Learning how to blog for your business is one of the best ways to boost your site’s search engine rankings, attract online prospects, and position your brand as an industry authority.
Unfortunately, the reality is that mastering the art of blogging is difficult and time-consuming. Blogging is well worth the investment, however. In fact, companies that blog earn 97% more links to their websites, meaning more traffic to your website, and ultimately more customers.
4 Steps to Learning How to Blog
In order to blog effectively for your business, there are four main business blogging elements you need to master:
- Creating a targeted experience
- Focusing on SEO
- Creating amazing content
- Promoting your content
Mastering these four elements will enable you to maintain a high-quality blog, helping your business gain a competitive edge and stand out from the crowd.
1. Create a Targeted Experience
Understanding who your audience is and what motivates them is the first step in running a successful blog. Every visitor to your website is a potential lead. You need to create an experience through your blogging that targets their interests and offers value that they can’t ignore. Consider the following questions when structuring your blog’s user experience:
- What steps do my customers usually take when buying a product or service (reading product reviews and testimonials, requesting a consultation, etc.)?
- What social media platforms are they active on?
- What types of content do they engage with?
Defining your audience sets the stage for the rest of your blogging strategy.
Generating topic ideas
One of the biggest challenges to blogging consistently is finding topics to write about. The key to success is providing answers to the questions your audience is asking. Create a list of the questions your business can answer by researching content on the following sites:
- Facebook and LinkedIn groups
- Competitor blogs
- Google Alerts (set up an alert for your keyword)
- Free keyword tools: Google Keyword Planner, UberSuggest.io, KeywordTool.io, AnswerThePublic.com
Any site that your audience spends time on is worth investigating. Chances are you’ll find a range of topics you can write about that your audience will engage with.
2. Focus on SEO
True search engine optimization (SEO) is much more involved than “choosing keywords.” Thanks to the increased sophistication of search engine algorithms, it is necessary to focus on the quality and relevancy of your content. Rather than focusing solely on keyword density, you now need to optimize content by building context into your writing; use synonyms, as well as contextually related terms and phrases.
Never randomly choose a keyword phrase to write about. Your chosen keyword should be strategically selected. Keep these factors in mind as you research potential keyword phrases:
- Monthly search volume. Higher monthly search volume offers the potential for increased visits, but also often means tougher competition.
- Conversion potential. Long-tail keyword phrases tend to convert better. For example, “men’s black aviator sunglasses” has better conversion potential than “sunglasses,” or even “men’s sunglasses.”
- Keyword difficulty. Paid platforms, like HubSpot, include keyword difficulty ranks that tell you how competitive keywords are. The lower the difficulty, the easier it is for your content to rank for the chosen phrase.
Without the help of premium keyword tools, accurately assessing search volume and keyword competitiveness can be challenging and time-consuming. Consider enlisting the help of an SEO agency to provide more in-depth keyword analysis.
We can’t conclude this section without mentioning the importance of meta-data. Optimizing your metadata is crucial to the success of your blog. Focus on maintaining the clarity of these seven meta-data elements:
- Focus keyword
- URL slug
- H1 tag
- Image alt tags
- Meta description
- Meta title
- Post tags
3. Create Amazing Blog Content
Amazing content is engaging, educational, and memorable. Your audience needs to be interested enough to read your content and potentially share it. They need to learn something they didn’t know or understand before reading your content.
Here are few simple tips:
Make your content “scannable.” Break up your blog posts into short paragraphs, subheads, bulleted lists, and images. If you don’t have custom, high-quality images, browse sites like Pixabay and Pexels for free ones, or pay for a professional service, like Getty Images.
Optimize your content for search by sprinkling your primary keyword phrase throughout your blog post, using a variety of synonyms and related terms to organically build context. Always include your primary keyword in the following five areas:
- Title tag
- URL slug
- H1 tag
- Image alt tag
- Image file name
Focus on quality over quantity. A small number of optimized and strategically promoted blog posts will yield better results than cranking out large quantities of low-quality posts.
Include a call to action. Include a logical next step for visitors to take, such as downloading a free ebook, signing up for a newsletter, or requesting a consultation.
Build an engaging structure. Large blocks of copy without breaks, paragraphs, short sentences, or imagery are difficult to absorb. They’re also boring. Structure your blog posts to retain user engagement from beginning to end by using images, subheadings, formatting, and more.
4. Promote Your Content
Promoting your content is vital to the early success of your blog. It takes months for search engines to index new blog posts, so promotion is often the only way your blog will attract visitors. Social media and email campaigns are no-brainers when it comes to content promotion, but you should also consider creating a link building strategy.
Methods for promoting your blog posts:
- Social media. It’s okay to promote the same content multiple times. Just remember to include a healthy mix of third-party curated content.
- Find opportunities to share your content. Track keyword mentions on social media and sites like Quora and Reddit. Be helpful, and link to your content whenever relevant.
- Build backlinks. Publish articles in local and industry publications, and reach out to bloggers and influencers to publish your content.
- Use email marketing. Send new blog posts to your email list when you publish new content.
- Guest post on authority sites. Publish useful, high-quality articles on trusted sites in your industry in exchange for a byline, and a link to your website.
Learning how to blog successfully is a long, sometimes tedious process. But a well-maintained blog that is focused on producing high-quality, useful content will build a positive brand perception, increase website traffic, and give your business a competitive advantage.