You want more subscribers. More leads. More customers. More clients.
Every business does.
One of the most tried and tested ways to get more subscribers and customers is creating a successful business blog (and guess what – it works in nearly every industry!).
No wonder a recent report says businesses have allocated 29% of their budget to content marketing in 2017 and plan to increase their marketing spend over the next 12 months.
Fact: Businesses with a healthy and consistent blog get more leads than those dont (and they also benefit from better SEO results so more people find them on Google). This is one of the reasons I believe every blog needs to be the hardest working ‘employee’ in a business.
Given how much time and money is spent on marketing, the pressure is on for content teams to demonstrate return on investment. Are you feeling that pressure right now as a writer or content producer? I’ve felt this pressure myself so I know what you’re thinking right now….
‘We just don’t seem to have the time or resources to blog regularly’
‘We don’t know really know what to write about!’
‘I’m not entirely sure how exactly to sell my products and services by blogging’.
‘I don’t know how and where to share my blog posts to get traction’.
Let me be straight with you. It takes time, patience and testing to see measurable results. This reality often means businesses slow down or give up when it comes to creating a successful business blog.
Here are 5 simple but essential ways you can create a successful business blog:
- Know your business goals, needs and resources.
Content marketing is a long game which requires time, effort and patience. As busy business owners we don’t have time or money to waste. There is no time for aimlessly researching and writing with no end game or benefit in sight. Ask yourself:
- What am I trying to achieve in the next quarter?
- Is the focus selling more product or services?
- Or is the aim to build my email list, a social media following or a community?
You need a clear idea of your goals so you can allocate time and resource appropriately. This also helps you form a strategy which will get you the best results. For example, if you are gearing up for a new product or service launch, you should be producing content about and around the product or service.
- Produce useful and relevant content which solves a real problem.
A well thought out blog helps you to continue to position yourself as the ‘go to expert’ in your niche, market or industry. Think of yourself as the master problem solver for your ideal client or customer. If you do this, you can consistently produce useful and relevant content which your customers, clients and peers will appreciate, save and share. Being helpful over a period of time is also good customer service and creates a memorable experience for readers.
409 million people view blogs everyday so you need to make sure your business stands out. Sharing your thoughts, business insights and expertise helps you to nurture a relationship with leads based on trust and knowledge. When you do this consistently, readers get to know, like and trust your service or product to solve their problem or meet their need. Go as deep as you can when you produce content, don’t share shallow surface information with readers. Share your insight or opinion. Some other suggestions include:
- Involve your customers or peers in your content. For example, you could interview a client, regular customer or peer.
- Create a case study which demonstrates how your service or product changes lives or solves a problem.
- Share testimonials or product reviews from clients – this is great social proof!
- Be sure to share the links to any interviews, features or mentions you receive on social media or from the press.
If you are need of some extra ideas and training, I teach companies and brands how to keep content exciting and fresh to make more sales.
- Create a schedule and plan your content in advance.
In my experience, lack of planning and preparation prevent businesses from executing a strong content marketing strategy. You may also find yourself overwhelmed with lots of topics and ideas for content. This is why making a schedule which aligns with your business goals and needs is so important.
If you have a team managing content, ensure they are clear on the topics to be covered and when content needs to be published in advance. If you’re a freelancer, contractor or sole business owner a schedule is even more important.
Time flies especially when you are handling every element of your business by yourself or you are a small team. When this happens we can end up pushing half -hearted and shallow content which has no real depth or value to readers. This can turn readers off and cause them to go elsewhere for advice, guidance and information.
- Share your blog posts widely and regularly.
Once you have taken steps 1-3, you need to get the right eyes on your content. There are numerous ways you can do this, even as a small business owner. I love teaching this section of the ‘Food Media Uncovered’ masterclass because it calls for creativity, consistency and persistence. You can start by sharing your blog posts in the following places:
- With your mailing list (you do have one of these don’t you?) or a database of customers (you need their prior permission).
- Your social media following. Use the appropriate hashtags and tag any individuals, customers or peers you mention or feature in the content.
- Share your content with your peers! This is a fantastic way of building relationships with your peers. If your content is particularly useful, they will share it within their networks and communities which means more eyes on your content!
- Are you a part of an online forum or network? If so, share your content in these forums (seek permission first if necessary). This is an efficient way of getting more eyes on your blog post. You can also ask readers to share the blog post with others if they have found it useful or enjoyed reading.
- Ask for help! Get training for yourself or your team.
In February 2017, I hosted an event for food creatives with a panel of seasoned bloggers, writers and photographers. This provided an excellent opportunity for aspiring and established creatives to network and make meaningful connections. We also discussed insights, trends and perspectives on blogging for business effectively. I strongly recommend you consider going on a training course or masterclass to get a fresh perspective and to learn new effective strategies. It’s also an opportunity to reinvigorate yourself and your team by getting some external feedback on your current strategy.
- Are you feeling burnt out? Are you unsure whether your content is truly making an impact?
- Have you noticed your content or editorial team have slowed down or are stuck for ideas? If so, do they need a refresh or some extra training?
Business blogging is not going away anytime soon. There are no quick fixes or ‘overnight success’ formulas. Every business needs to monitor its results and then make adjustments as necessary. The good thing is there are lots of resources available to help your business blog successfully! I teach these need to have elements of successful business blogging on my exclusive ‘Food Media Uncovered’ masterclass.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, your content and marketing team will benefit from listening to one of the following short and free taster lessons:
If you want to resurrect your business blog today book a place for your content member team here. Places for this exclusive masterclass are limited so we can really get into the nitty gritty of content marketing for success. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start-Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts a podcast for women in food, monthly food business networking events. For a bespoke consultation for your business email email@example.com.