Business blogs work really well for driving customer engagement and ultimately, sales so if you want to build your site credibility how do you go about starting a blog?
In this article, we’re looking at the benefits of a business blog and the steps you need to take to get your own content out there on the web.
In this article;
- What is a business blog?
- What are the benefits of a business blog?
- 9 steps to setting up a successful blog
What is a business blog?
There’s lots of confusion out there as to what a blog actually is so let’s just define what we are talking about here.
A blog is a collection of articles (called posts or entries) that make up a separate section of your website.
Typically, businesses will have the normal pages for a corporate website like a home, about and contact page and also a separate menu item that directs people to their blog.
Once they click on the blog link users get taken to a page that displays a selection of blog entries or categories that the posts are included in.
Some companies choose to include links to specific posts on their home page and some confine them to a specific area so you can decide for yourself how you like them to appear.
A blog forms part of the digital marketing efforts of the business and as such can be incredibly beneficial.
What are the benefits of a business blog?
There are a huge number of benefits to the business of producing a business blog including;
Better credibility – have you ever visited a company site and found nothing of any use and no information about what the company does? It doesn’t make you want to buy at all.
Now more than ever, consumers are using websites as a way of assessing the credibility of a company and if they don’t like what they see, then they move on to a competitor.
Reduced customer service calls – blogs can be used as a way of educating the customer and showing them how to set up, use and maintain products.
This means that they are less likely to call or email in requesting support, which in turn means less expense for the business and happier customers.
Better customer engagement – customers who find interesting and useful blogs are more likely to return to the website, more likely to engage and more likely to buy from the business.
In addition, where blogs are done well, they can help to increase customer loyalty and foster recommendations to friends and family.
Higher average sales – Blogs are a great way to upsell customers, introducing complementary products that they can use in addition to their original intended purchase.
For example, selling a mouse with a keyboard or utensils with saucepans.
Boosting SEO rankings – A good blog, with good on-page SEO is likely to help your Search Engine Results Page (SERPS) rankings enormously and you can write blog entries around specific subjects specifically to drive traffic for products that you want to rank for.
These are just a few of the benefits of developing your business blog so with that in mind what are you waiting for?
9 steps to setting up a blog
Step 1 – Switch on blog functionality
If you use a common website builder like WordPress then it will already have the capability to feature blog entries so it is simply a matter of switching it on.
Other platforms may take a little more work but you can usually find a blogging plugin that will help.
Step 2 – Learn how to use it
You’re probably going to spend a lot of time posting entries so it is a good idea to learn about tags, categories and the mechanics of getting your words out there, even if you decide in the end to pay someone to do it for you.
Step 3 – Start writing
Ok so this is going to seem to be way too early but step 3 is to actually start making some blog entries.
Don’t worry if they are awful, this is a learning experience and will tell you whether you want to do this yourself in the future or to bring in an expert in content marketing.
And if they really are that bad then you can delete them afterwards.
Step 4 – Learn about keywords
SEO is really important for your site and your blog. So take some time to find out about the important parts of SEO then go back and revisit your early entries and amend them.
Step 5 – Make up a content plan
Now you have got the basics right you need to think about a content plan.
Use what you have learned in the last two steps to put together a listing of the articles you want to write and when you are going to post them to your blog.
Now at this point, you may decide that this all takes up too much of your time. In that case, find a professional content marketer who can help you set up your plan, work out your SEO and write your content.
Step 6 – Get the technicals right
Before you start posting content it is worth reviewing the technical side of your blog. Make sure that your pages are loading quickly and that they look good on both mobile, tablet and desktop otherwise you could be penalised by Google.
You may need to bring in a professional to help you with this but it will be worth it.
Step 7 – Produce your content
You have your plan; you know what keywords to hit so now it’s time to produce your content.
A word to the wise here – don’t try and do this all at once, little and often is best. Google prefers consistent content rather than a huge amount posted one week and then nothing for two months!
Step 8 – Tell people
This is a really important point and one that many people miss out with the result that they get very dispirited and stop blogging altogether!
You need to get the word out and let the world know that you have some valuable content that will be of use to them.
Share your posts on social media, send a link out to your email list and ask your staff, friends and colleagues to share links. You can even pay to have some links to your content on reputable sites too.
Step 9 – Don’t stop
Remember the search engines love consistency so make sure that you put out content on your blog regularly to build up your SEO profile and to build a selection of loyal followers.
Building a successful blog is not a five-minute job. You have to keep at it and produce good quality, interesting content on a regular basis. Remember also to periodically go back and refresh your older posts so that they remain relevant.
Start blogging today
Don’t put it off.
Remember the great benefits of having a business blog and if you don’t set up your own blog then you can bet your competitors will!
Just run through our tips and you’ll have a lively, active and useful business blog up in no time at all.