Do you want to create a blog that attracts new clients? Do you have a blog that is getting NO traffic? Do you feel overwhelmed with how to create a steady stream of interesting content?
Successful business blogging is a long-term commitment. Is it worth it?
According to a 2013 HubSpot survey, blogging has overtaken SEO as the number one means for increasing traffic to your website.
Now, more than ever, companies should be creating, publishing and promoting a company blog. A company blog that produces quality content is less likely to get flagged as spam than an article that got submitted to a general distribution site. A company blog can also rank in the search engines and drive more targeted traffic to the main site. Nick Stamoulis – Brick Marketing
Are you convinced that you need traffic generating blog for your business? Then read on. You will find 10 tried and true methods you can use to help you through every stage of the blogging process.
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#1: Establish Goals For Your Blog
Building a business blog is an extended journey that requires a long-term commitment of your time and energy. To make the work pay off, you will need to identify your key goals by asking:
- Why am I starting a business blog?
- What do I expect the company to get out of it?
- What do I want my website visitors get out of it?
Want details on how to set goals for your business blog? Read Ginny Soskey’s article on Shareaholic, “How to Set Blogging Goals You Can Actually Achieve“. She says, “whether you’re a newbie blogger or a longtime pro, you need to form goals for your blog. And not just any goals—you want to have realistic yet aggressive goals that give you reality check whenever you’re trying to do something on your blog.”
#2: Identify Your Blogs Purpose
While blogging goals center around what you want to accomplish for your company; the purpose of your blog is to focus on your reader.
Your challenge is to clearly and quickly convey to your reader why your blog exists. These two questions can help you define the purpose of your blog:
- Why should someone take the time to visit your blog and read your content?
- What makes the information valuable to your readers?
It’s the purpose, the benefit, the reason why, the what’s in it for me statement that gives your blog meaning to a new visitor. Yaro Starak – Entrepreneurs-Journey.com
#3: Research Your Audience
In order to attract an audience, you must first understand who they are. In a perfect world, the people who read your blogs are also your target customers.
If you are not sure how to identify your customers, read Ten Tips for Creating a Buyer Persona Template. Knowing your buyer personas will help you create content that your ideal customers find relevant and useful.
#4: Determine Posting Frequency
Consistency is vital to building and maintaining a regular audience. So, how frequently should business bloggers be posting?
The correct answer is this…as long as the blog post serves these two goals it’s worth doing a post:
- Is a compelling and interesting story to your target audience (the reader), and
- Serves the objective for your blog
If that means five posts per week, great. If it’s one per week, that’s fine to. Focus on whether or not you have a story worth telling. Joe Pulizzi – Content Marketing Institute
Besides meeting the two goals posted above, you also must create a schedule that you are willing to fully commit to. How many blog posts can you write or assign out to writers and still stay on top of your overall workload?
Once you determine your posting frequency, stick with it. Your posting frequency is like a promise to your readers. Treat them as if they are paying to subscribe to your blog and meet their expectations by posting compelling content based on your published schedule.
#5: Finding Great Writers
Will you write all the blog posts yourself? Probably not if you intend to blog more than once a week.
Decide if you will hire ghost writers, regular contributing writers or guest bloggers. Writers are the heart and soul of business blogging.
Not sure where to find wordsmiths? Read How to Hire Writers for Your Blog, written by founder and editor of Problogger, Darren Rowse. You will learn every step of the process, from placing an ad to selecting the final candidates.
#6 Create an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is an online to-do list. A good editorial calendar allows you to:
- See and preview posts
- View post dates
- Drag-and-drop tool to change post dates
- Quickedit post titles, content and times
- Manage posts from multiple writers
Here’s a post that goes into more detail on how to create an editorial calendar.
#7: Develop a Voice and a Brand for the Blog
Everything about your website influences how visitors perceive your brand, including the “voice” you use in your blog. Your voice should match your industry. For example, a blog with a snarky attitude might be great for a Hollywood gossip website but not work so well for a funeral home.
The brand, which includes the design, colors and style of the blog, heavily influences the blog reader’s perception of your company. These elements need to correspond with your voice. Heidi Cohen provides a straightforward list on branding in “20 Tips to Brand Your Blog“.
If Heidi’s list still leaves you wanting more, check out some examples of companies that have mastered blogging in “The 3 Best Blogs to Read to Master Content Marketing“.
#8 Create Content
If your content is creative and valuable, your readers will keep coming back. Stuck for ideas?
Check out 31 Types of Content for Every Day of the Month for hints and tips for content creation by Amanda Galluci of iAcquire.
If that isn’t enough to get your creative juices flowing, ProBlogger created a list of 52 Types of Blog Posts That Are Proven to Work.
#9: Market Your Blog
It feels great to click on the “Publish” button when you finally complete a blog post, but that is when the real work is just beginning. Now, you have to distribute your blog and make sure your target audience can find it.
Download and read the free report 8 Ways to Leverage New Online Marketing to Attract Customers to give yourself every advantage in marketing your blog. This informative and easy to read report gives you information you cannot find anywhere else, such as:
- The #1 website mistake alienating half of your visitors
- How to triple website traffic within 90 days
- The secret to converting website visitors into qualified leads
- How to identify those parts of your marketing that are working and those that are not
For even more terrific ideas, here’s an article that goes into more detail on content promotion.
#10: Measure Your Blogging Success
The final step in building a successful business blog is to measure its success against the goals you laid out in the first step. Jay Baer of Convince & Convert lays out some ways you can measure your blog’s success in How to Match 10 Key Success Metrics to Your Blogging Strategy. If you use HubSpot like we do, read this post to learn how to measure the ROI of your business blogging.
Following the 10 steps laid out in this post will result in a business blog that helps drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic to leads, establish you and your company as an authority and produce long term results. Are you ready to get started?
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