Business blogging has been around for years now. But that doesn’t mean that business blogging is always the best option for your company or that your business is making the most from this marketing effort.
The statistics do a great job of telling you why your business should have a blog:
- 81% of digital marketers believe business blogging is a critical business process.
- 46% of people online read blogs at least once a day.
- 57% of companies surveyed gained a new customer through their blogs.
- 79% of companies with blogs generated positive ROI.
What these statistics fail to tell you, is that effective business blogging is a bit more than just throwing some thoughts together and posting them every week. Business blogging requires focus in order to yield positive results. Follow this guide to be effective with your business blogging.
1. Understand Your Audience
Before you can start blogging effectively for your business, take a moment to think about who will be reading your blog. Who is your ideal customer? What are their interests? What are their problems? How do they go about finding information?
2. Brainstorm Topics & Research Keywords
These two activities go hand in hand. Once you have gained a deeper understanding of what interests your audience, you need to start brainstorming topics that your audience will find interesting and useful, while still tying in with your industry and business expertise.
One way to jump start the brainstorming process is to do keyword research. Use a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to identify keywords that your specific website can compete and rank for.
Once you have a list of stellar topics, determine how often you can commit to blogging. Whether that is once a month, once a week, or once a day will depend on the time and resources available to you. Create an editorial calendar that assigns topics to the dates you are going to post a blog.
3. Understand How to Approach Blogging
First and foremost, your blog is not an ad. Get this concept through your head right now.
This is a deadly mistake made by many companies that can damage your business reputation. Your blog is not an advertisement, so do not go down this path.
Instead, blogging needs to provide value to your audience. Since you have identified topics and keywords that matter to your audience, write about those topics in a way that is education and engaging. Including fascinating statistics, thorough how-to’s, or interesting insights into a recent trend.
4. Structure Your Blog
While you should definitely be creative and vary your blog posts to keep things fresh and interesting, understanding a basic structure for conveying useful information can really help you generate blog posts quicker and more effectively.
Introduction: Get to the point and engage your audience right from the beginning sentences. What is the problem you are presenting? Why is this topic interesting or important for your audience to read about?
Body Structure: This should vary from post to post and topic to topic. For some topics, a list format will be more appropriate, while for others providing a step by step guide (like this post) will be easier to follow and understand. Some blogs may require a mixture of the two, like the post Does Your Business Need a Blog?
Format the body in a way that can be clearly followed by your readers, and remember the purpose of a blog is to be educational, not confusing!
Conclusion: Tie up the main point of your blog post in a few sentences, don’t leave your readers feeling like your post was only half finished or not a clear and cohesive work.
5. Be Visually Oriented
Remember that human’s are very visual. This means that you need to:
- Include great images and graphics to help draw more eyes to your blog posts.
- Create scannable content: avoid large, unmanageable paragraphs like the plague!
- Include bullet points, lists, bolding, and white space.
Remember that keyword research you did at the beginning? Make sure that you focus on one of the keyword phrase you identified a blog. Include it in the blog title, meta description, image alt tags, and naturally throughout the content (avoid keyword stuffing).
Business blogging takes time and effort, but by combining the items outlined in this post, you will soon get the hang of writing blog posts that generate traffic, and ultimately bring in new customers to grow your business.