Creating a successful business blog is mandatory for any business that plans to drive traffic, generate leads and win more customers.
Business blogging is not a new concept. It has been existing for the past 22 years now. According to NYMag, the first business blog was created in 1994 and the name is Links.net. In those days, people searched for information online using Altavista, webcrawler and askJeeves. Do you remember them? Those were the reigning search engines of those days.
Yahoo launched its website in 1994. After four years, Google Inc. was established. They were offering backlinks and granting authority (i.e. search return results).
According to SmallBizTrends, the first social media website – Six degrees was created in 1997. Then later, Typepad was launched to make it easy for everyone to blog. In 2003, Google acquired Blogger, which makes it easy for people to blog freely on the platform.
Today, there are 60% of businesses that have company blogs. That is a lot of improvement.
Unfortunately, 35% of these business blogs are active by publishing a post in a month. 65% have not updated their blog in a year or more.
In this post, you will be learning a lot about how to create a successful business blg to win more customers.
What Is Business Blogging?
Business blogging according to Techopedia “is a blog of published, informal online articles that are either included in a company’s internal communications system (intranet) or posted on the internet for the public to read“.
In general terms, it is a great marketing and communications tool that helps companies to communicate better with their customers, partners or employees.
It is the web interface between your business and your audience. Visitors can come to your blog to window shop or to find out more about your company and your products.
A blog is designed in a way to make your readers stay with your business. It is like a customer retention platform. Once people come to your blog and they read interesting content that helps to solve their problems, they will keep coming back for more. When they need your product or service, they will buy from you. They will also tell other people about your business.
Meanwhile, most businesses that do not have blogs rely solely on social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+. They are mini-blogs on their own, but they do not have the benefits you can derive from blogging. For instance, like I said above that having a company blog enables your readers or audience to stick with you. It is not possible with the social media. Once, they get to your fan page, all they do is to like your content and they may not return back again to you.
Blogging is for your business, but it is not about your business. It is not about your employees, wife, husband, children etc. It is all about solving your customer’s problem with relevant content. At times, I see company blogs littered with press releases and news about the company, but nothing about their customers.
A blog should be established specifically to solve your customer’s problems. Your product or service should provide a solution to their problem. However, you can add company news to spice it up from time to time, but it should not be the core message.
Talking about a successful business blog, Joe Pulizzi of Content marketing institute said “A business blog is important because it is the optimal choice for your content marketing hub. In today’s content-driven world, while you may view yourself as a marketer, you’re really a publisher. You have to provide relevant content for your prospects, customers, and the public, who spend over 10 hours a day consuming media.”
Below are the benefits of creating a successful business blog that will always win more customers:
Successful Business blogging benefits
1. A successful Business blog drives targeted traffic to your website
A business blog that is well optimized for search engines can drive targeted traffic. Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo love high-quality content and they reward you for it by ranking your blog high in search engine result pages.
According to search engine land, Google now processes at least 2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
What does this imply? When you create blog posts with targeted keywords that your audience are typing into Google, you will get lots of visitors to your business blog. This is because your pages will be indexed by search engines giving you a better opportunity to rank high in search results.
A research also showed that 80% of daily visits to business blogs are new visitors. If you create original content regularly, at least once a day, you will generate 5 times more traffic than other business blogs that post only once a week or less. If your visitors like your blog, they will keep coming back. They will also share it and this can make it go viral.
As you blog regularly, your web traffic will keep increasing. Studies show that a 53% increase in traffic occur after 51 posts and this will increase if you are able to create 100 posts and more. Getting traffic is not the ultimate goal of business blogging, it should convert to leads.
2. A successful Business blog helps to convert web visitors into leads
Blog posts will drive targeted traffic to your website, but that is not all. The traffic or visitors must convert into leads. As you create your blog posts, you must include an attention-grabbing call to action that will draw your visitors to take the necessary action that will convert them into leads. This includes signing up for a free e-book, requesting a consultation or quote, etc.
According to a research carried out by HubSpot, when you blog at least once a month, you will get up to 70% more leads than your competitors who are not blogging. Other studies suggested that it is 126% more leads for your business.
The leads you generate should convert into customers.
3. A successful Business blog helps to convert leads into customers
Generating leads is not the end of the process, the leads you have must convert into customers. You will create blog posts and email series that will further convince your target audience that your product or service is the right one for them. According to a research carried out by Research Now, nearly nine in 10 consumers (84%) make purchases after reading about a product or service on a blog.
Not only that, more than 60% of U.S online consumers say they have made purchases as a result of reading a blogger’s recommendation.
You can see from the statistics above that blogging increases your sales by a wide margin.
4. A successful business blog gives your business a voice
In those days, big companies use the traditional media channels, such as television, radio, and newspapers to advertise their product and create brand awareness. Today, businesses can compete favorably with large companies through business blogging. As you use your own blog to share information on topics related to your products and services, you have the opportunity to talk directly with your target audience. They get to know you and understand what your product or service is all about.
5. A successful business blog generates long-term results
Although, it may be difficult to establish a business blog, it pays off in the long run. Once, you are able to create enough posts for your blog, you will start seeing the dividends. One good thing about blogging is that your post never disappears from search engine results, it continues to generate traffic years after you create them.
I am sure that you are now convinced that business blogging works. Now it is time to take action by creating a blog for your business.
How to create a successful business blog for your business
Creating a successful business blog is not a rocket science. Below is the step by step process you can take to do it.
1. Have a business blogging goal
Blogging is a long-term strategy and for you to be successful in it, you have to set goals. Many business owners make the mistake of jumping into blogging without giving it a thought, hence the reason why there are so many abandoned blogs. A research stated that there are 35% active blogs and 65% blogs that have not been updated in one year or more.
When you have goals, it gives you a direction to follow. Business blogging goals help you to create content with a focus so that your content will not get lost in a sea of content online.
There are different goals you can set for your business. For example, in the b2b content marketing research of 2016, business owners stated that they have lead generation, sales, lead nurturing, brand awareness, engagement, customer retention/loyalty, customer evangelism and upsell/cross-sell goals for their content.
A good example of a company that have a successful business blog goal is River pools and spas. Their goals were to generate new leads and sales for their business. They created a business blog with informational content that is useful for their audience. Did it work?
Yes it works!.
They wrote an article titled “How much it cost to install a fiberglass pool”. The post generated 2.5million in sales. That is the power of focus and goals. They create articles that answer their audience’s questions and concerns.
Creating goals for your business blogging helps to give direction to your content and you will easily know what to write about.
2. Know your audience
Knowing your audience is very important in creating a successful business blog. After all, you are in business to solve their problem. Your audience is the same as your customers in real life. You need to attract them to your business blog. The only way to do that is to create content that is useful to them.
This is where buyer persona comes in. Buyer persona according to Wikipedia ” are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.”
You need to develop a buyer persona for your customers and identify their biggest concern, needs and what interests them. It is possible that you have more than one buyer persona or customer for your business. You need to create a persona for each one of them. For example, a bank may have small business owners as its customers and also a married woman handling her family’s account. For such a scenario, the bank can have a buyer persona named Business owner Jude and Joan, the Mom. Below is a sample buyer persona.
To create a useful content for your audience you need to know what problems they are struggling with, their needs, the information they search for online etc. When you get this information, you can use it to create a piece of useful content for them.
Ardath Albee describing buyer persona said “A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience”.
According to Aberdeen research, marketers who use buyer personas to map content to the buyer’s journey have 73% higher conversions from response to marketing qualified leads.
3. Set up your business blog on your website or off-site
There are two different options for creating a sucessful business blog. It is either you create it on site or off site. For example, if your main business or company website is www.mymy.com. Adding a blog to your website will appear as www.mymy.com/blog or blog.mymy.com. However, if you opt for a separate blog, it means a different website address altogether.
Creating your business blog on your website has a good number of benefits:
- Visitors will have the opportunity to know your company
- It will improve your website overall SEO strength, helping you to rank higher in search results
- Creating a blog on your company website position you as a thought leader
A good example of a company with an on-site blog is moz.com. The company offers SEO and marketing tools. See the pic below:
The blog is featured prominently on the main page of the company. When you click the blog link on the main page, it takes you to the company’s blog as shown below:
The blog posts are well arranged and organized covering different aspect of internet marketing.
Many of the posts do not promote the company’s products but it helps the company to be seen as a thought leader in the marketing industry.
You can decide to have a separate business blog from your website if you want to promote your blog as its own brand, if you plan to sell the company but keep the blog in the future or if you plan to share content that strays away from your company’s main site.
A good example of an off-site blog is Coca -Cola conversations. It is designed for coke collectibles, restaurants, and advertising and it relates the company’s products to current events.
By now, you should have made up your mind on the two options mentioned above i.e. whether you want your business blog to be off-site or on-site.
The next decision you need to make is the type of business blogging platform to use. Now, if you plan to set up your business blog on your website, you have to choose from a good number of platforms as seen below:
Successful Business blog platforms
There are different types of blogging platform you can use for your business. The basic thing is to choose the best platform that is suitable for you. You will want to choose a platform that is easy to use and have a lot of customization tools to make your blog easy to navigate. You will need to choose a platform that is easy for beginners if you don’t have a knowledge about blogging.
Below are some of the best blogging platform for your business:
WordPress is the most popular business blogging platform. It is easy to use and comes with a good number of plugins that makes blogging very easy.
A research study carried out by research gate revealed that WordPress is the most common business blogging platform, followed by Blogger and Typepad.
Some of the platforms provide hosting services, while you have to host some of them by yourself. If you have an existing business website, you can use any of them for blogging. All you need is to get a professional website designer who can do a good job for you.
Now that you have your blogging platform ready, it is time to start brainstoming about what to write on your business blog.
Blog post idea for a successful business blog
It will interest you to know that about 90% of business blogs content are crap. Most of them are rarely updated and when they do, they post press releases and sales pitches. Customers or visitors are not interested in company’s news, they are looking for solutions to their problems.
This is why you need to create content that makes people think, inspires and changes their lives. When you create the right content, it will bring more traffic, shares, engagement and good conversion rates.
If you are still struggling with blog post ideas, here are five ideas you can start with on your business blog:
1. Informational How-to posts and guides
This is a step by step post teaching your readers how to do something. It is a very popular type of post and it is known to generate a good response from readers. A lot of people are seeking out information about so many things to make life better and easier for them.
You can choose to teach your audience how to use your product or any feature of your product.
A good how-to article and guide should help your visitors or customers solve a problem or accomplish a particular task.
The purpose is to create a piece that shows your expertise in the niche. The first thing is to find out what your customers are struggling with. This will be the topic of your article. For example, Eastwood Company sells tools and equipment for auto repair. They wrote some great how-to articles teaching their audience how to do several things such as “how to make your metal shine” as shown in the post below.
There are two ways you can write a review post. The first one is by creating a post to review your product. This will further enlighten your audience on how to use your product. The second one is to look for other products related to your own and create a compare and contrast post on them.
In fact, many websites make money from reviewing products and services. You can find review post on virtually anything you want online. A good example is a post below from Neil Patel. He is the co-founder of Hello bar. He reviewed 12 tools including his own hello bar in the post below.
Creating videos are a great way to attract people to your business, especially when you post it on YouTube. It is one of the largest search engines with over a billion people. You can also post it on other video sharing websites like Dailymotion, Vimeo, Twitch, Liveleak, Metacafe, etc and share it on your blog and social media networks.
A company that does this well is Go cell phone repair. They are into phone repairs, software solutions, tool reviews etc. The company create video tutorials to teach their audience to repair their wireless accessories.
Interviews are easy to create. All you need to do is to talk to leaders and experts in your space or esteemed customers to get a fresh content you can share with your audience. You can present it as a text, audio or video depending on what is suitable for your audience.
5. Checklists and to-do lists
Most people look for direction on how to perform simple tasks. If they have questions, they need answers. You can create simple check list or to do list for your audience on a variety of things related to your business. It is the kind of post that reminds your audience of how to do something without forgetting anything.
A good example is a company selling family camping gear: They created a post titled “Family camping check lists as shown in the image above.
Now that you know the type of content to post on your business blog, it is time to write them. Most business owners do not have enough time to create authoritative content for their business blog. Some do not know how to do it.
Not to worry, you can easily hire blog writers to do the work for you.
Hire blog writers to create blog Posts
A business owner wears a lot of hats, especially if you are just starting out. You are the director, the accountant, the content writer, editor, etc. Even big businesses have lots of writers who contributes daily to the business blog. As part of your successful business blogging strategy, you need to hire blog writers who will help you create epic content for your blog. You don’t just need any kind of writer, you need a writer that will create authoritative content for your company. This means you are going to have to bypass the $10 an article writer and look for writers with a track record of writing great content.
Here, we help business owners to create authoritative, inspiring and engaging content for their audience. The articles we create are search engine optimized helping you to attract visitors from search engines, to convert them into leads and customers at the end of the day.
Market your business blog
Now that you have your business blog in place and a writer to take care of content needs, it is time to start marketing or promoting your blog. Creating content and waiting for people to come and read it does not work anymore.
Because there are more than 2 million blog posts created everyday.
To position your product and services in front of your audience, you need to take it to where they are. You can start with the social media networks.
Create a business account on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest etc. Ensure you share your blog post with your fans and also encourage them to like and share it.
You can submit your blog post to Alltop, StumbleUpon, Triberr, Tumblr, Digg, Reddit, Sphinn and a whole lot of other social bookmarking sites.
Add your blog address to your company’s invoices as well as other correspondence to customers. You can also include it in your business cards so that people can visit it and learn more about your business.
Measure your business blog success
After you have done all you need to do regarding your business blog, it is time to sit and measure your success. This will enable you to tweak and rearrange your strategies for a better result.
For a successful business blog, there are four broad categories of metrics you can use viz:
- Blogging activity: Write down the number of blogs you post per day/week/month/ and the target keywords used.
- Audience traffic: Write the number of visitors coming to your website through your blog posts. You may want to know where the visitors are coming from such as the search engine, social media network sites, referral sites etc.
- Audience engagement: You need to know how your visitor is engaging with your business blog. You can measure this by looking at the number of page views per visitor, time spent on each post and the number of comments received
- Audience conversion: This signifies the number of signups or opt-ins you receive through your email newsletter and number of leads and sales from your blog posts.
However, according to the B2B content marketing trends written by Content marketing institute and marketingprofs, most business owners measures the sales lead quality of their content.
The most important thing is to ensure that you measure the success of your content. It will help you to know the best channel to promote your content and the best content your audience is interacting with the most.
Top 5 successful business blogs that rock
This section will show you companies that are doing business blogging correctly. You can emulate these companies or get inspiration from them. Below are 5 successful company blogs to check out:
REI is a company that sells outdoor clothing, gear, footwear, etc. They create blog posts that provide camping and outdoor tips, guides, comparison etc, from hiking, cycling, running, climbing to camping. They built a blog that can thrill any outdoor enthusiast.
Zappos blog is a good example of a company blog that has information to inspire their audience everyday life. It talks about culture, community, charity, lifestyle and sustainability. It is named beyond the box to give their customers experiences beyond their shoe boxes.
Citrix is an American software company that provides server, application and desktop visualization, networking Saas and cloud computer technologies. They created a blog called the Work Shifting. It focuses on issues people who work out of coffee shops, hotels, airports and home faces. Below is their blog:
Nuts about Southwest is a Southwest Airline’s blog. They are successful in blogging because they focus on their audience needs and interest. They publish blog posts that meet the needs of their audience. The blog is designed in such a way that it helps to build a relationship between the brand and their consumers.
They have members section where loyal fans can post their contents, ask questions and find answers.
5. Stonyfield farm
Stonyfield farms is a company that sells organic dairy products. Their blog focuses on building community and educating their audience about their market.
Business blogging is what every business owner needs to do. It has many advantages that you cannot afford to miss. If you are looking to get traffic to your website, leads, sales and more customers to your business, then you urgently need to start blogging for your business.
Creating a successful business blog takes a little step higher by creating content that inspires and educates your audience. This will enable them to interact more with your business and eventually do business with you.
Have you started blogging for your business? Share your experience or challenges below.