By Beth J. Bates, New Media Special Correspondent

I find that the beginning of the year is a good time to review my own blog's infrastructure, design and functionality. I also think about what I can do to make my posts more interesting, add value for my readers and ultimately drive more traffic to my blog. Here are a few suggestions for jump starting your own corporate blog:

  • Use photos. I see many corporate blogs without photos. Images help tell your story and attract readers to your post. Don't have any photos on hand? You can find great, inexpensive stock photos at
  • Content is still king. Every post should provide value to your readers. Having a fresh or provocative perspective will keep readers reading… and coming back. Try to use keyword-rich verbiage to increase your search engine optimization.
  • Promote your posts. Use social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to share your favorite posts with the world. Social bookmarking exceptional posts on services like StumbleUpon can drive additional traffic to your blog.
  • Don't be afraid of video. Video of your staff in action or customer testimonials is a compelling way to get readers interested and involved in your company.
  • Review your functionality and spruce it up. Tools like search, event calendars and Flickr feeds make blogs more interesting and interactive. Review your tools and add plugins where needed. It's easy and will add value to your blog.

A little housekeeping can go a long way to better engage with your customers.

Beth J. Bates consults with Hinge on social media tool selection and strategy and helps its clients find effective ways to leverage these new mediums to meet business goals.