For those of you who know me, I’m big on blogging. Sharing your thoughts, opinions and experience is the only requirement when creating a blog, which is why it’s such a fun format for readers and writers alike. The ability to tell stories through blog posts has changed B2B marketing in many ways — people are influenced less by online advertisements nowadays, but they’ll easily spend 20 minutes reading a great story.
According to author Mark Schaefer in his book Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time, blogs are the “content engine driving the social web,” and “are a powerful contributor to search engine optimization efforts.” Whether or not people are actually reading your blog in the beginning doesn’t really matter if it helps direct more traffic to your website because of SEO. Not only do blogs help increase brand awareness, they also can create a connection with your prospects and customers if they are consistent. Ensuring that you are posting interesting content regularly (one blog post a month won’t cut it!) gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your audience and should help increase the volume of inbound inquiries you get as a result.
So how can you create a blog for your business and make sure it doesn’t die out after a couple months? Here are some tips that will help ensure your blog’s success:
Tip 1: Create a topic bank
If you are interested in improving your ranking and writing with SEO in mind, it’s important to brainstorm the keywords that are important for your business. By conducting a keyword audit, you’ll be able to gain insight on how you rank currently, and what other sources are out there taking up the top spots. Once you have those keywords in mind, you can brainstorm a list of topics related to those keywords that you can write articles about. When you do this, keep in mind that it’s easier to rank for highly specific keywords instead of general ones.
A topic bank will also help you get past writer’s block by giving you a constant source of new ideas to choose from. And trust me, this will come handy!
Tip 2: Empower employees to contribute
If you cannot hire a dedicated blog writer, you certainly can consider outsourcing, or empowering your own employees to make punctual contributions. By tapping into your own resources internally, not only will you lighten the workload for yourself, but you’ll also be able to offer your audience a wide variety of different perspectives and voices. You can never have too much content, so the more submissions you get from a variety of sources, the better!
Tip 3: Solicit external contributions
By following blogs related to your line of business, you should be able to proactively solicit other content writers and create a submission exchange. Building partnerships can help get your content seen by more people outside of your direct network. In addition, most writers are also looking for new ways to get their own content seen, so this can really be a win-win scenario for both parties.
Tip 4: Create a content calendar
Once you have some content on hand, it’s good to create a monthly content calendar so that you can promote your posts on social media channels (including on your own feed of your personal online profiles). A content calendar will help you space out your posts and topics so that you are not bombarding your audience with too many posts one week, only to have nothing come out the next. This doesn’t mean that your content calendar needs to become the holy grail and that it can’t ever change. Of course, you can modify it and make adjustments to it to take into account timely events, or newsworthy topics. But it will give you the framework you need to ensure that there is a healthy mix of regular posts so that your target audience stays tuned and doesn’t lose interest.
Tip 5: Keep it simple
Despite what you may have been told, blog posts don’t need to be 10,000 words. In fact, most blogs run between 800 and 1,000 words maximum (some are even less). We have found that simple observations and “how to” blog posts (like this one!) get the most traction. By keeping your blogs short and sweet, not only will they be easier to write, you’ll be able to write more of them faster.
It’s important when writing blog posts that you try to connect the topic to your unique experience, your story, or your perspective. The more personal the blog is (even in a business context), the more people will be able to relate, which will translate into more followers of your blog over time … and, the more fun you’ll have writing them! Happy blogging!