Imagine by the end of this post, you will be a more effective marketer of your small business, all because you learned about this one sure-fire tactic, that when implemented properly, is crucial when promoting your company on the web.
No other marketing tool is as essential to drawing in traffic for your website.
Blogging is the one sure-fire way to engaging prospects, turning them into warm leads, and ultimately finding marketing-nirvana.
Some background history
When they first appeared, blogs tended to be conversations of thought listed through multiple forms on sites like Usenet, Blogger, and Open Diary.
Today, blogs have a journalistic feel, and can be a very professional way to educate your potential buyers, in order to build trust and credibility.
With a blog, you want to use it as a dynamic FAQ, of sorts, answering questions, and talk about how your business solves the many business issues that your customers or prospects struggle with. This process builds trust with your readers.
Trust creates prospects who buy, or at very least become warm leads.
Why this is great news for your business
With blogging at your disposal, small business owners can easily have a free way to promote your business. Other than your time, it’s free.
Not only is it low cost, but your blog could turn into one of the greatest marketing resources that you ever end up using.
Here are some stats about blogging and business:
- 76% of your B2B peers use blogging as a marketing tactic.
- 62% of B2B marketers rate blogs as effective.
- B2B marketers that blog receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
- Blogs have been rated as the 4th most trusted source for online information.
- All these stats and benefits are simply supporting why you need to focus on creating content through a blog, that’s done well.
All these stats and benefits are simply supporting why you need to focus on creating content through a blog, that’s done well.
It’s not as easy as you think
As much as we could praise blogs for their casual nature, and the ease of publishing, it would be a lie to say all business blogs are created equal.
While you don’t have to study for years and love Shakespeare to write a blog, it’s not as simple as putting random thoughts down on paper (metaphorically speaking).
Many companies are unsuccessful at writing blogs, assuming that putting any content out there will give your business traffic and credibility.
The cliche’ that any PR or any blog content is good content is simply not true.
Bad content is a waste of time and effort and will not bring you traffic.
But have hope! We’ll walk you through how to make your blog pop to your readers.
Some advice before you get started
There are a few expectations we need to set when considering your blog efforts.
First, it takes time to build a successful and active blog. It usually takes years to develop a loyal following of blog readers who are engaged.
Second, finding your blogging talents will come with trial and error. Especially if you’ve never done any kind of writing before. Expect some pitfalls, negative comments on your blog, and many articles that leave you wondering if anyone is reading them. You’ll learn eventually learn, if you’re willing to commit time to it.
Third, just start writing. You’ll become better at writing the more you do it. You’ll keep growing as a blogger, just understand it’s never going to be flawless. Don’t let that prevent you from writing! You have to start somewhere if you ever want to become an amazing blogger.
Lastly, the nature of a good blog has to be conversational in tone, allowing your readers to engage your business in a way that traditional journalism doesn’t. There are technical aspects to a blog that will help you become a blog bestseller, that you need to be aware of, the overall tone needs to be like you are having a conversation with your prospects.
Now let’s move onto technical tips to keep in mind when writing a blog!
1). Know your audience
One of the key factors from the school of writing involves knowing your audience, because if you don’t know who you’re writing for, then how can you help your potential customers or clients?
For example, if you’re writing to literary scholars, you would use different language and subject matter then if discussing guns and deer hunting.
This can be said for your own blog.
So prior to just writing and blogging, you need to answer some questions before you begin writing any blogs.
Who are you writing for? Who’s your persona?
What are their needs and concerns, that your company can solve?
What pain points can you address in your blog, so visitors will become prospects and leads?
If you’re a bakery, for instance, you’ll probably be writing for people planning special occasions, or for those who love to craft in the kitchen.
Likewise, if you run a small auto shop, you will need to write blogs about common car troubles and repairs, and how to avoid them.
How well you understand your audience (we call it a persona) will dictate the success of your blog.
Try researching what the most commonly asked questions in your industry, or, imagine yourself in your potential customers shoes.
2). Make it clear and engaging
William Shakespeare once said “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
What does it mean? It means that simplicity is the key to cleverness.
Many inexperienced bloggers make the mistake and assume the more words the better. Less is more when blogging.
People will also try to make their writing sound elegant by adding additional words, or fancy synonyms, in a desperate attempt to spice up their writing.
Writers will even pull random archaic words, or using confusing industry jargon (we’re guilty of this sometimes) to captivate your audience.
All of these items can damage your blog, and quickly make you lose your audience rather than draw them in.
This doesn’t mean be boring.
Just be careful with your word choices, try and make it clear and straightforward. Only use jargon is absolutely necessary, or if the subject matter demands it. Your readers do not want to feel like they’re being smacked with a dictionary as they read your blog.
3). Have direction
Another key to blogging success is having a writing guideline to reference.
If your blog piece has no focus, it will confuse readers and quickly make them stop reading.
Here’s some tips to help you avoid a rambling blog:
Pick your topic or create a theme that’s time-based. Example: assuming you publish one blog piece per week, you can choose a new theme monthly where you tackle a series of questions each week through your blog. This will help create a good overall writing flow.
Address a specific problem. Example: Talk about pain points that you know your prospects and customers have, and address them.
Write a solution for a specific business issue. Example: Don’t just write about the actual problem, but also write about a solution to the issue, and how you help them find a solution.
Leave a call to action to end your blog. Example: Once the reader finishes your blog piece, then what? Maybe the call to action is to download an e-book or fill out a form. Either way, write with the end in mind. Be sure to have a strong call-to-action that motivates your reader to take action.
You should know what topic you’re talking about, and not stray from it. For instance, one of the biggest mistakes we see small business owners make with their blog is trying to talk about too many topics in one post. If you’re talking about dog collars, don’t switch halfway through to discussing zombies (unless you’re writing about zombie dogs). Stay on point.
The best way to make sure your blog post makes sense, is to do multiple revisions. For example, once you’ve finished your blog, walk away for a while and focus on a new project. Then come back, read what you’ve written, then read it again, thoroughly and out loud. Ask yourself “does this make sense when spoken?”
If you really want to check it, have someone else look at it. We tend overlook gaps in logic that made sense in our heads, but do not translate to your blog. Having a second pair of eyes to read your work will wonders on your blog.
4). Use magnetic headlines and choose images wisely
We’d argue that headlines are the 2nd most important piece to your blogging efforts, other than the content itself.
Why? Because it’s the first thing your readers see. It’s also the first thing that the search engines crawl, when they visit your site.
If your prospects and visitors see lame titles, they won’t stick around.
Your visitors and prospects want real, authentic wisdom about how they can get their very basic business issues fixed by you. You need to consider using headlines that are magnetic and arresting.
What are magnetic and arresting headlines? They’re attention-grabbing, yet non-salesy, means of persuading your readers to read the rest of your blog content.
Your headlines also need to also be a certain length. Much like our point from earlier, about brevity, your headlines can’t be awkwardly long and boring.
They need to ideally be 60-100 characters in length, should use trigger words, and fit most of the criteria that we explained earlier.
Now that we talked about headlines, let’s not forget images.
In a nutshell, using images that grab your reader’s attention can turn your distracted audience into an engaged one.
Consumers and prospects can quickly lose interest if there is no image in a blog. By harnessing the power of images, you’ll take your company blog to a higher level and ultimately create marketing that your prospects and customers will love.
Follow these tips, and you’ll succeed
It may seem intimidating, but it’s possible to write a strong blog.
Just remember, don’t be salesy. Always be helpful and aspire to leave the impression that your business is an expert in your field, not a narcissistic sale guy.
Stay true to the above tips and you’re blog will succeed and become a valuable asset to your customers.
Lastly, don’t go this alone. We’re here to help and we’re pretty darn good bloggers, that can get your business the ROI you’re expecting, by using our proven process with our web and marketing services.
If you’d like to learn more about what steps to take with your own blogging and marketing, or would like a free consultation, contact us here.