Numerous small businesses make the mistake of not including a blog on their websites because of the time and manpower required to maintain it. The truth is the benefits of business blogging far outweigh the strain on your resources.
According to Hubspot, 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers and increased frequency of publishing posts has a direct correlation with improved sales. Your blog fuels SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and helps drive traffic to your website, both in the short term (blogs shared across social media) and long term (people searching for insight and material years down the line with your blog post showing up more frequently in search results).
Your blog can also help your business establish authority in the industry if your articles are communicative and enlightening. In order to do this and ensure that your blogging efforts are as effective as possible, we’ve created these handy tips:
Get acquainted with your audience
Imagine you’re a hairdresser asked to cut someone’s hair without knowing what styles they like or how much they have to spend. It would be very difficult to give your client what they want. It’s important to know who you’re servicing; who you’re trying to reach with the content you’re posting.
Spend time trying to really get into the mindset of your key audience, finding out what makes them tick and what motivates them to buy. Creating buyer personas is a fun and effective way of understanding your customer.
Content is king – identify your objectives
As important as who you’re writing for, is what you’re writing for. Sadly, not many businesses spend time thinking strategically about their content and what they want to achieve by posting it. The first step in deciding what to write about is to identify what you want people to do when they’ve read it. Do you want to drive traffic to a page on your website? Do you want people to pick up the phone and call you? Do you want people to share your article with their friends?
Good content must include a strong call to action. You can also use questions to encourage engagement and content sharing.
Create a content plan
There’s little point to posting an article about where to buy the biggest Christmas trees if it’s only June; so think strategically about when is the best time to post what so that your blog has the best possible reach and readership.
A good way to manage your blog is to create an editorial calendar with topics that are centered around the time of year – seasons, holidays, other days of the year.
You can also keep tabs on hot trends in your industry and write articles that allow you to hop on the content bandwagon when it hits the biggest towns!
Incorporate long tail keywords
A long tail keyword is really a phrase which mirrors a search query on the Internet, for example: “how do I trim roses?”. Now, if you’re a landscaper or a nursery you might want to answer such a question on your blog to attract traffic to your website for that search term. You could, in turn, include a link in your blog article to a page outlining your garden maintenance services (which would in turn have a call to action that sees the visitor converting into a customer!).
Share your posts, and then share them again
Blogging does not mean posting an article and leaving it to gather dust. Your blog post has a lifecycle which includes publishing, sharing, maintaining, re-sharing and eventually archiving.
Share your blog on as many social media platforms as you can in order to boost your reach, and then recycle your blog post, sharing it again and again over the course of a few months or even years if the content is still relevant.
To increase the shareability of your blog post ensure that it includes a great featured image. This is what people see first on social media and will encourage them to click and share.
This article first appeared on Ignite Media.