How do you write a successful business blog?
Communicating with customers, patients and business partners is the key to success in our increasingly digital world. However, doing so effectively can be a daunting process, especially at the beginning!
Blogging is a great way to build authority, credibility and search engine rankings.
The goal of a blog is not to blog for the sake of blogging.
Your blog should ideally help new people find you who don’t already know about you. The goal is for them to find your content when they are searching for an answer to their problem. You want to be the answer! The knowledgeable resource who can solve their problem.
In this guide you will learn:
- My top tips on how to get started blogging
- How to keep blogging after you have gained momentum and traction
- A free SEO checklist for your blog
Why should your small business have a blog?
A blog is a great way for small business owners to connect with clients, increase search engine optimization (SEO) results and get your content found by key prospects.
According to Inside View, research shows that B2B marketers who blog generate 67% more leads than those that do not.
Other research shows that business websites that have a blog with more than 20 posts per month get five times more traffic than those who blog significantly less (less than four times per month). Blogging should be a critical part of your ongoing communications strategy.
Companies such as Whole Foods, IHG, Starbucks and YouTube all have blogs. Their content is consistent with the brands’ key messaging and includes thoughts from the CEO, recipes, and even travel tips.
BLOGGING FOR BEGINNERS: HOW TO GET STARTED
What is business blogging?
Business blogging is the practice of distributing thought-leadership content that ties into your larger B2B digital marketing goals and objectives. The goal of business blogging is to drive potential customers to your website and keep them engaged with your content. Ultimately, you want to convert business blog readers (leads) to customers through an inbound marketing strategy.
“Your blog should be a personalized expression of your brand.”- Kris Ruby
Benefits of Blogging for Small Business
- Increase search visibility for keywords
- Get found by reporters
- Build brand authority and subject matter expertise
- Enhance company reputation as leading expert
How to write a blog post to promote your business
Your blog should be targeted towards prospects and it should answer questions prospects have when researching other companies to work with.
Before you start a business blog, ask yourself the following questions to formulate a strategy:
- What will the decision makers want to read in our target audience?
- What do you want to be positioned as?
How do you structure a blog post?
What content format is most appealing to your target audience? For example, busy professionals may want to hear a podcast during their workout or commute whereas prospective patients may want to read a long form written article.
If you are a chef, a step by step listicle or video would be more applicable.
Types of content:
- Written articles
- How to Guide
Ideas for your B2B business blog
For example, maybe you want to be positioned as a key opinion leader on consumer behavior.
If you are a digital marketing agency, your target audience would be CMO’s at large companies.
If you are targeting CMO’s, think about the content they are searching for on Google. For example, you could write a blog post that says, “We have conducted some research on your target audience that you might find interesting.”
For a coworking client we worked with, we created a “spaces” section, which included a picture of the coworking member’s office space and how they utilized the space in a new and visually exciting way. Readers enjoyed seeing real-world use of the space and gained inspiration from the posts.
Other blog topics for a client in the coworking space could include:
- Personalizing Your Office Space
- 5 Best Practices of Successful Business Owners
- How to Stay Focused When Working Alone
- Travel Tips for the Everyday Businessman
- Conducting Casual Meetings: How Casual is Too Casual?
- Affordable ways to decorate your office
Their blog included tips such as: how to work from home, office space trends, business travel, new member of the month spotlight interviews etc.
The key is to write content that is interesting to the people you want to attract in your sales funnel.
Prior to clicking publish, make sure you can answer the following:
- Will marketing decision makers read this or want to read it?
- Is this consumer centric content?
- Who will this content appeal to?
How can I use blogging to promote my business?
Blogging is a powerful inbound marketing tool to promote your business.
The key is to use blogging as a way to attract prospective clients into your funnel.
Pro Tip: Create content about your target audience that is most relevant to your prospective clients.
BUSINESS BLOGGING 101
How to build a successful business blog
How do I come up with content for my blog?
Start writing down the questions you are most frequently asked. Then, write content around it. Be sure to do keyword research on the search volume to make sure your posts are optimized around topical phrases people are using to search for content in your industry.
Blogging for the sake of blogging is a mistake most business owners make. You must do keyword research before you start blogging instead of after or you will be wasting your time and resources.
Remember: What you find interesting may not be what your target audience is searching for. This should also be done in step one of building an integrated marketing communications plan for your business.
PRO TIP: Research the search terms people are using before you start writing!
How does blogging help your business?
Google favors web sites that are consistently putting out fresh content. Blogging is the #1 way to make Google happy. However, the blogging content you are putting out must be high quality in order to have a chance at ranking. Thin content will not rank. What is thin content? A blog post that is 200 words is an example of thin content.
Your blog content must be substantial. Typically, long form content that is greater than 1,000 words has a much better chance of ranking on page one of Google search engine results. One key tactic (and secret weapon!) to consider for business blogging is the strategy of historical optimization.
What is historical optimization?
Historical blog post optimization is when you go back to your old blog content and update each post to make sure the article has fresh and relevant content for your readers. This post is an example of historical optimization. We originally wrote it a few years back but optimized it this year to make sure it is in line with best practices and the questions people are searching for!
BLOG TOPICS: WHAT SHOULD I BLOG ABOUT?
What questions are your prospects and clients asking you? Write them down.
This is a critical component of developing your blog strategy.
DYK: The best source for new content topics for your blogs is the questions your clients already ask you!
If your client asks you a question, they know they need more information on it and can’t find that information online. Jot down the question and turn these questions into a blog. Then, send them the link!
Develop an adequate resource guide to answer the questions your clients have. Take advantage of this opportunity to develop content that people actually want to read!
Have you provided strategic insight that will help your prospect or end user solve a problem?
Yes! The problem or pain point I helped my prospect solve through this blog post is _________________________
HOW TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL BLOG STRATEGY
What should a blog post include?
Every blog post should include keywords, images, infographics, answers to questions your prospects have and rich media content.
Pre-Publishing Blog Post Checklist
- Have you clearly defined the goals of your content marketing strategy?
- What is the main topic of your blog?
- What are the sub categories of content for the blog?
- What SEO keywords do you want to rank for?
- Who is your ideal reader and prospect that you want to optimize content for?
- How often will you publish new content?
Here are 10 more tips to creating a successful B2B blog for your business:
- Create an editorial content calendar: Don’t just wing it. A schedule of topics and deadlines will keep you focused and allow you to build up momentum and followers.
- Know your audience: Who are you trying to appeal to? Write for that audience. If you’re trying to reach customers, do not use the blog to talk about employees or company news (use a press page for that). Write only about what is important to your prospects and what they want to read.
- Link your blog. Discussing key trends in your industry? Link back to previous article you wrote on the trend. Be sure to link articles, discussion posts, and tweets to your blog to increase traffic to the site.
- Create a blog roll: Add relevant industry blogs to a blog roll on your site to direct users to other viewpoints on the topics you are writing about. Add these blogs to the “blog roll” to show strategic alliance and to get on the radar of the bloggers you want to impress.
- Invite a guest: A blog serves as a personalized expression of your brand and will serve as a platform for the company. You can encourage employees and members to contribute to blog content. In turn, they will often help to promote their content and, as a result, bring more readers to your blog. You can also invite experts in your industry to guest blog. This is great for increasing backlinks for SEO and positive link juice!
- Share helpful information: Maintain a balance between posting unique content and sharing content from related blogs to your industry. All of your content should address the pain points of your target audience.
- Update frequently: Your blog should be updated at least several times a week and should continually include tips, articles, industry news, etc. For example, if you design office spaces, then post inspirational ideas and create a contest for a customer. Readers will repost and re-tweet contest information and provide feedback on the ideas.
- Integrate SEO keywords: You want your blog to make its way up the Google rankings. To do that, you need to insert Search Engine Optimization (SEO) words into the copy. Learn what keywords you want to rank for and optimize accordingly.
- Promote your blog: Tweet a link to your blog post, talk about it on Twitter, send out a teaser in your newsletter, mention it when you do interviews and put your blog address in your e-mail signature line.
- Keep tabs on your progress: Google Analytics will provide key insights into click throughs, who is reading your blog, and what posts are most popular. This is extremely important when you are planning an editorial calendar. For example, if you are writing for a 30-50 year old audience, but the majority of your blog readers are in their 20s, you need to tweak your content to their media preferences. If you are spending a ton of time writing content that isn’t getting high traffic, you may need to alter your content calendar accordingly. Remember, you are writing for your audience first and foremost. The content that they want to read may not that be what you want to read.
Bottom photo Credit: Hubspot
Blog Promotion Tip: One of the best ways to build buzz for your article is to include interviews with well-known subject matter experts who will promote your content once you click publish. Leverage their built-in networks and fan base to drive traffic to your article. The more they promote your link, the more SEO juice you will build.
BLOGGING FOR DOCTORS
Our NYC PR agency specializes in healthcare PR and we handle quite a bit of blogging for doctors, so this post would not be complete without covering this critical area!
Should doctors blog? The importance of blogging for your medical practice
Yes! Every doctor should blog. Content marketing is a critical factor in the pulse of a medical practice. People want to see your thoughts around topical health related issues in the news. Blogging is a free way to establish yourself as a thought leader and share your opinion in a public forum. Plus, it can score you major SEO points if you optimize your content!
HOW TO GROW YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE WITH A BLOG
Why every doctor needs a blog
If you are a physician who is serious about blogging, you need to start blogging. It is non-negotiable. Social media networks come and go in popularity, but healthcare content marketing is here to stay. Blogging falls under the “owned” media category. The ROI on blogging is substantial for your medical practice. One high-ranking piece of content can be a great source of lead generation for your medical practice for years to come!
How often should a doctor blog?
Doctors should blog at least once per month depending on their patient schedule. If you aren’t putting out new blog content for your medical practice, you risk Google seeing your web site as a fresh source of content.
PR Blogging Pro Tip: Write tip-oriented blogs or listicles that can also be used to pitch the press to assist with your Medical Practice PR campaign.
BLOGGING FOR DOCTORS AND MEDICAL PRACTICES
Ask us about our healthcare content marketing services for doctors, dermatologists and plastic surgeons! Our medical clients always write the meat of the article, but we handle the rest! This includes content optimization, image sourcing and turning interview answers into blog posts. Contact us today to inquire about our highly coveted medical practice marketing blogging services for your healthcare practice. If you are a medical professional who is interested in medical ghostwriting services, let’s talk.
P.S. You should never hire someone to ghostwrite for you. However, you should hire someone who can edit your content so that it is still coming from you, but it is also optimized for search engines.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR B2B BLOG FOR SEO
It is no secret that Google prefers long-form content. Just look at the first page of the SERP’s for any target keyword. You will rarely find a top ranked page on page 1 that is less than 2000 words.
Use your keywords throughout the copy of your blog but be sure not to keyword stuff. Measure keyword density and use variations of your target phrase.
Higher Click Through Rates (CTR’s) can often be attributed to more compelling titles!
Consider creating clickable blog graphics with free information to keep people on your B2B blog for longer. If you are not a graphic designer, don’t worry! You can use Canva to create stunning visual graphics.
Blog Post SEO Checklist
- Is your blog post more than 2000 words?
- Have you used your target keyword in the headline?
- Did you add in keyword tags and select the proper category?
- Did you use keywords in Alt tags?
- Did you include your target keyword in your H1 tag?
- Did you remember to use the keyword in the image file name?
- Did you use the primary keyword in the page URL?
- Did you remember to add internal links to pass link juice and page rank?
- Did you use an on-page SEO checker or plugin like Yoast to make sure the content is optimized for search engines?
- Did you update the meta description with relevant keywords?
- Did you run your copy through Grammarly and Microsoft Word to check for grammatical errors?
- Do you have CTA’s clearly written out at the end of each blog post?
- Did you remember to break up long paragraphs of text?
- Did you add images to break up text?
WHAT TO DO AFTER PUBLISHING A BLOG POST
Make sure the “about the author” is included at the end of each b2b blog post.
B2B BUSINESS BLOGGING CONTENT MARKETING RECAP
Longer blog posts rank better if you are trying to improve your search rankings on Google.
Embed social media content into blog posts and consider adding rich media and videos too.
Add sub headers to break up content and use bullet points and numbered lists to break up text.
Include visuals to make your b2b blog more engaging.
Link to valuable resources within your blog and cite all sources.
Consider promoting other influencers and key opinion leaders in your blog content to drive traffic.
Link articles, discussion posts, status updates, and tweets to your blog to increase traffic.
Keep blog posts informative and relevant for fans to be engaged with the content
Encourage employees to contribute to blog content.
Invite industry experts to guest blog.
Maintain a balance between posting unique content and sharing content from related blogs to maintain credibility.
Did you enjoy this post? Click here to read our post on Inbound Marketing.
*Date last updated 2019
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