If you're a small business owner looking to grow your online presence, then a blog can be highly beneficial
When used correctly, a blog can help you achieve your online goals. You can share insights, reach more customers, and improve your ranking in search engines.
In this guide, we break down the essentials of running a blog for your business, giving you the information you need to succeed:
Why should I have a blog?
One of the most valuable tools available to your business, a blog comes with many benefits. Here are four reasons why you should consider a business blog.
- It could increase your website traffic – Blogging is a great way to add fresh, relevant information to your site. This is important because search engines such as Google give higher rankings to websites that are frequently updated with valuable content. This means that you are more likely to be found by potential customers if you create keyword-rich blog posts. Don't go overboard on the keywords, though, or you could face a penalty.
- You could reach new audiences – By writing regular blog posts, you'll create lots of original content to share on social media. This can help boost your social following and encourage people to visit your site. What's more, you'll also be providing your website visitors with content to share, helping you to reach even more people online.
- Your blog will prove your industry expertise – By frequently sharing helpful, informative, and up-to-date articles about your area of expertise, you'll be able to establish your authority and show customers that you are a trustworthy and credible business. You'll also give visitors a reason to return to your website again and again.
- Blogging will take time, but delivers long-lasting impact – It takes time to establish authority online, so your blog may not have an immediate effect on your marketing efforts. However, you shouldn't underestimate the long-term value of your blog posts as they continue to drive traffic to your website, attract new customers, create leads, and win new business.
Where should I post my blog?
Your blog needs to be hosted on your website for your business to experience the maximum benefits.
While there are plenty of standalone blogging platforms out there, it's no good having a separate blog if you want to move your business forwards online. An independent blog will reduce potential traffic to your website and harm its ranking in Google search results.
What should I write in my blog?
While it can often seem overwhelming initially, starting a blog is a lot easier with a content plan to guide you. Sketch out a basic brief for each blog, and focus on the key issues relevant to your audience and industry.
Every post needs to be written to a high standard. This means that it should be free from typos and spelling mistakes, and most importantly, be valuable to your target audience.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Search out your competitors' blogs – Before you begin planning your own content, check out what the competition is up to. This will allow you to see what keywords and topics are typically covered in your industry and what works best. It will also allow you to carve out your own niche with subjects that nobody else is covering.
- Solve your customers' problems – Identify common issues that potential customers are experiencing that your products, services, or industry expertise could help them resolve. Writing posts that answer frequently asked questions will make your blog an essential resource for people and show your customers that you care.
- Create helpful how-to guides – Your knowledge of the industry you work in will be second to none. Use it. Provide your customers with useful guides to help them get the most out of products and services like yours. You can experiment with different media by recording video tutorials and embedding them in blog posts to boost engagement.
- Share company updates – Let your customers know what's going on with your business by sharing your latest news, such as new staff members joining the team, awards your company has recently won, moving to new premises, new product or service announcements, and much more. This will keep your customers interested and show that you are an active company.
- Publish industry-related news – Make your blog a hub of useful information by sharing and commenting on the latest news and events happening in your industry. This will help to maintain your credibility as an industry expert and keep people up to date on all the developments that could influence the products and services that you offer.
How often should I blog?
The key to successful blogging is regularity. Establish a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Your audience will get used to your posting routine and will come to expect new blog posts from you regularly.
The more you blog, the better. As well as demonstrating to audiences you're relevant, it shows search engines that your site is regularly refreshed.
If you don't post for a while, you risk losing repeat visitors, and may also weaken your position in search engines as you will have less new content for them to provide potential customers with. On top of this, an out-of-date or incorrect blog can give visitors to your site the impression that your business is no longer active.
The best way to maintain a healthy blogging schedule is to plan your content in advance. It's useful to write several blog posts ahead of time to publish these according to your schedule.
Your posts should be a minimum of 500 words long, so you don't need to create an essay's worth of content each time for your blog post to have value.
However, there are no limits to the length of your blog. If you want to create a 2,000-word in-depth investigation into your industry – and believe your audience will read it – then go ahead.
How to promote your blog
When starting your business blog, something to bear in mind is that as a rule, you should be spending 25% of the time writing and publishing your blog content, and 75% of the time promoting it.
After all, if you don't promote your blog posts, it's unlikely that they'll be seen by the same audience that you've written them for.
Here are some tried and tested methods for promoting your content:
- Search engine optimisation – Optimising your blog posts for search engines is crucial if you want sites such as Google and Bing to find them. Make sure you're following SEO guidelines by including keywords throughout your content. Give each post a unique page title and description – this will ensure that people see your posts in search results.
- Social media – Sharing a link to your latest post on all of your social media accounts should bring you a boost in website traffic, especially if you utilise hashtags and images when doing so. This will also allow you to easily interact with customers and see their reaction first-hand. LinkedIn is an increasingly important channel for businesses in all sectors, so make sure you share it there too.
- Email – Get existing customers and new website visitors to subscribe to a mailing list or newsletter – this will then give you a direct line of communication with the people who are most likely to want to read your blog. You can then send out regular updates, letting them know about your latest posts.
- Sharing buttons – As well as sharing your blog post yourself, you should make it easy for your readers to share it on social media too. By incorporating social sharing buttons directly into your blog posts, you'll encourage people to post it to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more in just a couple of clicks.
- Links – Another great way to promote your blog is by using your blog. Including links in each blog post that link through to other posts enables you to create a network of relevant information for your readers that will encourage them to visit multiple pages and spend more time on your website, all whilst proving that you are an expert in your field.
It will take creativity, careful planning, dedication, and time, and success won't happen overnight, but with patience and perseverance, your blog may just become your most powerful marketing tool yet.
Copyright 2021. Featured article made possible by Amy Cross-Webber of it'sezee Websites.