If you’ve decided to start a blog for your business, you can rest assured that you’ve made the right choice. Regardless of your reasons, content marketing has several benefits – higher conversion rates being only one of many. Either way, your business will thank you.
Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to obtain a positive return on investment (ROI) from their efforts. That’s enough to convince any sane entrepreneur, if there is such a thing, that blogging is well worth the investment.
What it doesn’t tell you is how to prioritize blogging, and there is a difference between publishing blogs and actually blogging successfully.
If you want to do the latter, read on.
What Content to Post to Your Blog
Surely you’re eager to reap the benefits of business blogging, but don’t just go throwing blogs that haven’t been researched, edited or strategically thought out into the ether. Even if your audience can’t, search engines can tell if your content sucks.
Blog content should always be relevant to your business and target audience, and ideally, should connect with your brand and offerings. It should also provide value to those who read it. You’re not writing for you; you’re writing for potential customers. Address their problems and interests.
Personal writing connects with the reader on an emotional level while professionalism builds trust.
But when you post regularly, after months or even years of blogging, it can be hard to come up with new ideas. When this happens, common blog themes you can turn to include:
- Best practices
- How to’s and guides
- Resource roundups
- Company updates
- Customer stories
And if that’s not enough to stir your creative juices, here are 50 more.
Writing aside, you’ll also want to ensure that each of your blog posts look good. Use quality photos and infographics to establish credibility and help make your content easy to digest.
Cornerstone Content: A Must
For first-time business bloggers, cornerstone content is a great place to start. These are long, foundational pieces of content that tie into your business’s offerings. The ultimate goal of cornerstone blogs is to attract significant traffic to build brand awareness and leave the impression of expertise and authority.
These blogs tend to be highly valuable and high-level in order to attract your broader target audience, and they help set the basis and tone for the rest of your content. This also makes your cornerstone blogs a great place to boost SEO with internal links. Linking to and from this content tells search engines that the piece of content is worthy of results and an important page on your site.
When brainstorming cornerstone topics, think about what you offer consumers at the most basic, fundamental level and consider the challenges your audience faces.
Roll Up Your Sleeves: The Blogging Process
You want the truth, and we’re not here to lie to you. Blogging isn’t easy. To be effective and have the impact you want, you have to put in a lot of work. It’s why a lot of businesses hire content writers to blog for them.
Here’s what it takes:
Getting Started: Learning Curves and Research Loads
There’s a steep learning curve for successful blogging. It’s not just about writing, but knowing how to format for readability and properly implement SEO. Getting the organic traffic you want takes keyword research (often done using expensive tools), strong internal and external link building, and a website that can maintain fast load speeds.
Only once you’ve taken steps to understand your user, the content they want, SEO, blogging best practices and have prepared your website for blog hosting can you begin to write.
Huzzah! Now For Writing
Quality content matters, and skilled writers take their time to write company blogs that provide value. On average, blogs that take 6 hours or longer to write bring in better ROI. This is time that can be hard to come by.
Then you have to post consistently. You need to keep your blog fresh by always writing new great content and refreshing old content as it becomes outdated.
And once you’ve written a solid piece of content, you need to hold off on that publish button. We know you’re getting antsy, but you’ll want at least a couple of people to help you review and edit what you’ve written. Sometimes one grammatical error or factual inaccuracy is all it takes to throw your trustworthiness out the window.
On Promotion: Because Writing Isn’t Enough
Writing a blog isn’t enough. Remember, the end goal is to get more traffic to your website. To get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you need to integrate blog promotion into the rest of your marketing strategy.
This means sharing your blog posts to social media pages and online forums. It means making derivative content from your blogs, using paid ads to improve blog reach, and guest blogging to drive traffic and awareness.
This is how you’re going to get fresh, eager eyes on your content.
Delving Into SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and while it applies to your entire website, SEO for blogging is its own beast.
Here’s how it works: Your blogs get crawled by search engines, like Google, and become indexed pages. This tells the search engine everything it needs to know about whether your content is relevant to a user’s search query. Relevant content shows up on the search engine results page (SERP). No one scrolls past page one, so the higher you rank on SERPs, the better your blog will perform.
There are many SEO best practices to implement if you want your company blogs to bring in organic traffic.
First, you want to ensure that you’re writing quality content that’s relevant to your audience. Adding value will help you rank. Think about what your blog readers are searching for or struggling with, and write content that will match those search queries.
Keywords are another cue to search engines that your blog posts are relevant to a user’s search query. You should always conduct keyword research to learn what terms searchers use so you can use them in your content. Brainstorm some yourself, use free keyword tools online and check out what your competitors are saying. If you have the budget to invest in research, which we recommend, then use an SEO keyword tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. These tools can tell you exactly what keywords searchers use and how difficult they are to rank for.
For good SEO, you want your audience and search engines to deem your content credible, and backlinking is the way to do it. Backlinking is when you link to other sources in your blog posts and get other sources to link to yours. A strong backlinking strategy based on trusted, professional sources will build trust in your brand and show search engines that your content is valuable.
Scheduling and Managing Your Content
We’ve said how important it is that you post consistently and continue to update your blog content, but that gives you a lot to keep track of – especially when there’s more than one person contributing in your organization.
To help with scheduling your content, create a content calendar. We would say it’s best practice, but it’s simply a must. Content calendars plan out what you want to post, when you want to post it and what you need to make that happen. They keep you on track and on theme.
A content management system (CMS), another must, helps you create and manage your plan’s content. CMSs are software for storing, editing and publishing your content. They’re far more straightforward than coding your own platform, and multiple contributors can work in one place. WordPress is an example of a popular CMS, but just one of the many available in 2020.
Rip Off The Bandaid
The commitment you make to implement business blogging successfully is intimidating. It’s no wonder that getting started is often the most challenging part. But now isn’t the time to back down: Your business needs this. You’ve made the decision, so relish in it being the right one and get rolling.
Just ensure that you don’t waste your efforts. Make sure that your content marketing strategy follows quality content guidelines, implements SEO best practices and continues to promote your blog posts. Do these things, and you’ll be happy with the results.