Smart business blogging is a process that takes time, skill, and a dash of talent to master. Many small business owners envision whipping up a quick blog post in a word processer, publishing it online and calling it a day.
Sure, that route will certainly yield a blog post for your company. But without strategy behind a company blog post, there won’t be many benefits to be found.
Blog posts that perform aren’t just pulled from thin air. There’s a process—a journey, if you will—that each post will undergo before finally flowing your customer to the end of the sales funnel.
And we’re documenting that journey here to help you understand how a business blog post truly works, from start to sale.
Part 1: Generating Strategic Business Blog Topics That Sell
When it comes to selecting the right business blog topic, it’s much more than just a guessing game. You need to understand what your customers are searching for, and what they are looking to get out of the information that you’re blogging about.
Good business blog topics are generated from a bit of research. A good example here is to identify profitable keywords that will trigger the search engines while also engaging your audience.
Since you’re already knowledgeable with your industry, you probably have a few keywords in mind that you can use for blogging. You can start off by integrating some of these industry keywords to get a few blog posts off the ground, but it’s not a bad idea to check into keyword research tools and browse through their recommendations. Moz’s keyword tool is a reputable option to find good keywords for your company.
You can also order a keyword report and have the work done for you.
Part 2: Crafting a Killer Headline
According to Copyblogger, 80% of people will read your headline while only 20% will be enticed enough to read through the rest. Headlines with high click rates tend to include:
- How To’s
- Numbered lists
- Headlines that ask questions
- Headlines that hint to reveal secrets
- Negative wording
- Engaging and intriguing adjectives
Once you select your format, remember to include your keywords in a fashion that makes sense. You want your headline to help your search rankings, but most of all it needs to appeal to real humans who will actually read your blog post.
Part 3: Reading and Research
This part of the journey mostly depends on how familiar you are with your business blog topic. You may have little research to do, or you may need to spend some time digging around for credible sources.
Here’s a helpful hint: a recent report suggests that Google may use article accuracy as part of their ranking algorithm in the future. If this prediction comes true, you will be a step ahead by including credible sources in your blog post for fact checking.
Part 4: The Written Word
Now that your headline is crafted and your research is complete, it’s time to move on to the writing aspect of your business blog post. Many writers have their own systems and quirks on how to tackle blog posts, but starting with an outline works for many.
As the business blog post journey continues, the outline will slowly grow into a draft. And that draft should be at least 500 words, although KISSMetrics suggests that long form content (1500+ words) leads to more shares, higher search engine rankings, and increased visitor stay on your website.
It might not be the draft of your dreams, but getting your main points down in front of you will help keep your ideas flowing.
And as those ideas flow, pay attention to your target keywords and keyword density. Using your keyword too many times throughout your blog post can get you penalized. Not using it enough will take away from any SEO benefits.
In general, aim for a keyword density of 2-4%. There are online tools and WordPress plugins such as Yoast for SEO that will help you determine your density.
So at this point, the business blog flows, makes sense, contains several credible sources, and has a few keywords sprinkled within.
But we’re just getting started.
Part 5: Activate The Engagement Element
Today, it’s not enough to simply type a few words for a blog post and hope for the best. This may just be one of the most important steps in the business blog post journey, so pay close attention, dear friends.
We’re looking at the human element.
In order to gain traction, build relationships, and score sales with your blog post, it must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Problem solving
- Builds Emotion
- Tells a Story
When you blend your business blog with these characteristics, you hit home with your reader and establish a connection.
This is what truly differentiates business blogging from one company to the next. These factors help your blog move mountains.
Part 6: Blog Post Publishing
Once you’ve crafted a well-written blog that contains your keywords and includes one of the engagement elements, you’re ready to publish.
Before you hit that button, check your work for any grammatical, spelling, or factual errors. Double and even triple checking can save you from a lot of headache down the road.
As you hit the publish button, your blog post is essentially born and search engine discovery is on its way.
Part 7: Search Engine Indexing And Ranking
When your blog becomes live, web crawlers will eventually find their way to your post. They’ll pull your main keywords from your blog and rank your website accordingly to Google’s current algorithm.
Within hours to a few weeks, your blog post will appear somewhere on the search engines. This isn’t to say that it will be page one, or even page ten.
Ranking your blog post on page one is another journey entirely, but for now it’s enough to understand how Google finds your blog and how long you can expect it to exist somewhere in search engine cyberspace.
And even though Google has found, indexed, and ranked your blog, there’s still work to be done.
Part 8: Going Social With Business Blogging
Your company blog serves as your hub, but you need to tap into your resources in order to reach the maximum amount of readers possible.
Awareness of your blog post doesn’t completely ride on social exposure, as there are other ways to promote your blog. But social promotion is the next logical step in the business blogging journey, so we’ll take that path for argument’s sake.
Besides, social reach can absolutely make a huge impact on your traffic and sales.
There are multiple studies that outline how often you should post your blog to social platforms, at what time of the day, and what day of the week.
As best posting days and times vary, you never want to bombard your social followers with your blog posts. Space your blog promotion posts out over the course of several hours, if not days, depending on the platform.
This infographic can help guide you a little further on best posting times on multiple networks.
As awareness grows of your blog posts, potential customers will start trickling in and traffic will start picking up.
Part 9: Discovery
This is the exciting aspect of the journey where your potential customers discover your blog post, whether it stems from social reach or the search engines.
As readers browse through your blog post, they’ll likely make several evaluations:
- Is the blog topic relevant?
- Does this blog post answer my question(s)?
- Does this blog seem and appear credible?
- Did this blog post teach me something new?
- How can I get more information?
- How can I get in touch with the company?
Ideally, the last two questions are your target. Inspiring the customer to contact you is the route to blogging conversion, and one of the last steps in the business blog post’s journey.
Part 10: Customer Contact
If you hit the right notes with your customer, they’ll make contact with your company or answer your call to action. Making customer contact through your blog doesn’t seal the deal of a sale, but it gets the ball moving forward in terms of making your company money.
The best part is that relevant and evergreen blog posts continuously keep working long after you hit publish. That’s one of the reasons why blogging is so cost effective, because your ROI can stretch over 2-3 years.
As with any journey, your mileage may vary. However, this guide gives you a good idea of what exactly goes into composing a blog post. From your first keystroke to customer discovery, the journey of a business blog is driven by strategy, planning, and promotion.
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