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A business blog is an incredible tool to market your brand. These tips will show how to do it right
You know your business needs a blog. Well, writing a blog is one thing, but writing a blog that actually engages your audience and drives revenue to your business is quite another.
If you want to launch a successful business blog that delivers a return on the time and effort you put into it, follow these tips.
1. Post often
Frequency is one of the most important factors in your blog's success. No matter how sparkling your prose may be, you'll lose your audience if you only post sporadically.
Ideally, you should try to post on your blog a few times a week. Research from Hubspot shows that companies that blog 16 times or more per month get 3.5 times the amount of leads of companies that publish 0–4 blog posts per month.
According to Hubspot research, companies with 1–10 employees should be publishing 11 or more times per month. Companies of this size publishing 11 or more times per month generate twice the traffic of companies publishing 2–5 times per month.
Larger companies see the same sort of advantage from publishing more frequently. While large companies may have the capacity to produce more content, even small companies can publish 11 or more times per month.
Frequency is important for SEO (search engine optimization) as well. Search engines prioritize sites that are frequently updated. To keep your blog rising in the search rankings, you need to offer regular, fresh content.
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2. Add value
Remember that a blog should cover your area of expertise, but it should also add value. It's not simply a place to sell your product or service. It's a channel to inform and educate your audience.
A good place to start is by developing a list of topics. You can do this by carrying out some keyword research.
Keyword research is research of the words and phrases people are searching related to your industry. There are a variety of free tools you can use to do this. Answer the Public allows you to type in a word or phrase, and will generate a group of questions people could ask relating to the word or phrase. Google Keyword Planner will generate a list of related search terms for any word or phrase you type in.
If you're intimidated by the idea of using these tools, you can simply use the regular Google search results page to do some keyword research. Type in your search query and then look for the "People Also Ask" box at the top of the page and the "Related searches" list at the bottom of the page. This will give you a good idea of the topics people are searching for relating to your industry.
By getting a better idea of search trends, you can come up with a list of topics that answers questions people are actually asking. Not only will this help move you up the search results, it will provide valuable information for your audience.
3. Plan ahead
One of the biggest roadblocks to posting regularly is a drought of ideas. You can head this problem off by developing a content calendar.
Sit down and plan out a calendar for your content. You can think about important dates during the year, both for your business and on the calendar in general. Plan topics around these dates.
You can also look through your list of topics developed around keywords. If you plan 2–3 posts per week through the entire year, you'll never be stuck for content ideas.
4. Be personal
Don't sound overly formal in your blog. You want to form a personal connection with your audience. This means you need to write conversationally.
You might also consider weaving in personal anecdotes. This gives your audience a chance to form a connection with the person behind the brand.
Writing for personal engagement means you'll also want to keep your sales pitch to a minimum. Yes, your blog is an opportunity to market your brand. But if you come off too pushy or salesman-like, you'll erode your audience's goodwill and you'll seem less trustworthy.
5. Engage with your audience
Your blog is your opportunity for two-way communication with your customers. Provide a comment section on your blog to let readers engage with your content, and dive in to reply to comments. Remember, of course, to be friendly and professional in your interaction.
You can also encourage readers to email you or interact with you on social media. You can even use some of these interactions to form the basis of future blog posts. For instance, if a reader asks a particularly insightful question or raises an interesting issue, you could focus a whole blog post on it.
Interacting with your audience helps you form a personal connection with them. It also gives you valuable insight into the questions and issues they're facing, and how your brand can help them.
6. Track your results
You'll want to measure the results of your efforts by tracking your blog's analytics. You'll need to sign up for a Google Analytics account. Your website will need a bit of code to make sure it's tracked by Google Analytics, but a web developer can help you with this.
Google Analytics will show you the traffic to your blog, and which individual posts generated the most traffic. You'll also be able to see how long users spent on each page, the pages of your site they visited afterwards and what countries and regions they visited from.
Tracking your analytics will help you to determine if your blog is hitting the mark. If particular posts have generated a lot of traffic, you can investigate what it was about those posts that engaged readers. You can use this information to tailor your future content to topics that are grabbing your audience's attention.
7. Hire a professional
If you're not confident in your writing skills you should consider hiring a professional writer to take care of your business blog. Even if you are a competent writer, running a business can leave little time for regular blog posting. A professional writer can help.
A freelance writer can take your list of topics and weave them into engaging blog posts for you. They can help develop the voice and tone for your brand. Having a freelance writer focusing on your business blog frees up your time to focus on your business.