Starting a business blog isn't a quick fix solution to winning leads overnight, but it can help you to build customer engagement and brand loyalty, support your acquisition and retention goals, and improve your all-important search rankings over time.
The key to a successful blog is understanding what it can achieve for your business and offer your readers, and then committing to its regular upkeep as part of your multi-channel marketing plan.
Blogging like a business pro isn’t all that hard, it just takes planning. Follow our 7 pointers to get you started!
- Get planning - keep on track when things get busy by creating a content plan and blog schedule for your posts. Aim to post at least one blog per week to start with. Build up a library of reserve posts, writing when you have time. By posting just two or three posts a month you can improve your search engine ranking.
- Content is key - attract and engage readers with relevant and timely content that educates, inspires or informs your audience, providing value and encouraging commentary and shareability. Become an 'industry expert' and position your business as a thought leader by consistently posting valuable content that addresses issues your customers face. Solve their problems by understanding what information is useful to them. Keep an eye on what's 'trending' in your industry to help generate topical ideas for posts.
- Be dynamic - don't be dull, keep your blog dynamic by offering different types of content. Where resources allow, mix it up with blog posts, video, guides, research studies, webinars and whitepapers. Short, frequent content, such as blog posts, attracts regular traffic, whereas longer, downloadable content, such as a guide, enables action and lead generation. Include photos in your posts, but ideally take your own and build up a visually exciting archive which you can access whenever you post. A photo and a simple bio to represent the 'author' of each post can help your business be seen as authentic and accessible.
- Search savvy - by keeping up to date with and understanding SEO best practice, and applying it to your content production, you can ensure that people searching on your topic have a greater chance of seeing it and therefore engaging with you and your business.
- Link and share - Each time you post a blog share it widely; on your social networks, emails & newsletters and even through relevant partners and influencers. Include sharing icons and other interactive tools on your blog so that your readers can get fully involved and share your posts, enabling a much wider reach.
- Invite guest posts - encourage business associates, partners and customers who are experts in their field to add weight to your blog by writing a guest post or providing an interview. This will help with your content planning and help increase your audience reach as they are likely to share the post on their own website and social networks.
- Engage with your readers - once you have built up a readership ask them for feedback, what they may like or dislike about your blog. Always read your comments and respond. Always be professional and positive even if some comments are negative.
Through commitment and consistency in running your business blog, and keeping content authentic, relevant and useful to your audience, over time you will earn their respect and trust. It is then that you can achieve value for your business.