We talk a lot about business blogs and business blog writing here because we still believe it is one of the single best ways to advertise yourself online. It's cheap, it's relatively easy, and the longer you keep at it, the more leads you'll end up gaining. Best of all, a business blog is something that any company of any size can have as long as it has a website.
It might take a little time to build a following, but really, creating a productive business blog boils down to five fairly easy steps.
Building a Great Business Blog In Five Steps:
1. Decide on Your Voice and Style
Before you sit down and start typing, you need to make a few choices. You need to decide what your blogging voice will be. The personality you show on your blog will go a long ways towards defining how your visitors perceive you, so you need to decide what sort of image you want to project and how it ties into your branding and positioning.
In general, unless you're targeting a very selective audience, blogs should be readable by laymen. Don't go nuts with technical terms and jargon unless you only want industry insiders reading. However, you'll need to decide how formal you want to be, whether you'll write in first, second, or third person, and matters like that. This is also the time to determine what SEO keywords you'll be using.
Unless you're setting up your blog to have multiple contributors within the company you'll want to have one consistent voice and personality for your blogs.
2. Start Blogging
The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, and all that. Once you've decided how you want to write your business blog, it's time to start looking at what you're going to write about. Writing consistently is important. Hubspot has identified a clear trend in blogging: the more you blog, the more leads you get.
If you're stuck for ideas, here are a few general templates:
Write a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for your business or industry.
Pick a large problem in your industry and propose a solution.
Write a how-to guide for a common process for your product.
Curate other blogs in your industry with commentary.
Make predictions about new trends a year or five down the line.
3. Utilize Social Media
Business blogging goes hand-in-hand with social media. Register accounts with at least a couple of the major social media services - we recommend Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In as the best starting points. (Facebook is better for B2C connections and Linked-In is better for B2B, if you're looking to prioritize.)
Put social sharing links on all your blogs, to encourage people to share them. You should also sometimes -not always- post links to new blogs on social media, as well as simply joining into conversations to help establish yourself as a credible source.
4. Track Your Results
To get the most from your business's blog, you need to track how well it's doing. Use your server statistics to keep an eye on how many visitors you're getting, what keywords are getting them there, and how many are going on to click on your Calls-To-Action or purchasing something. This is how you see what works and what doesn't so that you can refine your strategies.
If possible, Hubspot has probably the best overall set of tools for tracking these analytics. If you can't afford them, Google Analytics are an excellent free alternative.
5. Keep Blogging!
Your new business blog won't be an overnight success. Expect to spend at least six months, or possibly a year, before it starts seeing real returns. It's a matter of slow growth, but if you keep at it, you will start seeing your rewards.
In the meantime, if you have any corporate blogging strategies of your own, share them in the comments!