The How and Why of Business Blogging

     

Published: May 8, 2017

Your business blog is the heart of your inbound marketing operation. It is your most valuable online asset as it is a space that you have complete control over. How you define your company and values, what people should expect from your company as well as your products and services, and how search engines like Google decide to send searchers to you--all of this happens on your blog.

The Heart of Your Content Marketing
If you’re not sold on the idea of business blogging yet, let’s go over some of the primary reasons why you need to get started sooner rather than later:
  • More Website Traffic. Blogging is the easiest way to add fresh, useful content to your website and an updated website with plenty of helpful information is what Google wants to see.

  • More Leads. An increase in traffic is only beneficial if more of those visitors are converting to leads. When you include a relevant call-to-action on each post, you give visitors a place to make the leap. Without a steady stream of leads, the rest of your content marketing machine will be ineffective.

  • Establish Leadership. If you want to be known as the best and the brightest in your industry, your blog is the best place to make the case. Use your posts to answer questions that people ask and to solve problems that your readers have.

  • Increase Search Engine Ranking. Google’s algorithms take into account a well-planned content marketing strategy, which includes using appropriate keywords and providing plenty of relevant information to your readers.
In other words, your business blog is where you begin the conversation with potential customers and keep current customers engaged with your brand. 

The Nuts and Bolts
Now you’re ready to jump in… but where do you start? If you have not created a content strategy or buyer personas, start there. Once you have a strategy and you know who you’re talking to, use this 6-step process for creating engaging blog posts that work hard for you.
  1. Create a Working Title. Most successful bloggers will tell you that the perfect title is created last, not first. At this point, create a working title that defines the goal of the post you are about to write and don’t worry about the details yet.

  2. Create an Outline. Don’t stress over this part--this isn’t middle school and you don’t have to turn in your outline for a grade. Simply map out a few subtitles that you’ll use to divide your post and jot down a few bullet points under each that you would like to cover. Check back with your working title to make sure you’re working toward that goal.

  3. Do a Little Research. Take a few minutes to see what others are saying about the topic and look for any relevant research or statistics in the area. If you seem to be the first to cover the topic--great! If not, make sure you’re not about to beat a dead horse and make any adjustments to your post’s goal and outline if necessary.

  4. Fill in the Blanks. Flesh out your post using your outline and subtitles as a guide to get you through the post. Try not to stress too much over making it perfect. This pass is simply to get the information onto the page.

  5. Revise and Proof. Now you can start fussing over the details. Make sure your sentences are well-written, that your voice is consistent throughout the post, and that your paragraphs flow from one to the next.

    Protip: The last sentence of a paragraph should set the reader up for the first sentence of the next paragraph. If you feel like there’s too big of a leap between the two, consider using a subheading to help cushion the jump.

    Then, comb through the whole thing looking for spelling and punctuation errors. If you’re a little shaky on grammar rules, try free tools like Ginger or Grammarly to help you out.

  6. Rewrite Your Title. Now that you’re tired of working on this and you want it to be done, it’s the perfect time to rework that title. Keep in mind a few SEO basics and do your best to include important keywords as long as it’s not awkward. Then, think about your buyer persona and the questions he or she asks to create something your persona can’t resist.
Remember, the title is used to pique interest and to set expectations so forget about clickbait titles that only disappoint in the end. Be honest, consider your goals, and write for your personas and you can’t lose. 

More Than Words
Written blog posts might be the engine of your content marketing machine, but they are not the only kind of content that gets results. Once you have your blog up and running and full of useful posts, it’s time to get interesting and add a little variety. In our next post, we’ll cover some of these options to help you keep your content fresh and exciting.

Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing
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