9 Steps to Improve Your Business Blog & Get Loyal Readers
As any digital marketing specialist would tell you, blogging should be a key element of your content marketing strategy, or should complement your SEO activities.
Why? Here’s a quick recap of blogging’s benefits:
- Blogs help drive more traffic to your website. And having more website visitors means there are more people you can convert into leads and customers.
- Well-written blogs allow you to establish yourself (or your business) as the go-to expert in your industry. It’s a way for you to show that you know what you’re talking about – and you know best how to get things done.
- Blogging gives you a dedicated platform for showcasing your products and services, or basically what you can do for your customers.
- Blogging offers long-term positive results for your website and online presence. The blog you thoroughly researched and wrote a couple of years back? It’s still there, offering valuable information to readers.
- Blogs give you regular content to post on your social media, which aids your social media presence and activities.
If you haven’t started a blog for your business or website yet, check our recent post about the 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Creating Quality Content. But if you’ve started one and need more information on how to do it better, this guide will walk you through the basics of good business blogging.
Be relevant and recent.
Your topics should be relevant to your niche and industry. If you’re to build your reputation as an industry expert, it is best to show your target audience the extent of your knowledge and experience in your industry.Talk about the benefits of your services, your processes, and how these can benefit your customers. Educate them on unfamiliar terms and concepts to build your authority as a reliable source of information and subject matter expert. The next time they want to know something, the first thing they’ll do is check your blog for information.Keep tabs on recent trends and updates in your industry. As an expert, you have to be the first to know – and explain! – how certain market movements can impact your industry and your clients.
Your blog should inform and educate your readers – and conducting intensive, comprehensive research is the way to make this possible.
Publish well-researched and informative content.
Your content should be worth your readers’ time. Avoid blogging just for the sake of having something new to post on your website. Each blog should offer new, relevant and valuable information to your readers.Give them something new to think and talk about, or something that will help expand their knowledge. The more they learn from you, the more your credibility and reputation will grow as an authority in your field.The general rule here is to take your time to do your research, and make sure you always, always double check your facts and sources. Scour the internet for studies to back your content, or analyse first-hand information you have to present a compelling case study.Be sure to do your homework properly because including misleading information or erroneous data in your blog can damage your credibility and reputation.
Make it simple, fun and interesting.
Write your content in a way that is easy for your readers to understand, relate to, and apply. Don’t lose your audience in a complicated maze of technical terms, jargons, and ideas. Make it so that they can easily appreciate the value of your content, and therefore your products and services.Instead of presenting a bulk of information, break down ideas into simpler thoughts. Where possible, show realistic examples so readers see how they can use your information in their everyday lives.For example, if you’re a finance guru, show your readers how they can apply financial planning to their personal budget. Readers retain information better if they know how to apply it in real-life situations.Your goal should be to contribute to your reader’s knowledge and enable them to have a deeper understanding of your industry and your expertise.
Your blog’s length should justify its value.
According to Orbit Media’s survey on 1055 bloggers, the average length for blogs is now 2,000+ words and bloggers are spending between 3 to 6 hours for every post. The reason is more blogs are leaning towards data-rich and highly visual posts to engage discerning readers better.However, that doesn’t mean you should flood your readers with lengthy blogs. Don’t write a 3,000-word piece just to reach your target word count.Each word, each sentence, each paragraph should count. Avoid fluff in your content and show that you respect the attention and time your readers spend on your blog.
Link it with your social media.
Blogging and social media marketing should go hand in hand. What’s the use of having a blog if nobody reads it, right? So put your content out there for your target audience to see and read.Aside from maximizing online exposure, linking your blogs to social media helps boost your social presence and influence. It gives your followers an update and reminds them of your brand.Be sure, however, to use the appropriate social media platforms for your blog. If you’re an IT solutions provider, opt for Google Plus and LinkedIn where readers will appreciate highly detailed, data-driven articles.
On the other hand, if you’re an online seller of luxury items, make sure to include Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter in your social media mix, as your posts should be more visually attractive and catchy than rich in text.
Make a content plan & schedule and be sure to stick to it.
Do it regularly.
Successful blogs are not made overnight. It is a gradual process that requires consistency, commitment, and patience. If you don’t post something new regularly, chances are your viewers/readers will unfollow and unsubscribe from your page.Create a realistic and practical content schedule, one that you can follow without fail. Allot time for research, writing, design, and image sourcing. To avoid delays, plan your topics ahead so you can also have enough time for brainstorming ideas or revising your content line-up.People are always on the hunt for something new. So make sure your blogs always offer them fresh, useful information that would keep them coming back.
Include eye-catching images, infographics, and videos.
Statistics show that articles with images get 94 percent more views than those without, and about 67 percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase products that come with images, rather than those that only have product details.Visual elements give your readers a breather from whole blocks of text. Photos, graphics, GIFs, and videos – all these visual aids make your blog more interesting and appealing to readers.Plus, using images and videos to illustrate your point can make your audience remember information better, as the human brain is wired to process visual elements 60,000 times faster than written content.
Connect your content to other information hubs.
Cite and link the sources you used for your blog post. This shows that you are transparent in your research, and it reflects the depth of data gathering you’ve done for your blog.Mentioning recent studies in your blog shows you’re updated with the latest industry trends, which can further strengthen your credibility. You may also opt to link your previous relevant blogs to encourage visitors to read more, stay longer on your website, and drive more traffic to your internal pages.Including internal and external links can make your website’s link structure more robust and authoritative. Here are more reasons from MOZ on why you should include links.
Experiment with different content types.
In relation to points #3 and #7, add a variety of content types in your blogs: lists, reviews, opinion pieces, infographics, memes, videos, and more.Don’t just stick to writing informative blogs. Though they offer a lot of advantages, it pays to invest in other types of content to give your readers something new to see and consume.New content types add interest and flavour to your blog posts, and prevents your blog section from becoming predictable and ordinary.
To start with, check industry expert Neil Patel’s list of 15 content types that can haul in more traffic to your website.