Business blogging success through a few simple guidelines
As a company that specializes in blogging software for business, we’ve had a chance to look across our clients to explore which blogs get the most traffic and click through. So, we thought we’d share some business blogging best practices:
Post Frequency and Consistency
Without a doubt, consistency is key in your business blogging efforts. Keeping your blog updated with fresh, timely, and engaging content will bring an audience back for more while ensuring new readers aren’t greeted by stale posts. Finding the schedule and pace that works for your business blog (and matches when your targets are looking for your ideas) might take a little time and experimentation. But, the payoff we see is that blog post frequency is highly correlated with traffic to your blog. Fresh content brings readers.
Oh, by the way, most of your traffic will be new visitors (see our study results below). To sum things up, fresh content has two effects: it keeps existing followers engaged, and it makes it easier for new prospects to find you.
Use a Wide Variety of Content
The power of a business blog is its ability to accomplish multiple purposes. Of course, the overall purpose of your blog is to engage prospects and customers online. But you can drill down more than that. In fact, we suggest a business blog has three overarching purposes and you should vary your content based on the blog’s purpose:
- Create Awareness for your brand. Use keyword rich posts to convey what your products are and how they are used. Much of this content might be re-purposed from your existing marketing materials.
- Help visitors see your brand as a human and establish your thought leadership. Here’s where you need to look broadly for content. Leverage internal experts to highlight what makes your brand and company special. See how Indium uses their engineers in an award-winning way to establish its thought leadership. Have someone who keeps abreast of industry news add insight about your company’s take on that news. Check out this post by Fusion Alliance about employees of today. Oh, and don’t forget that your customer-service reps are constantly answering customers’ questions. Here’s how PetRelocation.com leverages email FAQs in its blog through an Ask-the-Experts feature. Don’t be afraid to reach out to guest bloggers to help add content for you. Social Media Examiner gets nearly all of its blog content from guest bloggers.
- Drive Purchase Behavior. The best way to excite your blog visitors to take the next step is to show them how you solve their problems. The best people to help you do this are your existing customers. So, getting content from customers is our success tip #3.
The best people to share how your products and service solve problems are your customers themselves. Our clients’ data suggests that those who solicit customer stories get higher click-through than those that don’t. Check out how some major retailers capture their customers’ stories at Gymboree Play & Music, Zenni Optical, and Bass Pro Shops.
Create a Schedule
Blogging consistently is just like developing any new skill or habit. At first, you’ll need to be very deliberate about practicing. Over time, maintaining post frequency will become more routine. Start with an editorial calendar. If you aren’t sure what one looks like, Google “blog editorial calendar’ and you’ll find at least half a dozen suggestions from other bloggers. Some blogging platforms have an editorial calendar incorporated into them so you can see when you’ve got content scheduled for publishing and when you’ve got gaps. Once you establish your blogging routine, stick with it! When you feel like you just don’t have time to write, the momentum you’ve built with a routine will help you power through.
Here’s the reality: running a business blog doesn’t have to be difficult. But, you do have to make a plan about how to manage it (we do this with all of our clients). The tips here are basics to get you started. When you get stuck in your blog writing, check back on these to make sure you’re on the right track. Look for new insights from your fellow industry leaders to make sure your writing is relevant. Stick with a schedule to keep your momentum steady. And when you do run afoul of writer’s block, ask your teammates, customers and industry experts to share their knowledge and stories. With a little practice, maintaining a successful business blogging strategy with new content for your current audience and new visitors will take care of itself.