With a website like Rocky Hill 411, one of the goals is to represent local business online and present them in a way that lists information and facts about the actual place, reviews and hopefully spark conversations. To do this successfully you need to prepare your blog in a way that can achieve all of these ideas into one post that is easily read and accessible to your audience.
Step 1: Identify the Business
To write about a business the first step is to decide what business you are writing about. Who are they, what is their name, what function do they perform? Is it Patty Cakes Bakery on New Britain Ave. in Rocky Hill or are you doing a comparison on all of the bakeries in Rocky Hill. That difference would highly change your approaches on the topic.
Step 2: Define the Business
Once you have decided what you are going to write about, you need to get a true and detailed definition about what the business does, what the offer consumers or businesses and how one could interact with the business. Using the example of the bakery, giving an idea what the bakery offers, do they do wedding cakes, what style of baked goods do they have, is it Italian? Greek? English? Will someone get baklava or scones there? If you can’t represent the business for what they offer, you aren’t really offering your readers a service.
Step 3: Create an opinion separate from the facts
It is important to make sure that the facts of the business are accurate and stated in a concise yet fully informational way. To truly get this interactive, it is also your job to incite discussion and participation. Listing hours of operation won’t really get much response. Giving a little review of the business will. If you go to Patty Cakes, take a few photos of what you bought, tell readers what you thought of the service, the building, the quality of the food, the price, you are giving them a large base to not only inform themselves, while clearly knowing it is of opinion, as well as oppose or agree on your own opinion within the comments section. This gives people the chance to praise the business or air out their issues, giving consumers more information to help with their decision.
Step 4: Presenting the Information
Blogs have become an essential tool for the online community. Blogs are used by individuals just ranting on their own thoughts to top nationwide news channels. The blog has broken the mold from to allow the use of facts supplemented by opinions and conversation in one spot, for all to see. As the Blog has taken over the style of how people absorb information from the web, it is essential that when you blog your information it’s done right. Photos to supplement your content is key to readers. Being able to read gives them the information, but being able to see what they are reading about, the products, the business itself, the location. This will help the readers get a better idea of what it’s about.
Putting the content in a format which is easily readable and consistent will help keep readers on the article and through the site. When they know what and why they are reading something it helps create an ease of use for them. They know what to expect and where to expect it.
Step 5: Creating Involvement Beyond Comments
It is important once a blog post is up, to also check back in on it. Make sure the information is still correct, but also to get a good perspective on what the users are commenting. There are many opportunities that you can tap by just reading through the comments. If a constant conversation keeps coming up, maybe thats a new post you can create to show you are listening to the readers, as well as making sure you are creating the content they want.
If you find someone who has a large passion for or against a business or differs from your perspective, contacting that person and letting them write their own devil’s advocate piece will really show that your site is a place where people’s opinions matter.
Step 6: Getting the word out
Having great content is the first part of the success of the story, but getting people to know about the story is another up hill battle. Creating featured spots on the homepage of your blog that lends to the importance you are putting on a story which tells users that the story is one they should read. The more visible you make a specific story, the more you have a chance that it will be read.
You want to make sure you don’t over push all at one time. Make sure that you saturate the story properly on your site. When it is first launched, list it on the home page for a few days, then swap it out with other content. After a while, sprinkle it back in from time to time to grab those who may never have seen it. If you keep the story featured for weeks people will start to think the site is stale or there’s only old information that is relevant, creating a negative view on the current nature of the site. A large part of the spreading of the story will be from word of mouth so you must get the people in!