If your business has a blog up and running, then you’ll be happy to know you’re headed in the right direction. Each day, 128 million users are reading blogs on their laptops, desktops and mobile devices. Furthermore, research shows that 3 out of 5 businesses who blog see an uptick in prospective customers, particularly in the 21 to 35 demographic. Check out this infographic for more compelling reasons your business should be blogging and continue reading to learn 8 vital tips for making your efforts a smashing success!
1. Develop an editorial calendar.
It’s easy to get lost out there. Without a clear sense of direction, you may find it easier to abandon ship than to keep plowing through uncertain waters. Your first step should be keyword research to find out which search terms are likely to bring targeted traffic to your site. In Excel or on a Google spreadsheet, map out a month’s worth of posts with dates and keywords identified. Then it’s all smooth sailing from there, partner!
2. Dig deep to find topics that matter.
Long gone are the days when writing mindless drivel with tons of keywords stuffed into the post will suffice. These days, you need newsworthy topics that really interest people — and you need to link to credible outside sources to validate your point of view. Surfing Google News and typing in topics relevant to your market is a good way to get a pulse on what people are buzzing about. Better yet, set up a Google Alert to let you know when topics are coming up within your niche. Here are a few other approaches for coming up with ideas to blog about:
Think beyond products and services. Which type of buyer are you aiming to reach? Tailor your message.
Attack customer concerns. If you’ve received a lot of negative feedback, it’s best to tackle it full-throttle.
Check out sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to see what people are talking about in your niche.
Sign up for RSS feeds of a few related blogs you like. They won’t notice if you steal a topic idea from time to time.
Make a helpful list of sorts (much like this one!) Aim to solve your readers’ problems.
3. Look outward, not inward.
It may be hard to accept at first, but not everyone carries the same enthusiasm for your products and services that you do. People are so consumed with their day to day lives, they scarcely have time to ponder your brand at all. The last thing people want to read is sentence after self-congratulatory sentence. They don’t care about your company news announcements or the things you talked about at the last board meeting. They care about finding solutions to their problems and learning more about topics that interest them. You can sneak in subtle references to what you do or include a helpful call-to-action at the end of your post (actually, we highly recommend you do that!), but don’t hit readers over the head with vapid hype about your business.
4. Mix up your content length.
Google likes LONG content — like 2,450 words long. Longer posts (400-500 words) tend to attract more inbound links and social shares as well. However, there will always be a few readers who just want fast, hard data. (Don’t believe us? Check out these stats!) For these people, you may throw in an occasional 350 word post that gets right to the heart of the matter. Keep your audience in mind. Are these busy professionals surfing on mobile devices or thoughtful journalists looking for the next big story? You don’t just want your blogs to be lengthy for the sake of being long. Always take the time to edit unnecessary words and polish your work to its finest.
5. Look for guest-blogging opportunities.
If you’re looking to grow your blog audience, the best way to do so is to make friends within the industry. MyBlogGuest has a forum that will help you connect with people who are looking for guest-written articles. You can also offer up free content at BloggerLinkUp, which will link back to your page. Help A Reporter Out sends out email queries from journalists who are looking for professional sources in your niche, giving you the opportunity to chime in and boost your credibility as an expert. With HARO, you can also send out a query yourself to conduct a little market research and add outside opinions to your own blogs!
6. Think of your blog as a product.
Each blog post needs to be actively promoted — otherwise, it’s wasted potential. Be sure to re-post each blog link to social media sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Digg, Delicious and Google+. Try to think of creative ways you can repackage your blog content — such as newsletters, e-books, marketing brochures, mailers, etc. Comment on other blogs with a link back to your posts.
7. Be a human being.
It can be tricky trying to find the right tone. You want to discover a voice that’s fresh, unique and engaging. People want to know the person behind the business, rather than feeling like a robot is disseminating information to them. Your personality passions, interests and quirks should shine through. Visitors should feel connected to you and want to return to hear what you have to say. You want to become like an old, reliable friend.
8. Get help!
If you don’t have the time, the technical skills, or the drive to succeed in this arena, then consider outsourcing. Blogging is a relatively inexpensive form of marketing, whether you do it all in-house or contact an online marketing company to fill the void. Consistency matters when you’re building a blog. If you are agonizing over blog content, keep in mind there are people who find this task comes naturally and easily. Perhaps your time is best spent elsewhere. When we work with new clients, we take special care to portray the blogging voice you prefer. We also discuss keywords, topics and the overall direction you have in mind. Of course, we can also point you in the right direction if you’re lost as to how to get to the top page of the search engines!
If you’re interested in our professional blogging services, please fill out this form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.