When a B2B marketer maintains a business blog, they get 67% more leads than marketers who don’t. What’s more, companies with blogs earn 97% more website links than those without.
Convinced you need to blog?
Maybe the only problem is this question. How do you become a business blogger? How do you find blogging success in boosting your company, rep, and rankings online as a brand?
The process isn’t as hard as you might think. We’ve outlined 15 key steps to get you going this 2016. Ring in the New Year the right way – with great business blog foundations!
15 Foundational Steps to A Successful Business Blog
There are 15 key things you should be focusing on for blogging success—here they are.
1) Determine your niche
With so many businesses online right now, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. For this reason, it’s important to decide what it is that you can do better from anyone else. Determining your niche is the foundation of everything from your target audience to your style of content, and it can help you go far in terms of deciding exactly what and how you will write.
2) Determine your goal
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to have a difficult time getting there! That’s why it’s important to make a decision about the purpose of your blog at the outset. Are you trying to drive conversions? Make sales? Increase engagement? No matter what your goal is, defining it will help you reach it.
3) Decide on topics
Now that you know what your blog’s goal is, which topics are you going to cover? The universe is a big place and it’s impossible to write about everything well. For this reason, it’s important to decide on which topics within your niche you’ll write about. For example, if you’re a business that specializes in inbound marketing, some of your main topics could be inbound lead generation and social media marketing.
4) Hone your point of view
Nowadays, honing your business’s point of view (POV) can go a long way toward earning you readers. Today’s consumers are much more willing to connect with a person than they are a company, and when you hone your POV you personalize your company, thus gaining a direct line into the minds of consumers.
5) Learn from your peers
Once you’ve decided what you want to write about and how, you’ll want to look around at what others in your industry are doing. Writing is a learned skill and if it doesn’t come naturally to you, you can learn a great deal from watching other people. Even if you are a strong writer, watching industry leaders can give you ideas for content and help you stay up to date on the hottest happenings in your industry.
Tip: Use a tool like BuzzSumo to find leaders and track the most-shared content in your niche.
6) Be consistent
One of the most important aspects of business blogging is remaining consistent. I almost put this as #1.
Just how consistent?
I’ve put out 600 blogs now between 2013 – today. 600. And 50+ website pages. Over 100 of my content pages (blogs, web pages) rank in the top 10 positions of Google. I gained that by writing and posting content at least 3x a week for over three years.
Business blogs that publish content on a regular schedule gain more leads than those who don’t. Additionally, every blog you write is one more page indexed in Google, which means that blogging on a regular basis can help produce an SEO boost that can make your company more visible online.
7) Interact with readers
Imagine if a band went out onstage and sang their songs but never signed autographs, gave high-fives, or took photos with their fans. Do you think they’d have fans for very long? Probably not! The same goes for your business blog. Once you’ve started to gain readers, it’s incredibly important to interact with those readers.
Tip: You can do this by reading and responding to your comments and polling readers about topic ideas and what they’d like to see more of. This creates an environment in which your readers are engaged and interested, which is the perfect platform for your business blog to thrive.
8) Be ethical
Your business blog isn’t going to get far if you don’t insist on ethics from the beginning. Blogging ethics can be a little complex and they go far beyond not copying other people’s work. Ethical blogging also includes things like ensuring your links are legitimate and not spamming readers or other bloggers. While building blog traffic doesn’t happen overnight, maintaining an ethical blogging practice is one of the best ways to ensure that your blog has a healthy, long lifespan.
9) Diversify your content
While 44% of B2B marketers have a content strategy, only 42% feel that the strategy is effective. Many experts believe that part of the reason for this perception this is true is that business bloggers aren’t diversifying their content enough. When you use your blog to share a variety of content types, you diversify the experience for users. This can lead to more readers, more leads, and more sales.
10) Use video & good visuals in your content
While it may not seem like videos have a place in a business blog, videos are some of the most popular content on the web right now. In case you needed proof, YouTube is uploading 72 new hours of video content each minute and, as a general rule, visitors spend approximately 88% more time on sites that include video. What’s more, video earns a site 3 times as much traffic as other types of content and consumers are a whopping 46% more willing to seek out additional information about a product, good, or service after being exposed to an online video.
Along with that, infographics and interactive gifographics do very well to spice up the content you deliver and publish and add visual flavor on your website. Attract more readers and viewers with content that’s visual as well as typed.
11) Include social sharing buttons on everything
We live in the social age and one of the best ways to ensure that your blog gets all of the traffic and shares it deserves is to include social sharing buttons on everything you write. In order to make your buttons effective rather than overwhelming, include no more than 2-3 buttons. For example, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. While it may sound counterintuitive, whittling down your social sharing buttons actually increases shares by making the decision-making process more simple.
12) Categorize posts
One of the most important factors for both SEO ranking and user experience is a site’s organization. If your blog is cluttered and difficult to navigate, it’s going to drive readers away, which will harm your SEO ranking and reflect badly in the SERPs.
For this reason, it’s important to categorize your posts to make them easy to find. Using categories, tags, and labels helps ensure that your readers can find the information they’re looking for every time, which in turn makes your blog a more enjoyable place to spend some time.
13) Focus on SEO
One of the best ways to ensure that your blog gets the attention it deserves is to focus on SEO. SEO stands for “Search engine optimization” and is the process by which you make your blog more readable to both people and search engines, which allows it to be found more easily by Google users. To optimize your blog for SEO, you’ll want to target the correct keyword phrases, optimize your images, build your linking strategy, promote user engagement, and use social sharing to expand your reach.
14) Measure your results
Once your business blog is up and running and features several quality posts, you’ll want to measure your success according to several important blogging metrics. While there are many success metrics, the most important for a business blog are visits, traffic sources, returning visitors, audience engagement, subscriber conversion, social shares, and visitor activities (bounce rate, etc.).
These metrics can help you gain insight into how well your content is working, or not. If your metrics are lower than you’d like them to be, poll your readers for topic ideas, consider hiring an expert content writer to ensure that you’re publishing high-quality posts on-time, and seek to diversify your content. These simple fixes can often go a long way toward boosting your traffic and producing metrics that make you smile.
15) Have fun!
Business blogging doesn’t have to be a stuffy affair! Take it from us 😉
Example: Want an example? Consider new-to-the game startup MeUndies, whose mission statement is funky, bold, fresh, and inspiring – words that aren’t often used to describe something as utilitarian as underwear. Have fun with your content, tell your story, get creative, and we can promise you – your business blog will go far.
Conclusion: There’s No Time to Business Blog Like the Present
Download our free new guide, “The Fast-Paced Business Owner’s Guide to Successful Blogging In Just 5 Minutes A Day”.
If you’ve ever considered starting a business blog, there’s no time like the present. Blogging has the potential to increase your site’s traffic and help you make more sales while also promoting user engagement and helping you bond with your customers. Plus, blogging has never been simpler than it is right now. You don’t have to be a whiz-kid or an SEO expert to start a killer business blog, simply follow these 15 steps, keep and open mind, and work hard. Chances are, you’ll see results sooner than you can say “Publish.”