I’m surprised by how many businesses don’t blog. It’s one of the easiest, cheapest, and fastest ways to increase business…both online and offline. That’s why I’ve assembled this Business Blogging 101 guide.
To show what a difference blogging makes, I’m going to use myself as an example: I took a break from blogging for 6 months.
It was a mistake.
As soon as I started blogging again, I received 10 times more traffic. And my leads from my website jumped as well.
So, I wrote this Business Blogging 101 guide to help more businesses learn the importance of blogging and how to start.
In this article, I’ll teach you three things:
- Explain the importance of blogging
- Show you how to get started blogging
- Give you tips to get the most business from your blogging
Feel free to skip over sections that don’t apply to you (for instance, if you already have a blog, you don’t need to read the section on how to create one).
Let’s start out with why you should blog.
Why You Should Blog
I’ve already shown you how blogging helped me.
But let me show you three important reasons you should blog:
1. Warm Leads
When a potential customer visits your website, 9 times out of 10, they aren’t ready to buy yet.
They are in research mode: either learning more about the general product or service you offer, or comparing yours to other brands.
Or they may simply have questions.
A blog can help here.
It’s as simple as writing blog posts that answer the frequently asked questions, or offer information, demonstrations, or specifications potential customers would be looking for.
Not only does this alleviate some of the burden on your sales people, but it speeds up the buying cycle: instead of a potential customer having to email or call to find an answer, they can find it immediately in a blog post on your website.
2. Search Engine Optimization (aka, increased ranking)
Consistent blogging is a guaranteed way to increase your search engine rankings (which, in turn, increases traffic to your website).
Google has stated time and time again, that it prefers websites with consistent, fresh, informative content.
In other words: it likes websites with blogs.
The highest ranking pages for most keywords are blog pages.
Simple as that.
3. Make You/Your Business an Authority
Most people start their buying process by researching a product or service, not a brand.
For instance, when beginning the car buying process, the consumer will research different types of cars and read reviews and specifications.
Smart business owners realize this and blog about the information these potential customers are looking for.
Using the car example, a smart car dealership would blog about the different cars they carry.
What this does is turn your business into an authority in the mind of the consumer. And consumers prefer to purchase from an authority.
A business that does this extremely well is Amazon.
If someone is looking for a specific book, they Google it and see Amazon has a description, reviews and ratings. They read those reviews, and if they like what they see, they purchase from Amazon.
You can do the same with your own products and services.
Later in this article, I’ll give you some blog post ideas to accomplish this.
Creating Your Blog
We know a blog is important to your website.
Now, let me show you how to actually create your blog.
If you don’t have a WordPress website…
…you’ll need to create a WordPress website.
WordPress is the best blogging software out there.
(And, as my own wbesite’s name (myWPexpert.com) may have hinted, I think WordPress is one of the best things mankind has ever created…ever.)
So, when creating a WordPress blog, you have two options.
First, you can create a WordPress.com blog. While it’s faster and easier to create this type, it’s not optimal for businesses. Just 2 of many reasons not to use it: it puts ads on your website and requires you to have WordPress.com in the domain name (such as mywpexpert.wordpress.com).
Instead, you want a self hosted WordPress website.
I created a simple, free course to walk you through setting up your WordPress business blog.
If you have a WordPress website…
…it’s very easy to add a blog to it.
Most WordPress themes come with a blog page template built in.
To access it, create a new page and change the page template to your blog template. Page template options are to the right of the visual editor, in the “Page Attributes” box (see the image to the right).
If you don’t see that, you have a second option. Go to Settings and click on Reading.
At the top, change the “Front Page Displays” option to “A Static Page”. Select a page as your home page and choose a page you’d like to be your blog page. Please note that this option will not allow you to use a special home page built by your theme.
If you have neither option available, you will need a WordPress developer to help you add a blog. I provide this service. Just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What You Should Blog About (Blog Topic Ideas)
So, your blog is now all set up.
It’s time to start blogging!
But what should you blog about?
Here are 3 sources of inspriation:
1. Your Customers
The BEST source of blogging inspriation is your customers.
You’re writing your blog posts for potential customers anyways, so you should find out what yoru current customers would want to read.
Find out what questions they had before buying your product or service, while buying it, and after buying it.
Write blog posts answering these questions.
The best business blogging I’ve seen is when businesses get creative.
For instance, a duct tape compnay created a blog showcasing ways their customers used duct tape. One example was a duct tape dress.
Not only is this fun, but it gives your customers a new way to use your product.
And if you think your business is too boring to write blog posts about, just remember: there’s nothing more boring than duct tape.
2. Keyword Research
What people search for online is another source of inspiration for blog posts.
Doing a little keyword research, we can discover what people are searching for.
And it’s free!
Type in a keyword you think people would search for when looking for your product or service. The keyword tool will then give you suggested terms based on what people actually search for.
For instance, a construction company would type in the term “remodel”.
We then get all terms similar to remodel.
What I do is organize the list starting from the least number of searches to the most. The less searched for keywords are ones that are usually better for blog topics.
For instance, I found “kitchen remodel ideas” in the list of keyword ideas. I can now use this topic as a blog post.
3. Competition & Other Industries
Take a look at what your competition is blogging about.
If you find that a lot of your competition is discussing a specific topics, you may want to discuss it in a blog post as well.
Now, I’m not suggesting you copy them. Instead, give your own take on the topic.
For instance, I noticed many blogs were discussing why converting blog visitors into subscribers is important. So I wrote a post about what tools to use to convert visitors into subscribers.
You can also look at other industries for inspiration.
If a car dealership saw this same post you’re reading now, they might write a post titled Car Buying 101. Simple as that.
The Rules of Blogging
Most people ask me about the rules of blogging. The most asked question is, “How long should my blog be?”
Well, there are no “rules” for blogging — I’ve seen all different ways work — but there are strong “suggestions”. Let me discuss a few.
The blog posts that rank the highest are the longer ones. Usually over 1,000 words.
However, not everyone has time to read a 1,000 word blog post. People expect online reading to be fast and quick.
The length I stick with is between 400 and 1,000 words, and I know many blogs shoot for that as well.
Sometimes I go a bit longer, sometimes I go shorter.
But the 400 – 1,000 word mark is a good place to shoot for.
A blog post is not an essay.
It doesn’t have to be formal and have 5 parapgraphs, each with 5 senctence, and an opening and closing.
Instead, you can keep your posts informal.
You can use the first and second person: “I”, “We”, “You”.
As for tone, the best blog are ones with a light, sometimes humorous tone.
Even blogs on serious subjects like finance do better with a lighter tone.
Avoid big blocks of text. Instead, break them up with images.
Or use headers and subheaders, just like I did in this post.
And remmber, most people will skim your articles and only catch the headers. So it’s important to use your headers wisely. Notice, if you just read my headers, you’d get what my post was about.
How Often Should You Blog
I’ve seen it all.
Some bloggers will write once every month or so. Some will blog 3 to 4 times a day.
It really depends on your readers.
But, I will say this: don’t try and “over blog”.
What I mean is this:
If you try to write 3-4 posts a day, and really don’t have the time, you’ll get burned out and probably stop blogging for a while (I know, that happened to me).
So start with something you can handle: maybe once a month.
Then work up to twice a month. And maybe once a week.
I’d say three times a week is the MOST you should blog so you don’t overload your readers.
Great Blogging Resources
What I’ve written here is a good overview to get you started with your business blogging.
But obviously, it’s not everything you need to know.
Now that you’ve completed Business Blogging 101, let me suggest three resources to help your further your education:
This is the best blog about blogging and internet marketing.
Not only do they have amazing articles, but also implement amazing techniques.
So when reading this blog, don’t just read, but examine what they do that pulls you in and keeps your reading.
Neil Patel does an amazing job of discussing blogging techniques and reporting experiments he tries out. It’s a great way to see what works and what doesn’t.
Derek is one of my favorite bloggers.
He took a website from scratch and drove it to almost 100,000 subscribers in 2 years. Amazing.
Tools to Help With Business Blogging
This tool helps with finding what people are searching for online to give you inspiration for blog posts.
I use this to do my blog post writing.
It’s stored in the cloud, which is great because I’m never sure what computer I’ll be at when I start writing.
It doesn’t have as many tools as, say, Microsoft Word. But I like that. It prevents distractions, such as playing with font sizes.
Scribe (this is an affiliate link)
This is a paid plugin, but worth it.
It guides you as you write your article for maximum SEO benefit.
So there you have it.
Business Blogging 101.
Now get out there and start blogging, driving traffic to your website, and making more sales.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any tips, suggestions, or tools for Business blogging? Share them in the comments below. Thanks!