Blogs have turned into a phenomenon, thanks to the last five years. Almost 175,000 new blogs and over 1.6 million blog updates go up onto the world wide web, every single day! This exponential growth raises two questions; does your business need a blog and with so many blogs out there, how do you stay relevant? This article aims to explore the latter problem by explaining ways to run a successful business blog.
Why Should You Blog?
Before we get into the nitty-gritties of maintaining a good blog, let’s briefly look at why we must do so. As per a study by MarketingSherpa, blogs came in at number 4 when considering lead generation tools. Hence, blogs are used as marketing tools which help in raising your brand’s recognition and popularity. Not only do they help in keeping your customers engaged, it also helps build an interaction, and in the process, gets them to trust you. In the long run, this enables you to raise your conversion rates, and acquire more repeat customers. Furthermore, 36% of the Fortune 500 companies have their own blogs. Companies that blog also generate 88% more leads per month when compared to those who do not. Also, companies that updated their blog over 20 times a month witnessed the highest traffic and leads.
What is a Blog?
Now that you know about the benefits of blogging, let’s take a look at what a blog is. A ‘Blog’ is short for “web log’ which is basically any web page that’s a piece of an online journal while also being an open forum. Blogs are, therefore, continuous works of writing that when read together, weave a story.
Some blogs post new updates regularly; while others update their blogs on a weekly, monthly or occasional basis. Most entries are short, concise and informal. Several of them even include pictures and videos. When going through a blog, the first thing that hits you is the conversational tone used, and the reactions it generates. Readers usually add their opinions as comments in the section below, allowing people to continue the dialogue.
How to Run a Successful Business Blog
If you decide to start a business blog, here are some things you should definitely keep in mind.
- Set goals
Decide on what your focal point is, and set an appropriate tone. A focal point helps you concentrate on what you want to accomplish through this blog. Use those goals to curate content, so that you stay on track. If you plan on having multiple authors, set some basic ground rules so that the blog has some form of consistency. Make sure you have an editor on board to check for typos, grammatical errors, tone and to ensure they are sticking to the above-mentioned predefined ground rules. These rules could be a multitude of things ranging from, not talking about your competition, to maintaining a conversational tone in all blogs.
- Keep it relevant
Blog readers want to know more about what you and your company. Therefore, more often than not, stick to topics that are relevant to your company and industry. For instance, if your company works in the real-estate industry, focus on purchasing and retailing trends in your neighbourhood. Keep your blogs personal as this helps improve engagement.
- Make sure it is useful
If you offer tips, guidelines and valuable information, readers are more likely to return and spread the word about your blog. Therefore, make sure you have good content on the blog and not just fluff pieces. Another great thing about running a useful blog is that it makes other industry experts quote you and link your articles in their works, helping you gain more visibility.
- Use relevant keywords
Always maintain good search engine optimisation practices to boost your visibility. This increases your blog’s chances of topping search engine results, allowing more people to have a look at your blog. Place the keywords smartly, in such a way that it feels natural and organic, rather than forced. Run your work through an SEO tool before publishing to get tips on how to improve your SEO score.
- Be consistent
Make sure your blog entries are clear, compact and compelling, to ensure readers return. Instead of re-purposing press-releases and advertisements, create genuinely exciting and unique content that helps your readers. Also make sure you frequently update so that you don’t lose out on engagement, and potential customers. Shorter, but more frequent blogs are preferred by people when compared to longer, inconsistent ones.
- Divide and Conquer
Running a blog requires a lot of time, effort and dedication. To make it easier for yourself, consider splitting the duties amongst a few other colleagues. Have one person serve as an editor, while a few others curate content. This way, multiple authors will contribute to the blog, and this helps bring a fresh perspective to every new entry. Dividing the work will also make it easier to make a commitment and keep the blog going.
Ultimately, a blog is a handy and cost-effective marketing tool that will help you set your business apart from the competition. Now that you know how to run a successful business blog, keep these in mind and get going to build a loyal customer base. Are you ready to start your own business blog? If so, give us a shout-out and let us know how it goes. If not, let us know what’s holding you back by sharing below, and we will see how we can help you.