24 (of the) Best Business Blogging Guides, Tips and Tools of 2011

Despite any recent recent rants you may have seen about how blogging is dead or blogs are passé, the fact of the matter is that business blogging is now more important than ever. With Google’s most recent Panda algorithm updates, attributes like content freshness and social signals (strengths of blogs, not corporate websites) will gain increased importance in search ranking.

But as the blogosphere continues to expand (as noted by Diana Adams below), it becomes more difficult to stand out and be heard above the noise.  How can a company launch (or relaunch) a new blog properly? Write great blog post headlines? Promote new content most effectively? Optimize blog content for search? Emulate the best corporate blogs? Take advantage of free or low-cost blog tools and resources?

Get the answers to those questions and more here in two dozen of the best blogging guides of the past year.

Guidance for New Bloggers

20 Common Mistakes Made By New Bloggers by Ink Rebels

Diana AdamsNoting that will well over 100 million blogs on the web now it can be challenging to stand out, the effervescent Diana Adams shares a list of common mistakes to avoid such as making your RSS button hard to find, posting inconsistently, and failing to respond to reader comments.

12 things every business blogger should know how to do by Ragan’s PR Daily

Susan YoungContending that “blogging isn’t that difficult until educated, professional, bright grownups begin to overanalyze things,” Susan Young provides a dozen pieces of commonsense advice for business blogging success, such as sticking to what you know and enjoy, and writing “to express, not to impress.”

The Entrepreneur’s Advisor | Why and How to do a Blog Right by The Entrepreneur’s Advisor

Stuart W. Smith provides some blogging basics and helpful tips for those relatively new to blogging. After making the basic case for a blog, he delves into keywords, developing quality content, links, calls to action and more.

6 Tips for Blogging for SEO in WordPress by Business Insider

Sue ReynoldsSue Reynolds offers a half-dozen tips for SEO on WordPress blogs, helpful particularly for those just getting started.

Business Blogging Tips, Tactics and Best Practices

8 Ways to Get Your Blog Ready for the Big Time by Blog Engage

Kristi HinesFrequent best-of honoree Kristi Hines offers eight tips to get your blog ready for a surge of traffic if you happen to get mentioned or retweeted by a highly influential source. Among the tips: optimize your site for speed, delay your opt-in popup form (or better yet – lose it, they’re obnoxious) and make sure your key pages (About, Contact, Guest Post Guidelines, etc.) are easy to find.

How to Be an Awesome Blog Commenter by HubSpot Blog

Kipp BodnarKipp Bodnar offers half-dozen tips for “how to be a thoughtful and engaged commenter” that apply to social networking sites as well as to blogs. Much of it comes down to appropriate social etiquette, and always striving to add value to the conversation.

How to Turn a Lousy Blog Headline into a Great One by The Backlight

Tristan HigbeeTristan Higbee steps through the creative process of turning a boring blog headline into a better one and then, eventually, into one that is both search-friendly and compelling to potential readers.

26 Ways to Enhance Your Blog Content by Social Media Examiner

Debbie HemleyAnother delightful A to Z post from Debbie Hemley, this one alphabetizing the business blogging process from attributing source material through links and blogging as a hub of social media efforts through YouTube and “Zigzags and Leaps” (“mental moves that might open up things a bit, allow a little more in, including, we hope…discovery”).

7 Key Elements to a Successful Business Blog by TopRank Online Marketing

Lee OddenLee Odden defines the key characteristics to consider in terms of “branding, community, SEO, PR, recruiting and taking midshare away from your competition” with your blog including the URL, name, design and navigation. (For more on this topic, see also Eight Factors to Consider When Launching a Business Blog previously published here.)

12 Things to Do After You’ve Written a New Blog Post by Content Marketing Institute

Brody DorlandNoting that “even great content can go unnoticed,” Brody Dorland recommends 12 steps for promoting your blog content, from the obvious (utilize keywords for SEO, use syndication) to the creative (using a post to answer a question on Twitter, promoting posts via your email signature).

21 Ways Bloggers Engage by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen details 21 ways bloggers can engage with readers beyond just responding to comments, among them: inviting others to contribute guest posts, providing social sharing buttons, enabling readers to subscribe by email, and participating in Twitter chats.

The Blueprint for the Perfect Blog Post (Infographic) by Business 2 Community

Brian RiceBrian Rice graphically illustrates nine components of the “perfect” blog post, beginning with a compelling post title. in this nicely-done infgraphic. He also shares six blogging lessons learned, including the importance of user experience and letting your audience drive your the conversation.

Displaying Social Proof – What the Marketing Experts Use by KISSmetrics

Kristi Hines studies the AdAge Power 150 blogs to see how leading bloggers are displaying their social clout. Tools and methods used include displaying FeedBurner reader count, a Facebook Like box, LinkeddIn share button, or multi-purpose tools from AddtoAny, Share This, or AddThis.

Blog SEO

SEO success for your blog in 10 easy steps by {grow}

Eric PratumGuest blogger Eric Pratum outlines a “10-step prioritized plan to improve the SEO for your blog without spending a lot of time or money,” from keyword strategy to sitemaps.

How to Optimize Your Blog for Google by Social Media Examiner

Dino DoganIn this extensive and detailed post, Dino Dogan walks through the process of search optimizing a blog, from audience targeting considerations and keyword research to SEO plugin settings (presuming you are using WordPress).

Where to Use Keywords in Corporate Blog Posts by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Lee Odden lays out a non-technical five-step process for getting a corporate blog to rank well in search. His item #4 (“Use Descriptive References vs. Pronouns”) in particular should be required reading for ANYONE writing online content.

Top 10 Blog Directories 2011 by SEO Wizardry

Peter HollierWriting that “Blog Directories add an important element to your web site traffic generation and search engine optimization programs,” Peter Hollier lists and links the top 10 blog directories along with their Alexa ranks.

8 Steps to Optimize Your Blog Post by Search Engine Watch

Erez BarakErez Barak recommends a heavy focus on keyword research, selection and tracking among his eight steps for getting a blog post to rank well in search.

Examples of Exceptional Corporate Blogs

The 10 Best Corporate Blogs in the World by {grow}

Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer shares a few observations on the state of corporate blogging (e.g. the tech sector produces most of the best corporate blogs, the Fortune 500 lags the rest of the world in this area) as well as his picks for the top ten corporate blogs based on quality. Most of the companies are large, but the variety of industries represented is intriguing.

Outstanding brand blogs you should check out by iMedia Connection

Sarah KotlovaSarah Kotlova showcases four well-done corporate blogs (or in the case of Cisco, a collection of company-related blogs written by internal subject-matter experts) from both the B2B and B2C worlds.

Blogging Tools and Resources

Huge List of Useful Tools for Bloggers by ShoutMeLoud

Exactly what it says–a big list of tools to make your blogging more productive. This post lists and links to tools for SEO, writing, blog marketing and more.

Stock.XCHNG

Need an interesting photo for your latest blog post but don’t want to shell out big bucks, go through some convoluted licensing process, or risk violating a photographer’s copyright? This may be the site for you. Owned by Getty Images, Stock.XCHNG bills itself as “the world’s best free (image) stock site.”

veezzle

A free stock photo exchange where you can search, use, share and create collections of images for online use.

fotoglif

If the free sources above don’t have quite what you need, fotoglif offers reasonably-priced photographic images, in a range of categories including news, politics, business, technology and lifestyle.

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  1. Pingback: Is Blogging Dying

  2. I am relatively new to blogging and have found your site to be wealth of information! I have bookmarked it and with your permission will pass it along whenever I get questions about blogging. Keep up the good work.

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  4. This is quite a list of blogs in widely different communities. There are now so many blogs in our ever-growing niche that we can’t possibly read them all so I encourage bloggers to choose the blogging community that best fits their audience and ethical position.

    I wrote about blogging ethics and the decision all bloggers need to make in the post I’ve linked to this comment.

  5. Hi Gail, and thanks! It is a lot to keep up with. Being that time and attention span are finite commodities, quality and relevance (to a specific, targeted group of readers) will increasingly determine which bloggers will continue to draw an audience of any significant size.

  6. Pingback: What to Find Out Before You Start a Business Blog - 25+ Web Resources | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog

  7. I’ve had a blog for 3 years, and i’m always looking for advices: ideas for new content, ideas to enlarge the audience, ideas to improve look&feel, etc..
    I will definitely check your list of blogs, it seems like a goldmine ;)
    Thanks !