Business blogging is a highly effective way to grow your business! In this article you’ll learn how to get started , build an audience and make your blog a successful marketing tool.
Why start a business blog?
Many reasons exist for starting a business blog. Before you get started with your blog take some time to think about what you hope to achieve. This will ensure your on the right path from your very first blog post.
Set clear objectives for your business blog.
By setting clear objectives everyone in the company will be on the same page. Depending on the type of business this can vary from driving sales to increasing influence or improving customer retention.
Here are some of the more common objectives for business blogs:
- Public Relations
- Customer Retention
- Industry Influence
- Community Development
Take some time to think about your business blogging objectives and share them with the rest of your team. This will ensure everyones blog posts are focused on helping to achieve your objectives.
What should you blog about?
Choosing the right topics to blog about is critical to the success of your business blog! With so many blogs out there in your industry/market think about who you want to be reading and what type of posts will be helpful to them. By following the below advice you will be more likely to produce valuable content that helps achieve your business blogging objectives.
Develop reader/customer personas.
Reader/customer personas are a helpful way to guide your content development. Think about the different types of people you want to target and influence with your blog posts. It could be different types of customers such as small business owners and larger enterprises or a specific segment of an industry.
Before you build your reader/customer personas take a few minutes to read advice from the experts at HubSpot.
Focus on quality content that is useful to your target industry/market.
A lot of businesses have blogs but few consistently post quality content that is useful. This is especially important with the ever increasing popularity of content marketing and blogging.
It is always a good idea to check out the competition and see what they are blogging about to make sure your blog stands out above the rest. Remember, if you keep your business blog packed with useful information readers will keep coming back for more.
Write blog posts that are evergreen content.
When you invest in a business blog you want to make sure your blog post are “evergreen content“, remains relevant even months or years after you post them. This means focusing on useful information, advice and tips as opposed to specific news or events.
You can write about news and events in your industry but make sure you understand that they will only be of interest for a short period of time. After a month or two they are likely to fall by the wayside and not be of interest to your blog readers.
Where should you blog?
Every business that has a blog should make it part of their website. With a number of open-source blogging platforms to choose from it is relatively easy to setup a blog. When possible you should try to make sure your blog’s theme and styling is similar to the other sections of your business’s website.
Add a blog to your website.
To get started with your own business blog check out one of these open-source blogging platforms:
Most of these blogging platforms are relatively easy to setup. Some require only a few minutes to install and configure. They are also likely to provide all the features you’ll need for your business blog. When setting up your business blog make sure to either choose a subdomain such as http://blog.yourwebsite.com or http://yourwebsite.com/blog/.
Write guest blog posts.
Posting on your own blog is great but it is also important to write guest blog posts. Especially when starting out growing your audience can be challenging. By writing guest posts for other influential blogs or industry websites you’ll get access to their audience. This not only helps to attract new readers to your blog but will help to build your reputation as an industry/market expert.
For every couple of blog posts you publish make sure to write a guest blog post or two when starting out.
How to find your business blogging voice?
The voice and tone of your blog posts have a big impact on keeping readers engaged. It takes a little time but after a couple blog posts you should start to develop your blogging voice. Make sure to keep these concepts in mind when your working on your blogging voice. Just be sure to keep it as engaging as possible.
Keep your blog posts authentic.
When writing blog posts make sure to keep it authentic. Speak from your own knowledge and experience as opposed to trying to be something your not. Your readers are real people so write as you would speak to them in person.
Show off your personality.
Incorporating your personality into blog posts will give it a unique quality. It is a great way to engage readers, give them a better idea of who you are and make a dull topics more interesting.
Keep it appropriate.
It is tempting to get carried away and add too much personality to blog posts. Keep in mind that your blog represents your business! Each blog post should not cross the line and offend potential customers or readers.
How to build an audience and get readers for your business blog?
Once your business blog is setup it is time to start working on building an audience. This can take some time so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away.
Remember, consistent effort and progress is the name of the game when it comes to business blogging.
Sharing blog post via social media and sites that allow readers to submit blog posts is one of the best ways to build your audience and get new readers. Tweeting blog posts, sharing them on Facebook or posting them on LinkedIn Groups will really help!
Leave comments on other industry/market blogs.
Be an active and frequent participant on other industry/market blogs by leaving comments. Build a list of blogs to read each day and make it a point to leave a few comments each day. If you have a blog post that is relevant to the conversation don’t hesitate to share it within your comment. However, be careful not to self-promote too much!
Write guest posts.
Writing guest posts on other websites and blogs can get you in front of tens of thousands of readers. If your able to get the opportunity to write a guest posts on an influential blog make sure to take the time to write a great guest blog post. Hopefully, readers enjoy your post enough to check out your business blog!
Quote and interview other experts.
Featuring industry experts on your business blog is a great way to build an audience. Take a little time out to interview a few experts or quote them in blog posts. All it takes is a tweet, note or email to let the expert know and they just might share your blog post with their audience.
Research keywords and invest in SEO.
Search engine traffic will always be a big part of how you reach new readers and grow your audience. Take time to research and incorporate keywords into your blog posts. There are a couple free tools that can help you find the right phrases to target such as Google’s Keyword Tool or Market Samurai.
Invest some time in learning how to optimize your business blog for search engines. This includes adding a sitemap, keyword rich URLs, and configuring Google’s Webmaster Tools for your blog.
Getting started with a business blog can seem a little overwhelming. By taking a step by step approach you’ll be on your way to becoming a business blogging pro in no time.