A business blog is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to promote your business. Done right, it can drive traffic to your website, increase your sales, establish you as an authority in your industry, and also help you reach new markets. Unfortunately, many small businesses have yet to realize the benefits of this tool. Valid reasons range from a lack of time to write blog posts to a lack of ideas for quality posts. Here are my top tips for writing and starting a successful business blog.
Write for your clients
Your blog, like your website, is not for you. It’s for your clients, so write for them. Ideally, your blog should be about either solving a problem for your customers or providing new information about your industry.
Plan your content
Lack of time and ideas are the most common reasons many small businesses cite for not blogging. However, with a little planning, you can have enough ideas to keep running for weeks or even months in advance.
Your posts can be answers to the questions most frequently asked by your customers. For example, if you are a jeweler, you can write a blog post on what to look for when buying a diamond.
Google Adwords keyword generator is another great way to find keyword phrases that people use to research your services. The key phrase, once you’ve identified it, could be your blog title. It’s a simple and effective way to drive traffic to your blog and market your services to the world. So, for the jeweler mentioned, the title of his blog, based on a keyword volume search via Google’s keyword tool, would be “how to buy a diamond”.
Create valuable content
The key to a successful business blog is to give your readers valuable content. This is how you establish the authority of your website in your industry. Additionally, if you give your readers valuable content, they will reward you by becoming loyal visitors and parting with their money.
If lack of time or writing skills is an issue, you can outsource your blog to a blog writing service. These do exactly what’s written on the box – write your blog to meet the needs of your customers and also generate sales for you.
Opinions are mixed on how often you should update your blog. Aim for a frequency that you can maintain. Every fortnight or every week is good. The key is consistency. Don’t start a blog and give it up halfway.
Search engines love fresh content and the more you update your blog (and by extension, your website) the more frequently your website will climb in search engine rankings and gain visibility for your target customers as well.
Develop your blogging style
Blogging is meant to be informal, so let your blog reflect the human face of your business. Give it some personality and try to keep a low sales pitch. You will find that people are more likely to respond to you and purchase your services.
Number of words
As a guide, a blog post should be around 400 words. If your message is longer than that, consider serializing it. People tend to digitize web content, so make every word count.
Just because your blog isn’t receiving comments doesn’t mean it’s not being read. Think about the number of articles you read or blogs you visit. Do you still leave comments? A lot of people don’t. However, you will find that you get more comments as you slowly develop your readership.
Make your blog shareable
Links are the lifeblood of the internet, so make it easy for your readers to share your blog. The easiest way to do this is to use share icons. These are social media icons (see the example on the right of this article) that make it easy for people to share your post and therefore drive traffic and potential sales to your website.
Measure the performance of your blog
If you haven’t already, make sure you have a web statistics tool to measure your website’s performance. The most popular is Google analytics. It’s free and the installation literally takes a few minutes. Over time as you add more posts to your blog it will give you a clearer picture of how people are finding your blog and most importantly which of your posts are popular so that you know the type of content your readers love.
There are many benefits to having a business blog and with these tips you should be on your way to starting a successful blog that also promotes your business.
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