According to Blog Your World, by the end of 2013 over 128 million people in the United States will be blog readers. Considering that statistic, the one question you should ask yourself (if you haven’t already) is this – why haven’t I started writing a blog for my business? Moreover – how do I maximize both the effectiveness and efficiency of blogging and publishing content to reach this growing population of bloggers and blog readers?
Consider the benefits
The benefits of business blogging are plentiful and abundant: it can act as a direct channel of communication to your customers and can help establish your authority on relevant topics and industries. Business blogging can also help generate new business, as consistent posts can help strengthen your brand and create awareness – as consumers tend to trust the experts, sharing relevant information to your industry can help turn potential leads into valued customers.
Fuel the SEO machine
Blogging can also do wonders for your organic search rankings and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A steady, reliable blog can have a great impact on your research results. Consider these statistics from the Search Engine Journal regarding the importance of SEO and keyword rankings:
75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results
Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages (Indexed pages are the pages on a website that a search engine has explored and stored. An increase in indexed content = an increase in search engine presence = an increase in leads)
Maintaining a blog for your business, with posts that correctly utilize keywords and contain quality inbound links (links to another website or webpage), can help improve your rank on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more. The key is exposure and presence – with the end goal always being leads, customers, and revenue.
Your first blog
Starting from scratch isn’t as hard as you would think, and if you’re thinking about launching one for yourself, consider the following tips:
Trust me when I say – no blog is almost better than an inactive blog. Activity attracts customers whereas inactivity reflects poorly on your company. Building a blog is the easy part – it is the consistent posting and publishing that becomes difficult. Considering SEO, regularly updating your blog is incredibly important, as consistent blogs carry greater benefits for your business.
Statistics show that updated, timely blogs are more often featured on search engines – regular updates means the Google algorithm is continually crawling your site. The best strategy is to determine a blog post schedule and plan ahead. One post a week? Two posts a week? Stick by your post schedule and brainstorm topics early and often.
It is important to know your audience, so you should treat your readers like customers and leads. However, a blog is not a promotional tool or sales weapon – your blog should not be a flyer. Yes, blogs can help generate business, but don’t fill your content with sales messaging, promotions, and specials. Instead, include engaging calls-to-action after educating and discussing your industry. Advertising your products and services, and including your key conversion points, should be passive and subtle.
The benefits of blogging increases tenfold as you begin to establish yourself as an expert of your industry. Your blog should help demonstrate your authority and credibility on the topics relevant to your business. Strive to become a thought leader, and consider your blog as the go-to spot for expert insight into your industry or specialization. Your content should be interesting, relevant, conversational, engaging, and educational. What interests you? What complications are commonly faced in your industry? Facilitate dialogue and provide value – educate, inspire, engage, and inform.
You could have the most engaging, thought-provoking blog on the web, but it wouldn’t matter unless you also consider formatting. The topics you choose can bring readers in, but formatting will help ensure they consume the content presented. Your post should be inviting, attractive, and easy to read.
You aren’t writing a novel, so break up your blog post to help highlight important sections. Consider breaking down your information down into sections: Headlines, subheadlines, and bullets. Break up content with photos, quotes, and infographics. Don’t present your audience with a wall of text – you should be able to come away with the overall message through perusal and scanning.
The benefits are plentiful and obvious – blogging can help increase your search rankings, strengthen your brand, and convert leads into customers. By building a blog, and maintaining consistent and engaging content, you establish yourself as a credible and trustworthy resource in your industry.
Looking to get started? Head over to We Blog Better for a helpful list of creative blog ideas!