Getting Started with Business Blogging ... Why & How
Creating content online has never been easier. Blogging platforms such Wordpress and HubSpot have made it possible for anyone with an idea and a little bit of computer knowledge can become a content publisher. Now that you have a clear understanding of your business’ keywords and optimized your website for search engines, your next step should be to attract more visitors. Blogging and creating other content such as whitepapers, ebooks and webinars are powerful ways to help more of the right people discover your business online.
Why to Think About Business Blogging
Simply put, the goal of your business blog should be to publish articles that are not promotional but instead share industry expertise, much in the way a column or an article in an industry magazine would. This helps position you as an authority who is concerned not just with selling but also with educating customers and potential customers. This also helps immensely with SEO.
The key to successful blogging is to think like your customers. What questions do they have about your product/service/industry? Simply answer them in plain English using keywords they would be searching. Remember you aren't writing an essay for school, you are answering a clients' question. So write like you speak. This can be a bit intimidating for those of use who don't consider ourselves "writers". But this can be done with a little effort and practice.
Setting Up Your Blog: The Choices
While it is important that your blogging software be easy to use, it is more important that the content you create be interesting. If you are looking for a blogging platform for your business, some options include HubSpot, WordPress, TypePad, Drupal, Tumblr and Posterous.
Each of these platforms offer a content management system (CMS) which allows you to easily add content to your blog, without needing to know any HTML code. This enables you to quickly update your site with industry news or other timely information, without having to wait for a webmaster to post your changes.
Key Components of a Great Blog Post
A well-constructed blog post should include several key components:
- An Attention-Grabbing Article Title: Your blog article’s title is the first thing people will see. Make sure the title clearly explains what the article is about, is concise, is keyword-rich (because the header tag is the most important for SEO), and is attention grabbing.
- Well Written & Formatted Text: The body of your article should be well written and formatted in a way that makes it easy to read. Consider using header tags and bulleted lists to break up the content into sections. But don't worry about being perfect. Focusing too much on perfect writing will halt your blog progress.
- Images/Videos: Relevant multimedia content can make a blog article more memorable and easier to read. The more engaging a post, the more likely it is to be read and shared.
- Links: Include in-text links to relevant content. These can also point to landing pages (which we’ll discuss more in Step Five) to help you generate more leads for your content.
- Call-to-Action (CTA): Consider adding a relevant call-to-action at the bottom of the article to help boost lead generation (we will discuss this is more depth in a future post).