Women bloggers - that's a phrase full of expectation. The Internet gets more female-friendly every day, if you ask me. In the space I operate in - the marketing to women online space, and the POD publishing space, and the blogging for business space - blogging is becoming more and more popular. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a useful thing to spend your energy or your time on. As I continue to blog, and to interact with other bloggers, I find myself expanding my horizons exponentially - mostly for the better.
This has taught me a great deal. A truly important thing that I have learned is that blogging just isn't for everyone. I don't mean 'everyone' as in business professionals. I mean 'everyone' as in EVERYONE. There are a great many blogs on the Internet that - well, they're just noise. Rantings of unstable minds, or lonely people, or kids that are exploring their world. I don't mind that these people blog - it's a free country.
But, when it comes to business, I believe one should be very careful about blogging. Careful in the sense that the business owner needs to make some good decisions before setting up his or her blog. I'm going to share some thoughts, aimed especially at women bloggers. This list isn't just for women, but I hope women who read it will take it to heart. Because, this new communications medium is perfect for women - it allows us to connect, and share, and build our businesses into something powerful enough for the whole world to see.
Unfortunately, because we like to communicate, blogging can also derail our best intentions. In my research and online travels, I find the women's blogs that sound like cafeteria chatter - are less credible, than those that stick to the point. Cafeteria chatter is okay for casual conversation. It's not good business talk.
So, if you already blog, I hope you have considered these things. If you're thinking about blogging, I hope you will take time to consider these points, first. If you don't blog, but read blogs, I hope you'll keep these thoughts in mind when reading. To me, these are the requirements for a good blog - in the business community. And, if you have a business blog but you aren't contributing to the overall effectiveness of a business blog - i.e. you're still just chatting or using your blog as a sales tool - you're doing the rest of us a disservice by sending us wandering around your blog like the characters in this image. JMHO. [full size image found at this link; Escher in Legos]
Now, on to my "Top 5 Things A Business Blog Should..."
2) A business blog should have a voice. If it's written by a group, each individual is allowed a voice, but the collective voice should reflect the strategy of the business.
3) A business blog should be well-designed. I apologize to all of the business bloggers on Blogger - who haven't put time and energy into design - but you will be left behind in the next year or so. The Internet is a visual medium. If you are not visually appealing, if your blog doesn't enhance your business presence online, it's a distraction. Who wants to be distracted?
4) A business blog should have a point. Each post should convey a message. The message can be: "We're too busy to write this week. Life is good, stay tuned for new content." Or, it can be, "Allison is traveling this week so we're posting links to review articles in her absence." The message should give the reader information. If you can educate me, all the better. If you have a business blog and all you do is chat - I will read once or twice, but no more. I like announcements, "Mary had her baby last night - Chuck Barrister, 8lbs 60z - wish her congrats at this email." But, when you do that and only that - you're not blogging. You're just chatting.
5) A business blog should convey something relevant, current, and useful to the reader. At least once a week, you should be posting something educational about your business, or industry. If you can't, then your blog becomes a platform to ramble. Ramble somewhere else. Give your readers content they can do something with.
Of course, there are more than 5 tips to good business blogging. But, I think 5 are enough for one post. Share some of your thoughts in comments. The world wants to hear...