Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ask Meg... Writing for the Web

Blogging for business has come a long way in just a few years, as blogs and bloggers have become more sophisticated, as have the people who read them. There is so much information out there, that it is often hard for your business stand out.

If you are blogging for your business, you are probably struggling for content. Eventually, we all just run out of things to say about our business that we find meaningful. That is why I have developed an easy way to come up with good quality, unique content, that the blog visitor will want to read--I call it "Ask the Expert."

Of course, I did not invent this term, but it refers to a style that I will often use with my blogs, which include letters from the blog visitors, emails, and even face-to-face questions, re-purposed for a blog.

As a business owner, you are probably asked questions all the time--people who want your expert advice on whatever you area of expertise... And often, these questions are the same questions that a lot of people ask. The are important. These are the questions we all want answers to... and the answers are the ones that contain great information about what you do, why you are different--and why people should work with your company over the competitions.

So from now on, when you are asked these questions, or even if an idea strikes you for a good blog entry, write a little note to yourself. Save those emails - the question AND your reply. Then when you have a few minutes (blog entries should take 15-30 min each) - either cut and paste the emails in, or write up the question and answer on the blog.

Be sure to generalize, so even if this is a real email, strip the personal information - and remove the name (or at least the last name). If there is any identifying information that you need to use from the original, be sure to clear it with the person who wrote it. Add in your keywords if possible and where appropriate, and link from those keywords (at least 1 in within the text) in each entry.

Some of my corporate blogging clients have this down to a great system - spending as little as 15 minutes a day generating great content, in a form that people will want to read -- and best of all, this kind of blog will begin to generate its own new content as people comment or email, asking their own (keyword rich and quality targeted) questions.

For a good example of an "Ask the Expert" blog -- check out: "Ask Dr. Ellie."


Blogging for Business is written by Meghan Wier and Associates -- Writing for the Web. If you have any comments, please feel free to click the link below. If you are a member of the media, or interested in Blogging for Business, email meg@meghanwier.com