How to Create a Successful Blogging Strategy for Your Business
These days, it’s not uncommon to be shocked when a business has a blog hosted on their website yet hasn’t published any content for a few months. Whilst the words “last updated six months ago” can be spine-shivering for an SEO, businesses themselves are missing out by not adding regular content to their site.
Many people assume that blogging doesn’t have any effect on a business’ main aims – which are often to get new customers and increase their revenue – and that investing in a good blogging strategy is a time-consuming activity that doesn’t pay-off in the long term.
However, these people couldn’t be more wrong. B2B businesses that have invested in their blog as part of their content marketing strategy see 67% more leads than those who don’t. That’s a pretty large volume of people that you could convert into customers by simply sharing your advice!
Benefits of business blogging
Did you know that companies who blog regularly receive 97% more links to their website than those that don’t?
Gaining backlinks from other credible websites similar to your own is an SEO strategy that works.
In the eyes of a search engine, the more backlinks pointing to your website, the more credible your business is. This means that the search engine is more likely to rank you in a higher position and be more visible to searchers.
Along with providing your business’ website with more SEO-rich content, regularly sharing advice for those within your industry is a fantastic way to prove your authority.
You’re demonstrating to your audience that when it comes to your sector, products or services, you know what you’re talking about; giving them the confidence to trust you – instead of your competitors – with their purchase.
Increase in potential customers
Sharing the blog posts that are hosted on your website on your social media platforms gives your business a viable method to drive traffic back to your blog.
Then, by implementing techniques such as call-to-actions, you have the opportunity to make new visitors stick around and purchase one of your products.
Planning your blog
Before you dive in the deep end and start typing up your blog posts, there are a few things to bear in mind to make the content more valuable to both your website and readers. These include:
Defining your target audience
The key to creating a successful business blogging strategy is to define exactly who you want to be writing for. This is often the profile of your ideal customer as you can use your content to attract them to your site.
You can define your ideal customer through a buyer persona by referring to your list of previous customers. Think about the qualities that they have and the typical demographics that they fall into. Are they mainly males, aged 18-25 who like fashion? Or are they older women who love to purchase your product for their grandchildren?
Type of content
Once you’ve defined the buyer persona, begin to create content around them. What would they like to read and what information do they search for online, related to what you offer?
You can find out what type of content they’d find useful by thinking about what they’d search for before purchasing a product.
For example, let’s say that a phone repair company has decided that their target audience are teenagers who purchase their screen repairing service. They might want to create blog posts like “How to repair an iPhone screen at home”, detailing what to do when they break their phone and how to fix it.
Whilst this might sound like the business is giving away their trade secrets and offering DIY-tips that turn away customers, it gives the brand more authority and a place to turn if the reader is still needing help. Plus, if an internal link to your ‘screen repair services’ page is included, they’ll know where to go if they don’t fancy a DIY fix and want to purchase your expertise.
Along with providing actionable advice to your ideal customers, it’s a good idea to think about their common search terms to position your brand in front of them.
Long-tail keywords are those which expand and build-upon your website’s focus keyword. For the phone repair company, this might be “best way to repair broken iPhone screen” or “how to repair iPhone dropped in water”. Despite these keywords having a lesser search volume than a focus keyword, such as ‘broken iPhone screen’, you have a better chance of ranking for them as there’s less competition.
By using varying terms that relate to your focus keyword, a search engine will recognise that you’re using words that branch around your industry, making your site more relevant to searchers. This strategy is referred to as using semantically similar keywords.
Writing the articles
Take some time to think about what headline you should use for each blog post. The short sentence that you use has a make-or-break effect on the success of each post and you may want to split-test several forms of headline to see which resonates best with your target audience.
Some of the most successful headlines use emotion, warnings and questions that prompt somebody to click the article and read-through.
Long-form vs. thin content
A business’ blog is there to provide content to attract new customers and convince visitors that your brand is reputable and knowledgeable. The content that you post should offer value. It’s quality over quantity!
Avoid publishing thin content; the type of article that creates a low-quality page on your site that has no real value to an audience. This can include pages with duplicate content or poorly optimised landing pages.
You should also aim to make your blog posts a suitable length. This is because the more content you include, the more valuable it will be seen to be (if it is well-written, not keyword stuffed and helpful!).
In Google, the average word count for top-ranking content is between 1,140 and 1,285 words, so it may be best to focus on creating more high quality blog posts as opposed to shorter ones in order to provide your site with more valuable content.
Whilst newsy and topical articles may be suitable for a certain event or time of the year, it’s wise to focus the majority of your blog posts around evergreen ideas.
Examples of this kind of content include:
• How-to guides
• Case studies
• Original research
Evergreen content is a form of content that doesn’t require a certain time to be popular. It’s the type of article that’s wanted all-year round and is always useful for potential customers, no matter how long ago it was originally published.
Publishing your blog posts
How often will you post?
Consistency is key when it comes to your business blogging strategy. It allows your readers to know when new advice is coming and aids with building a loyal following and readership, so stick to a regular posting schedule when publishing your articles.
Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to organise your blog content. List the article titles you’d like to write, the status of the post and the date it should be published.
You should also define the frequency of your blog posts. For businesses that don’t have time to invest in a comprehensive blogging strategy, attempt to publish at least two pieces per month. However, once a week is recommended for blogs who have the resources (or even more, if you have the time!).
Remember that promotion is essential and if you find yourself spending more time promoting than writing, it may be best to cut down on your writing schedule and devote that time to promoting existing content.
Where will you promote them?
When it comes to blogging, promotion is just as – if not more – important than writing the actual article. After all, what’s the point in spending so long writing if you’re not making an effort to get it seen?
One of the most popular places to share blog posts is through social media. Once you’ve found the social platforms that your ideal customer uses, you should share your content to getting the traffic it deserves.
Top tip: Installing social plugins to your site that encourage sharing is a simple way to do this, along with inserting Click to Tweet buttons.
The promotion of your blog posts shouldn’t end soon after you publish them. Regularly share your older blog posts on social media to prevent them from becoming old, unread and wasted.
Top tip: Link to similar posts on other blogs and contact the site’s owner to tell them that you’ve linked to one of their articles. The majority will be happy to share your content if they’ve been mentioned. This form of influencer marketing is a win-win situation as both parties have the opportunity to reach a new pool of people who could be interested their business’ website.
Just like any other form of marketing activity, clearly defining your measurement metrics will allow you to see what kind of effect your new blogging strategy is having on your business.
Some of the most common metrics to measure success are:
Traffic to site
Learning to use Google Analytics for your blog is key to measuring the effect that your new strategy is having on your overall website traffic.
Has your bounce rate decreased since you started posting regularly on your blog? Are the number of site visitors up year-on-year? How many new visitors had a blog post as their landing page?
You can then use this data to create content similar to improve your business’ blog even further. Create more content like your most popular articles and continue to share your content on the highest-converting referral source.
Most commonly the end-aim of any marketing activity is sales. It’s the factor that determines the life of your business after all and if you’re not generating any money from your activity, it could signal that it’s a waste of time in the long-term.
Whilst blogging does not generally have a direct impact on the amount of sales your business receives (unless your posts become super popular and you see a huge spike in sales!), you can use certain techniques, such as offering special discounts to readers of your blog, to convert visitors into customers.
As you can see, investing in your business’ blogging strategy is time-consuming. However, once you’ve cracked the perfect method that suits your audience and commercial goals, you’ll soon be experiencing an influx in traffic and a boost in revenue!