Branded blogs are everywhere. From mom and pop businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, all kinds of companies use blogging as part of their marketing strategy. What’s that all about? Should you start a blog too? What would you write about? How would you promote it? Read on to find out!
What is Business Blogging?
Business blogging is a marketing tactic used to get your business more online visibility. It’s part of a digital marketing strategy that typically also includes social media and various forms of digital ads.
Benefits of Blogging for Business
“Cool, but do I need a blog for my business?” Well, you do if you like these benefits:
Drive Traffic to Your Website
Getting traffic to your website is often the first step toward getting new customers. Publishing blog posts that lead back to your website gives denizens of the internet more ways to find your business. In fact, companies with blogs get 55% more traffic than companies without.
Beef up your social media presence
It can be challenging to think of content to post on your company social media every day. You don’t want to constantly hit people over the head with promotions or get too far off-topic. Blogging can help with that. Not only is blog content easy to post and share, but some content can even be repurposed into infographics, videos, podcasts, and other types of content and be shared over and over.
Convert Traffic Into Leads
Once you have more website visitors thanks to blog posts, it’s easy to convert it into leads by ending every post with a call to action. This could be
- Create An Account
- Shop Now
- Start Your Free Trial
- Sign Up For Our Newsletter
- Schedule an Appointment
- Schedule a Demo
Or anything else that is relevant to the main goals of your business. Signing up for your newsletter will get more takers if you sweeten the deal with a reward like
- An ebook or whitepaper
- A discount
- An entry into a contest
- A webinar
- A free trial
Optimize for Search Engines
One of the main purposes of blogging and other content marketing is SEO. For digital marketing beginners, SEO is creating content that Google and other search engines (yes, they exist) will rank higher on their results page. This includes
- Keyword research and use
- Structuring your pages correctly
Blog posts and other long-form content are particularly great for using keywords. Using a keyword research tool to find keywords related to your business that you have a shot at ranking for and using them so your posts come up when users Google them is easier to do when there’s more room for them.
Backlinks, or links to your website from other reputable sources, signal to search engines that you are a credible business and worth ranking higher on the SERP. Gaining backlinks is also the most challenging SEO component for many marketers.
Building up your reputation through blogging will help other reputable bloggers see you as a company worth promoting, which in turn will send the same signals to Google. But don’t take our word for it. Hubspot found that businesses with blogs get 97% more inbound links than businesses without them.
Share Company News
Your blog is a great place to share news with your customers and followers, especially if you don’t want to have a separate page on your website for announcements or an email newsletter.
Show What Your Business Can Do
If your business relies on customers seeing examples of your past work, publish case studies on your blog. A picture each job and the story of how you did it can add up to create an SEO-friendly portfolio of your previous work.
Build Your Network
Blogging doesn’t just have benefits from potential customers reading your posts. Other business owners reading them can also lead to collaborations and other networking opportunities.
The relationship between a business and a customer doesn’t end when the customer makes a purchase. You want them to keep coming back and to tell their friends about you. One way to make customers feel valued and appreciated is to engage with them. Having a comments section on your blog and responding to feedback from readers lets them know that you value their readership and input.
When you’re a new business owner, building a good reputation online can be challenging. Blogging is one effective way to overcome that challenge. Informative blog posts posted regularly help readers see you as an authority in your industry.
Create Relevant Content
Blogging on a regular basis and posting regularly on social media are both great tactics to keep your company relevant and current in the eyes of the public.
Link to Relevant Content on Your Website
Internal links are an important element of business blog posts. If readers might want more information about a topic you’re just mentioning in this post, link them to another post that explains it in detail. If you mention a specific product or service, drop a link to it. Internal links and calls to action can direct readers to the next step of becoming customers.
How to Start Blogging for Your Business
Now that you know why a blog for your business could be beneficial, let’s get into how to start one. It may seem intimidating, but it’s not so scary once you try it. Let us help you take a step in the right direction with these step-by-step instructions for creating blog content.
Consider Your Target Audience
It would be great if everyone in the world could buy your products or hire you for your services, but practical limits and marketing budgets get in the way of that. So think about who your customers are and how you can reach more people like them who could become customers.
Most marketing teams create customer personas and use them to guide their marketing decisions. It’s easier to appeal to Small Business Owner Steve, New Parent Natalie, College Student Chris, or Teacher Tammy than to a collection of demographics.
Check out the Competition
Now it’s time to do a little snooping. Find out which of your competitors have blogs the do a little reading and think about:
- What topics they cover
- What they do well
- What they don’t do so well
- How long their posts are
- How often they post
These are all ways you can take inspiration from them to create your own blogging strategy. Just don’t copy their content! Plagiarism and copyright infringement are things you can get in trouble for.
Decide on Your Pillar Topics
Pillar content is a popular blogging method. It involves choosing three to five Pillar topics and creating clusters of content to support each pillar. Then you write a longer article on the pillar content and shorter ones for the supporting topics.
Your pillar topics should be categories of products or services you want to promote. For example, a pet supplies store might choose dogs, cats, birds, fish, and small animals for their pillars. The pillar posts might be everything you need to know before you adopt each kind of animal, including food, products, care tips, and resources. These would link off to shorter, more detailed articles about pet care topics.
Brainstorm Supporting Topics
Once you’ve chosen your pillar topics, it’s time to brainstorm the supporting topics. First, write down what immediately comes to mind. For our pet supplies store example, this list for cats might be
- How to choose the right cat food
- How to choose the right cat litter
- How to keep an indoor cat entertained
- Care tips for first time cat parents
- Is owning a cat right for you?
Then do some more research. You can use a content planner tool keyword research software and look at forums and social media to see what questions people are asking about the topic. For our cat care example, this may lead to topics like:
- Should you let your cat outside?
- What to do if your cat is sick
- Should you declaw your cat?
Create a Schedule
Decide what topics you’re going to write about when. Start with the ones that are the most high-level and directly relevant to your business, then work your way towards more specific and more tangentially related topics.
Find Your Keywords
Once you have your topics, use your preferred keyword research tool to determine the most high traffic, low keyword difficulty version of it to use for your primary keyword. Then use a few of the related keywords it suggests as secondary keywords.
Create an Outline
Even if you hated outlining your essays in school, they’re a useful place to start with your blog posts. An outline will help you pick a direction and be sure that you cover everything that you need to. Each post should have a title and subheadings for easy navigation. The outline is where you decide on your subheadings. Don’t put too much pressure on the outline though. You can always change it.
Now it’s time to write the body text. Keep your paragraphs short. Use bulleted and numbered lists often. Keep the writing easy for your target audience to understand. Use the keywords appropriately and make it sound natural.
Publish and Measure Your Results
Once you’ve published your first blog post and shared it on your social media, keep track of how many customers it’s leading to your website with analytics tools. Once you have a baseline, set realistic, measurable traffic goals and grow from there.
Repeat and Tweak
As you get into the flow of blogging, you’ll figure out what works best for you along the way.
How Sav Can Help
To have a successful blog, you need a great website builder. Sav's Blog Widgets make it easy even if you've never blogged a day in your life. With our SEO features, you don’t need to be an expert to dominate Google. All Sav websites come with a free SSL certificate. We’re here to help you from purchasing your domain name to going live to the day-to-day management of your small business website. Get Started today!