. (www.philbradley.typepad.com. See Links section for full article.) In other words, they are as credible as you.

Whether your business or organization deals with multimillion dollar transactions or simple reference information, do not ignore the valuable, far-reaching tool that brings your message to a wide, returning audience. If you are not already blogging, or if you need to link your blog to other social media, contact Anttix for a solution that will make the most of your updates.

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Building a Blog

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Now that you know the guidelines for writing a blog, how do you actually go about constructing one?

  1. TIME: For starters, allow yourself time to work on it. A blog is more than just an email that you shoot out quickly and cross off your to-do list.
  2. TOPIC: What is the single, central idea that you want to communicate? Address only one per blog, or your ideas will get in the way of each other, and your readers will miss the point. Because we all know that inspiration strikes when we least expect it, consider keeping a small notebook with you to jot down topic ideas as they come to you.
  3. DATE: Include a date near the top of your entry. This allows visitors to quickly check in and see any new posts. People appreciate this time-saver. (This step is not necessary with an Anttix blog since the date is automatically saved and shown.)
  4. OPENING: Create an attention-grabbing ice breaker. If you can't think of one, try phrasing your main idea in the form of a question. Don't be too vague here; get to your theme early on.
  5. BODY: This is a case for quality over quantity. There are no minimum word count requirements, so develop a few meaningful points and support them. Including any keywords that will drive traffic back to your website is always a bonus as well.
  6. CLOSING: Say Goodnight, Gracie. Keep it short and sweet, and relate it back to your website in general.
  7. EDIT! EDIT! EDIT!: Just because you are posting on the internet does not mean that you are above the rules of good writing. Proofread for grammar and style. Is your blog readable and enjoyable? Even if I don't know you personally? Even if my time is limited? When in doubt, it is better to err on the side of professionalism and save the cutesy touches for MySpace and Facebook.
  8. POST: Use your website's standard method of updating to insert the final blog content. Generally, this is as easy as sending an e-mail.
  9. COMMITMENT: You've successfully posted your first blog. Now commit to some sort of schedule to keep your blogs fresh. You don't need to write everyday, or even every week, but if your newest blog is ten months old, you need to update more often.
  10. ARCHIVE: Consider archiving old blogs for future reference. They do not need to be displayed at all times, but you may want to keep them accessible.

As always, contact Anttix if you would like more information on how a blog can be added to your website.

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