4 Keys to a Successful Business Blog

Padlock With Success Key Showing Strategy Planning And SolutionsA business blog that shares valuable content is one of the simplest and fastest ways to position yourself as an expert, attract ideal prospects, and grow your online presence. When used properly, a content-rich blog is one of the greatest investments you can make for your business success.

However, this is often easier said than done. Great in theory; not so great in practice.

That is, unless you have a blogging strategy and you work that strategy. A successful blogging strategy will keep your readers interested, leave them wanting more content from you, and build your business. So, before you create blog content for another post, keep these four crucial strategies in mind.

1. Blog posts are for capturing and keeping attention—not selling.

Business blogs aren’t designed to sell—they’re meant to educate your audience, nurture your list, and attract leads.

Let me repeat this because it’s important: your blog posts should not be used for advertising your products or directly selling your services.

(Leave that responsibility to your sales pages and video sales letters.)

Sure, it’s okay to write an article that promotes an upcoming event, a free strategy call, or a new program launch, but the majority of the content you share should be informative and useful to your readers.

Consider your blog articles as opportunities to educate and pique interest in your expertise, your passions, and your strategies.

No matter what content you share, remember that quality is always your top priority.

Quality gets shared. Quality gets re-Tweeted. Quality goes viral. Your blog is a necessary tool that’s used to drive your business toward a bigger endgame—whether it’s making the homepage of Huffington Post, showing up on your colleagues’ Twitter feeds, being asked to guest blog on another site, or landing new business.

Think of each blog post as a pawn on a chessboard. Your readers are the pawns. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want my readers to walk away with after they read this?
  • Where do I want them to move next?
  • What’s the end goal for them?

Your blog posts can strategically seed something bigger for the reader, whether it’s working with you as a private client, joining an upcoming webinar, attending an event, etc. Keep your readers engaged beyond the blog post.

Keep the endgame—and your chessboard—in mind.

2. Your blog content should have range.

One of the easiest ways to have a successful, business-building blog is to share tangential content: content that is broad, yet interesting enough to appeal to a variety of readers.

Your articles should simplify advanced subjects for the reader. People are busy. They don’t have time to analyze content while they’re sitting with their coffee or scrolling through your article on their iPhone.

To increase your blog content’s range, translate complex subjects into bite-sized pieces that are easily understood, easily digested, and easily shared by your readers.

Not sure what we mean? Here are some of our blog posts that fit these criteria:

All three of these articles discuss very high level, strategic business concepts. Yes, we’re a copywriting and content marketing firm, but we know what our readers—and potential customers—want to learn. (Yes, that often means sharing content that’s not related to copywriting!)

We know what our clients’ pain points are. We know what their business goals are. We know what their most urgent challenges are. We know what they’ll read, apply, and share.

All three of these articles hit our ideal clients’ pain points, turn concepts into easily applicable, bite-sized strategies or tips, and share content that is useful to a variety of industries and niches. No matter what content you choose to share, your articles should fit those same criteria.

Your blog is your opportunity to put your personality on paper. Be inspiring, relatable, intriguing, and surprising. Share bold perspectives. Push the envelope. Create a buzz. Say “no” to boring content. Whatever you choose to create, make it interesting and give it range.

3. No blog is better than a bad blog.

There’s nothing worse than creating boring, drab, uninteresting content just because you feel obligated to fill your editorial calendar.

(Remember when I said that quality is always your top priority? I wasn’t kidding.)

Sharing valuable blog content with your audience doesn’t mean you must upload something to your blog just to fill an empty space. If you have any hesitation about the quality of your content, the usefulness of a post, or the message it’s sending your audience, here’s our advice:

Don’t waste your time (or your readers’ time) on terrible blog content.

Here’s why: a bad blog pulls users away from your website. Bad content is not a badge of honor you want for your site. A bad blog is bad for business.

On the other hand, a good blog with useful content pulls users off the web and onto your email list, into your events, on your webinars, etc. Great content attracts and converts the customers you really want to work with. Valuable blog content is shared with others. Thoughtful blog content grows businesses.

If you’re wondering whether or not your blog content is “good,” ask yourself:

  • Is my content useful to the audience?
  • Will it inspire the readers to take action?
  • Does it connect to their emotions?
  • Is the content relatable?

We recommend sharing blog content at least once a week—two or three times, if possible. The more you connect with your readers with great blog content, the better your relationships will be with your prospects. A good blog will position you as the expert they can relate to, trust, and learn from on a consistent basis.

4. Never underestimate the power of referral traffic.

Referral traffic is vital to the success of your business blog. Direct links, rather than organic searches, drive referral traffic to your blog. Referral traffic drives prequalified target leads to your content.

To increase your referral traffic, all you need to do is share valuable, quality, specialized content. Be original, be different, and try these strategies to boost the numbers of eyeballs that read your articles:

  • Promote your blog posts to your colleagues and friends.
  • Send your blog articles to other sites looking for guest bloggers.
  • Comment on other experts’ blogs to be seen as a content curator.
  • Drive people to helpful resources you offer at the end of each post.
  • Provide contrarian views to common assumptions and insight.
  • Create original content that pushes the envelope and separates you from the crowd.

Include a “subscribe” button on your blog (and website) so people can stay up-to-date on your most recent content. Offer a freebie—a CD, a collection of your best blog posts, an audio series—in exchange for their email address. Ask your readers to share or forward your content with others, and thank them—in advance—for their support.

A great blogging strategy has the power to grow your business, elevate your role as a thought leader, and bring in steady traffic to your content. Remember to educate your audience, let them walk away from your content having learned something of value, and be daring!

Keep these four strategies in mind…and happy blogging!

Looking to create a blogging strategy that captures attention and converts? Click here to download our FREE Quick-Start Guide to Content Marketing.

michelle

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