Blogging can be a powerful online marketing strategy for every business, whether big or small. Blogs can reach thousands and even millions of audience, which business owners can leverage to increase their revenue and grow their business. However, blogging isn’t easy as it sounds. If not done the right way, a blog can even harm a business rather than do good to it. And even if your business blog will attract millions of visitors, if they don’t convert into customers, your blogging costs and efforts would be wasted. To ensure that your company blog will become a success, here are 12 tips to building a successful blog for your business.
1. Create a blog for your customers, not for yourself
Don’t just create a blog because you think you and your business need it, but build a blog because your customers need it. In blogging for your business, you don’t create a blog to express yourself or to tell everyone about your personal achievements, vacation stories, and how you’re living your life ahead of others. A business blog is definitely a place where your target audience and customers can learn and get solutions to their everyday questions and problems.
To build a blog that will make your potential and existing customers happy, consider the following:
- Understand your customers’ current and future needs.
- Create a blogging plan to satisfy those needs above.
- Have a blog design and theme that your customers will want, not what you personally want.
- Invest in premium blog theme and plugins that will make your blog more professional and functional.
- Choose categories and topics that will be useful, informational or educational to your customers.
- Blog often about your customers, not about your products. Your products or services can be placed on your product pages or in the call to action section of your pages. For example, if you have a business consulting firm and your clients are small business owners, don’t blog often about the services you sell, but blog about helping your customers, such as blogging about tips and advice on how they can be a better marketer, how they can be an effective manager, and how they can grow their business further.
2. Develop yourself as a blogger
Blogging isn’t an easy job. A blogger isn’t only a writer, storyteller and a publisher. A blogger is also a marketer, influencer, thought leader, and more. To transform yourself into a better blogger, you have to do the following:
- Improve your grammar, writing and blogging style.
- Learn how to use blogging platform like WordPress.
- Understand your target audience.
- Keep an eye on your competitors’ blogs.
- Know how to create engaging titles and headlines.
- Be creative with your content.
- Do blogging tests or experiments.
- Learn online marketing, such as social media marketing, search marketing, and content marketing.
- Develop good blogging habits, ethics, and discipline.
3. Get your employees involved in your business blog
Don’t be a sole author of your blog and take all the blogging fame and credit. Remember that you’re building a business blog, not a personal blog. Hence, lead a company blog with your talented employees as your co-authors. Discover your employees’ blogging potentials. Your employees know your business and customers. That’s why if there are people who can help you better in blogging for your business, they are none other than the people inside your workplace.
4. Create or curate exceptionally high-quality content
Your content or blog posts are the main product of your blog. Thus, give the best content to your visitors. A blog’s content can be in the form of articles, images, infographics, podcast, videos, tools, and other resources. An exceptionally high-quality content has the following qualities:
- It’s rich in information (comprehensive or simply informative).
- It’s well researched with proper reference to reliable sources.
- It’s reviewed and proofread.
- It answers and solves the problems of your target visitors or customers.
- It’s a result of studying your competitors and coming up with the best content in the competition.
5. Make social media people happy
Promote your blog on social networking platforms, like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Pinterest. Start by creating accounts and pages on those platforms to establish your brand. Then integrate your blog with your social media accounts to extend its reach to social media users. Remember that the key to social media marketing success is to attract people rather than interrupt them. Here are some of the ways you can do to attract the attention of your target customers in the social media.
- Use beautiful and interesting images in your blog posts so that you will have enchanting photos when you share them on social media.
- Use hashtags to categorize your posts so that they will be discoverable by people who are interested on them.
- Consistently share highly useful and relevant posts in your business pages.
- Use interesting post titles or headlines that will not disappoint your readers.
- Interact with your followers, commenters and inquirers.
- Run contests so that your pages will be fun.
- Don’t forget to put the best profile and cover photos in your business’ social pages to make them more interesting.
6. Make search engine users happy
Optimize your blog for the search engines and for the humans who are using them. SEO your blog to rank in the search engine results pages and become more discoverable by your target audience who are using Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. The following are some SEO tactics you can do to make your business blog rank higher in the search results and get more organic traffic:
- Make your blog light and fast.
- Create a sitemap and submit it to search engines.
- Claim your Google Authorship Markup.
- Improve your blog’s architectural and navigational structure.
- Improve your blog’s internal links and link your content to reliable outbound links.
- Publish high-quality and fresh content.
- Publish more to increase your pages that are indexed by search engines.
- Build high-quality and authority inbound links, such as by guest posting to authority sites, linkbaiting, and other natural and quality link building tactics.
- Do quality link building regularly to consistently earn fresh quality inbound links.
- Integrate your social media marketing to your SEO to create more social signals for your blog.
7. Make mobile users happy
More than a quarter of my blog’s visitors are accessing from mobile and tablets. Your business blog might be more than that, depending on your niche or industry. Thus, don’t ignore your mobile audience or customers. To make sure that they will enjoy your blog and its content in their mobile device, use a responsive blog theme, utilize mobile plugins, and test your blog for different mobile interface to check if your mobile visitors can access your blog the way they want it to be.
8. Guide your visitors what to do next
Your blog should help your business to grow in terms of revenue generation. It should also help your customers make better buying decisions. Hence, put the right calls to action (CTA) in your blog and social media pages, and create a great landing page where your target customers can be guided in knowing and understanding your products further. For example, I’ve placed a call to action at the bottom of my blog posts to encourage my readers to share the post in the top social media platforms. Furthermore, I’ve also put a CTA inside my bio at the bottom of my posts for my readers who want to hire me for my online marketing services.
9. Collaborate with other bloggers, business owners, and marketers
Blogging is not all about competition – it’s also about collaboration. Relativity and affinity are important for blogs and bloggers to succeed. Bloggers should not just build relationships with their audience, but also with other bloggers who share the same interest with them. Thus, find online communities that are related to your business and tribes where like-minded people always hang out. If your business is about software development, you can find online communities where software developers hang out, such as in LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, and Google+ communities. There, you can ask advice, share your ideas, create relationship with other members, and even make collaborative projects with them that will help your blog and business grow.
10. Utilize tools but do not forget to be human
Blogging has many tedious tasks involved, such as organizing your ideas, curating content, finding relevant images for your blog posts, moderating blog comments, scheduling posts on social media, tracking your competitors, tracking your social mentions, and analyzing your blog’s statistics. With the help of tools, some of those tasks can be automated. For example, you can use the following tools for automating some of your blogging activities:
- Buffer or Hootsuite for scheduling your social media posts and other social media management tasks.
- Disqus or Livefyre for managing comments on your blog and your comments on other blogs.
- Evernote, Google Calendar and Wunderlist for organizing your ideas and other interesting information you find on the Internet.
- Google Analytics for monitoring your blog’s traffic, traffic sources, conversions and other detailed statistics about your blog.
- Alexa, Open Site Explorer and Google Keyword Planner for tracking your competitors.
Tools can speed up your blogging experience. However, don’t be too reliant on automated tools. Always put a human touch in every task you do to preserve your uniqueness. Remember that “the more automated you are, the more you become trackable and predictable”. That’s why don’t forget to do the manuals. For example, instead of sharing the same headlines of your post in all your social networks, try to edit it to suit to the unique taste of your specific audience in a particular social network. Moreover, if you want to keep track of your competitors, you can manually visit their blogs and personally observe how they blog and how their visitors engaged to their content.
11. Analyze your performance, and continue improving
Utilize the data you get from Google Analytics and other tools that give you important information about your blog to understand how you can improve your blog further. Google Analytics can tell you how many unique visitors are visiting your blog, how long they stay on your pages, what technology are they using to access your blog, where did they come from, and other essential information that will give you ideas and insights on how to improve your blog to achieve your business goals. You may read Google’s basic tutorials on how to use Analytics.
If you have social media marketing campaigns, it’s also wise to track your performance to determine what areas can you improve to better serve your customers and to make better decisions that will grow your business. For example, if you’re using a Facebook Page for your business, utilize your Facebook Insights, which can give you important data, such as the demographics of the people who liked your page (i.e., gender, location, age group, interest), your posts’ reach, and the number of people who engaged in your posts.
12. Ask help from the expert
Finally, consider getting assistance from the pros. You can learn blogging by reading and following blogs that provide free tutorials, tips, tricks and advice on how to blog better. You can also ask some help from your blogger friends whom you met in various blogging communities. But if you want to maximize your resources and ensure that you blog will succeed in a more efficient way, invest money for hiring a professional or an experienced blogger who will manage your blog so that you can focus on your business’ core activities.
Your customers are the bloodline of your business. Therefore, if you want to create a successful blog for your business, build a blog that will make your customers happy. To build that business blog, you have to seek the assistance of your employees, consider hiring an expert, develop yourself to be a better blogger, utilize blogging tools, implement various online marketing strategies and tactics, understand your audience deeper, keep an eye on your competition, provide the best content, learn how to collaborate with other bloggers, track your performance, and always strive to make your business blog better.