Blogging for business: many of us feel like it’s something we should be doing, but does it really work?
‘Content marketing’ – the official term for marketing that involves creating and sharing content, like blog posts, with an online audience – is hugely effective. Compared with paid search, for instance, content marketing can produce three times as many leads and cost 62% less. What’s more, blogging has myriad benefits for business owners: it can drive traffic to your website, generate sales and mailing lists, and help you to establish yourself as an authority in your field. When it comes to the question “Should my business have a blog?” the answer is almost always yes.
If you’re new to blogging for business, there are a few golden rules you should follow to make your blog a success. Remember, blogging is hard work, but use these 5 tips and you’re bound to start seeing results.
- Understand your audience
Before you can write anything, you have to know who you’re writing for. It might help you to imagine your typical customer or client: what age are they? What do they do for a living? What do they want to know about? Next, consider the purpose of your blog. Maybe you want to use it to promote your products, generate a mailing list for your email marketing, or simply educate and inform to build up your business’ reputation. For every blog post you write, you must constantly have your audience and your purpose in mind.
- Post regularly
A stagnant or erratic blog can be off-putting. People like regular, reliable content, so get ready to commit to a schedule. This could be anything from one post a month to three posts a week – whatever you can manage without surrendering quality. Of course, to manage this you’ll need to make a list of blog post ideas (for inspiration, consider the questions your customers frequently ask and write about those) and put them into an editorial calendar.
- Know your stuff
Often the most compelling blogs are written by experts: not only do they have in-depth knowledge, but their enthusiasm also shines through. That’s why, when setting up a blog, you need to use your expertise to find your niche. For example, if you own a cleaning business, you could write about little-known cleaning techniques. Or, if you own a catering business, you could blog about current food trends. Your specialism is your strength, so find a core idea that is relevant to your business, and see where your creativity can take you.
- Find your voice
You need to establish a ‘voice’ for your blog, especially if more than one person will be writing the posts, so readers who are used to one tone of voice won’t suddenly be surprised by a different voice the following week. Set out some guidelines for length, structure, style (e.g. use of pictures) and tone of voice (e.g. first or third person, chatty or formal), so regular readers can get to know ‘you’ (i.e. your brand) through your content.
- Use keywords
One of the main ways blogging can help you is by improving your standing in search engine results. For instance, if you are a bakery in Brixton, you’re going to want new customers to find you when they search ‘bakery Brixton’. You can push your business up the search results by using those keywords frequently in your blog posts. But don’t just stick to the obvious ones: the best results can often come from longer, more complicated strings of words, so research what your customers are searching for and include those terms in your blog posts.
Do you need more help with your business blog? At Get Ahead VA, we offer professional blogging services, including topic research, content planning and blog post writing, so please give us a call on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.