Graphic designer David Airey, from across the pond, put out a great post today on elements your blog should contain/display to welcome first time readers and obviously turn them into long time readers. David points out that while you have been blogging for weeks, months or years; the visitor might be reading your blog for the first time ever.
Since my niche in blogging is more focused to business blogging I thought I would outline David’s points (originally from Problogger) and also add some small business blogging angles to it.
- Why did you start your blog? The story of how, when and why you started the blog can help readers connect with you.
- How is it designed to be used? An increasing number of people understand what a blog is and how it operates, but some readers may not, particularly non-tech savvy audiences. Explain concepts like comments and any features you’ve installed that might take a little describing.
- How can users connect / subscribe? Explain how to use RSS or how to subscribe via email. It’s amazing how many people don’t understand this.
- How can readers get more involved? If you have forums or a community area to get readers more involved, highlight them.
- Where should readers start? Point new readers to some starting points to read.
My additions based on business blogging:
- How can a reader work with you? While I’m not a fan of having a blatant post asking for business (ex: we are the greatest, we are the best, must use us!), I think having an easy to find “contact us” link or even using a soft sell is OK in the closing. Having a finishing sentence of “If you are looking for specific service here help, then contact us today” or “Need our expertise? Holler at us.”.
- Do you list your affiliations, qualifications or partners? If you’re using your blog to build trust and credibility then show some of the credible partners you have or associations you are a part of. Industry associations, civic groups and chambers are all examples of this.
With any business blog, new or old, there is always room for improvement. I need to implement some of these items myself for the five spot blog, especially as my amount of content grows.