You’ve heard of all the benefits of blogging for business so you update your website and get an awesome looking new blog.
Then you go back to business as usual.
You’re happy that you have a blog but then reality sets in and there’s no way you have time to create new content regularly.
So the blog sits quietly, ready and waiting to help grow your business, but having nothing to say in the mean time.
You could outsource the article writing. But you’re not sure who to use and whether you’d be happy with the content.
In the meantime you add a brief article about an upcoming event that you’re involved with or an article welcoming a new employee.
Then the blog sits quietly again and a few more months fly by.
Does this sound familiar?
Blogging is a skill. And like other skills, the more you do it the faster you’ll get and the more comfortable you’ll become at creating and sharing new content.
To help you build your business blogging momentum, follow these 7 straightforward steps. This article will be useful if you’re new to blogging or if you’ve been writing articles intermittently but not getting full value from the opportunities that blogging can create.
1. Decide What Topics You Can Create Content About
Often picking a topic is the hardest part. But, once you get used to thinking that every client interaction you have, every event that you attend and everything you lean about your industry can be turned into an article, it gets easier. Not to mention everything you see and read via your social media contacts.
The best articles to write are those that share valuable content, engage your readers and build your credibility.
- What problems can you help your clients solve?
- What questions do they ask regularly that you can answer in an article?
- What do prospective clients need to know about your industry?
Here is a list of topic ideas to get you started:
- Current news topics
- Events and things you learned by attending them
- Points of interest related to your industry
- Industry information
- Changes to government legislation and discussion of government related issues
- “How to” articles
- Lists of tips
- Announcements about new products and product updates
- Announcements about changes to your business
- Client case studies
- Before and after stories
- Sharing links to other people’s articles and explaining why the information is important
- Sharing media coverage
- Cute pictures or videos
- Information about what makes your business special (in the context of “why that’s good for the customer”)
- Awards received
- Content that shows your personality and fun side.
You can also look on YouTube for other people’s videos to share. And by accepting guest posts, other people will come up with topics and write articles for you.
2. Select a long tail keyword to focus your content around
Selecting and using keywords in your content in order to increase your organic traffic takes a bit of getting used when you’re new to it.
To get off to a great start, we recommend the Straightforward SEO Copywriting video.
Also read this article about keyword research and where to include keywords in your articles.
3. Create your Content in a Web Friendly Way
Web content includes:
- Videos (yours or other peoples)
- Photos / Images
In terms of getting readers for your content and getting your readers engaged, the layout of the content is just as important (perhaps even more) than the content itself.
Use these techniques to make your content web friendly:
- Use a compelling and interesting headline that draws people in and makes them want to read more
- Use subheadings to break up long blocks of text
- Use dot points for lists
- Write in an informal, personal style (write like you speak)
- Focus on the reader. Use “you” way more often than you use “we”.
- Use short sentences and don’t get hung up on traditional writing rules.
Also check out our all-you-can read smorgasbord of web content and usability tips.
4. Get People Reading Your Content
Once you’re happy with an article and you’ve published it, the next step to get people reading it; the more the merrier.
- Share the articles in your e-Newsletter
- Send a link to your new articles to relevant clients and prospects
- Share the article in status updates on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + etc) and in Groups/Communities where relevant
- Promote new articles on your Home Page so that it’s easy for new visitors to see that you have a blog
- Encourage other bloggers to link to your content, which helps you reach new audiences.
When your keyword and optimisation efforts kick in hopefully you’ll also generate organic traffic from search engines.
5. Get Your Readers Engaged to Generate Business Results
Getting people to read your content is a great start but in order to get results for your business, you need your readers to Take Action.
- When other people share your content via social media, it helps new readers find out about you, and can encourage new people to join your social networks.
- Comments at the end of your blog and in response to social media updates also show that your readers are engaged.
- In the bigger picture, you want people to take even more action, such as signing up for your newsletter, submitting an enquiry form or perhaps even making purchase.
Figure out what action you would like readers to take and make sure that it’s clear, obvious and easy to act on.
6. Analyse your Results
Have a web analytics tool like Google Analytics installed on your website so that you can see how each new piece of content performs.
In Google Analytics, on the left navigvation go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
This shows a list of all your pages. Have a look how many Pageviews your new article got (make sure the date range covers that day you published the article to the current date). Is this better or worse than your other articles?
Also review the average time on page. This shows how long people spent reading your content.
By analysing each article, you can figure out which topics work well and which ones don’t. Your headline has a big impact on how often articles get read, shared and re-shared so also figure out which headline styles get the best response from your audience.
By focusing on the positives, and writing less articles that don’t work, you’ll stay motivated to build your business blogging momentum. Aim for each new article to get slightly more Pageviews than the previous article. As you build your social networks and relationships with people who will share your content, this will become easier.
7. Get Ongoing Value from Your Content
Once you’ve initially shared your new content, it’s OK to share it again a few weeks or months down the track, provided it’s still relevant. You can always add something like “In case you missed it” to the tweet or Facebook share.
If you’re getting Organic Traffic from the article, it will continue to bring new visitors to your website.
You can also repurpose past content.
- Update old articles to add relevant new information and re-share them.
- Cover the same topic in a different style, perhaps turn a written article into a demonstration video.
- Create a Master Article that links to everything that you’re written about a particular topic.
Another suggestion is to use a “related posts” plugin to show your older articles to new readers, like the links that appear below this article.
Give it a try
Many of my clients are reluctant to get started because they don’t have “blogging confidence”. A good way to build confidence is to jump in and get started.
Write something, publish it, share it and then check the response.
Provided the article accurately reflects your business and doesn’t include incorrect information, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
What tips do you have for new bloggers to help them build blogging momentum? Please let us know in the comments below.