Basics serve an important role at every stage of a process. We start with the basics when learning something new; we stick to the basics when progressing forward; and we all—even experts—go back to the basics when faced with a challenge.
Blogging for your business may be intimidating, but it is just like any other process. So whether you are just starting your business blog, learning how to maintain it, or looking to improve it, you can always count on the basics. Here we break blogging down into four basic areas to help your business grow through blogging.
Before getting started with the tactical basics of blogging, you must first understand why blogging is important for your business.
While blogging was once associated with pastimes and personal use, it has become a staple in content marketing. Blogging helps your business to generate leads, obtain new customers, increase your online presence, and boost your reputation within your industry. If you’re still not convinced, check out the numbers behind why blogging is good for business.
Hopefully now you have the motivation and inspiration you need to start blogging for your business. However, reaping the benefits of blogging for business doesn’t require just any old content. It requires content that offers value to your target audience in a way that is appealing to them. Here are some tips and tools for creating blog content that is useful and engaging to your target audience.
Don’t write for your business, write to your target audience. Your blog is not a platform for pitching your company or advertising your services. It is a channel for building a relationship with your target audience, and your niche markets within that audience. By providing information and advice that is of benefit to them, your expertise, trustworthiness, and value will come through naturally.
The second tip for creating blog content is to use variety. There are many different ways to present information. Bullet points, lists, sections, storytelling, Q&A’s, and how to’s are just a few examples. Be sure to use different forms of media as well, such as images, graphics, and video.
As previously mentioned, your blog is meant to provide solutions to problems your target audience has, to answer questions they are asking, and to provide information they need.
While you may have an idea as to what kinds of questions they have, keyword tools such as SEMRush or Moz can help you identify the exact words people are using to search for that information. By using those keywords in your blog content, you increase the chances of a person performing a search for your service to find your service.
In order to incorporate variety into your blog content, you’ll also need some creative tools. An online photo editor like Pic Monkey or design application like Canva can help you to provide professional looking images, insert text or your logo onto an image, or create an accompanying infographic or chart.
Your blog doesn’t increase your online presence, get you new customers or show your expertise overnight. A blog is something that you must develop over time, and as it develops, you will gradually see its contribution to your business growth.
The key to developing a blog is having a range of topics. Your content should be relevant to your products and services, but if you limit yourself, you might run into challenges coming up with content ideas.
To facilitate the development of your blog, identify a few major topics related to your business and industry, and aim to cover those topics evenly. This will help to ensure you don’t run out of post ideas, but also that you don’t get overwhelmed with all of the possibilities.
Coming up with your basic topics will help get you started, and as you post over time, pay attention to your target audience’s behavior. Depending on posts they engage with most or least, you may add, eliminate, or adjust topic groups.
It is a good idea to write down and store your blog topics, but also to be able to add new ideas as they come in and make organizational adjustments. An organizational application like Trello or Evernote will help you to map out your topics, group titles, and ideas under each topic, and easily add ideas as they come.
As mentioned above, your target audience’s behavior with relation to your blog posts will also influence the development of your blog. You can use Google Analytics to measure engagement and even identify topics of interest among your target audience.
Related: Business Blogging 101
The first two basics of blogging—coming up with content and creating some structure around its development—are geared toward ensuring the value of your blog, to both your business and your target audience.
But once you have a quality blog that stands out, you’ll want to spread the word! Here are some tips and tools for doing so.
One of the most effective ways of marketing your blog is through social media channels. When promoting your posts on social media, don’t just share the link. Be sure to include an image or graphic, as well as contextual information to give user’s an idea of what to expect. This could be the title of the post, a quick one-sentence summary, or a longer comment depending on the character limits for the platform.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to be the only one sharing your content. One of the major benefits of social media for business is its amplification effect. Encourage your audience to share your content and make it easy for them to do so.
When marketing your blog on social media, you can also take action for developing your blog as mentioned above. Rather than posting the same URL to your blog post for every channel, create unique links so that you can see which channels generate the most traffic. URL builder are free tools for this.
In order to encourage others to share your content, make it easy for readers to share the post to their social channels. Sharelinkgenerator.com allows you to create links for the main social media platforms, so that people can automatically share with the click of a button.
To effectively blog for your business, you need a firm foundation in content creation, topic development, and sharing your target audience. These blogging basics will get you on the path to business growth through blogging.