Out of the 1.7 billion websites in the world, over 600 million of them are blogs. There are 2 billion blog posts published every year, which equates to 5,760,000 per day, and 4,000 a minute! (2018, Internet Live Stats)
Given that there are so many blogs, should you even bother to start one? Absolutely! According to a recent survey, marketing executives voted business blogs as the No 4. tool for generating leads for sales.
More than half of businesses that have a blog say that blog content creation is one of their top marketing priorities with 96% of businesses increasing or maintaining their content marketing budgets.
Why are so many businesses focusing on their blog? When done properly, your blog can give you the biggest bang for your buck, giving you one of the highest returns on your marketing investment.
It is a low-cost marketing tool with the potential to reach your target market in a very effective way. If you decide it’s time to create a business blog, here are some SMART tips to follow to build a strong web presence and get noticed!
Choosing the Right Platform
When it comes to signing up for a blogging platform, there are many to choose from. Popular choices include Wix, Blogger, WordPress.com, and WordPress.org. The latter two are essentially the same, however, wordpress.com blogs are hosted directly on the WordPress servers, whereas, wordpress.org sites require you to provide your own hosting.
You can purchase web hosting and start a site using wordpress.org, and you will get lots of features and greater control over your site. WordPress.com is simpler to use, but this comes at a cost. You will have less control over your own site, and if you want to upgrade it to make the best use of the features, it can become costly.
Once you have settled on your blog name and where it will be hosted, you should set to work creating your blog and starting to fill it with content. First of all, pick a theme that is easy to navigate and that looks good. Often, the simpler the theme the better, as this will tend to load quicker.
Content is the most important part of blogging. That means that you need to write great posts on a regular basis. Make your posts relevant to your niche. Make them easy to read. And, most importantly, make them informative.
Your posts should be at least 500 words long as a rule, and you will need to make sure that they read well. Great content will be something that will make readers want to come back again and again.
Monetizing Your Blog
Once you have a readership that is big enough, you can start to monetize your blog. This means adding functions to your site that might earn you money. For example, you could add adverts that will generate you an income, and you could look affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways of earning money through your blog. In principle, it works by you hosting a link to a product or service, which you will encourage interested in readers in using. Whenever someone buys the product because your link will earn a commission.
You need to be totally upfront if you are monetizing your blog through affiliate marketings. Add a disclosure policy on your site to inform visitors that you have affiliate links within your content and that you could earn money from them.
You could also sell products or services through your site. Think about creating ebooks, printables, or offering up your services as a content writer for hire.
Boost Your Search Engine Optimization SEO
One of the most valuable things about your business blog is its SEO potential. Strong SEO is what helps your website get seen at the top of a search engine’s results, making web users more likely to visit your website.
Through the content you publish, you can maximize the effectiveness of your website’s SEO and draw in more visitors to the rest of your website. Every time you write a blog post, the search engine sites have one more page to index, giving you another opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.
Google, Bing, and other search engines want relevant, fresh, and valuable content. By providing that through your blog, you can potentially get people to your site without paying for an ad! It is important to note, however, that search engine sites frequently update their SEO algorithms.
In its quest to bring high quality, relevant content to users, search engines frequently roll out and refine new algorithms. Google recently made its biggest update since RankBrain five years ago called Google Bert. Take time to research what the changes are and what you need to focus on when updating your business blog!
Position Yourself as a Subject Matter Expert
Instead of seeing your business as transactional, think of it as relational. Focus on adding value to your clients and customers through useful content. By making content that is both educational and interactive, you gain the trust of your clients.
Provide them valuable information that they need, not just what they want. Sharing a helpful experience and telling stories are also another effective way to draw in readers.
Regardless of the size of your business, blogging can help you build credibility, trust, and establish authority in your industry. You want to answer questions your potential customers have. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes.
Connect and Engage with Your Customers
There are 77.8 million new blog posts published every month on WordPress, along with about 54 million new comments (2018, WordPress). These comments are incredibly powerful, especially when engaging your client in a meaningful way.
It will help you build brand awareness. People don’t just buy a product or service, they are buying an experience. Blog’s are collaborative, helping your company feel more approachable. By responding promptly to any client comment, it can help you build loyal relationships and gain insight into what your customers want.
You can then use this information to continue improving your products or services. When clients see this, they feel as though their voice was heard and that they made an impact. This will help boost customer loyalty!
Creating a blog for your business has many benefits, but it will only be worth it if you do it right. Treat your blog as a marketing tool, and an opportunity to show your expertise by adding value for your customers.
With the right approach and a great strategy, you can develop a business blog that really works for your business and helps to increase your bottom line. How is your business blog performing? Perhaps it’s time to unlock its full potential.