Blogging is a cost-effective and efficient way to promote your business. As we discussed in our last post, blogging drives traffic to your website, increases SEO, provides you with useable content, and sets you up as a thought leader in your industry. Those are all good reasons to start a blog, but it may still seem overwhelming to take the plunge.
If you are considering a blog for your business, here are nine steps to get started.
1. Know your audience. We often discuss the importance of knowing your audience. Before you type your first blog post, make sure you figure out your who, what, when, where, and how, and use that as the basis for your blog content. What are the audience’s pain points? What issues can you solve? What can you teach them? Use buyer persona research and take the time to understand your audience so you can connect with them through your blog.
2. Stick to your brand. Consider your brand identity, mission, and voice when you write content. Since your blog is a visible reflection of your business, the style and branding should remain consistent with your other marketing efforts. Use appropriate fonts, colors, graphics, and tone to avoid confusing your audience.
3. Provide great content. Content is key! Your blog content needs to be high quality and provide value to your audience, but it can be difficult to decide what to write about. Remember why you started a blog in the first place and think about what your audience would like to read. Write blog posts that solve their problems or challenges and include topics they might find interesting or entertaining.
4. Create a content calendar. Like all your marketing efforts, you need a plan for your blog. Create a content calendar to keep your ideas organized and avoid last-minute panic. Keep an ongoing list of topic ideas that you can pull from. Make sure to include some evergreen topics that will remain relevant to your audience over time.
5. Include SEO. A blog is a great way to incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which helps search engines find your content and drives visitors to your website. SEO can be complicated, but one way to boost SEO is to include keywords in your blog posts. Think about words your audience may search to find your posts online and include those keywords throughout your blog in a way that still sounds natural.
6. Add a Call to Action. If your audience is reading your blog, that is a great sign! Don’t waste that engagement. Add a call to action (CTA) to every blog post to direct the readers to a next step. The CTA can be anything to stay connected with your audience. You can ask them to follow you on social media, contact you for more information, sign up for newsletters, or continue to a relevant page. No matter what you include in your CTA, the objective is to keep the audience engaged with you and your content.
7. Review. Before you hit, “publish,” make sure you have checked for mistakes. Examine each post for typos and misspellings, verify links, and check sources. It’s easy to overlook mistakes in your own writing, so it’s very important to have a second set of eyes (or more) on every piece of content. Reach out to a team member and have them look over your posts, too. It can be tempting to get in a rush and avoid this step, but please don’t. Any extra time used for proofreading can make the difference in sloppiness and professionalism.
8. Publish and share. After you have taken the time to research your audience, incorporate branding, write great content, include SEO, add your CTA, and review your post, it is finally time to share your blog with the world. Publishing your blog on your website is a good start, but you want people to find it. Make sure your audience knows it’s available. Create a social media post with links, send in your newsletter, ask your team to share your post on their pages, or all the above. Make the most of your blog content by repurposing and using it in as many ways as possible.
9. Evaluate Success. Don’t forget to measure the success of your blog. Incorporate analytics and check for engagement and views. Use social media analytical tools to evaluate the success of the blog on each channel. Review interaction with your blog to see what topics your readers enjoy. If you are just starting a blog, it will take some time to get a complete picture of your results, but it is imperative to evaluate and adjust appropriately. Continue to measure success so you know if or when you need to take a different direction or adjust your blogging approach.
These steps can get you started with blogging. If you give them a try, we would like to hear about it. If you feel overwhelmed and have questions or need assistance, we are here to help. The team at The Social Bullpen can create a custom plan for your blog and all your marketing needs.