Nowadays if you were to think of any subject - literally anything - it will have been blogged about. Blogging has become a truly universal language in which anyone can have their say, for better or worse. When used effectively, blogging has become a principal weapon in the online marketing arsenal - providing a fantastic vehicle to engage current and potential clients with fresh, optimised content. With such creative freedom, however, come inevitable pitfalls. Using your business blog in the wrong fashion can do more harm than good. Fine Tuning Your Business Blog In this article, we'll briefly examine some of the dos and don'ts in an effort to help readers avoid some of the common mistakes when it comes to business blogging etiquette. Don't: Use your blog as a poor man's email marketing campaign There's nothing wrong with discussing certain aspects of your business in an objective sense. However, using your blog as a substitute for or as an extension of your direct marketing campaign is an effective way to turn your readers off - fast. Visitors do not expect to see a hard sales pitch on your blog, and neither will they want to. Whether you're creating a corporate blog for a thriving community of users or a more personal outlook, part of the planning process should involve defining a clear set of objectives. The most successful (popular) blogs deliver consistency in exchange for loyalty. Try not to be all things to all people, and don't be pulled off in different directions. Do: Deliver concise, compelling and focused content By the time you come to think about a business blog, you should have a pretty good understanding of your demographic and what appeals to them. Focus on delivering information that is objective, authentic and engages the reader with an obvious passion for the subject matter. Funny, serious or whimsical - a well-written, intelligent blog will keep them coming back for more. Don't: Use your blog as an outlet for company press releases There is a time and place for a press release, and your company blog isn't it. A press release - usually an official announcement written in the third person - is an approach directly at odds with the more casual, informal tone of a blog. Acting as a statement rather than a dialogue, it is unlikely to yield any response from your readership. Do: Make your blog pleasing to the eye Eye catching images aside, ensure you break the text up into manageable chunks using appealing sub headings and other engaging content such as video. A well-presented, balanced page goes a long way to ensuring your readers digest the content as a whole, rather than the odd piece here and there. Don't: Attempt to be all things to all people The most effective business blogs are those which are focused in terms of content and message. Once you have identified your audience, content should be selected and delivered in such a way as to attract, engage and develop your readership. Broadening your scope too much is likely to dilute your message. Do: Promote your blog consistently With the advent of the social media revolution, there's simply no excuse for letting your blog languish in obscurity. From RSS feeds and Twitter plug-ins to Facebook and Hootsuite updates - there are a wealth of resources through which you can promote your blog. Don't rely on word of mouth - get out there and make it happen! Ultimately, successful blogging is all about finding a workable strategy and sticking to it. Used correctly, blogging is a win-win marketing tool. With little up-front investment, businesses have the room to experiment and develop a strategy at their leisure. What's not to like about that?