All types of businesses can benefit from blogging, but it takes the right approach. Unfortunately, many business’ blogs are abandoned because they simply don’t get the results they were looking for.
Nothing looks worse to a site’s visitors than a blog that hasn’t been updated in a year. Visitors might even wonder if the company is still in business.
But with the right approach, a blog can generate outstanding results for a business. This article will cover some important steps to take if you want to have a business blog that gets results.
1. Know Your Purpose
There are a lot of different reasons that you could be using a blog to promote your business, including:
Increasing sales of your products
Landing new clients
Improving exposure and brand awareness
Increasing traffic to your website
Of course, there are more reasons that you could be using a blog for your business, but those are some of the most common reasons.
It’s important to know your purpose because that purpose should dictate the types of content that you publish and how you go about blogging. For example, if your goal with the blog is specifically to increase sales, covering your products should be a major part of the blog content that you write.
It sounds obvious that you need to know your purpose, but many businesses have a blog because they think they need one, but they don’t really know why. The result is an ineffective blog that doesn’t contribute anything to their business.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
In order for your blog to be effective, you need to know who you’re writing for. The target audience of your blog may or may not be exactly the same as the target audience for your business as a whole or for the products and services you offer.
Your target audience will impact things like:
The topics that you cover on the blog
The tone of the blog
The format of the content that you produce
Where you promote the content
Before starting your blog, take the time to clearly define the audience that you are trying to reach.
3. Identify What Your Audience is After
Going along with the previous point, you also need to know what your readers are looking for, and what they want to get from your blog. If you know how you can help your target audience, you’ll be able to make a stronger first impression when the right visitors arrive at your blog.
Truly understanding your audience allows you to create a blog that will be much more useful for your readers and more effective for your business.
One of the best ways to know what your audience is looking for is to do keyword research to see what words and phrases people are actually searching for.
4. Write Content that is Genuinely Helpful
Regardless of what your purpose is for the blog, it’s important that you write and publish content that is genuinely helpful and appreciated by your readers.
Even if your goal is to use the blog to sell more products, you need to make your content more helpful than just a sales pitch. If your content offers readers noting of value, they won’t keep coming back.
It’s possible to achieve goals like selling more products or landing more clients by publishing content that’s not overly focused on selling and is genuinely helpful for readers. The key is to find ways to incorporate or mention your products or services within the content without making it the sole focus of the content. Educate readers on topics related to your products and services and you’ll find that your blog becomes very effective.
5. Include Calls to Action
If you want your visitors to take a specific action, you need to lead them to that action.
If you want to sell a product, you need to lead visitors from your blog posts to the sales page or product listing page.
If your goal is to use the blog to land new clients, you’ll need to include calls to action that will lead clients to contact you or complete a form for a free consultation.
Establishing connections with other bloggers in your industry can benefit you in a lot of ways, including:
More shares of your content on social media
More links to your content
Guest posting opportunities at other blogs
If you want to maximize the impact and exposure that you get through your blog, you need to be working to connect with bloggers in the industry on a regular basis. Focusing exclusively on writing content and ignoring the need for networking is a common blogging mistake.
There are several different things that you can do to network with bloggers. One of the best, and easiest, ways is to use social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Share the other blogger’s content on Twitter or Facebook (and tag them), comment on their posts to Facebook and Instagram, or just strike up a conversation on Twitter. LinkedIn is also a great platform for networking and establishing connections.
Aside from social media, you can also leave comments on their blog posts or simply use a contact form on their blog to get in touch.
7. Use Social Media
In the previous point, I mentioned that you can use social platforms for networking, but you can also use them for gaining exposure and driving traffic to your blog. There are so many different social platforms that you won’t be able to be active at all of them, but you can choose one or two that are popular with your target audience and dedicate the majority of your effort to those networks.
If your goal is to drive traffic to your blog, Pinterest is an ideal social network. For some bloggers, Pinterest is the #1 source of traffic, and for many others it might be #2 behind Google search traffic.
The reason that Pinterest can be so great for traffic is that most Pinterest users come to the platform to find ideas or content, so they are very quick to click through on pins that interest them. This is in contrast to Facebook or Twitter where users go to connect with their friends, so they’re not as likely to click on a link to blog content.
8. Grow Your Email List
Regardless of whether you’re using a blog or not, your business should be actively growing an email list. From a blogging perspective, the email list will be helpful for converting first-time visitors into repeat visitors, and eventually loyal fans of your business. You’ll be able to stay in touch with them, get more exposure for your new content, and establish a source of traffic that you control (as opposed to search traffic or social media traffic that is mostly outside of your control).
An email list can also have a huge impact on your business in terms of increasing sales or landing new clients. And your blog will actually help you to grow the email list faster. Your blog content will attract more visitors to the site, help those visitors to feel more comfortable with your brand, and increase the chances that they will subscribe to your email list.
9. Stick with It
Although building a blog can be a great decision for your business, it will take time and effort to have success with it. One of the biggest keys to having success with your blog is simply to stick with it. At first, it might feel like no one is paying attention to the blog, but it just takes time to build up that traffic and grow an audience. In order to have success, you need to be willing to dedicate the time and resources to run the blog for 6-12 months to give it enough time to start to see real growth.
If you’d like to learn more about how to start and build a successful blog, please see the details of Blog Launch Breakthrough. It’s an in-depth course that covers everything from the technical aspects of setting up the blog, to creating content, to getting traffic, to making money with the blog.
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