You’ve heard it before: in order to generate leads online, your business needs to blog. So, that’s got you convinced? Awesome. Next step: you need to start. Settle those nerves, folks; I’ve got five steps to help you jump start your business blogging strategy.
- Build buyer personas. It’s hard to write a blog, or anything for that matter, without knowing who you’re writing to. Sit down and write your audience profiles: age, occupation, income, wants, needs, aspirations, etc. Once you’ve defined your target audience more robustly, you can then write content that is relevant and meaningful to them.
- Clarify your service areas. In other words, determine the scope and reach of your blog. Are you focusing your content on a certain city? A state? Are you aiming at a national or even global audience? Be realistic and smart about the scope of your blog. In doing so, you can specifically target those areas and optimize for geographically relevant search and social keywords. #score
- List-out blog topics. Seriously, grab that pen and paper (or keyboard and mouse) and those buyer personas you built earlier. With the target audience perspective in mind, think about what you would want and need to know about your services and industry. Blog topics should be focused on relevant content to inform and benefit your buyer. Aim to fulfill a want, need or pain point of your consumer. Try your hand at thought leadership pieces that establish you as a trusted industry source. Avoid purely sales-focused blogs. Think about educational content, and then, if you can relate it back to your services, go ahead. But remember, your blog will not gain traction if a reader can hear the sales pitch in the first sentence.
- Build an editorial calendar. This, my friends, will keep you committed to your blog. For SMBs that are already pressed for time and resources, blogging (and marketing in general) is often the first to go. Do yourself a favor and prepare a monthly blogging calendar, including all the deadlines for drafts and postings. This will give you time to prepare and edit your pieces. You’ll always feel one step ahead – well, at least in your marketing efforts. :)
- Research before your write. It’s tempting to write blogs strictly from your head (hey, you know your business!), but try and use research to enhance your posts. This will help you make stronger arguments that establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
Yes, blogging can be intimidating; it’s hard to know where to start. But, in order to grow your business and market online, you need to blog. Try out these five steps and commit to them. Then, watch as your leads increase (and then keep writing).