Blogging for business? Make sure you're dressed for success.

After updating my Twitter to include some ActiveRain friends, I scoured through some of my oldie-but-goodie posts.  Here's a (condensed) snippet from one of my hits:

Dress your Blog Professionally
  • Text should be easy to read—Utilize white space and remember not to emphasize everything—it depletes any emphasis you were attempting to place. Get rid of run-on sentences and break up never ending paragraphs.
  • Organize your blog well--“Stream of consciousness” or “free thought” is okay, just make sure you don’t ramble. Each post should cover a topic or be wrapped around a theme.
  • Be real, but not really--Be open and sincere, but retain some privacy. Share, but set boundaries. Your blog is you, but with your hair fixed and clothes pressed, not fresh out of bed. 
  • Create rapport via honesty & sharing-- Again, you don’t have to let the reader into every nook and cranny of your life, but be honest and willing to share more than (insert market here) updates.
  • Check your anger at the door (login page)-- Angry rants have no place on a business blog. If this is your idea of seeking revenge, you’ve just empowered your target and decreased your credibility. Do not post snide comments (humor is OK, but curb the sardonic prattle.)
  • What’s the “takeaway” from your profile—Does it tell the reader that you’re an expert in XYZ? Would someone be drawn to perusing your blog based on your bio? Does your picture look warm or cold? Do you mention reasons why someone should check out your website?
  • Word travels fast--People will Google your name.  Don't leave comments on your blog (or anyone else's) that would damage your reputation (see Check Anger above).  

You've heard it before, you're hearing it again: In order for your blog to be an effective marketing tool, use it wisely. Post with relevance, style and an actual voice (sans the story about your recent colon cleanse). Be kind and considerate. It's pseudo-easy to make a name for yourself, but make sure it's the name you want.

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