Are you a small business that is looking for online exposure, brand recognition and more sales? Do you want to let people know you exist, but are not sure how? The answer is simple: just start blogging.
Even though blogging has become a bit of a buzzword in recent months – everyone seems to be doing or at least advocating it – we believe that there is genuinely a really good reason why blogging has been enjoying so much media attention.
The blog is that part of your website – and indeed your business – where you can really show off your knowledge and connect with your community or consumers.
It is where your opinion can be expressed and spread across the internet, where your company acquires a voice, a unique flavour, and where you contribute to the common knowledge pool, enriching your audiences as well as yourself in the process. The statistics for blogging as a business are very compelling:
- Blogs on company sites result in 55% more visitors.
- 57% of marketers have gained customers through blogging.
The blog is one of the most important building blocks of a sound digital communications strategy (alongside social media and email marketing). Although it is probably the closest to the ‘traditional’ broadcasting model of communication, it is worth remembering that it should still be based on a two-way interaction; posting a new entry should be the beginning of an engagement with your audience, not the end in itself.
You are probably wondering: how do I achieve that?
We have collated a few tried and tested tips to help your business take blogging to the next level (or start, if you haven’t braved that step yet!). Does your business have a blog? How do you use it? We are very keen to share diverse experiences of blogging so do not hesitate to contribute in the comments section below.
1. Getting Started
Before you start writing, it is good to decide on a blogging platform. There are a number of free and easy to use sites, such as WordPress, Tumblr, TypePad and Blogger. All of them offer free and premium design themes so you can either pick one to suit your overall website look or, if you have some knowledge of HTML and CSS, you can make the blog look just like your website, uploading your own images and fonts.
2. Find Your Niche and Your Passion
Write about what you genuinely love and your passion will speak volumes, elevating your blog above others in the sea of online content. If it’s a chore for you, it will be a chore for your readers. Pick a niche that is most relevant to your business sector and about which you have most industry knowledge, for the benefit of both search engines and your audience. Ask yourself: what audience am I writing for? What do they want? It’s always good to tap into current trends. To see what people are talking about elsewhere on the web, use Google Currents free mobile app or Twitter trendsmap.
3. Get Organised
It’s very easy to set up a blog and get excited about writing for a short while, but after the initial flurry of activity caused by the sheer novelty of the idea many blogs get pushed into the background and forgotten. To avoid that, make a solid plan:
- Block out time for writing on your calendar to ensure nothing ends up interfering
- Create an editorial plan three months in advance, listing all themes and topics you would like to cover and explore
- Identify categories and think of at least five topics for each category
- Save them in your work calendar as prompts so you avoid feeling stuck for ideas.
4. Be Personal and Conversational
Research suggests that most people skim web content instead of actually reading it, so you have a very limited window to make an impact with your article. To hold your readers’ attention keep it short and sweet (500 – 1000 words), use language that is easy to understand, short paragraphs and images that break up the text, as well as bullet point lists and quotes. Inject some of your own personality into your writing, don’t be too corporate – let your audience find out more about you and they will become more attached to your text and, ultimately, more likely to come back for more.
5. Market It!
The best marketing approach is always omnichannel – don’t be shy about shouting about your new blog on your social media, reach out to online influencers and leave comments on other industry-related blogs and websites to gain more exposure.
6. Add Keywords to Your Titles and Posts
Keywords are how search engines understand the text and make it visible in searches. Find 10 – 15 main keywords related to what you offer as a business and build a content strategy around them. For help with finding the right keywords go to Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
7. Look for Guest Blogging Opportunities
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get noticed. Harness this opportunity by finding a few blogs that have quality content and a readership larger than yours. Approach them by posting comments that contribute to the conversation before asking the editors directly if they would be interested in publishing your content on their blog and linking back to your website.
Don’t be put off if your blog does not succeed the first time round, it usually takes a lot of work to find the perfect recipe for a successful blog. Keep an eye on your competitors’ blogs and learn valuable lessons, especially from their mistakes. Perseverance is your friend – remember, there is no success without failure.
If you need a helping hand getting started, give us a call today!
BUNKER48 provides a full technical & digital services, including building websites and managing your IT needs. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 7078 4848.