Your business needs a better way of communicating with potential new prospects. You want to find people who need your products or services, or maybe you just need to better communicate with customers and prospects.
It’s time for a blog, and you’ve been tasked with writing it. So, what do you do now?
For many, writing a blog can feel painful. Staring at a blank page fills us with dread and fear. For others, the entire process can be mystifying and confusing. Sure, you may like to write, but there is a difference between writing a journal or a term paper, and writing a successful business blog.
Not to worry – blog writing isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are a few simple steps anyone can take to launch a business blog to new heights. The experts at GO2 are here to help.
Getting Started with Successful Blog Writing
There are a few general things to keep in mind as you plan your blog:
- Your blog should be about solving problems and providing information for your customers and prospects. It is NOT about you and your business.
- Determine the goal for your blog. Is it signing up new customers? Maybe you are looking to increase the SEO of your website? Or maybe you need to drive engagement with customers and prospects? Set goals and create a plan for your business and blog.
- Who is the audience for your blog, and what do you know about them? We suggest taking the time to create a buyer persona of your target customer before launching a blog.
- You should also have a plan for launching and driving engagement for your blog. Do you have a social media plan for the blog? Do you have a platform for hosting the blog and allowing comments and shares? If not, then set an appointment with GO2 Partners about how HubSpot can help you.
A mistake many businesses make is just tossing blog posts up on their website without taking the steps necessary to make the blog successful. Understanding the goals, audience and plan for your blog are important for evaluating the success of your blog program once it launches.
5 Easy Steps to a Better Business Blog
Alright, you’ve done your homework, have a platform and plan for the blog, now what?
With these easy steps, you can launch a blog that really targets a key need in your audience, with the SEO and structure that will help you get noticed and keep the audience coming back for more.
- Know your audience and what they need.
Your buyer persona should be the foundation of your marketing and blogging efforts.
Get into the head of your buyer persona to better understand their needs and the questions they have, and then write a blog that meets those needs. Provide the best answer possible for their questions. For example, if your buyer persona is a marketing manager at a manufacturing company, then provide the best answer to a problem facing a marketing manager in manufacturing.
Your buyer persona should leave you with a wealth of potential blog topics. As you write, keep in mind that buyer, and write directly to them.
- Do keyword and topic research.
You can have the best written blog in the world, but it isn’t helping your business if no one can find it.
That’s where keyword research comes in. With a topic on a key need or question for your buyer persona, utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush (the tool we use here at GO2 Partners), or Moz Keyword Explorer to see what search terms people use around that topic. Select a mix of keywords that fit the topic, targeting phrases that are high in search volume but low in competition.
Also take time to research your topic. Look for high-quality link sources to information about your topic. Review what other information your audience will find when they research the topic. Make sure your blog is timely, correct and helpful.
- Set your goals and create an outline.
Now that you understand the audience need and have the information you want to include in the blog, it’s time to set goals and plan out your writing.
When you set goals, consider how you expect the audience to use your blog. By determining how the blog will be used, you’ll write with more purpose. For example, if you write a blog with a checklist (like this blog), then write with the idea that your audience will use the blog to map out a repeatable process. Provide insight and information on each step.
Next, create an outline for the blog. By incorporating the keyword phrases in the headings that make your outline, you can increase the SEO and searchability of your blog. As an added bonus, creating an outline of different sections makes it easier to write the blog. You aren’t focused on the end product, but the individual sections.
- Focus on your audience and their needs, not your business.
Now it’s time to write.
A mistake many businesses make with their blog is writing about their business, or how awesome a product or service might be. Remember your audience, and why they are reading your blog. It’s LIKELY not to learn about your business, but to solve a SPECIFIC problem or to find SPECIFIC information.
Focus on answering the questions your audience has. In fact, write that question on your paper as you work. Keep the audience and their needs in mind. If your business is part of the answer, then that should come out naturally in the blog.
- Revise, edit and read out loud.
Make sure you leave time to edit and revise your blog, then use that time to make it the best blog possible.
Read over the blog once to make sure it makes sense. Then read it for grammar, punctuation and spelling – the basic proofreading grunt work. As a final step, go to a mirror with a copy of the blog and read it out loud. Often, by reading the blog out loud to a single audience of you, you will find problems and errors that you didn’t see before. It’s an excellent final step for your blog process to ensure you have the best blog possible.
One Bonus Step for a Blog that Shines!
Want to take that blog you’ve written to another level? Try this bonus step for an even better blog.
- Find art and edit for readability.
Even after it’s written, there are a few things you can do to make it even better. Start with finding good art for it. Experts (and the engagement data) agree, readers are more likely to click on a blog with photos, images and art. Images support your content and make it easier to find the value in your work (in addition to the SEO benefits).
It’s also a good idea to review your blog for readability. People find it easier to read a blog with shorter, more benefit-driven paragraphs. Numbered lists and bullet points make it easier digest and absorb information. Catchy, benefit-driven headings and short, punchy call-outs make your work fun to read.
Wait a day after writing the blog to do a quick “readability” review of the blog and take every opportunity to improve it. Your audience and engagement numbers will thank you for it.
It’s a New Age for Blog Writing for Business
Blogging has really come of age for business. More and more businesses are turning their blog efforts into profit- and business-generating initiatives.
Blogging can support your backlink efforts for your website. It can be a key component of a lead nurturing campaign, or the focus of your inbound marketing efforts. Guest blogging can help you reach a new audience, or help you launch a new product or service. Blogs are a great way to start repurposing content. Link four or five related blogs into an ebook that an audience can download from your website for lead generation, or collect blogs on a resource page that your audience can use as they do research.
All that benefits starts with an easy-to-use, audience-focused, goal-driven and keyword-rich blog.
Want to learn more, or talk to the blogging and digital marketing experts about your business needs? Then contact GO2 Partners today for a free consultation session with an expert ready and willing to help you reach your business goals.