Blog A+

Versions of this post appeared on and Handshake 2.0.

At essence, a business blog is a public relations play to achieve business results – turning contacts into clients.

Successful business blogs offer must-read, valuable information to readers.  Search engine users seek information.  A business blog needs to be a competitively outstanding source of what they seek.

While the topics of information a business blog can cover are myriad, and the blog can serve customer relationship and communication functions, its singular mission is to establish the company as an authority in its industry.

How does one measure the extent to which one has achieved this?

Pat Matthews, co-founder of business email hosting leader Mailtrust, advised Handshake 2.0 in its start-up phase to “develop a large, loyal readership.”  The advice is wisdom for any business blog creators.  Writing needs readers.

Traffic matters.  Comments on blog posts matter.  But only one standard determines competitive search engine success.

Links in.

Blog B links to Blog A+ because the content in Blog A+ increases the value of the content in Blog B.

Blog B considers Blog A+ an authority in an industry.

To become a Blog A+, a business blog must garner and merit links from the Blog Bs and other Blog A+s of the blogosphere.

Search engines, particularly Google, have been clear about ranking linked-to sites more highly than those that may have plenty of traffic and plenty of comments.

Unlinked-to business blogs are like shopping malls in an economic downturn.  Everyone still goes.  But they don’t buy.

The only way to establish oneself as a leading authority in an industry via a business blog is to write beautifully and authoritatively about one’s subject matter and to support that writing with citations – links – to the top experts in the field.

While search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can assist a blog being found, they cannot assist a bad blog being read. 

Simply put, the content of an A+ business blog must be extraordinary.

You've got to be worth linking to.

*** provides a web-based service whereby businesses with over $300K in annual revenues can find experienced consultants with specific qualifications.

Anne Giles Clelland founded Handshake 2.0, a technology business news site and provider of business blog services, social media business services, and Web. 2.0 consulting.

Handshake 2.0 is a venture of Handshake Media, Incorporated, a member company of business acceleration centerVT KnowledgeWorks.

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