Business Blog Essentials
Here’s a list of essential features and functions that every business blog should have. Make sure to discuss these with your blog developer:
- Self-hosting – Steer clear of Blogger.com, Blogspot, WordPress.com, etc. (Read more about out Why a Businesses Should Not Use a Free Blog Platform.)
- A comment moderation system and a comment spam filter.
- A “contact us” page – A business blog can be an excellent source of sales leads, and a contact page serves as a conduit for those leads.
- An “about” page that describes the blog author, blog purpose, and blog goals.
- W3C compliant design – As more and more devices can be used to view the Internet, it’s important to follow W3C design guidelines to maximize the number of devices that can be used to view your blog. There are also some AWDA concerns about operating a website that’s not W3C compliant, so this is a must.
- Email and RSS subscription options – RSS feed readers are gaining popularity as a way to read a lot of blogs quickly, so offering an RSS subscription option is wise. Email subscription is still tremendously popular, and should be offered as well.
- A comment subscription option – Blogs are all about creating a conversation, so a blog must give visitors the opportunity to subscribe to the conversation via email and RSS.
- Automated backups – We’ve never lost one blog here at Spork Marketing…but we’ve come close. Take our word for it – backup early and backup often.
- Ensure compatibility with embedded videos – Embedding a popular video from YouTube, MetaCafe, and/or one of 100 other video sites is an easy way to generate a blog post and start a conversation.
- Automated sitemap creation, updates, and submission – Automatically creating and submitting your sitemap to the search engines is essential to blog SEO, and sitemap updates (and update notifications) should be automated as well.
- Ping notification – Your blog should automatically “ping” a variety of content and RSS aggregators as soon as you make a new blog post. This is a great way to get your post indexed into a search engine quickly and maximize your search engine traffic.
- Simple bookmarking and sharing system – Bookmarking and social news voting systems should be supported with a simple, unobtrusive “share this” link.
- Analytics – Every website should have analytics.
- Ongoing blog maintenance and management, including blog software updates – Blog software must be updated frequently to guarantee security and proper function, and outsourcing these maintenance functions is a best practice.
- This isn’t really a “blog essential” tip, but we’re going to share this little tidbit anyways. Our recommended blog platform is the self-hosted version of WordPress, a simple and secure database-driven blog content management system.