Many small and medium-sized business owners have seen the advantages of having a blog. It’s a way to interact with their consumers, build a relationship, and update them regularly about the brand. Today, businesses are really seeing the importance of conversation with their customers. It isn’t enough for them to satisfy the consumer’s need – they have to ensure that the consumer identifies and relates with their brand, because this is what turns the consumer into a loyal customer and even possibly a brand advocate.
You may have started your blog as a hobby, just so there’s a way for you to deliver the occasional news about your business or update your audience about a new product or service you’re offering. But you never know when a blog post of yours may get featured in a popular blog, or someone mentions it on their Facebook account, and all of a sudden, your small blog suddenly hits the spotlight and becomes big. Though you’d love for this to happen (well, who wouldn’t, right?), the question is, is your blog ready for it?
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for this from the beginning, since you can never predict when that day will come. But if you aren’t, don’t worry, because it’s never too late to ensure that your blog is ready to go big. Here are some tips to help you ensure that you’re prepared for your blog to take the spotlight.
1. Ensure that all the important pages are up and easily found
Some bloggers don’t really pay much attention to the pages that are up on their blog, which is a bad thing because these are the pages that most readers like to see so they can have a better experience on your site. These pages will help your readers and followers learn more about you, and what they can and cannot do on your blog.
A blog that is easy to navigate and offers these important pages will ensure that anyone who visits your blog will have a good experience, and be willing to visit again.
2. Have sharing and subscription options up and running
Having your blog in the spotlight means that people are going to want to subscribe to your posts and share them with other people. So you should make sure that you have all your easy sharing links/buttons up and running, and you should also have your email/feed subscription in a prominent place on your pages so that people can easily subscribe to your updates.
3. Have comments enabled
This may sound obvious to you, but there are still a number of people who disable the comments feature in their blog because they want to avoid negative comments and spam. But honestly, commenting is an important part of your audience’s experience, and it’s a great way to build a relationship with your readers. Don’t be afraid of negative comments and criticism – think of them as a way to react to the poster and perhaps even offer a solution or recommendation to the problem. So make sure that comments are enabled on your blog so that your followers can have a better experience.
4. Ensure you’re not violating any copyright laws
Before your blog even gets big, you should definitely make sure that you’re not committing any copyright violations such as ensuring that any photos you’ve placed on your blog that aren’t yours are properly credited to the owner, and any content you post is properly referenced if needed.
5. Make sure your blog is visually appealing and fast loading
A visually appealing blog is simple, where posts are highlighted, and isn’t too cluttered with advertisements and flashing images, which can ruin the experience for the user. It’s best to avoid flash and any animation since this can only cause your blog to load very slowly – another reason for users to simply skip your blog altogether. It’s a good idea to include a picture with every post though just to add some visual aspect to the content. One picture or two at most, if your post is a bit long, is pretty much enough visuals for your readers.
These are just a couple of tips to help you be prepared for when your blog becomes big. Make sure you’re applying them to your blog as early as now so that you’re ready when that time comes.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog and is also the CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.