How to write a business blog | 9 simple tips to get started
Blogging is by far the biggest driver of traffic to our website, and by far the best tool for developing our online presence and increasing our SEO. But you probably hear that all the time, right?! "You have to blog; it’s THE most important thing for your business…"
But how do you create a successful business blog?
Blogging is simply timely updates on your website that offer news, updates, tips, advice and other information about your business or industry. We've blogged about anything from SEO and social media to workshops and events we have held or attended. Sharing your world, your ideas and thoughts and - more importantly - your knowledge, is a proven way to generate website traffic and increase brand awareness.
So you want to blog for your business? Great.
Here are our 9 top tips for blogging success.
- Have a plan, Stan! Like everything else in your business, plan and set up targets and analyse those targets regularly. Don’t just start blind; set a content plan, choose your subjects and schedule them to be written. What do you want from your blog? What do you hope to achieve? Set your target so you can analyse the results.
- Great titles sell! This isn’t just for newspapers, magazines, books or films; it works for blogs too. Often your title is the only thing that makes people click on it and read it. Create compelling titles that explain what your blog is about but keep it short and sweet. The title of this blog simply says what it does, in a short and punchy manner. It also looks great on social media shares too! Think about your title - how would it look on the Google search results page? How will it look of social media? Would you click it? And does it really sell the post?
- Don’t waffle! The average time people spend reading an article online is around two minutes, although some of the longer posts in our ranks have exceeded six. People online don’t have time, they don’t care for much, and they can easily click back on the browser. Get to the point! Tell them… “This is what this is about” then explain it quickly. Your first paragraph should really sell your entire post. Short. Sharp. Concise. Simple.
- Give them a break! Huge blocks of copy are very off-putting online. In a book or a novel it’s ok, you’re in for the long haul. But online you really want the information fast and you don’t want to waste time. Add subtitles with further help for skimmers. Add bullet points to show the points are easily digested. Add bold markup to your keywords to highlight them to the reader (this is good for SEO too). Create short paragraphs which will add some ‘white space’ between the copy and give the reader the illusion of a shorter post.
- Picture the scene. A picture speaks a thousand words, but it also breaks up the copy, adds some colours, and draws the eye down the page. Keep it relevant though, and make sure you name your images to ensure they appear in the online search results for images too.
- Be sociable with your blog. Unless you have a massive email list or the ability to write the most search engine friendly blog ever written, then you’re going to need to leverage the power of social media. Having a strong and loyal following means that when you share your blog people will read it. Twitter and Google+ are particularly great for driving traffic to your blog. Encourage people who get to your blog to share it too, but don’t expect them to copy and paste your blog URL – make it simple with some social share buttons. Don’t post and wait. Post and share!
- Analyse your success. Track your readers and how they got to you, and then what they did after they read your post. Measure your website visits with Google Analytics and check to see if they were generated by visitors to your blog. Learn from successful posts and repeat the secret in future blogs. Increasing your bounce rate (the amount of one page visits) is then your next goal. Blogs are renowned for creating high bounce rates, so try and encourage your visitors to other pages with links and a good call to action. Don’t worry if you can’t convert them all; they still gave a signal to Google that your blog was worth a click.
- Don’t forget your call to action. Most well-written blogs will encourage traffic to a website. Don’t waste your moment of glory. You have them right there, now’s your chance to tell them what you want them to do. Subscribe to your newsletters? Take up your latest offer? Visit your premises?
- Ask a question. Keep people engaged and gather valuable information and insight from your readers. Also if you have a ‘sociable’ blog that people comment on, Google will like it, as it likes the social aspect of the web. Gather social kudos by commenting back on peoples' comments. It brings your post alive and enables you or your business to interact – a powerful way to do business!
So there you go, a quick run through the big ones for us. Blogging is an amazingly powerful tool and it has helped us and many of our clients hit the first page of Google for our keywords and phrases, which then leads to contacts and leads – which is what makes the business world go around!
What do you think? What is the most important part of a blog post for you and what methods have you had successes with? Leave a comment below!
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My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.