Your blog is a marketing asset that is critical to driving traffic to your website and for positioning your company as a thought leader in your market. Many equate the blog as the “accelerator pedal” or “throttle” for your car. Want more traffic? Blog more. Want less traffic? Blog less.
Blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger have made publishing content on the web easier than ever. Blogging and creating other content like eBooks and webinars are the best ways to help your target customers to find you online. Before getting started, there are a few things to remember about blogging for business.
First – frequency matters. You should blog at least once per week, and if possible, 2-3 times per week or more. Research has shown that businesses that blog at least 16 times a month have twice as much traffic as those that blog less than four times per month.
Second – optimize your posts. Use targeted keywords to drive your topics, and then optimize your blog posts like you would optimize your website pages. Pay attention to the URL, the headings, and the content.
Third – use your blog posts to solve your customers’ problems and position your business as a thought leader. Finally, you want to use your blogs to drive leads, so they need to be actionable and they should tie to the downloadable content on your website.
The Blogging Process
STEP 1: GENERATE BLOG CONTENT
Finding topics to blog about is one of the most common challenges that digital marketers face. Start by answering your customers most common or popular questions. You should also audit your current Sales and Marketing materials and internal communications. Take these materials and look to repackage them as blog posts. Once you have these materials and questions to answer, hold brainstorming sessions to generate additional topic areas. Use your staff and managers to create blog posts about your customers most pressing challenges.
STEP 2: DETERMINE FREQUENCY
Your goal should be to blog at least once per week, and ideally more often. Once you have your list of content and topics, take a look at your target list of keywords and persona issues. Begin to lay out an editorial calendar that will guide your writing and publishing of your blog posts. It is good to plan out the keywords of your blogs 2 to 3 months in advance. If you don’t plan and work ahead, you will always be scrambling to write the next blog post. Work carefully on the titles of your blog post. They need to be eye catching for your reader. Think of magazines in the supermarket – they have headings that grab the attention of the reader. You want to replicate the way those titles get the reader to pay attention.
STEP 3: WRITE AND OPTIMIZE YOUR BLOG POST
Now that you have topics, keywords, and content to use, it is time to draft your blog posts. The key to the blog post for the reader is that it is informational, educational, and actionable. Good blog posts range in length from 300-400 words to 600-800 words. More than 800 word blog posts can usually be broken into 2 or more blog posts.
Remember that people are busy and aren’t looking to spend a lot of time reading. They want to get in, get the information, and get on with their day. Frequency of posting is important, but don’t forget about optimizing your blog post. You will need to optimize your posts so that they are more readable for humans and so they will rank well in search engines. Here are several ways you should consider incorporating into your blog optimization efforts.
Attention Grabbing Titles: Be sure to optimize with keywords.
Compelling Images: Grab the attention of the reader.
Calls-To-Action in text and in sidebar: Create buttons and links to your landing pages to drive leads.
Make content actionable: Help people solve problems and they’ll come back.
Format for Scanning: Use bullets, lists, and frequent headings for readers who scan.
Make it entertaining: No matter what you are selling, you can make it entertaining.
Social Media Sharing Buttons: Enable readers to easily push content into their social networks.
Heading Tags: Optimize for keywords.
STEP 4: PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
There are lot of blogs out there, so if you want to stand out, you will need to make the effort to promote it. Promotion drives traffic to your blog, increases awareness of your blog and your business, and positions you as a thought-leader in your market. Once you have optimized your blog, you should begin to try some of the ways listed below to promote it.
How to promote your blog
Create video about your blog on YouTube
Incorporate you blog into email signature
Share blog posts on social media
Cross promote with other bloggers in your industry
Promote your blog at events and presentations
List it in blog directories
Create and Add Call-To-Action on website to drive readers
STEP 5: MEASURE AND ANALYZE
It’s a waste of your time if you blog but don’t measure and analyze your results. It helps you determine what and how to write in the future, and ultimately how to drive more traffic to your business. There are many data points you can look at, but if you have too many it isn’t useful. Here is a list of some common, important metrics to keep track of:
• Visitors, Leads, Subscribers, Inbound links, Social Sharing
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