Blogging for Business – 15 tips to improve your blog benefits

Blog Bubble Quote ImageBlogging for Business is a mainstay of Social Media Marketing for businesses. There is a lot of evidence available to support this, for example from Hubspot*.

However, there are some techniques that will enhance the benefits, and make the blogging project, and the on-going commitment, much more worthwhile.

Blogging with the best

I’ve admired and been inspired by many people who write Blogs and who share their thoughts with the world, and allow people to find, read about follow them. Learning from others who are clearly identifiable as masters in their field will increase the likelihood of good results.

Having seen a few ‘How to Blog‘ posts just recently, such as one by Chris Brogan and another by Jim Connolly, I’d like to take a moment to share some of my own thoughts and learning points with you.

15 tips to improve your blogging

  1. Blogging for Business is different to Blogging for Pleasure. Yes, there are similarities but in my experience, people in business need to see the connection between effort and a business return. In business, and especially in the context of marketing and lead generation, blogging is a part of a bigger picture, part of the customer journey. There is the ‘before’ and ‘after’ to consider.
  2. Work out your theme. Some random or ad-hoc posts create variety and can test the water, but having a plan of 20-30 topics will serve many purposes. It’ll help overcome writers block. Some topics may span several shorter posts and make a series, such as this Funnel Friday project. It helps you write from the reader’s perspective. You can map key words across articles in the plan.  for starters.
  3. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Topics should be led by the pain, issues and challenges of your intended readers. People don’t want to read about how great your company is. They want to know how they can make their business better somehow.
  4. Create findable content. A blog article is a page, so pick prime and secondary keywords, and included them in the blog post title, in keywords, in headers and supporting paragraphs
  5. Create shareable material. Of course you want this, so think about the reasons why people might share it, with colleagues, with their followers, and invite likes, retweets, comments, pass-alongs and many more sharing methods.
  6. Add social share icons to pages – make sure your blog has social share icons visible, and also that your twitter name can be easily found on the page so people can give you credit.
  7. Find an engaging angle – ex Journalist Tony Coll came up with the CHORTLE acronym – Conflict, Human interest, Odd, Relevant, Topical, Local, Entertaining for Press Releases, but the same can be applied to increase interest in your Blog post.
  8. Included a Picture – a topical, intriguing image or graphic adds impact and can enhance the message significantly, and can be much more powerful than merely being ‘eye-candy’.
  9. Use a mix of formats – different treatments add variety and give you freedom to choose a relevant style for your topic. Opinion pieces, interview, reviews, ‘How to…, ‘Before you…’, sign-posts to resources, are just some of the formats you could try.
  10. Monitor and Track your articles. Use Google Analytics or other tools to see how they are being found, how long people read them for, whether they are being shared. This is valuable feedback as you refine topics and formats. Tracking also helps to identify which articles are on the path to achievement of the goals you’ve defined on your website.
  11. Stand on the shoulders of giants. If there are major suppliers, brands, products, key industry phrases, and so on, be specific and create articles that include these. For example, to say that I use a self-hosted WordPress platform from WordPress.org, and I also have blogs in the WordPress.com community network references one of the major blogging platforms.
  12. Get inspiration from graphics and images. Sometimes you can find infographics or videos that other people produce and these can be included into an article that you write. This creates a really productive way to generate a new article, and the creator of the video or graphic gets increased exposure and backlinks from your inclusion in return.
  13. Promote each blog post.  Post status updates about your articles on your social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, from both personal and business profiles. Encourage colleagues and advocates to share them too. And repeat this for several months. There are tools to simplify and automate this process, such as ‘Tweet Old Post’ for WordPress.
  14. Include a lead capture form on at least some of your blog posts. After all, if you’ve written them well then some of the readers will be interested in taking the next step.
  15. Don’t be a perfectionist. In most cases it’s OK to be adequate and get 5 blog posts out with 20% of the effort each, rather than aim for perfection and spend 100% of the allocated time getting just one blog post out. So, if you can allocate a day to blog content, 5 pieces should be achievable, although the entire day could be spent on just one blog post.

What’s working for you, and what would you add to the list?

Please add your comments below

If you want to generate more leads online and ‘Turbocharge your Sales Funnel’ just drop me an email to mark@wurlwind.co.uk

*Hubspot ’20 Stats, Charts and Graphs 2012′ 

Numbers 15, 5 & 2 especially.

 

Mark Stonham

Business Development Director

Mark Stonham Portrait Picture

 

 

 

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