Does your blog follow "best practices?" Is it even important that your blog looks like a blog? There are many ways to set up a blog, and some websites are now using blog platforms, so that there are currently many blog-sites that are cross-over combos.
When is a blog not really a blog? Who cares? What matters is, does it work to bring in clients?
I got a comment on a blog post I wrote about the importance of composing a "table of contents" when you're creating your business content marketing strategy. I got the idea when I was composing a new ebook using MyKnowledgeGenie.com.
A table of contents is a good way to organize information in a step-by-step way that's easy for readers to understand.
Making a list of chapters or steps your prospects and clients need to know about your products and services is a good way to organize an informational product. Well, a reader asked me if he couldn't just set up his blog with a table of contents, so that people could go find the information they need the most.
In other words, instead of having posts in chronological order on the blog home page, they'd get a table of contents of subjects or categories of topics.
At first I thought, hey, why not? This could be a great way for visitors to the site to immediately find stuff they need. The key in building any site is to make it easy for readers to use.
On second thought, though, there's a problem with building a blog like this. You need a place for communicating latest information and sharing ideas and personalities of the people in the company. Of course, you can include that also in the "table of contents" home page.
The other thing to keep in mind is that if your readers are expecting a blog, they're used to seeing posts that descend the page in order of publication. You don't want to confuse readers looking for blog posts who get a table of contents instead.
There's a reason there are best practices for setting up blog sites. People have online reading habits and consistency builds trust. Trust is the number one key thing that leads to buying behaviors. You don't want to be too creative when it comes to your sites. Keep the reader's interests in mind, build for trust, keep it simple, and you can't go wrong.
My final thoughts on this, however, is that readers don't really care if they land on a blog or a website. All they want is easy access to information that's interesting. If your blog/web/online-place-of-business is organized in a way that's simple and clear, who cares if it follows a traditional blog style of not?
Just don't put one of those stupid blog calendars in the side-bar. And make sure you have all the important branding and marketing pieces in place:
- About page that explains who you are and why you do what you do
- Your photo
- A way to subscribe by email to your blog
- What services or products you provide
- What your typical clients are like
- What clients have to say
- Your cornerstone content pieces
- How they can learn more or contact you
- Easy way to leave comments
These can go in the side-bars or in a navigation bar along the top.
If you're not sure what to include on your blog, or where to include it, ask me. I'm available for blog help.
I'm also releasing a great blog tutorial this week, so stay tuned. This blogging-tips-in-a-blox will save you time, energy and money if you want to optimize your blog for maximum marketing effectiveness.
NEWS FLASH! The Smart Blogging Tutorial in-a-box is ready… Check it out here:
I'm curious, how many of you are by-the-book "traditional" bloggers, or are you using combo website/blogsites?