15 Ways To Get Serious About Small Business Blogging
So you're ready to get serious about blogging for business? I don't blame you not one bit because blogging is serious business. You've probably heard about all the benefits of blogging for business, but you're still on the fence. I can tell you first hand from experience that blogging
How Blogging For Business Works…
Picture this: Gina is a
Gina decides to write a blog post that covers “10 Tips for Creating Cake Frosting In Under 10 minutes”. A user performs a search on google for cake frosting tips, finds Gina's blog post, checks out her website, then decides to contact her after reading more about her services.
That my friends
Gina decides to start a Twitter account. She then searches for specific hashtags and keywords related to her niche. Next, Gina starts to find and follow people on Twitter that she wants to target that are local to the Seattle area and are interested in baking and etc. Gina works diligently to build up a targeted following on Twitter for the next several weeks.
She then decides to Tweet out the blog post that she has written to her followers on Twitter. A fan see's the post, likes it, shares it, then visits her website + contacts her about her services. This is yet another example of the power of blogging (more specifically) combined with content marketing can work for your business.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is the act of writing content, then publishing that content to your blog regularly. A better definition of blogging is:
“The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently – Source”
The key to running a successful business blog is to blog with a specific purpose + target market in mind, write great content on a consistent basis and plan out all of your blogging activities.
How to Get Serious About Blogging for Business
If you are ready to get serious about blogging for business, I've rounded up a list of 15 practical ways that you can do so + they are as follows:
1. Do Research To Find Topics That Your Audience Cares About
Believe me, this is without a doubt one of the first things that you need to do before you start blogging. Before you start adding content to your blog, you will first need to understand the needs of your audience – as in “what challenges they are having” so that you can structure your content around those issues.
A few things that you can do to find fresh blog topic ideas would be to scan popular forums in your niche, scan the comments section of your blog or popular blogs in your industry, or simply asking your audience what their biggest struggles and frustrations are.
2. Create An Editorial Calendar
If you want to publish content to your blog consistently, creating an editorial calendar will make it easier for you. An editorial calendar is a document that you can use to manage, track and record your blogging efforts. Evernote and Google Docs are a few tools that you can use to create content calendars.
3. Plan Out Your Content In Advance
Serious bloggers make it a point to plan out their blogging activities well in advance. I can tell you from experience + years of blogging that trying to create content on the fly is
Getting your blogging activities organized will save you a lot of time because you will already have a set plan in place that you can follow and …more time to create killer content for your readers. For newbie small business bloggers, I think that planning out your blog posts a month or 2 in advance is a good place to start. From there, you can level up your blogging efforts + start scheduling things out even further.
4. Set A Blogging Schedule And Stick To It
A blogging schedule is simply setting a firm day of the week (or a few days) of the week that you will write + publish content to your blog. Setting a blogging schedule is easily one of the secrets to successful blogging.
As an example, my current blogging schedule for this site is that I write my posts on Sundays then schedule them for release on Mondays — every week. Setting a blogging schedule will also help you to stay consistent in your blogging efforts, because “Consistency” is KEY for winning the blogging race.
5. Invest In A Professional Theme For Your Blog
I've touched on this in a previous post featuring 10 steps to a powerful small business web presence. In that
6. Use A Self-Hosted Blog For Your Business
I know, I know… money is tight and you're bootstrapping your small business. Because of this, free platforms seem like the logical choice. I'm here to tell you that this is probably not the best move that you can make for your business here's why:
- Your blog content is not really yours, the domain name will be difficult to remember and the platform — does not really belong to you.
- At any time, the owner of the free blogging platform can decide to disable your blog leaving your content inaccessible and you out of luck.
- These are just a few of the reasons that if you're serious about blogging for your business, it's best to use a self-hosted blog.
7. Start An Email Newsletter
One of the first things that you should do when you decide to start blogging for business is to start an email newsletter — like right away! Starting an email newsletter will give you the chance to start building a list of leads + prospects that you can communicate with on a regular basis, build relationships with and offer your services to.
8. Optimize All Of Your Blog Posts For The Search Engines
Optimizing your blog posts for the search engines is essential. Doing this will give your content a better chance of ranking in the search engines and helps drive traffic to your blog organically. Blog post optimization involves: doing keyword research to find popular words in your industry, use those keywords throughout your blog post,
9. Look For Guest Posting Opportunities To Authoritative Sites In Your Niche
Blogging on more authoritative + larger sites in your industry allows you to connect with new readers and get your brand in front of a larger audience.
10. Post Content From Your Blog To Social Media (regularly)
Marketing your blog posts to social media channels is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog and increase readership. In regards to posting your blog content on social networks, it's best to find one social network to start with, build up a following of targeted readers there, promote your content often, then move on to other networks.
By now you may have heard that “content is KING”. Well….it's because it is. These days, you can get away with writing “me too” content for your blog. Your content needs to stand out.
Some characteristics of
12. Create A Social Automation Schedule
As with planning out content in advance, using social media automation tools like Buffer + Hootsuite to pre-schedule and publish content in advance to your social networks is beneficial. Using social automation tools make it easier to establish a more consistent posting schedule to your social networks and will save you a ton of time as well.
13. Comment On Other Blogs In Your Niche (regularly)
So I'm gonna be honest here, I shied away from blog commenting for
14. Find And Follow Your Target Customers On Social Media
It took me
For instance, if you are a business coach that caters to women that run
15. Add A Call To Action To All Of Your Blog Posts
What is a call to action? It is simply a statement that tells your reader what you would like for them to do next. Honestly, I think this (along with your titles) is one of the most important elements of an effective blog post.
These can include calls to actions
A Quick Recap and Overview of These 15 Steps
- Perform research to find the right content for your blog + audience
- Create an editorial calendar
- Plan out your content in advance
- Set a blogging schedule
- Invest in a professional theme for your blog
- Use a self-hosted blog for your business
- Start an email newsletter
- Optimize all of your blog posts for the search engines
- Look for guest posting opportunities to authoritative sites in your niche
- Post content from your blog to social media (regularly)
- Create a social automation schedule
- Comment on other blogs in your niche (regularly)
- Find + follow your target customers on social media
- Add a call to action to all of your blog posts
Are You Ready to Use the Web To Grow Your Business?
If you are ready to use the web to grow your business, I have two options for you:
- Grab a Copy of my Blogging for Business Toolkit + Planner to learn how to use blogging to get the message out about your business – or –
- Use my
Start upLike a CHAMP — a documented process + plan that you can follow to set your small business up online from scratch.
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