It seems that everyone blogs these days, from the neighbor across the street to your business’s top competitors. Every day, your inbox gets dozens of newsletters linking you to various blog posts. Facebook and Twitter are cluttered with them. Blogging is all the rage. But what’s the big deal about blogging? If you’re wondering why your company needs a blog, or what things to blog about, chances are you already missed out hundreds of potential customers.
Why Your Company Needs a Blog
Blogging is a key marketing tool for any business, and one of our 18 recommended ways to promote your business without money. In fact, having a blog is not optional anymore; it’s mandatory if you want to increase sales and boost your business’ success. The #1 reason your business needs a blog is in order to drive traffic to your website. And it’s not just any traffic—it’s traffic highly relevant to your business.
Without a blog, you are limited to just your few website pages to drive traffic. These pages tend to have few relevant keywords and are not updated frequently enough to show up high on searches. Blogs, however, are traffic magnets. Google indexes blog posts much more quickly than other pages. You can drive a good amount of focused traffic to your website by integrating relevant keywords into your blog posts.
Another reason to have a blog is to showcase your company as an industry expert. You want to build a community of visitors around your website and blog who check back frequently for expert tips and advice. A great away to build a community around your posts is to bring in new customers who value you as an expert. If you post well-written and valuable content relevant to your product or which focuses on helping your customers with their issues, you’ll find people will start a conversation around your content. Experts get topics buzzing. You’ll leave your competitors in the dust once you establish yourself as the go-to source for content pertaining to your industry.
[Related: Business Blogging 101]
Lastly, having a blog helps you connect with customers and strengthens the image of your brand. A blog brings your company down from its ivory tower and puts it closer to “the people.” While blogging is a highly valuable tool, it is still a somewhat casual one. A blog can serve as a gateway between a bureaucracy and its buyers. A company website is generally dry and uninviting. Add a blog, and you provide customers a portal through which to engage you and each other. For a comprehensive guide on how to get started on business blogging, and for ideas for interesting things to blog about, check out our guide to Business Blogging.
Blog Ideas for Business
No one said blogging was easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Often, most difficult part about blogging is coming up with blog topic ideas. If you’re going to have a blog, you may as well have a good one. That’s why coming up with relevant blog ideas for business is key to a successful blog. It’s vital that you develop content that’s actually interesting to your audience. It needs to be content that is engaging and, most importantly, useful. Customers should be motivated to check back on your blog regularly because its content is so valuable.
How to Start a Blog Post
Many business owners wait until they have the perfect idea to get started blogging. But perfection is unattainable and time is ticking. You’ll be more likely to show up in a Google search if you post 5 almost-perfect blog posts than 1 perfect one.
We’ve written some tips on how to write your first blog post, but here are a few more company blog post ideas to get you started:
- “How to” posts: How-to’s are always popular, and are often listed in the top of recommended blog post formats because consumers respond well to them. However, for a how-to post to be successful, it needs to be comprehensive. Don’t provide your customers with a bare-bones list of bullet points of general tips that can easily be found with a quick Google search. Really dive into the subject and provide them genuinely good advice. You want your customers to walk away with your posts with a) a good understanding of what you are trying to teach in the post and b) equipped with avant-garde tips and advice that they’ve never heard anywhere else.
- Massive list posts: List posts are another popular blog post format. However, with so many list posts out there, how do you make yours stand out? The answer is, make it massive. Create a list with 100 entries or even more. Your blog is bound to get more clicks.
- Long-form thought piece: Not all valuable posts need to be a massive list or a comprehensive how-to. A well thought-out, philosophical piece is often just what you need to break the mold and draw people in. Try to “wow” readers with a new way of thinking or a new idea within a few paragraphs, and watch as traffic flows in and your content is shared and circulated.
- Hard truth: Connect with customers by getting real with your business blog ideas. Lift the curtain behind your industry and unveil a “hard truth.” While it’s not the most fun thing in the world to be transparent and blatant, your customers will view your post, however brutal, as testament to your honesty and trustworthiness.
How Long Should Blog Posts Be?
Blog post length is key when it comes to how to blog effectively. Too long and you’ll lose your readers; too short, and you’ll lack substance. So how long should blog posts be?
Unfortunately, there is no magic number. When it comes to blog posts, there is no single, standard length threshold. It really depends on the content of your blog. How-to posts are the perfect format for a longer blog post, which fare better on search engines because they can incorporate more keywords and back-links.
For more simple posts, fewer words are your best bet. Attention spans are short these days, and if you have something valuable to say, you should say it right away. Don’t make your readers dig through a slew of empty paragraphs in order to reach your main point. If you’re looking to rank for SEO purposes, longer form posts around 1,000 words are ideal, but a shorter post is better than nothing.
Always Remember the Bigger Picture
When it comes to your blog, always remember: content is key. Never use blog posts simply as fodder for stuffing in keywords. Your company’s blog is a way of gaining followership and credibility, and attracting customers to engage with you. Blogging is a key aspect to your business’s “likeability” and should be treated with great care and respect. What you put into your blog posts, you get out. So invest generously—the results will be well worth it.