A business needs a blog, but that is only part of the story. The blog needs to excite your readers if you want them to subscribe, return or share it with friends.
How Essential Is a Business Blog?
If you see a large company investing in a blog, there are good financial reasons for doing so.
Hubspot tells us that your business blog will help drive traffic to your website and then help convert that traffic into leads. That’s enough.
What about ROI? Isn’t a blog just an extra cost with no provable ROI?
Blogging is an important part of inbound marketing, and the chart below shows most companies attach a high priority to inbound:
If you want to calculate your company’s blogging ROI, ConvinceandConvert.com has a step-by-step ROI calculation template you can use.
How Do You Start from Scratch?
Your blog is an add-on, not an instead-of. It means extra work. If you take on part of the blog responsibility then you will need to delegate some other part of your workload to an employee.
Your Blog Domain Name
You have three options for the domain name of your blog:
- A directory, eg YourCompany.com/blog
- A sub-domain, eg blog.YourCompany.com
- A separate domain, eg YourCompanyBlog.com
The directory is your best option for SEO, followed by the sub-domain, with the separate domain coming in third.
Set up a sub-domain on your hosting account (it costs nothing to set up sub-domains.) and redirect visitors who type in that address to your blog directory.
If you think someone will buy YourCompanyBlog.com, then buy that domain name because a few pounds a year will be worth it to prevent a legal fight that will drain your energy and financial resources at some point in the future.
How Do You Make Your Blog Go Viral?
A viral blog is every company’s dream. It won’t happen all the time, but even occasionally it will be like a second turbo kicking in on your car. Check out this post on promoting your blog.
Give Your Blog Personality
Your blog needs its own personality. Start by moulding your ideas on someone who resonates with your target profile.
If you are targeting older introverts, then avoid a brash, extroverted tone in your writing and podcasts. If your target profile is a young extroverted parent, then ask someone on your staff who fits that profile to do most of the writing. Your delegated blogger should use language that your target readers would use, have similar interests, and be intimately familiar with your business operations.
Your blog should have only the one voice, so if you want additional input use a podcast or written interview format with your blogger as the interviewer.
Focus Your Company Blog on Readers’ Needs
Your readers have only a passing interest in you and your company. They are only interested insofar as you can help them.
Yes, there is a place for a few updates on the CEO’s grandchildren, but only to give a human face to the business. Most posts should solve the problems readers have.
If your company makes garden fencing, then a post about how a customer or employee has used your products to stop neighbourhood cats from getting in. Other posts could include a video showing how simple your fencing is to install, allaying prospects’ anxiety over installation staff trampling over their prize roses. Every post must be written with the customer in mind rather than to promote the company.
Write Top Quality Blog Posts and Guides
It might be simple to churn out 500-word blog posts every day, but you would be wasting your time because nobody will link to or share your dross.
Long-form posts are the way to go for viral growth and links as shown in the chart from Backlinko.com below:
Length is not the only measure of quality, but it is often used as one that is easy to assess. If your object is virality, then encourage your blogger to source long reports and white papers that others in your industry will refer to.
Your company needs a blog like a runner needs feet.
A runner’s feet aren’t enough on their own; after all, everyone has feet. It’s what the runner does with his feet that matters, alongside other important parts like his or her heart, lungs, and legs.
Your new blog can help you reach more people who need your company’s services, but it needs to have personality and to be full of high-quality posts that serve readers’ needs. A company blog must earn its keep, prove its ROI and must always be more than a vanity project where you boast about your latest product or acquisition.