Your personal and/or company blog, to me, should be at the heart of your social presence and be a driver for valuable content that can be used in so many places.

Here are a few things to consider in addition to just posting articles and working the SEO angle… four places to concentrate to enhance engagement:

1. User-Friendly Navigation: Keeping your blog easy to navigate with intuitive category labels will help people find the information they seek much faster. Here again, doing your research on what your customers are looking for is essential. Also, make it easy for readers to leave comments and share your posts on various channels.

2. Look for Holes in Your Competition: Take a look at your competition’s blogs and websites. Are there content holes they’ve missed that you can take advantage of? Ways to add value not already available and help you stand out. Those consistently provide lots of content have a bigger chance of attracting people who are actively looking for information. It’s not who has the biggest Yellow Pages ad that develops more relationships; it’s he/ she who disseminates the most helpful information.

3. Don’t Close Your Comments: Don’t close the door for people to leave comments on your blog; doing so leaves the impression that you only care about what you have to say and are not willing to be responsive to others. Seth Godin can do it, and it sure works for him, but until you are playing in that league, don’t go there.

4. Commenting on Other Blogs: Look for other blogs in your industry (but not direct competitors) that have a good amount of traffic and comments, and contribute a comment (or designate members of your team to do so), but only if you think you can add value to the conversation. Be careful not to promote your company here; just add some insight, and do it on a regular basis. Make seeking out and commenting on other blogs a part of your team’s weekly activities. The more you contribute to the conversation happening around you, the more you’ll be seen as a thought-leader (and people will click on your link to check you out).

These are a few areas that can have the biggest impact on your blogging strategy as it relates to building relationships, but they are by no means the only places to concentrate. The overriding question to ask yourself when you’re working on any aspect of yours or your company blog is… “What’s the best way for us to keep readers coming back and recommending us to their friends and associates?”

And as Seth Godin points out so clearly with his tip to improve blog engagement… “The only thing I do to increase reader engagement is to write things worth sharing. Everything else is a bonus.”

Originally posted at bloggingwizard

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