A blog can be a great asset to a company because it can have a huge positive impact on its digital footprint. In general, blogging can be used to help earn traffic, build brand awareness, earn back-links, earn social shares, boost SEO, and grow your addressable audience.

Here are 5 pro tips for the beginning commercial blogger:

1. You get what you give – You can’t just set up shop and expect people to start taking you seriously. Start posting in online forums, comment on blogs and articles, start spreading your name around your industry. If you want to start earning traffic and gaining participation, you have to be a participant yourself. (Note: Be sure to follow the rules and guidelines of online forums and message boards. Spamming is usually not tolerated and you will severely damage your brand’s image by getting banned from online communities and message boards pertaining directly to your brand’s industry.)

2. Give shout outs – Align yourself with others in your industry by mentioning, quoting, referencing, and even challenging industry influencers. Shout outs are usually more effective if you associate yourself with people who are just a bit more influential than yourself. The big dogs may not give you the time of day, but a medium dog may appreciate the acknowledgment and want to continue the conversation.

3. Embrace early adopters – Build personal relationships with as many followers as your can, especially the early adopters. Follow these people’s blogs and interact with them on social media. Earn people’s respect in an effort to establish an advocacy group for yourself.

4. Host it correctly – Never ever use a subdomain or a separate root domain to host your blog. Reason being, you will lose your ability to generate domain authority and you won’t get the rankings boost that comes with that high authority. Keeping your blog in a subfolder of your main site is the best thing that you can do for your SEO.

5. Create everything yourself – Taking your own photos and generating your own images and  graphs adds validity to you blog. Even if your photos aren’t ready for TIME Magazine, going through the effort of creating original content will carry weight with readers.

Want more? Check out some more tips for beginning bloggers.

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