Blog Your Way to Retail Success

I write this article as a blogger with six years experience. In that time I have published more than 12,000 blog posts and contributed a further 4,000 comments in response to these blog posts.

While blogging itself is now older technology it remains a useful tool for retailers wanting to find their voice online and locally. A good blog can help the business focus attention internally and externally.

Here are some basic guidelines for businesses commencing blogging for the first time.

Have something to say. Don’t type for the sake of typing for if you do people will not come back. Add value with each post you publish. Speak your truth. Write in an accessible way. Be personal.

Write as if you were writing a story for a local newspaper. Offer perspective on the topic and draw on your own authority the bring credibility to the blog post.

Before you start blogging, make a commitment. Many people jump into blogging and quickly stop. Decide before you start whether you have the stamina for regular blogging, whether you have enough to say and the commitment to write in a way which is necessary for the blog to be found by the search engines.

Be prepared for dialogue. Each blog post is the opening comments in a conversation. Invite comments and engage with those who post comments in response to your blog posts. Be prepared for criticism, embrace this as an opportunity to test your own views. Comments are an important part of the rich blogging experience.

Blog as therapy. If you are working through a complex issue, be open about it on your blog. The writing process could help. Comments from others could help too. My own experience is that blogging has helped discover solutions to many challenges.

Avoid overt marketing. Blog posts which are no more that puffery will be seen by readers as that. This is where the first point (above) is so vital. Do have something to say, something of genuine value. There are many retail businesses which use blogs to republish press releases. These create noise and not much else.

Once your blog is live and if you get the technology right, it becomes indexed by the search engines and this opens a new world of opportunity for you. Soon, you could find people ringing and emailing from all over the place looking for what you are writing about.