This post was originally published in July 2016.
Did you know consumers are 131 percent more likely to buy from a company after they consume early-stage, educational content such as an informative blog post? And companies that blog typically have 97 percent more inbound links than those that don’t, which means they receive more traffic from search engines.
As you can see, business blogging is an important part of your company’s digital marketing strategy. It helps by:
- Boosting your company’s visibility online through search engine optimization (SEO)
- Positioning yourself and your business as a go-to expert in your field
- Giving you access to a global audience
- Establishing credibility for your potential consumers
- Amplifying awareness and recognition of your brand
Keep reading for a helpful guide to blogging, from creating topics and writing your posts to incorporating SEO best practices and promoting your articles.
How to Develop Powerful Business Blogging Topics
If business blogging is part of your digital marketing strategy, you may find it difficult to constantly develop new topics. A strong topic needs to be created with the reader in mind; make it useful, timely, informative and simple.
The first step to coming up with new blog topics is the brainstorm. Set aside time each quarter, and don’t be afraid to ask a friend or colleague for help if you need some fresh ideas. Also make sure you keep a notebook handy or a file on your phone for ideas; you never know when inspiration will hit!
Create an editorial calendar to clearly lay out your business blogging ideas and develop regular features, such as a monthly product review or bi-weekly recaps of industry news. By planning a quarter, half year or a full year at a time, you can see the overall structure of your content topics. Looking ahead like this will also allow you to include upcoming events important to your business, industry and community.
Still stuck coming up with topic ideas for business blogging? Here are a few additional ways to find inspiration:
- Conduct and review keyword research
- Look at your websites’ analytics to see which posts have been popular; come up with a new angle to the same topic or combine a few older posts to create a new one (note: make sure you delete and redirect the old posts so it doesn’t hurt your SEO)
- Set a Google Alert with industry keywords, then scan the headlines for inspiration; you can also use this to pull several articles together into a roundup type of post
- Think about problems your readers face and write a post with suggestions for solving them
It also helps to change up the format of your blog posts. For example, in one post you could create a list post, where you literally feature a bulleted list of helpful ideas or tips for you readers. Then, in the next post you could write a “how-to” or do-it-yourself article that showcases your insight, tips and tricks. You could also interview industry leaders or employees, or write a post of curated content – just make sure you credit original sources.
The Anatomy of a Strong Article When Business Blogging
Now that you’ve come up with the next topics for business blogging, it’s time to think about how to make your posts powerful for your readers as well as the search engines.
- Spend time on the title. One strategy is to write the headline last so that it will naturally form based on your content. It needs to:
- Catch your readers’ attention
- Clearly explain what the post is about
- Tell your visitors why they should care
- Be short and concise (6-13 words is ideal)
- Include a keyword for SEO
- Include numbers, questions and/or strong, active words
- When it comes to the content, don’t write just to be writing. Make sure each post provides value to your readers and reflects your brand’s voice or personality. In addition to writing well with a clear message, it helps to include current statistics, trends and industry news. You can also make it timely by relating the post to current events or the current time of year. Be sure each blog post includes a call to action, too! Ask your readers to comment, share the post, contact you, sign up for your newsletter, etc.
- Consider your blog post’s formatting. Strong content isn’t enough for readers’ short attention spans. Make sure your post is easy to digest by using formatting to your advantage. Include sub-headlines, use numbered and bulleted lists, break up chunky paragraphs with quotes or images, and add charts and tables to support your content.
- Include at least one visual in your blog post, if not more. Research shows, “Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.” Select clear, crisp high-res images that are engaging and related to the post’s content. Make sure you have a right to use any images you use, too.
SEO Best Practices for Business Blogging
When business blogging, it’s not just enough to write articles your readers will want to read and format them in a way that’s easy to digest; you also need to think about SEO (search engine optimization). Here are a few best practices to make part of your blogging efforts.
- Consider frequency. For strong SEO, it’s important to be consistent – down to your posts going live the same day of the week and time of day. Active blogs engage readers better, which also translates into better search engine rankings. With this in mind, makes business blogging a priority at least once per week.
- Incorporate keywords. Not sure which keywords to use? Keywords Everywhere is a useful tool for conducting quick research. Once you have your keywords, sprinkle them throughout the post in places where it seems natural (at least every 100 words or so). To get the most out of your keywords, make sure you include keywords in these areas of your post:
- The title
- Sub-heads/section headers
- Photo captions
- Image file names
- The URL of the post
- The meta-description
- The first sentence
- The last paragraph
- Think about length. Keep the following length guidelines in mind for various parts of your blog post.
- Title: 50-60 characters, or about 6-13 words.
- Body of Post: The most recent research is showing longer posts perform better (1500+ words), however there’s value in quality over quantity
- Meta description (the quick summary that shows up under the title): 150-160 characters, or about 1-2 sentences.
- Formatting for SEO. There are ways to format your blog posts for better SEO:
- Use header tags. The post’s title should be H1, but after that use header tags H2-H6 as often as you’d like. This is a great way to break up the content so it’s easy for the reader to use, in addition to the SEO benefit.
- Include internal links. These can help readers find other interesting articles on your website, plus they’re good for SEO.
- Use quality outbound links. By linking to other decently-optimized websites with information relevant to your blog post, Google will recognize your website as one with strong links.
- Look at analytics. You won’t know how successful your business blogging efforts are unless you track the data. Install Google Analytics to get helpful information about who’s visiting various pages of your website and for how long, and then actually look at what the data is telling you.
Last Business Blogging Step: Promoting Posts for Additional Visibility
What do you do after you’ve written and published a blog post? You need to encourage readers to read it!
How to Promote Your Posts when Business Blogging
- Share it on all your social media platforms. Customize each update for the followers on that specific site. For example, when you share it on Facebook, make the update more casual than when you share it on LinkedIn. Also, depending on which networks you use, add a few relevant hashtags to make it more visible.
- Pay to promote your post through social media platforms. According to Adobe Analytics, “Social media ads drive three times more non-customers than existing customers to retailer websites as of 2018.” Social media advertising is a fantastic way to make sure your business blogging efforts are seen.
- Dedicate a portion of your newsletter to your blog posts. Introduce them in a new and interesting way to catch the eye of your readers; don’t forget to include an image, too!
- Share your post in appropriate LinkedIn discussion group. Just make sure the group you share the post in is open to self-promotional posts! Some don’t want you to link to your own website.
- Do a simple search on Twitter on your blog post’s topic and see if others are struggling with it. If you can reply, share your post and help them out; they may also share your post and username with their followers and the circle goes round and round.
- If you think your blog post is perfect for certain customers, send it to them directly. Add a personal message and make them feel important.
- Syndicate your content using the RSS button on your website. This feature is a great way automatically update your readers to your new post; it even sends it directly to their social media pages!
Want to learn more about how to include business blogging as part of your company’s digital marketing strategy? Contact us to find out how it can help your brand, and check out these additional articles and videos for more insight!
- Video: Why Is Blogging Important?
- 17 Common Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Blogging For SEO
- Video: How To Make Your Blog Credible
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