How to Start a Business Blog - First Steps
Blogging is one of the best ways to improve your marketing strategy, especially if you own a small business. With little to no cost, hosting a blog can boost your website’s SEO, help you engage with customers and promote your brand. See 5 Good Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog for more on that. However, just like any other marketing tool, blogging is most effective when done properly. If you’ve decided to start a business blog, there are a few important things to know to make sure you get the most out of your blog. The following are some recommendations for your first steps toward successful blogging.
Step 1: Make your Blog a Priority
While you’re focusing on direct sales or taking care of immediate tasks, pushing your blog to the side might seem like a necessary move. But, if you want this marketing tool to work, you have to make it a priority. Research shows that marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to see positive ROI.
Start by setting a reasonable goal for yourself. Consider how often you want to publish a blog. Once or twice a month is a good number to start with. Then, put your future publishing dates on your calendar for the next few months so you have concrete deadlines to work toward. Spend some time brainstorming topics and make a list of future blog post ideas. Then, assign topics to specific publishing dates. Now, you have a calendar with deadlines and topics ready for you to attack. Once you have the hang of it, try increasing the number of blogs per month… because of step 2.
Step 2: Blog More Often
There isn’t an exact number to define how often you should post, but the consensus is that more is better. In a study conducted by HubSpot, it was found that B2B companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month receive 3.5 times the amount of traffic as companies that publish only 0-4 posts per month. The numbers are the same for B2C companies: those that post 16 or more blogs each month, see 4.5 times the amount of traffic as those that publish only 0-4 posts.
No matter how many blogs you produce, always keep your audience in mind. Keep your posts relevant to your business and with information that would be of value to your readers. If you start simply going after quantity, you risk the authenticity and value of your blogs.
Step 3: Go Long
The best performing blogs have more than 1,000 words. Again, you want to make sure you’re keeping the integrity of your blog and not just playing a numbers game. With that in mind, the average word count of top-rated content in Google is between 1,140 and 1,285 words, according to SearchMetrics, yet only 18% of companies’ blog posts are more than 750 words long. Imagine the advantage you would have over competitors by simply writing longer posts. Look at this as an opportunity to go more in depth and provide more information for your clients.
Step 4: Learn about SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a buzzword you need to know. It’s important. When a person enters a query in the search window, the results that come back start with sponsored ads at the top, followed by organic (non-sponsored) websites that search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) deem the most reliable and relevant. SEO is a method for making your web page appear higher in online search results so that it drives more traffic to your website or web page.
Google prefers to recommend web sites that are larger and fuller, containing more information. When you add posts regularly to your business page, Google picks up on the fact that your website is thriving, growing and constantly being updated. As a result, it will place you higher on search results. To get the most mileage out of every blog you post, it’s good to know some basic tricks for boosting SEO.
The following are a few features that are known to increase SEO:
· Internal links
Spend some time thinking about keywords. What are the words and phrases web users would type into a search window to find the information you’re sharing in your post? Those words are your keywords. They should be used throughout the body of your blog and, most importantly, in your blog’s title. It may be tempting to come up with fun and creative titles, but for SEO purposes, you’ll do better with a title that clearly states what your blog is about. Some websites, such as Moz.com and WordStream.com offer free keyword tools. Sprinkle in images, videos, graphs and internal links which are all stimulating ways to break up the text and hold your readers’ attention throughout a lengthy blog, while boosting traffic at the same time.
Step 5: Share on Social Media Platforms
Simply posting your fabulous blog on your website is not going to cut it. You need to alert people that the blog is there. That means sending out newsletters and emails with attractive headers and links to the post. It also includes sharing your new blog on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn using a quality image as your hyperlink. Experiment with spending a few dollars on sponsored posts to promote your new entry. Paid promotion has nearly double the SEO benefit of organic promotion. However, always keep a healthy balance in how often you post so you don’t annoy your followers. If you remember to post quality content that is of value to them, you should be in good shape.
Step 6: Get Help
We’ve established that blogging is an effective way to promote your business, and it’s worth making this marketing tool a priority. We encourage you to commit to scheduling your blog posts and not give up! This doesn’t mean you have to do all the work yourself. If your business needs you in a management or sales role, you can delegate the blog to another person on your team or to an outside source. You can hire a company like Local Social Media to write blogs, research SEO factors and promote posts for you via newsletters and social media platforms. That way you can focus on what you do best and still have consistent blog posts.
Local Social Media, is an online digital content and marketing company designed to create consistent local branding for clients. Established in 2011, it was one of the first to use the influence of social media to give clients the edge over their competition.
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