|A way to get in touch|
Relevant content - D'oh. Obviously. But it's the relevant bit that matters here. What goes in the blog must be of interest to the kind of people you want to talk to. So, if you're in the business of promoting your business - and let's face it, who isn't? - then tell potential customers something they want to know.
Regular content - You don't need to post every day. But you must put something up there frequently. There's something particularly depressing about a blog started with gusto then abandoned. And you don't want anything depressing associated with your business, do you? Decide how frequently you're going to post - and stick to it.
Comment - Put somewhere on your blog for people to respond to what you say. They might not, but give them the option anyway. A blog differs from other more traditional business communications because it's part of a conversation. Then attend to your comments the same way you attend to any other important thing.
Sharing buttons - Imagine the situation where someone finds your blog and considers what you've said to be interesting enough to want to pass on - either to one person or to the whole wide world. For goodness sake, make it easy for them to do so. Provide buttons to let them tweet, facebook, email or whatever.
Ways to follow - If everything else is right, people will be so interested in what you're blogging about that they will want to find ways of knowing every time you do it. So make sure you have an RSS feed and somewhere to sign up to email updates.
Images - Words alone are very boring - add pretty pictures to break things up and keep your readers interested. Relevant and informative photos would be best, but anything is better than none.
A human face - Your blog might be all corporate and professional, that's fine. However, readers still need to know who's doing the writing and why. What have you got to do with the subject? And, always, have a photo and a way for readers to get in touch.