Do you currently manage a business blog? If you’re a B2B company, business blogging offers organizations a lucrative opportunity to attract and convert leads. Blogging is a great way to highlight the expertise, services/products, and personality of your brand. It’s also one of the best ways to enhance your search engine ranking, increase website traffic, and boost revenues.
In case you’re still not sure of the benefits of a business blog, here a few stats that highlight their effectiveness:
- Businesses that blog receive 97% more links to their website
- 45% of marketers believe blogging is the most important part of their content strategy
- 77% of internet users read blog posts
35 Must-Follow Tips for Creating a Great Business Blog
You can’t expect to be successful with a business blog if you don’t commit to becoming an expert. This doesn’t mean you need to spend 40 hours a week learning everything about business blogging there is to know. It means that you need to be ready to hit the ground running each week with new blog posts. Your business blog needs to become your priority.
1. Be Consistent
This is by far the most important business blog tip. If your audience expects to see a new blog from your company each week on Tuesday at 11am, you need to deliver. Inconsistency will destroy your blogging credibility. Take a look at how consistent HubSpot is with their blogging schedule. Because they’re a large organization, they post new blogs 2 to 3 times each day:
2. Stay Organized
The more organized you are with your business blog’s process, the more efficient you’ll be. Create a game plan for your blog that includes post graphics, ,authors, publish dates, a posting schedule, promotion schedule, list of topics, and other essential parts of your blogging strategy. The Moz Blog does a great job organizing the front-end of their blog:
3. Use Credible Sources
It’s best practice to link to credible sources that enhance the reputation of your brand and business blog. Use names that carry a lot of weight in your business industry to establish authority and align your business with your audience’s perception of highly successful companies. Linking to a Forbes article is always a good idea for exactly that reason:
4. Start with an Outline
An outline is your blueprint to writing a successful blog post that follows a logical line of thinking and finishes a complete series of thoughts. Too often business blog posts read like a stream of conscious thoughts that never seem to make any sense. You can always tell when a blog post was written using an outline because there’s a distinct format with headings, subheadings, and lists:
5. Keep a Running List of Blog Post Ideas
It’s a lot easier to blog consistently when you have an idea of what you want to write about. Don’t wait until the last minute to choose a topic for you business blog. Keep a running list or topics that relate to your business in a Google document, Word document, or Excel spreadsheet. Businesses that blog on a consistent basis (especially daily blogging) most certainly keep a list of blog topics close at hand. Just look at Hootsuite’s social blog homepage and the sheer number of recent blog posts:
6. Use Value Keywords
Posting consistent blog posts is important, but you probably won’t get any traction without using focus keywords. Using keyword will allow your business blog to start ranking with search engines, improving your ability to attract organic traffic to your website. For example, if you google “inbound marketing austin” Envision Creative ranks #1 in Google search results because of our strategic keyword use:
7. Check Grammar
Which sentence looks more professional to you?
- There’s nothin you company can’t do if they focus on great stratgy.
- Your company can accomplish anything with a great strategy in place.
Chances are you picked the second one because the first sentence is riddled with grammatical errors. Make sure your business blog carries a standard for great writing and stellar grammar, otherwise you’ll experience a severe loss of credibility and respect.
8. Write About What You Know
If you run a financial firm write about finance. Stick with what you know. If you want to write about something relating to your business but don’t have the expertise needed to create a stellar blog post you have three options:
- Write about something else
- Educate yourself
- Hire someone who can write from a position of expertise
Copyblogger does a great job writing about subjects that are directly related to content marketing:
9. Know Your Audience
Always produce blog content that your audience wants. It doesn’t matter what you want to say. If you audience isn’t interested you’re just wasting time and effort that could be better spent addressing their concerns and curiosities. Ever heard of Jon Loomer? They guy is a Facebook marketing guru. Within hours of crucial Facebook updates, changes, and modifications, Loomer is already analyzing the changes and writing about how his audience can capitalize on them. His business blog is the perfect example of someone who knows their audience and caters to their needs:
10. Avoid Self-Promotion
Self-promotion has it’s place in your business blog, but it needs to be very subtle. Your visitors shouldn’t even realize you’re promoting your own blog. Instead, offer free value to your audience by educating and informing them with your company’s expertise. Roundup blog posts, such as this one from Awario, are great examples of non-promotional blog content that doesn’t specifically call-out the business blog, but still curates a generous amount of attention for the author:
11. The Headline is the Most Important Part
Why do you typically click on a link to a blog post? It’s probably because the headline caught your attention. Your business blog needs to use engaging headlines that tell your audience what they can expect without giving away the entire story. One of our most popular recent blog posts had a simple headline that promised visitors they could find out how to identify “5 Epic Brand Attributes”. Of course, they had to click on the link to discover those five epic elements:
12. Don’t Be Dishonest
Dishonesty is stupid. That’s right, we said it. If you’re planning on turning your business blog into a content generation machine that doesn’t rely on facts and evidence, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Tell your audience exactly what you know, tell them how you know it, and tell them why it’s important. Don’t embellish and don’t exaggerate.
13. Write When You Have Enthusiasm
Trying to write a post for your business blog when you’re not feeling enthusiastic is a bad idea. Sometimes it’s better to postpone writing a new post until you’re inspired to write about a topic that ignites your passion. Blogging is just like 1-on-1 conversations. People can tell when the author has enjoyed the writing process and when it was a chore. Pardot does a great job of keeping their blog content feeling enthusiastic, fresh, and enjoyable:
14. Focus On Quality Over Quantity
Mark Shields once famously said, “There is always strength in numbers.” While it makes for a great quote, the context is often untrue, especially in business blogging. Many businesses dive head first into blogging without taking the time to evaluate the quality their blog posts can maintain as the volume of posts rise. If you don’t have the time it takes to write a comprehensive, value-added blog post every single week, just focus on writing one great blog post every other week rather than cranking out two or three bad ones during the same timeframe.
15. Create a Variety of Posts
Try to shake things up once in awhile were your blog posts are concerned. Writing a basic blog format if great, especially if the content is valuable, but sometimes your audience needs variety to stay interested. Take a look at these types of posts for inspiration:
- How-to posts
- List posts
- Collection of quote posts
- Trending subject posts
- Story posts
- Review posts
- Tutorial posts
- Statistic posts
16. Don’t Use Jargon
Running a professional business blog usually includes avoiding the use of jargon. Why? Because not everyone will know the context you’re using it in and that can lead to confusion and miscommunication.
17. Use Examples
Images, videos, screen-shots, and audio bytes can all be great business blog tools. If you’re trying to explain a concept to your audience, using examples can improve the relevancy of your blog post. Many people can understand what you’re saying simply by skimming through the blog post when visual examples are included:
18. Leverage Social Proof
Anytime you can leverage the power of social proof, take advantage of it. Showing reviews, testimonials, and case studies can go a long way towards converting a visitor into a customer. Check out these great examples of social proof in action from HubSpot:
19. Use “Will”, not “Can”
“Do or do not. There is no try.” Words to live by from the great Jedi Master Yoda. He might as well have said, “Will or will not. There is no can.” When you’re writing a blog you need to convince your audience that you know what you’re talking about. Telling them “ignoring email open rates can harm your campaign” is much less powerful than saying, “ignoring email open rates will hard your campaign.” Be decisive.
20. Use Bulleted Lists
If you’re writing a blog post that’s between 500-700 words, you should try to find a way to convey part of your research as a bulleted list to break up large blocks of text. This makes it much more user friendly and your audience will appreciate the ability to skim through your content to find the important parts:
21. Quote Well-Known Experts
We’ve already done it twice in this post. You don’t have to quote Yoda on your business blog, but it’s a good idea to reinforce your arguments and points of conversation with quotes from well-known figures in your industry.
22. Write in the Voice of the Business
Just because you’re writing a business blog post that doesn’t mean you have to stale, boring, and using business-speak all the time. Be conversational with your writing tone. Write the way you and your team talk with customers. Keep it friendly and professional.
23. Ask Questions
When the human brain reads a question, it instantly begins to formulate an answer. Including questions in your blog posts every now and then will encourage your audience to stay engaged with your content.Check out Jon Morrow’s use of questions to engage his audience on Smart Blogger below:
24. Include Images
Who says we have to grow up? The best part about books when we were little kids was the pictures. Not much has changed. People today still crave visual aids during the process of storytelling. Your business blog doesn’t have to be overflowing with images in every single post, but you should make an effort to include at least one image in your posts:
25. Write a Meta Description
Make sure your blog is as thorough on the back-side as it is on the front-end. Your meta description is what your audience will see when they google your chosen keyword. Make sure to include your keyword in the the meta title and meta description of your business blog post:
26. Be Careful with Keyword Density
It’s easy to want to overuse a keyword when you find one with good SEO ranking possibilities. Don’t do that. Google will penalize your business blog for keyword stuffing and then all parties lose. The general rule of thumb is to include your keyword, or a synonym of your keyword, at least once in each paragraph.
27. Make Your Business Blog Shareable
Have you ever started reading an article online that was so great you had to share it with your friends on social media only to discover the site didn’t have social sharing buttons. This is an easy fix. Just find a good plugin for your blog that allows your audience to share away to their hearts content:
28. Share Your Blog On Social Media
Once you’ve published your blog posts it’s up to you and your team to spread the word. Use your brand’s social media channels to promote the new post. If you’ve quoted a well-known figure in your industry, tag them. This can increase your chances for visibility.
29. Send Your Blog Posts Via Email
If you have a regular newsletter or a list of email signups for your website make sure they get a copy of each new blog post. This has multiple benefits; first, it positions your company as an authority, and second, it exposes your business blog to a larger audience.
30. Don’t Focus on Word Count Too Much
There are numerous studies online about the importance of reaching a certain word count for each of your business blog posts. Everyone has a different opinion, but the general consensus is that longer content tends to rank higher in search results. If you can write a 2,500 word blog post every week, that’s great! However, if you have trouble reach the 1,000 word mark, don’t kill yourself trying. It’s better to have a shorter blog post with great information, rather than a 1,500 word blog post that’s stuffed with embellishments.
31. Sometimes Less is More
Here’s a pro-tip for when you’re really short on time. Create a quick checklist or “thought of the day” post that doesn’t require hours or research to create. This allows you to continue a consistent posting schedule and still delivers content that your audience finds interesting.
32. Be Opinionated But Not Rude
Don’t be afraid to let your audience know exactly what you’re thinking. People like strong opinions, especially when you have research to back it up. The one thing you need to avoid is being rude. Find a balance between the two and your audience will love you for it:
33. Triple Check Your Writing
We’re back to grammar. But this time it’s important to also check your business blog posts for context and accuracy. Does your blog post make sense? Are your sources trusted? Read through your article a few time before verifying the accuracy of your work and okaying it for publication.
34. Have Someone Else Check Your Writing
It happens to the best of us. We triple check out work. We read it out loud. We run it through spell checker. It looks perfect. The next day a co-worker lets you know you missed a “.”, or added an extra “the”. Have someone check your post once you’re finished with it. This of this as your quality-check before publishing.
35. Create Timely Blog Posts
Some of the best business blog posts happen as a response to recent events and news. If there’s something happening in your industry that’s getting a lot of buzz, consider writing a blog on the subject. This is a great opportunity to reach a broader audience with your brand’s content.
There you have it. 35 lessons we’ve learned that you can use to benefit the results of your very own business blog.