In business blogging the “little things” add up to a cumulative effect. What little things have you overlooked on your blog? Here are ten little things that add up to a better impression on your readers—if you’ve paid attention to them. If you’ve missed these, well, you may not be making as good of an impression as you’d like. These tips are specific to WordPress, by the way.
- A tag line that instantly communicates your business benefit to the visitor. If you’re stuck on just how to do that (and it’s not easy) see this post on taglines at Copyblogger.
- Somebody other than “admin” is writing your posts. I see this happening way too often. Hey there, “admin,” why don’t you go into your user profile settings and change them!
- Clear contact information (or better yet, a contact form). I use Contact 7, but also check out Cforms. If you want the business, for goodness’ sake make it easy for people to get in touch with you: Phone numbers, email addresses, social media and IM names, whatever. Throw the kitchen sink at that contact page, because you don’t know what other people’s preferred communication style is.
- Make what you’re selling obvious to find and easy to buy. Whether you’re a consultant, coach, freelancer, or selling products, don’t bury that fact in your About page. This information should be front & center on your home page and on dedicated page(s). Notice that big fat blog consulting link in my navigation bar and now the contents of my home page are unmistakably all about business. There are nice big buy buttons on the consulting services page: there is no mysterious process, here. No hoops to go through. Easy-peasy.
- If you actually want people to subscribe, make it obvious and easy to do. See my post on the FeedBurner basics nobody told you about for how to add an awesome email subscribe thingy to your blog sidebar.
- Simplify your permalinks with
%postname%. Easy enough to do if your blog is new, but what if it’s not? Then you need Dean’s Permalink Migration plugin, which will automagically (I love that word) redirect all your old permalinks to their new ones. This way, any links to your blog (your internal ones and links from other blogs) will never be broken.
- Clean up your slugs before you hit “publish.” Slugs, what? Yes, the post permalink file name is called a “slug.” You can edit them just below the headline in the blog post writing page in WordPress. Shorten them up for better SEO and human readability.
- Put some thought into your business blog’s categories. Actually, put a LOT of thought into them. When you think categories, think keywords. For ideas, look at how your niche is categorized at large sites like About.com. This is especially important if you use
- Pictures of you and the other authors (if yours is a multi-author blog) so we know you’re real people. Happy, smiling faces induce trust. If your target market is people like you, let them see that you’re like them. The more you are your own brand, the more important this is. Make sure they’re decent pictures, too, taken with a good camera with good lighting.
- Only put what matters in your sidebar. Get the rest of that stupid junk out of there. Unless you spend a lot of time on sites like MyBlogLog, you don’t need those widgets cluttering up your sidebar and slowing down your page load times. Everything on your blog serves the ultimate goal of subscribing or selling, and that goes for the sidebar, too. Don’t let it become the “junk drawer” of your blog.
- Overdeliver. Go the extra mile. That’s where the real difference is made between you and your competition. When you feel like you’ve done enough, keep going. Add even more value than what is required of you. Do this consistently, and you will have a better shot at dominating your niche over time.
Are you doing these? Have you overlooked any of them? Did I miss something important? Add your thoughts in the comments.