If you own a business, then starting a blog can do wonders for its growth. Small businesses with blogs get 126 percent more lead growth than those without. They’re a great way to engage site visitors, provide solutions, and build brand credibility.
However, many business owners fail to implement the techniques that pull readers in and keep them engaged. There’s no point in having a blog if it doesn’t improve engagement or boost sales, so you want to make sure you’re taking all the necessary steps to meet your marketing goals.
Here are five tips to help you get started if you want to run a successful blog for your small business.
Choose the Right Platform
If you have yet to set up a website for your small business, you need to choose the right platform. Your platform determines how much coding you need to do, how user-friendly its interface is, and how easy it is to write and publish posts optimized for search engines.
Do your research on different blogging platforms before committing to one. Many new bloggers choose WordPress because it’s beginner-friendly and easy to set up. It also comes with many customization options in the form of plugins that make your site stand out from the rest.
Once you choose a platform, you need to:
- Pick a web hosting company.
- Register a domain name. This is your business’s URL. You don’t need to worry about this unless you have yet to name your business.
The web hosting you choose depends on what you need to create the blog you want. For new bloggers, BlueHost is a solid option since you can integrate it with WordPress and manage your installations with one click.
When choosing a web hosting provider, pay special attention to pricing, features, customer support, and security options to ensure it meets your needs.
When picking a domain name, make sure it stands out from your competitors and is easy for users to remember. If it’s not relevant to your brand, people might forget about it.
Know Your Audience
Imagine landing on a blog that covers all kinds of topics across several industries. Not only would you not know where to start, but you also wouldn’t think of that website as credible. Sometimes, too many options is a bad thing. Instead of drawing visitors in, it’s likelier to overwhelm them into going elsewhere.
When you start a blog, it’s crucial to narrow down your content so it speaks to a specific audience. The more you specify your target audience, the more you’re able to help them find solutions and cater to their interests.
Think about your customers and what their needs, interests, and pain points are. Analyze your website analytics to see where your visitors spend the most time and where they bounce from the page.
Create a survey that asks specific questions about what your customers want to see from your blog. Use the answers to create buyer personas that map out their details and demographics. The more information you collect, the easier it is to create blog topics that cater to your target readers.
Creating content without having goals in place sets you up for disaster. You need to know what you aim to accomplish if you plan to see those results. Having a successful content marketing strategy starts with creating clear, realistic goals.
Figure out what you want to achieve with your blog. Some common goals for small business blogs include:
- Driving traffic
- Increasing engagement
- Improving lead generation
- Building an email list
- Boosting sales
- Strengthening customer relationships
After you pick and stick to a few goals, it’s easier to envision the next step so your blog is successful. Sometimes it’s as simple as narrowing down the options so you have a clearer idea of what to focus on.
There’s no point in having a blog if it doesn’t offer value to its readers. Blogs exist to inform as well as provide quick, easy solutions.
Around 77 percent of internet users read blog articles, which means a majority of them seek to find solutions or learn something new. If readers skim your content and don’t learn anything, or feel they could’ve learned it elsewhere, then it’s likely they won’t return.
Conduct keyword research to find out what your audience is searching for online. Keyword research involves using specific terms and phrases to find relevant topics your visitors want to read about.
It doesn’t hurt to spy on your competitors to see what content resonates with their audience so you get an idea for your own blog. Pay attention to the posts with lots of shares and comments as these are the most popular. It’s also wise to take note of questions that people leave in the comments so you get an idea of what solutions they need.
Your content needs to entice your audience and keep their interest. Otherwise, your site faces a drop in engagement and an increased bounce rate. Your blog should cater to short attention spans and distracted brains, which is why it’s important to include more than text in your posts.
Spice up your content by adding visuals, which can be images, videos, infographics, and more. Visual content aids readers in learning new information and helps them stay focused. It also convinces them that your blog is interesting enough to come back to.
When you hook your readers, it’s a good time to encourage them to join your email list. Email produces an ROI of $40 for every dollar consumers spend. It also makes it easier to access subscribers so you can update them on your brand, inform them about new posts, and move them through the sales funnel.
Back to You
Starting a blog is an exciting endeavor that brushes up your writing skills and shows the world your expertise. It’s a great way for small businesses to boost their engagement, grow their customer base, and increase revenue. What will you do to create a successful blog for your business this year?