The foundations for a successful blog
Adding a blog to your website can bring you more exposure, more traffic and more business. But it also means investing some time and effort.
Starting your blog on solid foundations will help you achieve the greatest benefits (and save you time in the long run). After all, it’s not about working harder, it’s about working efficiently.
Here are seven tips for building a successful, sustainable business blog – the smart way:
1. Set objectives
Think about what do you want to achieve with your blog. Do you want to be seen as leader in your field, or are you trying to get more traffic to your website and increase sales? Is your goal to be a source of information or increase customer engagement? Once you know what your goal is, you can plan for growth and success.
2. Understand your audience
If you don’t have a clear idea of who your audience is, then your blog is pretty much doomed. We say this a lot, but when you try to appeal to everyone, you alienate your true audience.
If you already have customer personas, great! If not, start here and create some.
Once you’re clear on who your audience is and what they value, you can add to their lives with content that is meaningful to them.
3. Develop your blog’s personality
Every aspect of your business must identify with your brand. Keep that in mind, as you develop your blog’s unique personality.
It’s not just what you talk about, it’s how you say it.
Think about the tone, fonts, images and colour palettes. Put all this down in a style guide so that everyone contributing to your blog is on the same page.
4. Create a content plan
Planning is at the core of a successful blog. So, get those gears moving and brainstorm some awesome blog topics. Think about your target audience’s needs and interests and how you can be a valuable resource to them.
Google Trends can be a great resource for finding subjects that interest your audience. Also check out what your competition is producing – you might have a fresh perspective on an old topic.
Finally, organise your story ideas in a content plan. You don’t have to post every day, but you should be consistent – once a week or once a month is better than nothing at all. Be realistic about what you can achieve, then stick to your schedule.
5. Optimise content
It’s a great idea to include keywords in your posts for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Just think, “If I wanted to know about this topic, what would I type into Google?” – that’s your keywords.
But don’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing – adding too many keywords – can actually result in Google pushing you down in search rankings.
A the end of the day, keywords work in conjunction with relevancy. Make sure your blog post is valuable to your audience.
Write as if you were speaking to a human, not a search engine.
6. Include calls-to-action
Once people have read your blog post, you’ll want to direct them to take a particular action, e.g. sign up to your email list, or browse your new collection.
You can do this by adding a call-to-action (CTA) at the end. Think back to your objectives (step 1) and design your CTA to help you achieve your blog goals.
7. Share and distribute
Once you’ve hit the publish button, you need people to know about it. Share your posts on social media and to your subscriber list.
If you have mentioned any experts in your blog, reach out to them and any other relevant influencers. They are likely to share your content, too.
Don’t forget to add share buttons and encourage commenting so that your readers can share and engage.
Great content should be a conversation.
Your business blog can be a useful marketing tool. All you need is a solid plan, engaging content and commitment to make it work.