Published on March 31st, 2017
What is Business Blogging?
Business blogging is as essential to marketing a business as the yellowpages. A business blog is a marketing channel that helps businesses increase visibility online, brand awareness, blog subscribers, and support business growth.
Remember when blogs were secluded to LiveJournal and reserved for nerdy niches? Well, those days are long gone as blogging for business has become a staple of every marketing strategy.
Business blogging is as essential to marketing a business as the yellowpages once were and if you haven’t adopted the practice yet, you may be at a serious disadvantage to your competitors.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to get started. In this article, I’ve put together everything you need to know to make up for lost time and start blogging for business right away.
The Truth About Business Blogging
With so much contradictory information (and opinion) being thrown around, it can be difficult to know what to really expect from blogging for business.
Business blogging has evolved quickly and much of the information you find online is simply outdated, even if it was technically true a few years ago.
In 2011, for example, before blogging was fully-accepted as a legitimate marketing tactic for businesses, Daily Blog Tips shared 6 ugly truths about blogging.
At the time, they were all valid points to consider, but as expected with time, many have grown untrue.
These six statements represent common beliefs (and misconceptions) that still exist today. For those of you new to the medium, let’s take a few minutes to set the record straight about each one.
This article is part of the “Content Marketing & Blogging”Hub in the IMPACT Anthology. This hub will help introduce you to the basics of blogging for business and best practices for producing amazing content.
“Ugly Lie #1: Business Blogging isn’t easy”
Blogging isn’t easy in the sense that the results come quickly with little effort, but when you consider the other ways businesses have used over the years to reach customers, blogging is a piece of cake. (I’m talking funfetti.)
What’s easier: blogging or walking door-to-door? Would you rather publish a post a day or make 100 cold calls a day?
I’ll stick with business blogging, thanks.
“Ugly Lie #2: Business Blogging isn’t a viable business model”
Now, this one is flat-out wrong today. Between Mashable, Buzzfeed, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, and VentureBeat, there are millions being made off of blogging these days.
While most businesses (including IMPACT) use blogging to drive traffic to their website rather than their main source of income, it is very much possible.
“Ugly Lie #3: Business Blogging isn’t all about you”
Ok, I’ve got to say, they’ve pretty much hit the nail on head with this one.
Your company blog is all about your buyer persona, not you.
If you’re not providing value to your ideal prospects and customers (i.e. answering their questions, addressing their ideas), you’re taking the wrong approach to blogging for business and are unlikely to attract traffic or subscribers.
“Ugly Lie #4: You don’t need to interact much with your readers”
Saying that you don’t need to interact with readers is almost as bad as saying you don’t need to respond to customer service inquiries.
As a business, you need to understand that your blog readers are all customers or potential customers that deserve some attention.
Your brand is heavily judged in the digital age by its online interactions, so the more you connect, the better.
“Ugly Lie #5: Practice doesn’t make you perfect”
Perfection in anything doesn’t exist, but business blogging is a skill that will definitely improve with practice.
Take a look at our own blog, for example. Our posts today are light years ahead of our posts from even a couple of years ago and we’re only going to improve from here. The same goes for you.
“Ugly Lie #6: You don’t need a lot of blogging advice”
It’s all about quality over quantity. If you simply master the fundamentals (listening to your audience and writing quality content), your business blog will be better than 99% of blogs out there.
Expectations vs. Reality of Business Blogging
Now that we’ve cleared up some misconceptions, let’s tackle the issue of what to expect from business blogging.
We all want results yesterday, so our expectations often need a reality-check. Here are four of the biggest.
Expectation #1: Our customers don’t read blogs
Reality: Not all of your customers read blogs, but they all use Google to find answers and information. If your blog has the information they’re looking for, they’ll find that information and discover your brand.
It’s extremely difficult to do internet research for aproduct or service and not end up reading several blog posts. Your customers might not be avid blog readers intentionally, but they’ll definitely visit your blog site to read a post if it delivers the information they’re looking for.
Expectation #2: If I build it, they will come
Reality: Waiting for blog readers to find you is a waste of time. Business blogs need a solid promotion strategy to get their content in front of their buyer personas.
Over time, yes, they will come — but you’ll grow your blog readership faster by actively promoting your content.
Expectation #3: Every post I publish is going to be awesome because I’m awesome
Reality: As Former IMPACT Content Marketing Manager, Carly Stec, explains:
“You’re right. You are awesome, but the truth is, some posts simply miss the mark. Sometimes it’s the content and other times it’s a lackluster headline. In worst case scenarios, it’s both.”
– Carly Stec, Staff Writer at HubSpot (Former Content Marketing Manager at IMPACT)
Every blog post isn’t going to be a hit, but the good news is they don’t have to be for your business blog to be successful. You just need to get it right most of the time.
Expectation #4: Blogging will take up too much of my precious time
Reality: Time invested in your business blog is time well-spent, but blogging is a time-consuming endeavor. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to blogging, you should seriously consider hiring someone to do it for you.
Strengthening Your SEO With Frequent Blogging
In order to be fully optimized and help your blog articles rank higher in search results, your focus keyword should appear in all of the following “On-Page” SEO areas: URL, Page Title, Section Header, Subheaders, Main Content, Image ALT Text, and Meta Description.
To illustrate this, let’s say you are creating a new article centered around the keyword: “Organization Optimization”:
Page Title (H1) (Max. 70 Characters): Organization Optimization Through [Your Company’s Name]
Section Header (H2): How Can [Your Company]’s Technology Help Your Organization Optimization?
Page URL: http://www.yourwebsite.com/organization-optimizationtechnology
Main Content (Within the first 200 words): “Effective organization optimization can help improve your employee experience, company culture ..”
Image ALT text: organization-optimization-through-technology Meta Description (Max. 150 characters): Learn more about how [Your Company]’s technology for organization optimization can benefit your business.
In addition to these on-page elements, one of the most effective (but often underappreciated) ways to dominate SEO is to blog more frequently than your competitors.
As any online marketer will tell you, every customer started simply as a visitor to their website. According to HubSpot, 78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
By frequently blogging fresh, relevant content focused on solving the problems of your consumers, you’re effectively producing more indexed pages to be picked up by the search engines.
Why is this significant?
Well, simply put, when close to 80% of all Internet users are searching for product information through search engines, wouldn’t you rather your blogs to be a resource for these users rather than your competitors?
Of course, you would.
What’s Considered Fresh & Relevant?
Fresh, relevant content refers to the practice of creating original content that directly addresses those problems or challenges your consumers are having on a consistent basis.
Pulling content from other industry blogs or rehashing the same ones continuously will actually have the reverse effect on your site. In fact, Google actually penalizes sites that employ duplicate content, negatively impacting your search engine ranking.
At IMPACT, we produce our own content daily, focusing mainly on offering helpful, relevant blog articles for our target audience that also tie into the services offered here at our agency. This not only drives new traffic, but also return traffic from subscribers.
Why Content is the “New SEO”
Content marketing has been declared across the marketing industry as the new SEO. Because of this, your website will get buried alive without fresh, relevant content, mainly in the form of blogging.
This has become even more important due to the changes Google has undergone in the past few years.
To drive home the importance of great content, you only need to take a look at Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:
“Make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.”
The only thing left to say is, what are you waiting for?
How do I ensure frequent blogging?
At IMPACT, we utilize the many resources in our own office to help produce fresh, quality, and relevant content every day.
We’re also involved with various industry experts so that our client blogs are fully optimized to feature helpful, compelling content for the required target audience.
If maintaining a frequent blogging schedule sounds like too much given your schedule, contact IMPACT today and learn how we can help.
How Many Blog Posts Should Your Business Publish Each Month?
In 2015, HubSpot published blogging data accumulated from their 13,500+ customers to answer this question.
“Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.”
It turns out that higher blogging frequency benefits companies of all sizes.