In today’s digital world, blogging has become an important element in business marketing. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to write a successful blog. A lot of questions may go through your mind: “What do I say?”, or “How can I reach people?”, or even more importantly “Where do I begin?”.
“Just be yourself” laughs Andy Torres entrepreneur and founder of StyleScrapbook, a website dedicated to helping ordinary people acheive a high-fashion look. One glance at her blog and social media presence shows that Andy Torres knows how to gain loyal readers. Her Instagram account has over 700,000 followers and her Facebook account has close to two million. In a 2011 TedxAmsterdamWomen 2011 TED talk titled “The Key to Successful Blogging”, Torres claims that over a million people visit her blog a month.
So, what’s her secret? Torres points to three important keys that each blog should have to be successful.
- Use Quality Pictures
- Build a Strong Social Network
- Be Yourself
Torres mentions that her pictures weren’t always of the best quality. She says that it took a lot of practice to get better pictures. Good quality pictures draw the reader in and keep him or her on the page. Since our society is a very visual one (look at how much time we spend watching television shows, Netflix, and YouTube), this is good advice. Also, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read (you can view the statistics here). Good visual elements in a blog post help bridge that gap. In her TED talk, Torres uses the pictures below to highlight the the importance of a good picture. Both pictures are from her blog, but the one on the right is an example of a good picture taken after many years of practice.
In business, we need to communicate our presence to the digital world and invite readers into our blog. How else are they going to know that it exists? Torres says that the secret to great website traffic comes from a strong social media presence on places like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. She mentions that the majority of her readers follow links to her blog from social media sites.
This may seem like simple advice, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s far easier to see successful blogs and attempt to mimic their tone and/or look. Torres says this is a mistake. Readers can spot an inauthentic voice from far away. “Being genuine is attractive to others” Torres advises.
One Example of a Successful Business Blog
If you’re looking for an example of a successful blog with many of Torres’ recommendations then check out a blog (cleverly named a “Co-op Journal”) by REI, a retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment. REI seemlessly does the following:
- Draws you in with clear and colorful pictures
- Links you to blog posts from social media sites (take note of the use of hashtags in the picture above which allows you to link pictures, text, and other media with the use of the same hashtag)
- Engages you with an authentic voice
REI liberally uses pictures and white space to keep the page from looking too text heavy. This invites the reader in and keeps him or her reading the blog. REI is a good example of a successful business blog.
Questions or comments? I’d love to hear what you think, so please leave them below.