By Jeff Kline

Blog

Intro to Blogging for Chambers

Thursday, September 6, 2012

At this time every year, the leaves begin to change to yellow, burnt orange, and deep deep crimson. It’s a gentle reminder of the inevitable – that everything changes. 

The marketing industry has experienced a particularly dramatic change in the past few years. As traditional marketing declines, digital marketing is on the rise. One of the most prominent marketing tools to emerge is the Blog

Wordle.com word map about blogging

This is the start of my new series, Blogging for Chambers of Commerce. Follow along for the next few weeks for tips, best practices, and step-by-step guides to build and enhance your chamber blog!

WHAT IS A BLOG?

A blog is a website that enables you to easily publish multiple “posts,” which are then arranged into a chronological list. Blogs serve many purposes: Joy the Baker shares recipes and food commentary; This Just In is the official CNN news blog; and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce shines a spotlight on members at blog.columbus.org.

Essentially, blogging is no different than giving a presentation to a roomful of business owners. Just like a presentation, you share your expertise in a way that gets your audience listening. At the end, you open up for discussion and Q&A. It's one of the most effective ways to connect with your members, increase your web traffic, and attract potential members. But if you still aren’t convinced to start blogging, read on…

5 REASONS WHY YOUR CHAMBER SHOULD BE BLOGGING

1) Blogs are people-friendly.

Your chamber blog is a place where you can speak to your audience in plain English. It’s less about selling, and more about sharing. You can be conversational, personable, and even have a sense of humor. A blog transforms your chamber website into a dynamic, ever-changing information hub that encourages visitors to come back for more.

2) Commenting opens a new channel for conversation.

Every blog should have a Comments section at the end of each post. This is a place for readers to share their thoughts and ask questions. This is also the place for you to respond to their comments. Blogs encourage audience participation and sometimes result in meaningful conversations.

3) You’ll build credibility.

By sharing valuable information publicly on your blog, you will establish your chamber as an expert and a thought leader among the local business community. Don’t think of it as giving away free information; think of it as earning a free audience!

4) Search engines love blogs.

Your chamber blog is your ticket to better SEO. Every blog post is its own webpage, giving search engines more pages to index. Blog posts on specific topics will target long-tail keywords. And because search engines prefer new content, your fresh blog posts have a better chance of ranking high.

5) Blog content is highly shareable.

If you write a blog post that is engaging, educational and entertaining, there is a good chance people are going to share your post on Facebook, via email, or by printing it out and showing it to a colleague. The best blog posts are the ones that go viral, passed around online for thousands to read!

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Blogging is much more than just a fad or a passing trend. Blogging is a valuable component of inbound marketing – the new way of marketing – which focuses on earning the trust of potential members before making a sales pitch. A chamber blog will engage both current and future members, strengthen your credibility, boost your SEO, and greatly increase traffic to your website. Blogging is working for thousands of organizations, and it can work for your chamber, too.

Be sure to come back next week for the continuation of our Blogging for Chambers series! 

YOUR TURN

  • What has been your biggest deterrent to starting a chamber blog?
  • If you have a chamber blog, what has been your greatest blogging challenge?
  • Do you have a blogging success story? We’d love to hear it!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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