Other People’s Blogs
Companies are often surprised by the amount of time and effort it can take to produce one good blog. Blogging software makes the writing and publishing process easier, but responding to reader comments, finding time to write regularly, and creating links and multimedia components can take some time. For this reason, many companies place all their effort on creating their own blogs, sometimes to such an extent that they ignore other blogs in cyberspace. This is truly a mistake, since in many cases, other blogs can have as much impact on your marketing as your own online efforts!
What Are Other Bloggers Saying About Your Company?
One of the first steps you will want to take when marketing using other blogs is to find out what others bloggers and online writers are saying about your company and your blog. Other people’s and companies’ comments are read by readers and potential customers, too.
Many blogging software packages allow you to search for links to your blog or company website in other people’s blogs. You can also run a goggle check on your blog name, company name, and URL addresses to see what others are saying about you. Regularly checking online to see what is being said can help you get a sense of how your efforts are working. Remember: blogging is a community effort, with links in other blogs and comments in other blogs affecting how readers see you. You need to keep track of how you are doing to understand how your online presence is affecting your business.
Responding to Other Blogs
Once you begin reading comments about your company and online presence, you may well wish to respond to the comments others have made. Before you do so, do take some first:
•Read and reread the comments you wish to respond to and make sure that you understand them. Make sure that you understand the tone as well as the words – you will look and feel silly if you respond angrily to a post that turns out to have been written in a teasing or tongue-in-cheek manner.
•Calm down. In cases where comments are negative, especially, it is easy with blog software to respond at once. It is better to calm down first and allow yourself the time to respond in a clam manner.
•Stay clear and on topic. When you respond to a posting or blog, make sure that you are clear and that you stay on topic in order to prevent an out of control name-calling exchange. Clearly state what you are referring to, what comments you have about it, and what actions (if any) you are going to take or want to see taken.
•Decide how to respond. You can respond to a person directly, through their blog commentary, or through your own blog. If you respond to a blogger or commentary directly, be aware that other readers who have seen comments about your company may not read your comments. Plus, your email or response may eventually end up online, anyway, possibly edited or cut from context. Responding via someone else’s blog gives you more control, but still has you remain on someone else’s space. Commenting on your own blog gives you the most control and ensures that readers will come to your blog to read your comments. Of course, you can also choose to not respond at all.