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Most people who have been doing business online for some time know how important blogging is to the success of their business. Unfortunately, most businesses have no idea what types of blog posts will work best for them. The majority of businesses will write posts that are either very promotional, while others will stick to just discussing the industry. Both of these approaches are right and wrong at the same time.
If you only publish promotional posts that offer nothing of value to the reader, you’ll lose readership and visitors to the business. If you only discuss industry events and news, that may not always be of interest to your readers. Sure it is fine to promote your business or products in those blog posts subtly or talk about the state of the industry, but if you do it regularly, it will not work.
Blogging is also important because, without it, your SEO can and will tank. Since you have nothing to promote on social media, there will be no clout and consequently no leads or customers. So, blogging isn’t just for SEO but also to generate leads, the only catch is that it has to be done right.
Many businesses may find blogging to be a daunting task because not everyone can research and write something new each week or every second day. However, there is always the option of hiring a regular blogger for your business. That said, if you’re on a limited budget and would instead do it yourself; we’ll discuss how to get your blog posts right regardless of industry.
Like your website, the target audience here isn’t you but your potential and existing customers. So, all blog posts you write and publish should be geared towards what they want to learn, understand or perhaps find interesting. If your posts can solve their problem or provide insight into the latest industry trends they (readers) will find it valuable. The more value you add, the more visitors will be tempted to come back to your blog, refer it to people they know, and share the posts on social media.
You should know exactly what you’re going to write when the time comes. That’s where planning and having an editorial calendar can be so invaluable. Interestingly it is a lack of time and ideas that most business owners cite for not blogging. That said if you can plan, and put together enough ideas on an editorial calendar; it will make blogging for the next month or so easier.
Your ideas can come from anywhere. It can be answers to questions you get from customers. It can also be about how to solve common problems that customers face. For instance, a jeweler can draft a blog post about “How to buy a diamond and negotiate a price.” They can then write another one about “How to tell if a diamond is real.”
Another way to get ideas is to use Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool to search for keyword phrases used by people to look for businesses like yours. Once you have identified a keyword phrase that best suits your business, it can even be used as your blog’s title. If anything it is one of the simplest ways to drive traffic to your blog and let the world know what you’re all about.
Building on the example of the jeweler from above, a high-volume keyword that they would want to turn into a blog post would be “how to buy a diamond.” It can also be turned into more than one blog post like “how to buy a diamond on a budget,” “how to buy a black diamond in the US,” etc.
One of the keys to ensuring that your business’ blog is successful is to provide valuable content. When you provide readers with something of value, you’re ensuring that your company establishes itself as an authority within that niche. Not to mention the fact that your readers like everyone else would prefer to do business with an authority as opposed to an entity they never heard of before. So, if your business becomes an authority figure that will translate to more business.
Experts are divided over how frequently a business should post or update their blog. The goal regardless of what you decide is to maintain that frequency. In our experience, a post every week or fortnightly works fine. If you can publish one every day that’s even better. The worst thing you can do is to start blogging and then abandoning it halfway.
Search engines like Google love websites that have fresh content. So, the more you update the blog, the more likely your website will climb in search results, and you’ll get more eyeballs on your website. That said, there are other factors that go into ranking high which you should consider like building links and social media posts.
The whole idea of a blog is to have an informal place to discuss everything. That’s why it is imperative that the blog posts reflect the human face of your company. Give it a unique personality and tone down the sales pitch.
One way to come up with your own style of blogging is to check out what other bloggers are doing. Try telling a story, in the first person, or from the perspective of your business’s standing. Some successful business blogs are highly conversational which can be engaging. Think of it as writing an email to a friend.
Generally speaking, a blog post can be as many words as you want it to, so as long as it continues to be engaging and entertaining. However, the minimum is often stipulated to be 400 words.
Longer blog posts, i.e., 1000 words and more tend to get more love, so to speak from search engines. Thus, a lot of bloggers have started writing lengthy blog posts, which to many people’s surprise is still interesting to read. That said, you shouldn’t write a certain number of words for search engines because if it’s boring for your readers, you’ll soon lose them.
We’ve often seen businesses get discouraged because their blog posts don’t receive comments or have too few comments. That’s no reason to be discouraged. 98% of people who read an article or blog post rarely ever leave a comment. Think about how many comments you’ve left on stuff you’ve read online. Do, you always leave a comment?
However, as your readership builds up, you’ll start to receive comments. In the meanwhile, you can see just how engaging your blog posts are by taking a look at the bounce rate. If your bounce rate is low and most people are spending a lot of time on the blog posts, that’s a sign that its being read.
It goes without saying that there should be as many links as possible, pointing back to every blog post you publish. That’s why it is so important that your readers actively share and recommend your blog on social media. The best way to do this is to use share icons. The share icons will allow readers to quickly and easily share the post they like. That, in turn, means it will send more traffic to your blog.
You should have a web-stats tool installed on your website to track performance. The most popular and the one that 90% of websites use is Google Analytics. Not only is the tool very good, but it is also free and easy to install. As you publish more posts to the blog, it will help give you a clearer picture of how people are responding to it. It should tell you which posts are most popular with readers so that you can work on posting similar content.
It is important that you conclude every blog post with a CTA or Call To Action as it is called. The CTA should indicate to the reader what they should do next, i.e., download your eBook, give you their email address, subscribe to your blog, or webinar, etc.
The CTA here shouldn’t just be beneficial to you but the reader. The consequence of them being helped should be you getting a lead or a sale. The CTA should also add value for the people who are reading the content. So, the CTA can also offer links to similar content, which the reader may find interesting.
Once you have finished drafting the blog post, it is time to optimize it for search engines. The key here is not how many keywords you include but rather that they should be included without the sentences looking odd. Only incorporate a keyword or phrase if there an opportunity to do so.
The same goes for making your URL more keyword-friendly. However, don’t cram keywords into the URL either because Google is smart enough to detect that you’re packing keywords unnaturally.
Here are a couple of other things you should do to optimize your posts:
Finally, make sure to proofread your text before publishing it. Use software like Grammarly to comb through your writing and correct errors. You’ll also want to fix sentences which may not be very clear right off the bat. Also, make sure to shorten lengthy sentences.
If you can get more people to proof your blog post, then than is even better since they should be able to catch what you missed.
Drafting a blog post for your business needs to be planned and executed perfectly. Only draft a blog post once you are sure about the value it provides to readers. If there is no value, or all you’re doing is writing something for SEO, then that will not work. At the end of the day, the time and effort you put into drafting blog posts are well worth it once the business becomes an established authority in the niche.