Tips for building a blogging strategy and strengthening your content writing techniques.
Do you remember Bill Gates’ iconic mantra “content is king”?
Although the well-worn phrase was coined way back in 1996, it still strikes a chord twenty years later. Quality content resonates more than poor, high frequency content, often regardless of the market. What does this mean for a brand new or a long-running business blog? Simply put, the higher the quality of the content, the better it is for business.
In fact, sixty percent of businesses with active blogs acquire new customers. Today, small companies and large corporations alike are shaping public opinion through well-managed blogs and well-informed blog articles. This isn’t an overnight process—they’re doing it one piece of content at a time. Fortunately, building a strong blog isn’t the hardest thing to do…but it does take dedication. Acquaint yourself with these business blogging essentials for a successful start.
Stats from Social Media Today demonstrating the effectiveness of business blogging.
Know Your Audience
- Focus – It’s not uncommon for well-intentioned blogs to sink into obscurity by trying to be too much to too many people. Even worse, some blogs are nothing more than promotional tools that consumers ignore after the 100th 15 percent off offer pops up. It’s all right to self-promote or go off topic on occasion, but remember that each blog article should provide valuable and relevant information to the reader.
- Google Trends – Starting a new article or campaign from scratch isn’t always necessary. Take advantage of non-traditional blogging tools like Google Trends to kick start a brainstorming session or provide inspiration based on current search trends or specific search terms. Do you work in home repair or consumer electronics? Run a quick search to see what’s trending and craft a blog article around what you find.
Read Great Blogs to Write Great Blogs
- Industry leaders and competitors – It may sound counterintuitive, but digging into blogs written by direct competitors will show you what’s being said within the industry. Additionally, gauging what industry leaders are talking about and adding to the conversation with a well-crafted article could get you a coveted backlink from respected sources around the Web. As an experiment, track down a handful of competitors and industry leaders and see what’s going on in their blogs.
Blog growth has been rapid and widely adopted, as found by BWHGeek.
- Blogs about blogging – According to an infographic compiled in 2013, there are already more than 152 million blogs populating the Web. With the numbers growing daily, there are plenty of blogs about cats, blogs about cars, and, yes, blogs about blogging. Blogging blogs that address the mechanics, marketing musts, and content don’ts have found their niche. Popular information goldmines like BlogTyrant and Copyblogger can be invaluable for learning new techniques while sharpening skills and staying in the know when it comes to strategy.
Writing Blog Articles Like a Pro
- Create “evergreen” content – Evergreen content, information that is always relevant and never goes out of date, can attract readers years after publication. Popular formats for evergreen content include lists, infographics, step-by-step how-to articles, and product reviews. Not everyone is an industry expert, and easy-to-understand content pieces are inclusive to broad audiences.
- Take advantage of blogging tools (plugins) – Depending on the blogging platform used, there are hundreds of blog-enhancing plugins designed to streamline the process as well as monitor and improve content. Countless “best of” plugin lists have been created, so finding complementary plugins for a business blog is easy. Essentials like the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress can help keep content within search engine optimized parameters, which makes writing a keyword-focused, SEO-formatted article simple and intuitive.
- Check your grammar – Tossing your content into an online grammar checker like Grammarly can ensure that your article is formatted properly, help sharpen writing prowess, and improve structure over time.
- Practice – As mentioned above, quality content wins over poor, frequent content—almost every time. That said, one blog article a month is probably too sparse, even if it’s genius. Establish a content release schedule, maybe once or twice a week, and practice different blogging strategies and techniques from time to time. Did last week’s article not reach many readers? Dissect it, determine why, and try something a little different. Write, dissect, and write some more.
With so many resources and blogging tools available online, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. On the same note, treating a single source as the end-all bible of blogging know-how can be restrictive. It’s important to continuously explore the “blogosphere” as it grows. Strategies that are common practice today could become outdated next week or next year. Just remember, “content is,” and always will be, “king,” and more often than not, the company creating the highest quality content sits atop the business blogging throne.