How To Create A Successful Blog For Your Company Or Business
According to InternetLiveStats, there are approximately 500 million active blogs, and 7 million blog posts are published every day.
Blogs have been around since the early days of the internet, and writing blogs that add value to those who are reading it can help build trust, increase engagement rates, and lead to higher conversions. So, this raises the question...Should your business start a blog?
Creating a blog for your business is one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to market the products and services of your business. Done right, it can drive traffic to your website, increase sales, and help you to reach new markets. Unfortunately, many businesses, large and small are yet to understand the value and need of a blog.
Here are a few simple steps for you to follow to create and manage a blog .
Start with an objective and clear goals
Just like any marketing campaign or initiative, it is important to outline the objective of your company blog. You must decide right at the start what you want to accomplish with your blog and outline clear goals to help achieve it. It is these goals that will play a role in deciding the platform, content, and structure of your blog.
For example, you may want to establish yourself as a 'thought leader' in your industry, or boost your site's status in search engine results, or differentiate your business from the competition.
Whatever your objective, articulate it, and then work towards it. Let's see how.
Decide on a platform for your blog
Most businesses don't understand the differences between publishing platforms for blogs, and that each serves a specific purpose. For example blogging platforms like Medium, Tumblr, and Blogger have their own communities that allow you to share and follow other blogs. Whereas, Wix, WordPress, and Weebly are only hosting platforms.
So, how does a business decide which platform they should be publishing on? Well, consider your objective, and where your audience is most likely to be.
If you are looking to network within a community, then a Medium or Blogger might be more appropriate. You might even consider LinkedIn if your business is closely linked to you an individual business owner.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning and creating a content calendar in advance helps keep your blog updated and gives customers a reason to come back. The lack of planning and allocation of resources are some of the major reasons why business blogs don't deliver.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool or AnswerThePublic are great ways of finding keyword phrases that people are using to search for your services. The keyword phrase is a simple and effective way of driving traffic to your blog and letting the world know about your services.
So, if you are a business selling toys, the blog content, based on keyword volume research via Google's keyword tool, could be 'best toys for a toddler'.
During the planning process, you must also decide if you are going to source all the content from an internal team or use the services of a content marketing agency? If you lack the skills and training the latter may be the best option for you.
It is important when planning to decide the frequency of publishing - weekly, fortnightly, or monthly is fine. But stick to it as much as possible.
Create useful and relevant content
At the core of your blog's objective is your audience, so create a blog that they can relate to, or solves their problem, or provides them with a fresh perspective. Spend time to understand what your customers are searching for or what is important to them.
The key to a successful business blog is giving your readers content that they need when they need it. That is how you establish trust and relevance in their lives.
When you offer helpful tips and links to other resources on the web, your readers will be more inclined to refer and talk about you. For instance, in the above example of the toys, you perhaps may want to give links to reviews and detailed information on the toys, or where to buy additional accessories. This allows for others to use your blog as a reference and backlink to it.
Establish the ground rules
A company blog is the face of the organization, so think about how you want your brand voice to be represented.
Remember, blogs are meant to be informal, so let your blog reflect the personality of your company. Keep the sales pitch to a minimum. Find ways to connect with your audience by speaking to them directly. Tell them a story. Use an authoritative yet conversational and informal voice.
If your blog is going to have multiple in-house authors, decide on basic ground rules, such as speaking positively about everyone...including the competition. No sharing IP related information or company secrets (best to get your legal team's opinion, if unsure).
If possible create a style guide for visuals, tonality, formatting etc.
Promote and Measure
Your company blog will initially need a push both internally and externally to gain visibility and interest. Use company networks and social media platforms to talk about and promote posts...no dollar investments needed here. If you do have the budgets to spend, promote your blog posts through the Google Ad Network or on social media platforms.
An important aspect of managing your company's blog is to measure the performance of your blog against the objectives and goals you set. As you continue to post on multiple topics, measuring engagement will give you a clearer picture of what your users are finding interesting.
In general, your measurement metrics should cover:
Sharing – social media link shares, “likes,” retweets
Consumption – page views, unique visitors, average time-on-site
Engagement – session duration, page depth
Retention – percent of visitors returning to your blog, bounce rate, number of visits, pages per visit (Google Analytics data)
The benefits of having a business blog outweigh the pitfalls. It is never too late to get started on creating a successful blog that also grows your business.
Get in touch with us, if you need help to start a new blog or to manage an existing one.