At this point and time, blogging has been around for nearly 20 years – since 1994 to be exact. While at first it was primarily something that people did to share their creative writing publicly, it has since grown to be a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In this blog post we discuss why blogging for business is beneficial and several ideas and resources guaranteed to help you craft the best blog posts possible for your brand.
The Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business
There are numerous benefits to having an active company blog, though arguably the main advantage is increased online visibility for your business. Corey Wainwright from HubSpot speaks to seven benefits of blogging for business and marketing:
1. It helps drive traffic to your website.
Every time you publish a new blog article on your website it provides an additional opportunity for you to show up in a search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website. Regular blogging for business also tells Google and other search engines that you have an active website that should be checked regularly for new content.
2. You can repurpose blog content for social media.
Creating authentic, interesting and worthwhile social media posts every day can become quite a challenge. One surefire way to help with content creation and increase website traffic is to promote your blog posts on your business’s social media platforms. Each link to your business blog that you post on social media has the potential to be shared across your followers’ various social networks. This can help new audiences discover your website.
3. It helps convert traffic into leads.
When you’re blogging for business, each new post helps to convert website traffic into new leads. This idea is really quite simple. At the end of each blog post there should always be some sort of call to action; something that you want the reader to do after they finish your article. Frequently this will be an invitation to contact your business in some way or another. This call to action should be linked to a landing page that invites the reader to fill out an information form to contact the business or to receive some sort of free offer. The more people that follow this call to action, the more chances you have to convert traffic into positive leads for your business.
4. It establishes yourself as an industry authority.
Most business blogs regularly attempt to answer questions they feel their readers and customers may have. Not only is this helpful to consumers, but it also puts your brand in the best possible light by establishing yourself as an industry leader. Readers will begin to see your business as one that consistently provides helpful information to its audience. This practice goes far to create trust between your company and the consumer, and trust goes a long way in business relationships. It’s what keeps the consumer coming back to your brand and makes them more likely to share or recommend your products or services to those they know.
5. Blogging helps with link building.
Building backlinks, or links to your website from another, is an essential piece of search engine optimization, but it can also be one of the most challenging parts since it requires action on the part of others. Consistently blogging for business provides opportunities for others in your industry to link to your content. The more you post, the more chances there are for inbound links to be created. Without much content, this piece of SEO will be severely lacking.
6. It drives long-term results.
The beauty of blogging for business is that your blog posts have the potential to continue bringing traffic to your website long after they have been posted, especially with evergreen posts. While most of your traffic may be in the first few days a blog post is published, once it’s ranked well with search engines it will remain something that people come across when searching for content. This is why it’s an important practice to occasionally revisit older blog posts and edit them to remain current. Revising posts doesn’t need to be a time intensive endeavor. It can be as simple as replacing older links and adding new information that fits with the current climate.
7. It helps you share company news.
One last way blogging for business can be beneficial is that it affords you the chance to share exciting company news with consumers – big or small. This humanizes your brand, builds trust and helps your audience see that you’re not always about selling a product or service. As an added bonus, blogging about company news is typically far easier to write about than other types of content!
Practical Ideas And Resources For Successful Blogging For Business
It’s clear that blogging has a variety of benefits for your business. But what happens if you’re not comfortable enough with your writing skills to share them with a public audience? Luckily, writing is a skill that can be developed and improved upon with each piece of content you create. For those who struggle with writing, here are some resources and ideas to help you along the way. With a little help you can turn your blog posts into something you feel confident about and worthy of being shared with others.
1. Take advantage of Grammarly.
One of the best blogging resources (well, any type of writing really) out there is Grammarly. It is a free AI-powered writing assistant that helps you create clear, error-free writing. Not only does it fix grammar and spelling mistakes, but it also guides you with style and tone suggestions as well. Additionally, Grammarly’s blog is a fantastic resource for any type of writing question you may have.
2. Read your writing out loud.
While this isn’t a specific blogging resource you can use, I do find it to be one of the most useful things to do when writing – especially when editing prior to publication. Reading your writing out loud is the easiest way to find word repetition, omitted words and sentences readers may struggle with. While you may feel silly while you’re doing it, it really is the best way to work on your writing. It puts yourself into the reader’s position, and as an additional benefit, it’s free!
3. Use a blog ideas generator.
For some people, coming up with an idea to write about is just as hard as doing the writing itself. Luckily there are some blogging resources to help with that. One of these is the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator. With this free tool you can enter nouns related to your business and industry and receive several blogging ideas for the week. It is a fantastic way to take some of the stress out of regularly creating content for your website, especially if you struggle with writing in the first place.
4. Utilize Headline Studio.
If you’re anything like me, for some reason coming up with a title for your blog posts is one of the toughest tasks. Headline Studio from CoSchedule helps you create titles for your business blog posts that are guaranteed to draw in readers. It analyzes your headlines, scores them and offers suggestions for how they can be improved to drive traffic, engagement and SEO rankings. I’ve found that after using it just a few times I’m better able to come up with high-scoring titles without much help from the analyzer.
5. Refer to a style guide.
Finding the correct rules for writing your business blog posts can be difficult at times. There are conflicting recommendations for spelling, grammar, word usage and punctuation depending on which style guide you choose to use for your company. A style guide is a collection of writing conventions (or rules) for a particular industry, brand or project. While there are many style guides out there (and your company may even create their own house style), the top four guides are:
- The Associated Press Stylebook (AP Style): Typically used in journalism, blogs and content marketing.
- The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS): Often used in commercial and academic publishing.
- Publication Manual of the America Psychological Association (APA): Primarily used for scholarly writing and journals.
- Modern Language Association of America (MLA): Most commonly used by writers and journals in the humanities.
Each style guide has a book that is updated every few years. Since these guides tend to be quite hefty, I do suggest subscribing to your particular style guide online. While there is a fee associated with this, it has the most up-to-date information and most include an “Ask the Editor” section where you can submit a question or read through questions and answers that others have submitted.
6. Consider investing in a stock image plan like 123rf.
This resource is not specifically for writing, but it is something that will help you make your blogging for business more successful. Blog posts with images perform much better than those without. Finding photo content you are able to legally post on the internet can be difficult at times; however, 123rf is a stock photo site filled with royalty free images, photos and videos. There is a fee associated with this site, however there are several plans you can sign up for depending on how often you plan to use it. Since businesses that blog regularly perform the best, a subscription plan to a site like 123rf will provide you with a wide supply of images to help your blog succeed. You can also check out plans on iStock and Getty Images.
7. Make your own images with Canva.
Another blogging resource you can use to add images to your posts is Canva. As with 123rf, this is not a resource for writing, but one for adding images to your blog posts. Canva has both paid and free plans that allow you to create quality images for your own use. For those who are a bit hesitant to create something original, there are a large variety of templates that can be used and edited to suit your own purposes.
Anyone can be a writer with the right ideas and resources. While stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult and painful at first, especially if writing isn’t something you enjoy, taking the step to begin blogging for business can help your company drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.