You've decided to launch a blog for your business and you're busy laying the groundwork. You've selected a name for it, and you know what you want to blog about and who your bloggers will be.

But do you have the right elements and information on your blog? What information should be on your blog? When visitors arrive at your blog, what information are they looking for?

This article will walk you through what should be on your blog and what information your visitors want to see.

Before we look at the elements that your blog should have, for the purpose of this article let's assume two rules:

  1. Every visitor to your blog is arriving there for the first time.
  2. You will have a maximum of five seconds to make the following information available to them: who you are, what you do, and your contact information.

With those two rules in mind, let's consider the four elements that your blog should have.

1. An About Page

The About link should be at or near the top of the blog (at the very least above the "fold"). The page it links to should explain who you are, what you do, and—unless you have a separate page for it—why you have the blog. Think of visitors arriving at your blog by accident and having no idea who you are or what you do. The About page is there for those people.

You might think that if that information is already on your website, then it doesn't need to be on your blog as well. But that is why you should assume that every visitor is arriving at your blog for the first time and has never seen your website.

Treat your blog as a separate site from your main website, even if your blog is housed on your website. A good portion of your blog's traffic will be from search engines, so it's very possible that the first exposure someone has to your company will be via your blog, not your main website. So you must clearly explain what your business is on your blog.

2. Complete Contact Information

Contact information should also be at the top of your blog. Include at least three ways that visitors can contact you: Ideally, your phone number, physical address, and email address.

Email address and phone number are a must. If you don't want to leave your personal email address and don't have a company email that you can use, create an email address just for the blog with a service such as Gmail or Yahoo.

And if you have only a personal phone number and don't want to publish it on your blog, sign up for a service such as Google Voice, which will give you a unique phone number that you can use,; put that number on your blog.

The point is, you need to make it obvious to visitors how they can easily get in touch with you. That is where the five-second rule comes into play.

Let's say you sell mountain bikes, and someone arrives at your blog after doing a Google search for a particular model, wanting to find out whether it's available yet. The person arrives at your post that confirms the model has shipped and is in stores now.

Excited, the person scans your blog for contact information to ask what the price is. The person immediately spots your phone number, address, and email address—exactly what the person was looking for!

But if that contact information weren't available and easy to find, that person probably would have left your blog and gone to the next search result. Again, that is where the five-second rule comes into play.

3. Your Product/Services Page

In the About page, you tell visitors who you are. With this page, you tell visitors what you do and what you can offer them. If you are an advertising agency, for example, this page would explain the services you offer and the clients you cater to. If you are a B2B company, you would clearly explain what industry you are in and which businesses you service.

That is also why you should have your About page on the blog, as well as several ways visitors can contact you. On your Products/Services page, include links to your About page and tell visitors how they can get in touch with you.

4. Pictures and Bios of Every Person Who Writes for Your Blog

So many blogs have no mention of who their writers are, and all their posts are signed by "Admin" or "The Blogging Team," or something similar. Let's face it, though: people can more easily connect with and trust another person than they can a company logo.

That's why it's vital that you have pictures of your bloggers on your blog, as well as a bio for each writer. Doing so makes it much easier for readers to trust your writers and connect with them.

A picture of each blogger, should preferably be on the front page of the blog. A good example of a blog that does this well is HomeGoods' OpenHouse blog. Notice how the pictures of the bloggers are at the top of the page. There's also a bio for every writer, which makes it easier for readers to trust the posts because they can literally see who is writing them. It also encourages readers to leave comments and contact the writers.

* * *

When you create and design your blog, make sure to include the four elements discussed in this article. Their intent is to clearly tell your readers who you are, what you do, and how they can get in touch with you.

The power of blogs is that they allow you to put a human face on your company. By adding the above elements, you are making it much easier for your readers to see who you are and what you do—and so to connect with you and trust your content.

Twitter is another great way to build your business. Read Twitter Success Stories to see how 11 companies are achieving their marketing objectives, 140 characters at a time.

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier