“How do I drive more traffic to my website and generate leads for my business. I have been blogging for the last month and nothing has come from it.” Sound familiar?
Over the years, I have written and published hundreds of blog posts. I have written about social media marketing, blogging for business along with other marketing topics. I will admit that some post are good and some are just bad. However, I have picked up some pointers along the way as I continue to become a better business blogger. Practice makes perfect, right?
Today, I want to share with you about 30 blogging tips I have picked up over the year. My hope is that you can take a couple of these blogging tips and use them in your business blogging to generate more traffic.
I started with the hardest blogging tip first. Creating a lasting, profitable blog requires content and dedication. If you start writing daily, you will have a better chance of success. This does not mean you need to write a blog and publish it every day, it just means you need to write something every day. A sentence, a paragraph, or a full out term paper will work. Writing daily will help you develop great content your readers want to read and a lasting blogging discipline for success.
Develop a content calendar
It has been my experience that having a content calendar helps you write faster. If you plan out your blog topics and themes ahead of time, you have a better chance of succeeding. A content calendar will help you visualize your content over the year. Take a day to really plan out your blog posts and develop a blog calendar that will help move your business blog forward. Make your blogging plan visual.
Set publishing deadlines
They say if you write something down, it will get done. I believe this to be true. I also believe that if you set deadlines for your blog posts you will get them done. If you know you want to blog for your business once a week, know that you need to finish writing Tuesday, edit Wednesday, and publish by Friday. Deadline will help you get your blog post out on time.
Publishing your blog post on the same day of the week will help train your readers to come back. Being consistent will ensure your readers know what day to come back to your website. Consistency in blogging is key to your success. I will admit that this is one of the things I struggle with. I tend to blog when I feel like it.
Don’t give up – think long term
Becoming the next big blogger takes time and dedication. Blogging for business is a long term plan. It can take up to 6 months to start seeing results from your blogging efforts. Don’t give up on your blog too early. Blogging is like a snowball rolling down a hill, it takes tons of effort to get it going, but as it rolls down the hill it picks up momentum. Just like an avalanche.
Don’t care about stats too early
If you are a marketer and I know you are, you are concerned about the stats, data, and metrics. How much traffic is my blog generating to my site? When will I start to see my email list grow? I need to show some net, net results. These are all great questions, but if you start looking at your stats too early, you will give up. Metrics and key performance indicators are great but do not start measuring your stats too early. It is a recipe for giving up.
Make sure to keep your headlines and blog post titles clean, simple and useful. I am not talking about click bait, but I am talking about writing your headlines to attract your audience. Your headline can make or break your blog post. Typically, I create 5-10 different headlines for each blog post. I will then determine what headline works the best and publish it. Creating headlines that attract readers is hard, it will take some time to master.
Know your audience
What is the ultimate goal of your blog? Your goal is to convert new customers, right? In my time as a marketer, the one thing that I have learned is the importance of knowing who your customers are. If you do not know your customer, how are you going to create content for them? Before you start diving into your blog, develop your ideal customer. This will make it easier to create content for them, not you.
Crowd source ideas
You know your customers have questions about a variety of topics. Use their questions to help fuel your blog. Use each customer question as a topic or new blog post. This will help you generate new ideas, continue to create new content, and create blog posts that your customers are going to want to read. Let your customers and readers help create your content calendar and topics for your blog.
Do your keyword research
We all want traffic to our blog. We would also like to get as much free traffic from our blog as possible. In order to increase your organic traffic (traffic from Google, Yahoo, and Bing), you need to know what people are searching for. Make sure to do your keyword research to increase your “free traffic”. The more keywords you rank for, the more free traffic your blog will receive.
Build your email list
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to increase sales to your business. Use your blog to increase the size of your email list and create a marketing asset that will continue to pay off over time. Remember, it takes up to 16 engagements to convert a stranger into a customer. Your email list is a great way to deliver your marketing message over time. Use your blog to generate a bigger email list.
Promote on social media
You worked hard writing, editing, and publishing your blog post. It is time to let the world know about your great work. Once you publish your post make sure to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media platform your company uses. Promotion of your blog will help your blog be seen by more people and drive more traffic back to your website.
Make sure your content is easy to share
You are promoting your blog content on your own social media outlets, but what about others sharing your blog on social media? Ensure that your blog posts are easy for other readers to share. If you are using something like WordPress, make sure to include a social media plugin. The more shares your content gets, the more chances your blog is going to be seen.
Write quality, not quantity
There is a debate out there about the length a blog post should be. According to some research blog posts that are under 350 words will not get indexed by Google. Other research shows that the sweet spot for a blog is 2,450 words. My opinion is the best blog post is the one your readers will actually read and the length does not even matter. Just make sure you are able to create something of value.
Tell a story
People like relatable stories. Stories are more entertaining and fun to read. Tell stories in your blog posts to increase readability and engagement. Yes, there needs to be a point to the blog, but weave in personal stories and lessons you have learned along the way. Stories will help your blog become more meaningful to your reader. You are interesting, let the world know about it.
Create a resource, not a newspaper
Okay, the newspaper continues to die year after year. So, stop telling the news and start creating resources that help teach about new topics. If your blog post is out of date in a month, the shelf life is short. Resources, on the other hand, will stay around for years and continue to drive traffic to your website. Continue to create resources your audience wants, not just rehashing the news.
Guest blog and network
Have you ever stood in a dark room with a bunch of sales people, real estate agents, and mortgage brokers at a so called “networking event.” Yeah, me too. I have found that networking has become more valuable as you go digital. Find people in related fields and guest blog. This does two things. Guest blogging helps get you noticed in a new circle and helps their blog stay fresh with content. I have news for you, traditional networking is dead. Start networking digitally with a guest blogging strategy.
Post comments on other blogs
Part of blogging is reading and engaging on other blogs. Posting comments on other blogs is another great way to gain exposure. The trick to commenting is going beyond the standard response, “great blog post.” If you are going to post a comment, make is memorable and add value by adding your perspective or a story that supports the point of the blog post. Treat commenting like an extension of your blog.
Build content themes (clusters)
Blogging for business is becoming harder and harder. When I first started blogging for my business I could rank organically very fast. Now, it takes time and multiple blog posts around a theme in order to get traction. Blog about content themes and continue to create content around the theme you choose. Content themes are a great way to gain traction on difficult keywords.
Answer your customer questions
Do you know why people are reading your blog? They are reading your blog because they are looking for answers to a question they have. If you know your customers are looking for answers, create content around their questions. The next time they go to Google and type, “what is the… fill in the blank”, they will find you and your blog.
Invest in your brand
Have you ever Googled a question and landed on a website that looks like the beta version of the internet? If you have, I bet you bounced and found another website that was more modern. Your brand appearance is important to your blog if you want readers to come back. Invest a little money into a great looking website that has a modern feel. Your blog, business, and readers will thank you for the investment.
Watch your competition
When was the last time you looked at your competition? The answer for most of us is never. Well, let your blog be the first time you start to look at your competition. Get to know what they are writing about and try to figure out their strategy, who they are targeting, and why they are investing time in certain topics. This will help you understand your industry and give you more ideas to write about. Competitive analysis will help your blog become the best in your industry.
Watch the experts, not what they say
The other day I was on a webinar about blogging. They stated that you need to blog 16 times per month in order to get more leads. Cool, that is a goal I can strive for. I went over to their blog and the last update was 6 months ago. Watch and copy the execution of the expert and take their words with a grain of salt.
Develop your voice
Is your business funny, serious, dark, or light hearted? Your business has a voice. Develop a company voice and stick to it. Remember, people like real people. If you try to fake a voice, it is going to wear you down. Make sure to develop your voice and stick to it.
Don’t forget your current readers
Owning a business is hard work. I get it. You need new customers and new ways to find leads. However, we often forget our current customer base. Well, your blog is no different. Your current readers might not buy anything from you, but they might spread the word about your new post that lands that new customer. Be thankful for your current readers and create content for them as well.
Develop your CTA
Your blog post has the reader’s attention. They have read through the entire post and shared the content on social media. Remember to add a call to action (CTA) to the end of your blog post. It could be as easy as asking them to subscribe to your email list or buy a tee shirt. Your call to action needs to get your reader to take action.
Give away something cool
Typically your CTA is going to be something of value. We see the typical eBook, whitepaper or video content given away for free. These resources are given in exchange for the reader’s email. If you are going to give something away, which you should, make sure it is something useful and not just a lame cheat sheet the reader will never use. Create fewer offers that add more value and you will increase the chance you land a client from your blog.
Share your knowledge
Everyone wants to learn how to do things better, do things more efficiently, or learn new tricks. As a professional in your area of expertise, you are able to share your knowledge. There are people that believe giving away trade secrets or knowledge is going to hurt their business. I would say that it is the exact opposite. The more you give, the more you get. Your blog should help and add value to the end reader.
Blog for links
Over time, your blog is going to drive links back to your website. The trick here is not to ask for links or purchase links from shady backlink companies. It is about creating quality content that other bloggers are going to want to link back to. The better your content, the more links you are going to earn. It is better to earn links that purchase links.
Conclusion: Blogging tips for a better blog
There you have it. My best 30 or so blogging tips to help you get more out of your business blog. Remember, that blogging for business is a super valuable asset and should be part of any marketing plan. Until next time, keep on being the badass mktr that you are.