An active, well-executed business blog is without question worth the time and effort it requires. We’ve heard clients say in the past, “Why would anyone follow a blog about my industry? Blogs are just for foodies, fashionistas and mommies.”
If a base of people interested in your product or service exists, they likely have questions about your product, and your service is trying to solve a problem for them, right?
That means that you have a blog audience.
A business blog lets your business demonstrate to your audience that you understand what problems and questions they have surrounding the kind of products or service you offer. Blog posts which educate and head off those questions are valuable to your audience and help you build relationships through content marketing. Here are some other benefits of business blogging:
- A blog is a great way to provide evergreen content that is useful to your audience right now and endures over time.
- When you blog, you’re continually adding fresh content to your website, which search engines like.
- Blogs are excellent for your SEO.
- A blog can help you analyze activity while giving your audience more of what they’re looking for.
- When asking your readers to connect with you, a blog can be great for lead conversion.
- Your blog gives you the opportunity to regularly promote your brand (through publishing) not only to your audience, but ideally to their followers as well.
- A blog that is a team effort offers a way for people on your team who don’t always get to be creative in their daily work to contribute their voices to your brand’s story.
- When well-executed and well-maintained, business blogging works. In fact, in a recent HubSpot study, 85% of business bloggers stated that their business blog delivers strong or some results. It’s hard to argue with that number.
Wondering what makes a good business blog? Here are 12 of our best tips for business blogging:
- Do your research.
Include research time in your writing process. Statistics, examples, and real-life scenarios add depth and validity to your writing and are more likely to genuinely help your audience as opposed to surface-level content peppered with keywords to drive traffic to your website.
- Give credit where it is due.
Make sure to properly cite the research supporting your blog post. You can cite directly in the copy or provide outbound links to your sources. Don’t forget to test any outbound links in your copy to confirm that they are working as expected.
- Keywords are key.
Following keywords that are trending in your industry can help you create blog content around the kinds of topics and questions your target audience is searching for online. Use tools such as Moz or Google Webmaster Tools to research the best-ranking keywords for your blog post.
- Write with purpose.
You’ve heard it a million times: “Begin with the end in mind.” It’s true when it comes to blogging, too. Before you begin writing, or even choose a topic, think about what will be interesting and helpful for your audience. Does this address a problem they are having or answer a question they have? If you’ve created accurate buyer personas, they will help guide your blogging strategy and topic selection.
- Consider optimal word length.
In many ways, this is subjective. The ideal length for a blog post is the number of words it takes to cover your topic thoroughly without including fluff filler copy to reach a minimum word threshold. But in general, for a simpler topic or problem, aim for at least 500 words. More complex subject matter can and should take your word count into the thousands. Again, use what you need to make your point. No more, no less.
- Do your SEO due diligence.
The most brilliant blog post in the world is worthless if no one sees it. Here are some SEO tactics that can help your post gain some organic search traction:
- Dynamic headlines containing desired keywords. Our team uses CoSchedule’s headline analyzer to help us write better-converting headlines.
- Proper meta descriptions. The ideal meta description is a brief (150-160 character) teaser of your post’s content and contains at least one of your target keywords.
- Accurately label images. Any images added to your blog post should include alt text and file names that describe what the image is about.
You know this already. Proofread your work. Read it backwards and forwards. Then have someone else proofread it for you. Then read through it once more before it goes live.
- Promote your business.
It’s okay to promote your business in your blog post as long as you’re able to do so without sounding pushy or sales-y. Again, think about the ultimate goal of the post. Of course you want to educate your audience, but you also want them to ultimately contact you, correct? Invite them to do so in a manner that feels like you’re a trusted advisor making a suggestion, not a pushy salesperson demanding a call back.
- Invite your audience to engage.
When you’re writing the closing for your post, ask your audience a question about an aspect of your article and what kinds of experiences they have had related to your topic. Monitor your comments section and when someone comments, thank them and respond in kind! Not everyone may agree with you, and that’s okay. Interacting with your followers is a great way to build trust and loyalty to your brand. It makes your organization feel more human and can help increase awareness of your brand, too.
- Publish on your own platform.
When you publish your content on LinkedIn, Medium, or another third-party platform, you don’t own the traffic coming to the site, so you are very limited in what you can accomplish as far as lead conversion and analytics. When you publish on your own website, it positions your business as an expert on the topic, you can analyze traffic to see what content is resonating and what’s being ignored, and you can try and convert those visitors into leads.
- Publish consistently.
Google likes fresh content, so the more frequently you update your website, the better. Every time you add a new blog post, you’re updating your website. When you publish on a consistent schedule, you begin to build a following as your audience learns when to watch for something new from your business. In fact, a recent HubSpot research revealed that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 - 4 monthly posts.
- Promote your content
When you’ve launched a new blog post, let your audience know! Compose a compelling teaser summary and link to the post from your social media platforms.
We’ve told you about our team’s favorite marketing blogs before. Now here’s a list of what we feel are some of the best business blogs out there:
- HubSpot (Yes we’ve mentioned them before, but their blog is just on point.)
Are you blogging for your business? We want to hear from you! What other tips would you add to our list? Which business blogs are your favorites to follow? Let us know in the comments below.