Building a blog is one of the most important strategies for marketing a business. A blog helps a business connect with its audience and build a relationship with them. According to a study, 55% of small businesses have blogs for promoting their business.
Here are some key reasons why you must have a blog for your business:
- Get more search traffic
- Build a loyal audience
- Improve website rankings
- Achieve a higher level of engagement on social media
- Build an online brand with useful content
- Generate more leads and conversions
- A blog is a media channel you own and gives you long term results
Here are some key steps to help you build a blog that works for your business:
Choose The Right Platform
If you wish to customize your blog, have complete control over its content, and reap the most benefit from it then you must go for a self-hosted setup like WordPress.
Here are some advantages of a self hosted blog on WordPress:
- Easily optimize for search engines
- Get a variety of themes and plugins to choose from
- Customize your blog according to business requirements
- Have your own domain and build your authority
According to W3techs, WordPress has a whopping 59.4% of the CMS market share
If possible, build your blog in a subfolder of your existing site: example.com/blog
Sometimes this isn't possible for technical reasons or due to the way the corporate site has been setup. In that case, setup a subdomain for the blog: blog.example.com
Avoid setting up the blog on its own domain: this removes a lot of the benefit where "the rising tide lifts all ships".
Defining The Objective
To measure the impact of your blog, to measure its ROI, you need to define objectives for the blog. What do you want the blog to accomplish for you?
- Build awareness about your services
- Get more subscribers to build an email list
- Showcase expertise in your domain
- Turn your blog into a source of qualified leads
Blog Posting Strategy
Decide how often you want to post. Perhaps start by scheduling 12 post, 1 per month. In round 2 you add another 12: now you're already publishing bi-weekly.
“If you want to continually grow your blog, you need to learn to blog on a consistent basis.”
Create a list of topics you wish to cover. Pick a format for the post: list post, interview, tutorial, infographic, video, etc.
Create a goal for each of the blog posts you add on your blog - traffic, number of leads and social shares etc.
Your content calendar should give you a deadline for completion and posting for each of the topics you have finalized.
Assign the blog posts to a team of content creators and ensure that the regularity of content is maintained as desired.
Create A Checklist For Blog Posts
While get your team to work on a blog post, give them a set of guidelines that they need to follow for doing each piece perfectly.
Here is a sample checklist to follow:
1. Each content piece must be unique and add value to the user
2. Long form and engaging content of at-least 1000-1200 words. The following study shows how the average number of social shares increase with the length of the content piece:
3. Make the blog post visually appealing with 2-3 images
4. Provide backlinks to related posts from your blog
5. Add data and information that validates your argument
6. Quotes from key influencers in the industry
7. Add the ‘click to tweet’ functionality on important statements in your post
“Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs.”
The checklist helps your teams to churn out posts that are of high quality. This in turn would help you get better results from your blog.
Create A Promotional Strategy
Promoting the blog and reaching out to your target audience is important for you to be able to spread awareness of your content. Here are some of the most effective ways to promote your blog posts to your target audiences:
a. Social Sharing
- Share your blog posts on all popular social channels - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest.
- Use Hashtagify to research for relevant hashtags while sharing your posts on these channels.
- You can use tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to automate social media sharing of your posts.
b. Connect with Influencers
- Add quotes of key influencers in your blog posts. While sharing your posts on Twitter, you can use @Mentions to connect with these influencers and have a discussion about your posts.
- You can also connect with other influencers on Twitter and ask for their opinion about your post.
c. Social Share Buttons
- Adding social share buttons on your blog helps your readers to share the posts on social channels.
d. Social Bookmarking and Syndication
- Some of the popular social bookmarking sites for promoting your blog posts are Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg and Tumblr.
- The upvoting and downvoting feature of these sites is helpful in getting more traction and engagement for your blog.
- Submit your blog to free as well as paid content syndication sites like Inbound.org, Outbrain and Taboola.
e. Option to Subscribe
- Get the users to subscribe to your newsfeed with an RSS button.
- Create a popup on the blog page to invite your readers to subscribe to the latest posts.
While building a blog, one needs to focus on creating content that delights the users and prospects.
Promoting the blog through different channels helps in expanding to the reach of the blog and getting more readers.
An effective blogging strategy is an essential for businesses to market themselves and build a loyal customer base.
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- 10 Things To Do After Your Post Goes Live
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com