Yes, we said the ‘B’ word, but no, we won’t apologise. If you’ve been to workshops and seminars said to improve your online presence or marketing, you’ll have heard the ‘B’ word before.
Now, don’t freak out, we are first going to amaze you with sparkling statistics on the effect of really good blogs, then tell you how to give blogging the best go you can.
- 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog. (Source: HubSpot)
- Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%. (Source: TrafficGenerationGate)
- Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog. (Source: ThinkCreative)
- 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. (Source: Content Plus)
Why do we love blogging so much?
You heard the statistics, now let’s give you our take on why we love blogging:
- They have less rules attached to them: You write what you want people to know, don't feel limited to writing the equivalent of a stuffy press release or 6 o’clock news bulletin. Change your tone, be witty or be charming, it's your blog, your choice.
- SEO is out and SMO is in – or so we said, but you can still keep Google happy by including good content on your website, and that’s what blogs do best! As continuous streams of fresh content are uploaded to the blogosphere, and users tune in to what you are writing (and come back, with comments/social interactions!), Google will rank you higher and higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages). The algorithm programmers want to see your consistently high quality content and when you give them that they reward you – so use keywords and blog regularly!
- Blogs are conversation starters with comment boxes, ratings and the opportunity to share on social media, meaning an increased amount of people talking about your product and more people seeing it.
- Brand awareness is all about being ‘out there’, follow the advice of considering keywords, link to your blog through social media and update whenever you post a new blog and watch your SERP placement increase!
Three tips to make your blog posts successful
There are some good rules about writing online which we recommend considering, but three other hints (besides writing techniques) are:
- Keep your blog title under 10 words, i.e. New lounge furniture range hits ASDA Stockport store (7 words), says what the story is about and also includes keywords for SEO optimisation.
- Consider copyright laws which do apply to all internet content, don't just pull your information, statistics and photographs off any old web page. Try and create original photos and information, otherwise reference sources correctly, the easiest way to do this is including a hyperlink, i.e. ‘Thrive said inbound marketing is really great'.
- Commenting should be regulated, after all you don't want scammers posting links to 'dodgy' websites, nor do you want rival businesses posting defamatory comments about your company or yourself.
These really are three fairly big blogging rules, but of course there is always more you can do, such as implementing a disclaimer, installing social media marketing buttons and brushing up on your writing skills.
Creative ideas for business-related posts
So you know why you should start a blog, you have statistics to prove that blogs are super duper and you have a few rules to get you started. What do you write, though?
- Start with lists: Think of the Buzzfeed culture we have fallen into in 2013 (check out this link) and jump on the back of its success. It’s so simple for your time-deprived readers to glance over a headline which states exactly what it does (i.e. Buzzfeed’s “12 Ways to...”) and then decide to share it with their friends and followers on social media.
- Reverse your lists: We can counteract ourselves and say don’t always be predictable with “8 Ways to Improve Your Revenue”, but change it to “8 Ways to Lose Revenue” – why? It shocks people!
- Do some research about things happening during the upcoming weeks (i.e. National Smile Week, Wrong Trousers Day, British Sandwich Week and National Doodle Day) and plan some relevant or light-hearted content – they are relevant to users, easy to plan ahead for and are easily shareable.
- Use statistics! Blog posts loaded with handy statistics (from research you’ve done yourself or compiled from others’) are great to share and similarly to the list technique, they can be easily read and provide great content.
Ultimately, it's your blog and in terms of what you want to say and how you want to say it, it's all down to you. These marketing tips are just to encourage you to make the most of what many companies already are.
Blogging is one of the most time-consuming marketing strategies you can undertake, particularly as a small business. However, they can improve your keyword optimisation strategy, clarify marketing messages and boost brand awareness.