B2B marketers who blog receive 67% more leads than those that don’t. Blogging seems to be the next big thing in business. How can you take advantage of this trend and create real value for your business?
Blogging is increasingly becoming a buzzword in modern business, and it’s definitely worth getting on the bandwagon.
But how do you go from ideas to words to professional content which generate leads and raise your business’s profile? Being a star blogger doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s our step-by-step guide.
1. You Really Can Be a Blogger
The first hurdle, which stops so many business owners from blogging, is the mistaken belief that you have nothing to blog about. All you can talk about is what you know…
But that’s exactly what makes your blog so perfect: nobody else can talk about what you can and deliver it exactly the way you do! It’s your unique perspective, your unique experiences, and your unique suggestions which will give your blog that extra pizzazz.
Life shapes us all differently; your life has offered you a point-of-view which can help inform other people’s ideas.
People read through multiple blogs precisely because they are seeking multiple perspectives, and solutions different to what they’ve already got. You just need be one of those blogs.
Remember that blogging is popular precisely because it’s personal: it’s not a stodgy manual or distant set of guidelines. It’s two people having a chat about something relevant to them both. The same personal connection which is so critical in sales is what makes blogs successful.
How do you keep it relevant? That’s Step 2.
#Blogging is popular precisely because it’s personal: it’s not a stodgy manual or distant set of guidelines.
2. Keep It Simple
That unique advantage you have as a blogger, talking about areas in which you have a different perspective or experience, only works if you stick to your passion and your strengths.
If your particular skill set is in bookkeeping, you’re not likely to have great success writing about human resources guidelines. Know this, accept this, and provide the expertise your readers are looking for.
There are plenty of ways to keep your blog interesting and fresh, without extending yourself into areas where you’ll only end up writing sub-par content. We’ll discuss topic ideas in Step 4.
However, if your blogging is more on the informal side of things, you can afford the pleasure of writing an ‘exploratory blog.’ This is where you talk about being new to a field or topic, and share your experience as a newbie with your readers, who are assumably also considering entering this field for the first time.
Alternatively, if you’ve done your research, there’s nothing to stop you from sharing this information with your readers. Read some how-to guides, talk to some experts, and then report back to your readers. You’re doing the hard work for them, and they’ll love you for it.
The key here is to ensure that you maintain your readers’ hard-won respect: they come to you because your blog posts offer them value. If they feel like the posts offer superficial understanding or cannot be trusted in their accuracy, you’ve lost them. The unfortunate (or fortunate) thing about trust, is that once it’s lost, it’s much harder to win back a second time.
3. Regular Tidbits
A regular publishing schedule for your blog posts is critical: it not only settles your readers into a rhythm of visiting your site but offers updates and advice to your readers.
These readers are counting on you for a fresh perspective, and the more often you are in their lives, the more profound your impact.
That isn’t to say that you try and write every day: that’s just an overload which will drive readers away. No, the goal here is something your readers can look forward to, something which becomes part of their schedule, while ensuring that they are never too long without a dose of your wisdom.
A good guideline is a weekly blog post; it gives you enough time to write, while also staying new and interesting.
But how do you generate enough content to fill all these weeks of blog posts?
Keep the blog posts short. Brevity is your best friend.
Nobody wants to read a 3,000-word essay, and making someone sit through one just leaves them with a bad taste in their mouth. If you’ve written an engaging and relevant post, you might well get people to read the whole thing through, but they won’t have positive associations with your blog going forward. What they’ll remember, over the value your content delivered, was how much effort it took to get that value.
Ideally, you don’t want your posts to go above 1,200 words each, but even something like 500 words a week can be very effective.
Regularity, again, is key: if every week you’ve been churning out 1000 words, the week you drop down to 600, it shows and looks like laziness. Inversely, a reader used to 700 words a week is going to be unpleasantly surprised by 1200 words.
Set up expectations for your readers, and fulfill them.
4. Interesting Content
But what, practically speaking, do you write about? The ideas below are by no means full-fledged, but they are definitely a good start:
- Answer common questions people ask about your field of expertise;
- Current events, and how they impact your field;
- Specific experiences which relate to your field (these should ideally finish with a key lesson for your reader to take away);
- Report back on something new you’ve tried, whether you’d recommend it, what made it difficult, etc.;
- What you wish people knew about your business/ field;
- A general/life insight you recently gained, through an experience unrelated to your field.
5. Get Cracking
Now, it’s time to go to host websites like WordPress, and actually set up your blog. You can find paid sites that offer wizards who can help you with blog design, or free alternatives which give you more of your leeway in the set-up process.
Either way, there are many tutorials available on Youtube, on how to quickly set up a professional and targeted blog.
If possible, situate your blog on the business website itself, in the long-term. This can be achieved by simply setting up a tab labeled “Blog,” and adding web pages to it, as you add posts. This means that every person who reads your blog passes through your website as well and sees the products on offer.
Getting the blog going won’t be easy: it can take some time to build up momentum, but that can be solved through effective publicizing of your blog.
Gain traction by sharing your blog posts on social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. Use family and friends to raise awareness and build on that network. Don’t be afraid to spend money promoting your blog: your blog raises your profile and drives traffic to your site.
Ultimately, you have to believe in the value you are adding to your business overall. Believe that your hard work will pay off, and, above all, persevere.
Of course, what we’ve outlined is just the beginning of your blogging journey. But, you’re a star now, ready to take on the blogging world.