For businesses, blogging is no more an option – it’s a necessity. It’s really surprising to know that even today there are a large number of businesses (both big and small) that aren’t sure as to why they should actually start a business blog. Then there are those who understand the benefits of blogging but are worried thinking what they’ll blog about and how they’ll go about it.
And do you know what’s even worse? Many are still living in the Ice age asking ‘what business blogging means’.
Funny and sad!
Before I start to explain the ‘why’, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of business blogging, therefore, I’d briefly answer the basic question for those who don’t know.
Blogging, as you may know, is the practice of creating different types or forms of content (called blog posts) that’s stored on a blog, which is like an online journal. Business blogging, therefore, is an online marketing tactic that a business uses to get more exposure or visibility across the web by featuring customer-focused content via a blog that remains attached to the company website. A business blog is one of the most effective channels to communicate with customers or prospects on a day-to-day basis.
Why should you blog?
Before you launch a business blog of your own, you should clearly understand the multiple benefits it will bring to your company or organization. Unless you’re truly convinced that having a blog is crucial for your business growth, you may not even bother to know about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ part.
Have a look at these statistics first –
- 81% of companies consider their blogs ‘useful’, ‘important’ or ‘critical’.
- 60% of businesses that blog acquire more customers.
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.
- B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those who do not.
- 37% of marketers say that blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing.
There are scores of stats like these, each of them clearly proving how starting a business blog could prove instrumental to the growth and success of your business.
Though adding a blog to your company website is a surefire way of boosting SEO, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. With a well-maintained, high quality business blog, you’ll drive more traffic to your website, convert more visitors, boost sales, build relationships, establish authority and pave the way for long-term business success. Every time you publish a new post on your business blog, you’ll create one more opportunity for your company to be heard, talked about and referred to others.
Most importantly, a business blog is the lifeblood of a content marketing strategy. It’s also the perfect tool to gain valuable insights, build trust, establish long-term relationships with customers and create brand advocates. Business blogging is both inspiring and a lot of fun as well.
What should you blog about?
This is where the action begins. The reason most of the businesses are afraid of starting a business blog is either because they don’t know what to write about or they falsely believe that their industry is boring enough. Regardless of what niche or industry you deal in, there’re always plenty of topics to cover. If you think your industry doesn’t offer you much to write about, it’s actually your writing capability that’s to blame.
Here’s a list of blog topics ideas to get started –
- Your company story
- Why you’re better than the competition
- Upcoming trends in your industry
- Your challenges/ plans for the next year
- Success stories of your customers
- A video tour of behind-the-scenes work
- Tips for better use of your products
- Industry events you attend
- Your support for a charitable cause
- New developments in your company/ business
- Thanking loyal customers/ brand advocates
- Rebuttal of false claims/ negative reviews
- Interview with industry experts/ thought leaders
- Sharing an opinion on an industry topic
- How you get repeat business
The list is just endless, if you believe me. Spend some time evaluating the several aspects of your business, sit with your sales/ marketing team, brainstorm a little and you’ll be able to come up with enough topics to serve your business blog for weeks or months. Repeat the process to gather more. At times when you’re struggling really hard to come up with new topics, you may also turn to content curation and create something useful.
In any case, you should always focus on those topics that resonate with your customers. Though it’s quite tempting to keep talking about your company, products or services all the time, you should avoid being overly promotional. You should tell your customers exactly what they want to hear.
How should you blog?
Ultimately, it’s the ‘how you should blog’ part that matters the most. Even when you’re able to think of 100 good topics to get started with on your business blog, you aren’t ready yet. You need a appropriately planned blogging strategy! Having a blogging strategy is essential because you’re not blogging for fun or as a hobby. You want to create a blog for achieving some specific business objectives.
Your business blogging strategy should include –
- Your blogging goals (sales, awareness, community etc.)
- The audience you’re seeking (age group, sex, location, education, income etc.)
- Your editorial guidelines/ content publishing schedule
- Your blog marketing plan (SEO, social media, RSS, email newsletters etc.)
- A measurement system to track progress (unique visits, keyword visits, new visits, inbound links etc.)
Unless you have a well-structured blogging strategy in place, you’ll only leave your success to chance. You’ll never know what’s working, and what isn’t. And you’ll not be able to find out what you should exactly do to improve the ROI.
Truth be told, business blogging is not for you if you lack commitment. You can’t build a good business blog overnight. To continue abiding by the strategy that you created for your business blog and deliver real value, you should be highly committed. If you think that’s just too much, it’s suggested that you start writing for popular niche blogs in your industry as a guest author to increase the visibility of your business, organization or brand rather than starting one of your own.
Does your business have a blog? Please leave a comment.