by Ally Hugg As more individuals and potential clients turn to the Internet to seek information about businesses, products, and services, there’s no better way for public relations practitioners to engage with audiences than through blogging. Much like public relations, blogging is about creating a connection with an audience, providing relevant content, and nurturing the relationship with useful information and timely updates, while maintaining flow in the dialogue.
I’ve learned a lot about public relations from working with Lisa. I learned about the importance of open, honest, and routine communication. I learned about the skill of following trends and tying messages to current events. Lisa is a natural communicator and has an incredible ability to build connections and share stories – I look forward to following her new blog!
If you were given a free microphone on a stage in front of 350,000,000 people, would you hesitate to get up there and share what you and your company know? If it meant growing your business or getting recognition for your client, I bet you wouldn’t. So, for Lisa and other business owners who are new to blogging, I offer the following tips to help you spread your message and build connections through blogging:
1. Blog Regularly to Build Content As you might guess, a blog is rather useless without content to populate it. Having a regularly updated blog is important. Otherwise, your readers will have no reason to return. Topics to blog about are endless. However, if you experience writer’s block, try one of these go-to topics: write about an event you attended, answer a frequently asked question, write about a client challenge you solved, describe a recent project, or quote some market research.
2. Engage with Other Bloggers This is a good way to get the conversation going, and show that you’re a respectful citizen of the blogosphere. Seek out other bloggers in your particular niche. Leave them comments to let them know you are reading, or link to their site from yours – after browsing through articles from others, you may find inspiration for yourself! When other bloggers begin commenting on your posts, respond to their insights and inquires. Let them know that you appreciate their readership. Again, much like public relations, blogging is about maintaining this open dialogue.
3. Express Yourself Put your personal spin on your blog posts. Unlike the limits of a formal news story or a press release, a blog allows you the opportunity to express yourself. When writing for a blog, it’s ok to share your thoughts, provide an analysis, and even communicate your opinion. If you are passionate about what you are writing, you are likely to attract more readers.
4. Share Your Content It’s ok to promote your own blog. If you don’t share your content, how will anyone ever be able to find it? You can share a link to your blog, or to individual blog posts on your social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Sharing your content will keep your followers abreast of what you are working on, and providing a direct link will help drive traffic to your blog. After all, once they’ve read your blog, these new visitors may be potential clients!