Having a business website is one thing. Keeping it alive so it can work for your business and bring you the desired results is another thing. Blogging tops the list of the several ways you can keep your website updated and ready to receive visitors, thereby generate leads that would eventually convert.
Keeping your website alive translates to making sure it is up to date with relevant information aside the static pages. There are several types of information that can serve as your blog articles. Infographs, videos, statistics, audio, reports, news, how-to posts, etc, are good examples.
If you want blogging to work for your business, your focus should be to address some or all of the issues that bother your audience, and solve them; that is, your blog articles should help them:
- Solve problems
- Overcome fear; and
- Teach them new methods
With blogging, your website will standout from that of your competitors, who, instead of generating leads with beneficial information and authority recognition, are busy thrusting their products in the face of their audience.
In this post, I will cover the following topics in five sections. Click on each topic to jump to its section.
- What is business blogging
- How to set up a business blog page
- How to determine what to blog about
- How to remain consistent in business blogging
- Introduction to blog content marketing
What is business blogging
If you are just starting out, owning a website is not sufficient to create a working/profitable online presence. You need to add dynamic content that can help you get found by your target audience. You need to do business blogging.
Business blogging means operating a blog page for your business as part of the marketing strategy to get more online visibility. In business blogging, you publish posts or contents that are related to your business to attract readers who are interested in your products or services.
What you want to achieve is a relationship with your customers. A relationship that will impact your bottom line positively. Now, let us figure this out together; there is no relationship without communication, and the best of communication must be kept fluid. Your website copy can only do so much, but you will need much more than that to remain branded in the hearts of your customers. A blog page is the missing link; and it is just what you need to keep your website alive.
Having a blog page is very beneficial to your business in the following ways:
It serves as another means of communication
Your website is one means and a blog page is another important one. As I mentioned earlier, the best of communication must be fluid; involving some meaningful back and forth, coding and decoding. You cannot achieve this effectively with your website, regardless of its superb copy.
Your website contains information about your business that you want your customer to know (and sometimes, for the purpose of brevity, you keep some information out of your website copy, but you would still love to relay this information to the customers), but how does the customer respond to your copy? Fine, they can use the contact form. But a blog makes this easier; it creates topical issues that customers can respond to using the comment form. It actually incites the customers; draws them out of their cocoon into an informal meeting with you, where you can communicate the information that you have kept out of your copy.
It gives a boost to your SEO
The essence of a website is to be discovered by customers. It is all a game of image and visibility and at the heart of this game lies SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
People carry out millions of searches online daily and SEO is simply the array of tricks to get discovered. Search engines work by indexing every web page available. Your website will probably have about 8-12 pages which will be indexed. But each of your blog post is another page to be indexed in the search engines. The more pages indexed the higher the chances of your web page getting discovered.
So, it is like throwing darts in the dark, the more darts thrown, the higher the chances of hitting the bull’s eye.
It is a value added service
Your blog is another opportunity to give value to your audience. If you want them to read your blog at all, it must contain the information they want to learn. It must solve their problems, teach them new methods, and be related to your business.
When you publish posts or infographs that are related to your business, you will attract your target market, who are probably searching the internet for what you just published. It is only natural that you will remain in their memory due to the value you made available to them.
That is exactly what your blog pages are; baits to fish out your target market. Since you will be blogging contents related to your business, it only makes sense that only the people interested in your business will search you out and eventually do business with you when the time comes.
It establishes you as an authority
With a period of consistent blogging of quality content, your website will become the go-to page for everything related to your business. You become an authority to be consulted before critical decisions are taken. That is definitely good for your business.
Business blogging is broad, and this is by no means all that there is to it. But you should now understand what it means and why it must be number one on your online presence creation strategy.
How to setup a business blog page
Setting up a business blog page on your website is as simple as ABC. All other things that make it seem complex are modifications which are usually not necessary.
Functionalities such as scrolling text and pop up bars sometimes require some bit of coding that you are probably not familiar with. So you do not have to worry about these modifications. All you need is just a blog page to show your target audience that you know your bit about the product or service your business offers.
There are several platforms on which you can blog. We have Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, Tumblr, Nairaland, etc. However, it is more advisable to blog from your own website, and republish your content on the aforementioned platforms.
To blog on any of the platforms mentioned above, you need to visit the websites, create an account in your business name, set up your profile (add description, your website url, and social media handles) follow your interests and start writing. Each of these platforms have specific rules and regulations, ensure you read and follow them to avoid being penalised for breaching any of the rules.
To blog on your own website if you have one already, follow the steps in this post. You will learn how to design your blog to attract the right audience and publish contents that are search engine optimised.
To set up only a blog page (if you do not have a business website but just want to publish contents about your business/industry on the internet) you can use Blogger or WordPress and you do not have to spend any money to get started. There are several tutorials online that can help you succeed in blogging and the overall management of your website on these two platforms. However, bear in mind that it is more business wise to pay for at least a domain name if you want to occupy a more competitive advantageous position on the internet.
How to determine what to publish on your blog
So you have set up a blog page on your website and ready to start telling the world about what you have to offer them. Now comes the next item on your online marketing strategy – publishing contents on the blog.
Remember that your business blog is distinct from your personal blog, so whatever you put on it should strictly relate to your business. You may create another section on your website to showcase your activities if you want to give your audience a view of what goes on behind the scene. Your business blog should contain information that is deliberately published for the benefit of your audience who are also your target customers.
Here are tips to help you publish content that will attract your audience and keep them coming back to your site, till they are ready to make a buying decision.
Identify the common problems in your industry and solve them in blog posts e.g. how to protect your website from hackers, how to protect your poultry products from cold during harmattan/winter, etc. You can identify these problem in several ways such as:
By asking your target audience about their pain points
If you are able to identify your audience online or offline, ask them the frequent problems they encounter in their business. At times, it is not just problems that they are looking to solve, they also want to learn new methods to help them innovate and stay ahead of the competition. You will also enjoy additional benefits of gaining their early trust if your audience sees the originality of your concern about helping them improve their business.
Bear in mind that there are several formats by which you can deliver your contents; we have podcasts, videos, ebooks, blog posts, and infographs. I advise you use a mixture of these formats for content delivery. However, if you ask your audience what they love, you can make a decision of which one to produce more often.
The type of industry you are into is also important when make the decision of what type of content to publish more often. For example, if you are a fashion designer, you have to produce more of video content, that way, you will be able to pass your message across with more clarity.
Above all, relevant and consistent content matter most. Make sure you provide proven solutions and that you publish contents that are easy to understand. Use paragraphs, headings and lists where necessary.
The more you publish good content, the higher chance you have of your website being the go-to place for your audience when they encounter issues. With consistency, you will become an authority that is either recommended to friends and colleagues or the first preference when the time comes to make a buying decision.
How to remain consistent in business blogging
Consistency is the major strategy you need to be successful in online marketing. You must have a plan that you follow in all of your efforts. If you remain consistent, your readers will come to trust you and become more eager to do business with you.
However, if you are a new or small business you may find it costly to publish regularly. The cost here is in terms of finance to hire a good content writer and on the other hand, the hours you will spend writing, or preparing good content, if you are to do it yourself.
Here are some strategies you can adapt to help you keep your blog page up to date on a regular basis.
Keep a blogging calendar
You can keep a physical calendar by mapping out different days at the same interval in your diary. You can also set a reminder on your mobile device to alert you before publishing day. This will help you gather your material and start writing long before the deadline.
Write bulk posts and schedule them for publishing
This method works well if you can dedicate up to three days per month to writing only. All you need do is to write down all your post for that month and schedule them for publishing at later dates. This is how it works:
Refer to your calendar to see how many posts you need to publish for the month. Make sure that the intervals between the dates are in uniform to ensure consistency. Write out a list of the topics you want to talk about. You may use Google trends to find out what is trending in your industry and write about it on your blog.
Let’s assume you publish once a week, that means you write an average of 4 posts per month. So start with a draft for all your contents. You may do this in one or two days, depending on the format and length of words.
On the third day, edit the draft, insert links and references (if you used any), also add the featured image. Do not forget to set up SEO for the content too. Once you feel the content is good enough, schedule each post for publishing according to the frequency on your calendar.
That is it. Your posts will go live on the fixed dates. You can always write and schedule for the next month during the last week of the present month. You may go back to the scheduled content to update or change them completely.
This method works in two ways. It helps you to remain consistent in publishing of contents and also enables you to share good contents, unlike when you do not plan well and you start writing few hours to your publishing deadline.
Outsource your blogging
This is the easiest way out if you are the very busy type who is unable to make any time for creating content. You can simply look for a good writer and a good video editor to work on your content for you. There are several companies and individuals out there who can perfectly handle your business blogging for you. Just make sure you go for the one that suits your preferences. I will talk more on outsourcing your business tasks in my next article.
Introduction to blog content marketing
Content marketing is the publication and distribution of good and relevant contents across several platforms. If you do it well, it can help you grow your business with a high profit margin.
There are several blogs that focus on content marketing. Do check them out for an indepth explanation.
The following are effective content marketing strategies you should explore. Each of the websites listed above have extensive contents on each strategy.
- Article republishing
- Content repurposing
- Social media posting
- Guest blogging
- Network sharing
I offer content management services including blog update for businesses. If you are too busy to handle this aspect of business yourself, consider outsourcing it to me.