“Every blog post is a new landing page, and it works for you. It has a job and a hard hat, and it goes to work 24 hours a day for you.” –Amanda MacArthur, “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Corporate Blogs”
A badass business blog will help you land new clients, generate leads, and increase sales–if done correctly. There are a billion business blogs out there in the lawless land of the Internet. Your goal is to make yours distinctive. If you’re just getting started, or if you’ve gotten started and you’re feeling like you’re twisting in the wind, you’re not alone!
First Things First—Who Is Your Business Blog For?
Your blog is for other people, yes? Write for these people. Picture them in your head, and then write your post directly to them. Your blog should feel conversational and personal.
Many business owners feel that since the blog represents their company, they should offer the best, most formal version. This results in stiff, impersonal writing that reads like a textbook. Not only is it boring and will cause people to bounce off of your page, it is a waste of time–for your readers (aka potential clients) and for you. You just wasted precious resources dressing your blog post in a bowtie and tux. Your posts need to have style, jokes, the occasional existential question; those are the kinds of posts people want to read.
Find Peak Social Activity Times
There are flurries of activity on different media sites, depending on the time of day. For instance, many people roll over and scroll through Twitter the second they wake up. This means you would have a higher probability of exposure and clicks if you send something out into the Twitterverse in the morning.
Ultimately, you want a time where there is activity, but not so much activity that your post drowns. You aren’t going to get it right the first few times. Or maybe you do get it right but after a few weeks you notice a drop off in engagement. It’s simple: all you have to do is keep a healthy, open attitude about experimenting. You’ll just have to try new things at different times. Tools like Followerwonk can help. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for industry happenings, news, and other major events that may impact the attention span and tastes of your community.
Research and Feedback
Your blog is a conversation, in many ways. Do you want it to always remain one-sided? Unless you enjoy constantly talking at people in your everyday life, you can probably see where we’re going with this one. Ask for weigh-in from your readers. Get their take, their feedback. Ask what they want to read about. Host a 3 question survey on your business blog. Questions should address topics for future posts and types of content readers prefer (e.g. text, audio, video, etc.). You should also consider including space for comments—this gives readers the opportunity to leave personalized messages, thoughts, and suggestions.
Speaking of seeking feedback… You also want to encourage feedback by way of comments on your blog post. Nothing gets people going more than the chance to chime in with their $.02. Really. Engagement is also where a community starts to take shape. Note that this does incur some more work on your end, as moderating becomes crucial to keep the conversations on track and troll-free. But it’s important!