Should I Start a Blog for My Business?

Graphic with text, Should I Start a Blog for my Business?

What Are The Benefits of Blogging for Your Business?

Business blogging is one of the most cost-effective ways you can build brand awareness and generate sales leads. With nearly 80% of companies now reporting that they regularly use blogging as part of their marketing strategy, the question isn’t “should I start a blog?” — it’s “how do I set up my business blog ASAP?

 

Blogging Increases Traffic to Your Website

Companies that blog receive 55% more website traffic than those that don’t — all of that fresh content attracts an awful lot of eyeballs! The two most common types of traffic generated by business blogs are organic traffic, generated when a visitor clicks through to your site from a search engine, and referral traffic, which is gained when a visitor arrives at your site after clicking on a link to it from another site.

Your business blog will give visitors a reason to regularly stop by and check out what’s new, so it’s also a great way to increase traffic from repeat visitors and capture email addresses.

Consistently producing high-quality blog content is a very effective way to increase inbound links. In fact, businesses with regularly updated blogs have a whopping 97% more inbound links than those that don’t.

The more high-quality, non-reciprocal links your website has, the greater the authority Google attributes to it for topics that are relevant to your specific sector and area of business, and the higher the likelihood of you ranking well for your target keywords.

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More Data to Review and Understand Your Audience With

Delving into your blog’s visitor data will reveal many useful snippets of information about the people reading your posts — such as their location, device type, browser of choice, favourite social media networks and hobbies.

By taking note of this data, you can tailor your blog posts to better suit your audience and increase the likelihood of conversions.

Blogging Adds Humanity to Your Business’s Brand

Blogging consistently over time reveals your company’s vision and adds humanity to your brand. According to Forbes, “blogging gives your business a way to touch on issues and concerns of interest to your prospects, while also sharing what you and your employees are passionate about.

You should use this valuable asset to introduce your customers to the people behind your business and share case studies of when your staff went above and beyond to make customers happy or achieved stunning results.

Blogging Highlights Your Product or Service Advantages

Blogging provides you with an ideal opportunity to show prospective customers what your business does and what makes it different.

By anticipating questions your target customer may have and educating them on how your product or service directly addresses their needs, you can optimise lead conversion.

Always have conversion in mind when planning a blog post and make sure that you add a call to action to every article — otherwise, all that traffic won’t know what to do next!

Blogging Establishes You or Your Brand as an Industry Authority

Business blogs that are written with expertise demonstrate a deep understanding of your sector. Aim to become the “go-to” resource for your particular niche and you’ll reap the rewards in increased traffic, conversions and sales.

Why not repurpose your blog content into an eBook that reinforces your expertise and drives referral links and traffic? Even better, offer the eBook as a free download in exchange for a conversion action — such as signing up for a newsletter — and use your eBook to directly generate sales leads.

Screenshot of our, Get Your Free eBook, call-to-action.

This is the call-to-action we use in all of our blog posts

Blogging Gives Your Team a Platform on Which to Showcase Their Expertise

Your staff, colleagues and senior managers are experts in their field. It’s time to take that expertise and use it to strengthen your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.

By getting your staff to write about trends in your industry, share your business’s stance on the latest industry news and provide valuable information on your products and services, you are populating your blog with useful content that showcases their expertise.

Just make sure you have an editor review all content before it goes up on site and provide coaching to staff members who are not natural writers.

 

Blogging Increases Brand Awareness

Did you know that 77% of internet users read blog articles? That’s an awful lot of potential visitors you could reach with your business blog! Producing free content that is interesting and useful is one of the most effective ways to improve brand awareness and long-term visibility.

Blogging gets your brand name out there and if your blog proves useful, people are not only going to want to keep coming back for the latest posts, but when they’re in need of the product or service you provide, they’ll come straight to you.

Blogging Increases Conversations and Connections within Your Industry

You can use your business blog to communicate company news, release information on your latest products and services and facilitate valuable discussion on industry topics with thought leaders.

This makes blogging a great way to build important connections within your industry.

Blogging Helps Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Frequent and interesting blog posts are a staple of any well-balanced social media strategy.

Posting blogs on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other relevant networks will encourage your audience to engage with your brand, visit your website and, if the content is extra amazing, share and promote it.

Blogging Helps Your Email Marketing Campaign

Struggling for information to include in your monthly or weekly email newsletters?

Blog articles give you a broader message to share with your email subscribers than just “buy now” or “book an appointment”, and they encourage email recipients to visit your website to read more.

Your Blog as an FAQ, Knowledge Base and Help Desk

Your blog should be a source of helpful, in-depth information for users of your products and services, as well as potential customers who are researching your sector.

Why not turn each short answer in your FAQ section into an in-depth blog article with pictures and videos, then link back to the blog post in the FAQ so that visitors can find more information about each topic without leaving your website?

Each blog post should provide contact details for your customer care team in case customers are confused and in need of assistance, as well as links to other relevant articles for further research and external links to authoritative resources they may find useful (for instance, Wikipedia or the NHS).

Build out your blog with how-tos, lists, interesting facts and in-depth answers to FAQs so that it can function as a knowledge base and online help desk. This will take some of the heat off your customer care team, who can use the blog for reference and point customers to it for self-help.

Screenshot of the Atlassian knowledge base

Software company Atlassian use a Knowledge Base very effectively

Blogging Improves SEO Results

The average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words. Nowhere on your eCommerce site is it easier to produce in-depth content like this than on your blog. The blog is your place to provide detailed information that is well optimised for long-tail or informational keywords. Once you publish a new post, resubmit your sitemap to Google so that the search engine can index your new pages and pick up any updates to existing pages on your site.

Graph showing high word counts for high ranked pages

Backlinko, using SEMrush data, found that highly ranked pages had a higher word count

Blogging Gives You Internal Linking Opportunities

Blog posts are ideal for internal linking. If you strategically create related clusters of blog content that internally link to each other, you can create a “suggested reading” section on your blog that encourages click-through between pages, increases time spent on site and enhances brand consideration.

You can also link from your blog posts to relevant sales pages and introduce your blog readers to your products and services — this is a great opportunity to use your target keywords as anchor text to show Google what search terms your other content is relevant for.

Blogging Keeps Your Site Looking Relevant and Fresh

Your blog provides the best possible opportunity for you to populate your website with updated content on a regular basis.

Publishing fresh blog content consistently signals to your potential customers — and Google — that your business is active and thriving. Make sure that you pick interesting topics, target relevant keywords and write with the authority you want your brand to carry.

 

How Often Should I Publish New Blog Posts?

According to a study of 1,000 bloggers in late 2018, the average blog post now takes 3.5 hours to write and is approximately 1,150 words in length. You should aim to produce in-depth, valuable and relevant content and spend time writing it to ensure it’s as useful to your target audience as possible.

Because of the time and effort overhead involved, aiming for one very high-quality blog post a week is a good place to start.

Graph showing that the time to write blogs has increased since 2014

Orbit Media found that the time to create blog posts has significantly increased since 2014

Should I Outsource My Blog Writing?

Build awesome content that makes your readers happy and it won’t matter whether an internal or external writer wrote it. Make sure to provide any writers, freelance or otherwise, with clearly defined brand guidelines and a blog strategy. Review samples of their previous work and request an initial trial blog post or two before you engage them for a set period of time. All content will need to be edited before it goes on your blog. No exceptions.

How to Start Blogging for Your Business

Learn from business blogs you admire in your sector and outside of it. Make tons of notes on what makes these blogs successful and what you could do better or differently to help your blog compete alongside them. Do the initial research and you’ll be at an advantage when considering how to challenge rival business blogs for rankings, traffic and sales.

Decide Who Your Target Audience Is

Remember that successful blog posts are written with a specific target audience in mind. Dive into Google Analytics to understand who your target audience is and develop customer personas that will help you define which content to write so that visitors engage with your brand.

Define Your Blog Strategy and Tone of Voice

Why do you want to blog? What is it that you want to communicate to your reader? A successful blog strategy sets the tone for content that is timely, relevant and useful. It also includes information about your brand’s tone of voice — companies often speak in a more conversational manner in their blog posts to increase engagement. However, colloquialisms, excessive use of jargon, slang or inclusion of emojis are all no-nos for business blogs and you should provide very clear tone of voice guidelines to avoid any doubt over what is and isn’t acceptable.

Set up a Content Calendar

Your blog strategy should be accompanied by a content calendar that balances helpful, educational and entertaining content with seasonal posts appropriate to your business and engaging for your audience. Remember that your content calendar should centre around clusters of content that are easy to interlink.

Make Blog Posts Visual

Including images in your website content dramatically increases the likelihood of engagement and conversion. Eye-tracking studies show that readers pay close attention to information-carrying images and will actually spend more time looking at the images than they will be reading the accompanying text on the page.

It’s vital that your blog posts have properly optimised images; they should be JPEGs, not PNGs, to lessen the load on site and they should carry alt tags, titles and captions wherever possible. This isn’t just for user experience, for example, for those with poor eyesight or when your images are broken — Google cannot crawl images, so use your alt tags to convey to Google what’s on the page.

As a rule of thumb, set a featured image at the top of the page and two images within the body of the copy for every 500 words.

Make Blog Posts Interactive (Where Possible)

Interactive blog content is better at educating and differentiating buyers than static content, and it also drives double the conversions! Creating interactive elements can be easy, fast and free depending on the element you choose and whether it has an easy plug-and-play option. Interactive blog content might include polls, quizzes, slide presentations and GIFs.

Put an Editorial Process in Place

Nothing should be published on your blog before it has been reviewed by an editor — no matter who wrote it or how senior they are. A typical blog editorial process will include a first draft being written and submitted to an editor for review. The editor will then either make small tweaks themselves or give feedback to the writer and ask them to make changes, which are then reviewed again. Only when the editor is satisfied that the post is error-free, clear and compelling should it be published on your website.

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How to Promote Your Content

No matter how good your blog content is, you need to promote it properly for people to see it. Blog post promotion includes social media posts on your own profiles and on relevant influential profiles, PPC advertisements (a small bid on a relevant, inexpensive key term can help kickstart traffic to new blog posts) and summarising your blog content in your company’s monthly company email.

Measure Your Blogging Success

When you’re starting a business blog from scratch, it’s unrealistic to expect a massive surge in traffic during the first few months. Focus on medium to long-term traffic generation and ensure that you’re doing your bit to promote posts to your target audience.

Once you’ve published a good bulk of high-quality articles that are at least 1,200 words long, you can expect to start seeing more significant results. We recommend reporting on:

  • Organic and referral traffic to blog posts
  • Time spent on page
  • Time spent on site
  • Pages per visit
  • Bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who exit your site without taking action
  • Conversions via the call to action included in every blog post

 

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