Planning a business blog is a tricky concept, especially if you don't have a clear image of what your CUSTOMERS want.
Notice I didn't say:
1) What will sell your products
2) How to look "professional" and convince customers to like you
3) How to do things just because the "guru" told you to
A great business blog is all about giving your CUSTOMERS what they want.
So what is that exactly?
What Customers Want
If you follow most marketing, you quickly notice it's basically the same techniques being used 60 years ago moved online, but this is the 21st century, and communicating and connecting with your customers has a whole new meaning.
If you look at the most popular sites on the internet, you see that it's about:
1) Connecting with other humans
2) Building personal relationships
3) Providing educational and ENTERTAINING content
Simply put, visitors don't just want to be sold a faceless product to get a need met anymore, they want an EXPERIENCE, and running a successful blog starts with providing this experience every step of the way.
So, how do you get customers to stop and pay attention to you, when there's 500 other competitors doing the exact same thing?
It starts, as I alluded to above,with your customers, and providing them with an entertaining experience that captures there attention, and that begins with finding the right customer.
Targeting The Right Customers
Bringing customers who are actively looking for what you're selling is the first step in a successful business blog, and chances are most of those customers will come through Google.
To do keyword research, the most important thing will be figuring out what your customers are looking for, and finding keywords that are as specific a match as possible to deliver them the content they're looking for.
The more specific your keywords can get, the better. However, it is critically important that you also make sure your keyword has enough views to warrant the effort in targeting it (the best way to do this is to use the Google Keyword Tool and check off "exact match" to see how many people search for your long tail keyword every month.
The next thing you need to do once visitors land on your site, is make sure the website instantly communicates with a catchy title that the reader is in the right place to get what they're looking for.
Start off by giving them some of your best, most valuable information, then once they finish your article, it's best to offer them a way to go further (you want to direct every step of the process).
The best way to do this is to put an email list opt-in offer at the bottom of every article, where they can have the opportunity to learn more if they're seriously interested in the topic you're offering, and make sure the topic you write about, your offer, and the keywords are all consistent.
The Most Important Rule of Business Marketing
Remember that your customers aren't looking to see messages from a "drone" reading a script off a teleprompter trying to get them to buy your products anymore.
Customers today are looking for someone who is just like them, but is the VISION of themselves that they aspire to become; they want a real person who can relate to them on a one-on-one personal level, and who can give them that emotional experience of feeling understood and related to.
Once you attract customers to your blog, and get them to opt-in to your email list, the thing that is going to keep them (like any great relationship) is that sense of personality, individuality, and, most importantly, the sense of connection with another human being who they trust, who is just like them, and who understands them.
What is your golden rule for business blogging?