A company’s blog, hosted on a its own website, is the heart of all its content marketing efforts. Publishing an article is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business leading to more sales, establishing you as a leading authority in the industry and giving you a chance to broaden your reach. Plus, it’s great for search engine optimization (SEO). Below are 9 recommendations for developing a business blogging strategy:
1) Look at the big picture.
Your customers (and potential customers) are your readers, so write for them. Your blog posts should focus on solving their business problems – what information are they searching for, what frustrations do they have, what are they struggling with?
Create interesting content that isn’t directly related to your product, but craft articles that provide real value for your readers, gives them new, useful knowledge and help them take action. This will help you be seen as an expert in your industry and it’s a really simple way to attract traffic through social media and SEO. If your content is valuable, your readers will share it and Google will rank it at the top of its search results.
2) Choose a catchy headline.
Out of all the people who read your headline, only 20 percent will read your post. A modern online article headline is tricky – it needs to be SEO keyword friendly, but also should be unique and creative. The end result needs to be a super clickable, irresistible headline. To get you started on a hit title, here are a few go-to templates:
- How to
- X Ways to
- Little Known Ways to
- X Reasons You Should
- Here’s the Quick and Simple Way to
- The Secret of
- What Everybody Should Know About
- Do You Wish ?
- The Most Effective Way to Get
Here are some keywords to get you started:
If you want your headline to look appealing in Google and prevent it from being cut off, make sure your headline stays under 70 characters.
Finally, address readers in second person. While writing in second person is awkward, it’s the perfect form for headline writing and immediately grabs the attention of readers by calling them out.
3) Write an intro (and make it captivating).
If you lose the reader in the first paragraph, they’ll stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways:
- Tell a story or a joke.
- Share an interesting industry fact or statistic.
- Empathize with your reader and tell him/her that he/she is not the only one struggling with a specific problem.
- Promise your reader your advice will make his/her life better.
- Reassure your reader that your tips are easy—everyone loves shortcuts, simple tricks and straightforward formulas.
- Then focus on equipping your target market with useful content. That’s how you build a relevant following—and it’s key to creating a community of new customers.
4) Remember, content is king/context is queen!
To create a must-read blog, you need to stand for something. You need to become an inspiring and motivating authority in your field. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples and data to back up your points. The key to a successful business blog is to provide your readers with valuable content and problem-solving ideas. It’s a way of establishing your business website as a leading authority in your industry. A few additional recommendations:
- Quote industry experts in your posts. It shows you know your field.
- Avoid jargon. Explain your ideas in simple words.
- Use examples and case studies. This will show your in-depth understanding of a topic, and they liven up your content.
- What is the ideal length for a blog post? It’s about 6-7 minutes of reading, which is equivalent to 1,000- 1,500 words.
5) Show, and tell.
As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your business blog. Make sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. Photos, graphs, infographics and videos have the power to communicate in a different, more instant, way than words. Images draw an audience in and provide an additional point of interest to your posts.
6) Declare a call-to-action.
Inspire your readers with your final paragraph. At the end of every blog post, you should have a “Call-to-Action” (CTA) that indicates what you want the reader to do next – implement your ideas, subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc.
Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. However, the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.
7) Grow your audience.
Links are the lifeblood of the internet, so make it easy for your readers to share your blog. The easiest way to do this is by using share icons. These are social networking icons that make it easy for people to share your post and consequently, drive traffic and potential sales to your website. Hook up your blog with your social networks so that people can easily share your content.
The below tactics can additionally help increase your readership:
- Start an email list. Over time, your email list will probably drive the most traffic to your blog.
- Optimize your content for SEO discovery and conversion.
- Invite guest bloggers to help grow your audience. This is the quickest way to raise your profile and gain an audience.
- Invite employees to read and interact with you in your blog comments section. It’s a great way to increase your blog engagement and also helps empower employees to share ideas that they might not have otherwise.
8) Build an editorial calendar.
Develop and stick to a publishing schedule. An editorial calendar will help you stay focused. Be sure to plan it so that it works for you and for your readers. Don’t overstretch yourself. You don’t have to publish daily.
When scheduling posts, be sure to balance out your topics to make it more varied and interesting for your audience. It can take months to build a loyal base of readers when you create a blog. Plan to make business blogging a regular part of your communication strategy for at least a year.
9) Stick with it.
Blog audiences don’t grow overnight. Consistency, quality and volume are the name of the game. Commit to your blog for the long term and you will see the rewards.
Ready to start blogging? Ask us about our business blogging program.