Blogging should be an integral part of your online marketing solution. Not only does it provide your readers with pertinent and relevant information about your business but it has also proven to be extremely beneficial from an SEO perspective.

To get started, let’s take a look at a couple of intro points:

Get more familiar with blogging. understanding the purpose of blogs can be a little confusing for some. Are blogs means to be PR or advertising? Don’t look at blogging as a method to solely promote products or services. Look at blogging as a strategic tool that; when properly used, can help with branding and lead generation – both resulting in additional sales of your products and services.

Is it right for me? Start by looking at what your looking to accomplish with your online marketing strategy. What are the goals? If blogging can help you achieve those goals, then by all means consider it. An additional benefit to blogging is SEO. If one of your goals is to drive traffic, writing a SEO friendly blog can be very beneficial.

Content is key. Lay out a strategy including how often you plan to blog and who the content providers will be. Planning on the front end will go a long way towards providing your readers with some consistency and something to look forward to.

Optimize the content. Take some time and research your keywords. Using those relevant keywords in your blog posts can help drive more of your target audience to your site as well as boost your search engine rankings.

Plan to interact. Many blogs have little to no interaction with their readers. This could be as a result of a poorly written blog or a poorly developed blogging strategy. In either case, putting together a great strategy to provide well-written blog posts can most definitely lead to more comments on your posts. Be prepared to interact. Be human, thoughtful and truthful in your conversations – otherwise run the risk of being ignored.

The tactical plan for blogging should include short term objectives of increasing recognition and increasing engagement. Consider what you are going to do in order to achieve these two short term objectives. For example, how many posts will you create. What frequency and who will write the content. Add an RSS button to your site so people can more easily subscribe to your blog. Include the social sharing buttons as well. How are you going to go about encourage comments?

Define key metrics to monitor including the number of posts, number of shares, growth pattern of your audience (new and returning), conversation rate, conversion, SEO traffic.