How to Start a Business Blog

How to Start a Business Blog

The blogging business is in a rapid speed, as business is growing, the blogging are also growing instantly. If you think that, blogging is just for fun, and then think once again. In this competitive business world blogging plays an important role which can help you describing your business to the world outside.

How blogging helps your business brand?

Business blogs are spreading rapidly in business community as they can create wonders by sharing company’s expertise, building additional web-traffic and to connect with potential customers and clients and most importantly to show your brands. The business which runs blogging and branding together are undoubtedly, are successful.
This is because, a well promoted business blog for its brand gives people something new and helps them to remember them and come back to your business site. However, it also help your business, if the customers is happy with your brand, then in turn they will share to others can provide your link to them and can increase your fans.
Blogging allows being interactive with your clients. It can be use it to create subscriber base simply by aggregating your blog feed and once you do it, you should constantly keep updating it with providing information on new brands. Remember one thing, when you blog about your brands keep it original and be real and provide information which are useful to your customers and clients both.

Blog as communication tool:

Your blog acts as a communication tool. It duly helps in establishing your credibility and to be leader in your niche brand. If a client or a customer needs any solution then a blog can really help to find it. Name the URL in such a way, which can help anyone to find your blog right on top of the Google page and, yes, SEO to is helpful to market your blog.
One more advantage of blogging for business is that, it is low cost and can reach millions of people. They are usually free or not as expensive as that internet marketing which you read online.
There are some business blogs which can give a clear idea, about the business blogs and how their brands are marketed through blogs:

10 Key elements to Start a business blog

Key elements to Start a business blog

To target and optimize the true potential of your business’s blog, you need to develop a solid blog strategy from the outset. A comprehensive blog strategy comprises many elements, with considerable background research and on-going management required. The following guide outlines ten of the key elements you’ll need in your blog strategy; all of which should be consistently managed and routinely reviewed:

1. Readership Research

Every blog strategy must start with research. Your blog will need to remain relevant to its audience on an on-going basis. Take time to establish who this audience will be. A blog that constantly drifts off-topic won’t fulfill its audience, or the aims of the strategy. Analyze the profile, online activities, likes, dislikes, and needs of your target audience. That way, you’ll be better able to deliver a targeted and successful campaign. Tip: While carrying out your research, monitor the preferred media of your target audience: how do they respond to videos, written posts, infographics, whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, etc?

2. Competitor Research

Research the blogs of your competitors, suppliers and clients. This will help you to build up a detailed profile of your market, as represented in blogs. Analyse their content and publishing frequency. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How are they promoting their blog? How active are their blog communities? Then do the same elsewhere online – analyse their presence in search engine results, social media, industry forums, etc. This will add further depth to your competitor analysis. Tip: While carrying out your research, subscribe to relevant blogs and follow key people and organizations in social media – these will form invaluable networks.


3. Market Share Research

There are already countless demands on your audience’s time. Find out what these demands are and work out how you can grab a few precious minutes for your blog. Are there popular industry publications and do they have a blog? How often and when do these publications, and your rivals, blog? How often would your readership like to receive blogs posts – too often or too little can be equally damaging to the overall success of your strat

egy. Tip: While carrying out your research, watch for gaps in the subject matter covered by other blogs in your industry. If you can fill these gaps with relevant content or a fresh perspective, you’re more likely to obtain a share of the market.

4. Blog Positioning

Having carried out your background research, you can focus on the market positioning of your own blog. Draw up a Blog Positioning Statement for your blog, which clearly identifies where you fit in your niche market. Try to incorporate the following:

  • Your target subscriber
  • What they want or need
  • How you will respond to that need
  • How your response will differ from other businesses
  • How your subscribers will benefit from your blog

For example, our Blog Positioning Statement (with the above points italicize) is:

‘For businesses that need support with blog content and strategy, the Business Bloggers Blog provides information, advice, tips and a focused, supportive community. The Business Bloggers Blog delivers industry news, expert content and helpful encouragement, solely to support those blogging on behalf of businesses. We aim to help our subscribers to create and optimise their own blogging opportunities, for the wider benefit of their business.’

5. Blog Branding

Every blog is unique. It’s vital to establish what makes your blog stand out from the crowd. This includes elements such as the logo and design, as well as your tone of voice, area of expertise, subject matter, media used, and associated activities such as social media. Branding also encompasses how people experience, and interact with, your blog: your community.

As a business blog, your blog will adhere to your own business branding, for consistency. But try to adopt specific blogging protocol too, such as online copywriting techniques, SEO, etc. Your blog should ideally reflect a cross-section of your business, including sales, marketing, PR, technical, operations and customer service. Ensure your blog branding invites both your audience and employees to engage with, and benefit from, each element.

6. Blog Content

Within your wider blog strategy, you’ll need to formulate a content strategy. This will include elements such as: creating and implementing an in-house editorial style, tone of voice and choice of media; a blog post publishing schedule; the forward-management of topic ideas; scheduling of appropriate topics around key industry events; researching and identifying key contributors and guest bloggers; management of topics and content created by your own bloggers and guest bloggers; management of content to be posted on other blogs (guest blogging); competitions and any other content-based promotional activities; and how your blog content will complement any other business activities, such as wider content marketing or social media campaigns.

7. Blog Engagement

Engagement is essential – both proactive and reactive. Engagement must form part of any blog strategy. Things to consider include: who will be responsible for engaging with comments on your blog? How will you monitor and approve comments on your blog? What identification will people need to provide when commenting on your blog? How often will you check the comments on your blog? How will you integrate your social media activities with your blog comments and posts? How will you monitor and engage with responses to your blog content elsewhere online? And how can you get involved with other relevant online discussions, purely for the purposes of engagement, as well as for the subsequent promotion of your own blog content?

8. Blog Distribution

The best people to distribute your blog content are your audience. Keep them happy, engage with them and they will respond with loyalty and shared enthusiasm. Be patient – this doesn’t happen overnight. Social media offers numerous channels for blog distribution, so social networking activities should form an integral part of your blog strategy. Likewise, social bookmarking sites offer targeted sharing opportunities for your content. Make it easy for people to share your content, across all social media and bookmarking sites, by including share buttons and utilising relevant plugins and/or APIs.

Ensure that your audience can easily subscribe to your blog via RSS and email. By automatically receiving regular doses of your blog, people can effortlessly consume and share your content. Don’t forget the importance SEO plays in blog content distribution. By frequently and consistently creating and sharing high-quality content, your search engine ranking will increase – bringing your content to an even wider audience.

9. Blog Promotion

The recommended methods of blog promotion alter frequently, mirroring shifts in SEO techniques. Blogs are all about information and engagement. The same is true of blog promotion. Social media activities, forum engagement and posting relevant comments on other blogs are currently considered to be the best way to network and promote your blog. Guest blogging on other blogs, and inviting bloggers to guest post on your own blog, are also extremely effective. Your strategy should incorporate activities in all these areas.

For example: a firm of architects, with an architecture blog, could consider writing guest posts for (and commenting on) blogs run by other architects and firms, as well as companies in construction, landscaping, property and interior design. They could also invite landscapers, designers, architects, property experts and construction professionals to contribute to (and engage with) their own blog. By additionally getting involved with forums in these areas, they will be able to add expertise to the forums, network in associated industries and hopefully take chances to add relevant links back to their architecture blog.

Within your blog posts themselves, you can also make reference to (and link with) a relevant post on another blog. Again, this works as a networking tool and is also of benefit to your audience: the blogger you’ve linked to will know you’ve made the link, and your audience will appreciate the extra information. Adopting more direct in-post marketing tactics can also be successful, such competitions and prizes, to boost your shares in social media and reward your loyal audience. It would be remiss of us not to mention article marketing and syndication but this can often conflict with SEO and should be adopted with care.

Other blog promotion methods include standard off-line business networking, PR and marketing activities such as: conferences, seminars, direct marketing, advertising, links on stationery, flyers, etc. Your blog strategy should weigh up the pros and cons of each, before adopting the methods that will work best for your blog and its specific audience.

10. Monitoring Return on Investment (ROI)

Ultimately, the purpose behind any blog strategy is to ensure that your business gets the most from your blogging activities. It can be difficult to gauge a direct return on investment, in terms of financial outlay, as blogging forms such an integral part of many other business activities. However, it’s possible to report and assess some of the effects of blogging, through blog analytics: visitor numbers, most popular posts, social media mentions, links to your blog, lead conversions, etc. Ensure that your blog strategy includes the analysis of this data. This will enable you to tailor your ongoing blog strategy, to consistently achieve the best for your audience, and your blog.

How your business can benefit from blogging

Blogging is fast becoming an essential part of successful business life. If your business isn’t already blogging, here’s just a few of the compelling reasons why you should be…

Marketing

What things need to start a business blog1. Blogs are widely considered to be integral to successful online marketing campaigns.

2. You can inform, educate and entertain your customers through a blog; developing the trust, respect and loyalty so vital to securing sales.

3. Additional visitors will be drawn to your website via the blog; opening up a wider market than would be available through search-based visits alone.

4. Blogs offer numerous ways to enhance your search engine ranking; keywords, optimised copy, RSS feeds, comment activity, links and subscribers being just a few.

5. Skilfully written posts enable the subtle (and occasionally not-so-subtle) promotion of your products, services, news and events to a captive audience.

6. Subscribers to a blog, either through RSS feeds or emails, have actively invited you to communicate with them; providing a ‘warm’ potential customer base.

Engagement

    1. 7. Blogs offer a great way to engage directly with your customers, through content and comments; helping to build communities around your brand.
    2. 8. Successful blog management also offers peer-to-peer networking opportunities, across other blogs within your industry; enhancing your respect and presence through guest posts, targeted comments and appropriate links on other blogs.
    3. 9. Blogs enable you to regularly ‘broadcast’ (via your own platform) and communicate with customers, staff and your industry, using media such as articles, videos, photos, graphics and presentations.
    4. 10. The content created on your blog also provides the basis for social media campaigns, across third-party platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
    5. 11. Blogs provide a trusted official platform from which to communicate directly with customers, in good times and bad – from celebrations to crisis management.

Return on Investment

  1. 12. Unlike printed promotional material and advertisements, blogs remain your property and only increase in value. As you produce more posts, you can develop a permanent archive of great quality posts which remain accessible to readers; continually improving your online reputation and search engine ranking.
  2. 13. One blog post can be shared through social media in a variety of ways and can often be reworked and shared again several months later – providing even better value for money and additional search engine ranking opportunities.
  3. 14. The impact of your blog is easily measurable through subscriber numbers, associated social media presence and blog comment activity. Analytical software also enables you to frequently monitor your blog’s effect, via visitor numbers, keywords, etc.
  4. 15. When blog subscriptions and visitors increase, your blog could potentially provide additional revenues, in terms of
    sponsored posts and advertisements.

10 Signs of a Healthy Business Blog

Although the heartbeat of every blog is unique, most successful blogs have some key qualities in common. Here’s the Business Bloggers’ check-list of vital signs, to help you determine whether your blog is alive and kicking:

1. Perfect Platform

There are lots of blogging platforms and software available, from Blogger to WordPress – each with its own merits. When it comes to business blogging, the most successful blogs are seamlessly integrated into the main company website, for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes and a better user experience. If your website is already up and running without a blog, don’t panic; a developer can usually integrate blogging software, such as WordPress, into your current website.

Tip: consider investing in an experienced designer and/or developer from the outset, to provide your blog with the best possible chance of success.

2. Effective Design

Great blogs are based on a simple, user-friendly design, with space for the content to breathe, so visitors can focus on the posts. Colors reflect corporate branding but enhance, rather than detract from, the viewing experience. A sans-serif font (in black on a white background) is best for easy reading. Brash colors, invasive adverts, flashing images and moving text can all be distracting, so use these sparingly, if at all. Internal blog navigation needs to be relevant and easy; via links to similar posts, archiving and tagging.

Tip: visit plenty of other blogs, within your industry and beyond, before settling on your own design.

3. Consistent Content

Blogs naturally evolve over time but readers will come to rely on consistency in three areas: a) tone and quality, b) specialist subject, c) quantity. A consistent tone of voice brings familiarity and trust. High-quality writing and multimedia content elicits respect. Knowledge of (and dedication to) your subject matter infers authority. Frequently publishing posts, of at least 350 words, maintains visitor engagement and also provides regular doses of fodder for the hungry search engines. Blogging at least once a week is ideal but tailor this to your visitors’ expectations and your own capacity and/or budget.

Tip: plan, schedule and even write posts in advance to avoid missed or hurried posts and the horror of creative dry spells.

4. Polished Posts

Post quality is paramount: originality and accuracy in copywriting; finesse in video production; professionalism in presentations – all are vital. The best bloggers research, practise, check and perfect. The most popular headlines are attention-grabbing, relevant and shareable. Opening paragraphs must be pertinent, insightful, concise and engaging. Well-spaced content is preferable to rambling text: short paragraphs, succinct sentences, bullet points, lists and well-placed images are all must-haves. Make each word, image, or second of video count. The best posts engage far beyond the initial post – through comments, feedback responses, knowledge sharing and social media.

Tip: think of your blog as a community hub, rather than a loudspeaker. Invite visitors into your blog rather than speaking out through your posts.

5. Engagement Opportunities

Enable visitors to subscribe, post comments and share content. A simple RSS widget or email subscribe box is often all that’s needed for subscriptions. Comments are vital in building a blog-based community. They are easy to set up and monitor, and can now be integrated with social media and RSS feeds, for even greater real-time engagement. Within blog posts, an effective call-to-action encourages interaction. Share buttons provide a really simple way for people to share content through social media. It’s never been easier to engage with people through a blog.

 Tip: nobody enjoys talking to themselves. If your blog doesn’t engage with comments, people will find one that does. It could be your competitor.

6. Optimized Outlook

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a dynamic and increasingly complicated industry. Bloggers can’t be expected to entirely master SEO. But the best bloggers do respond to the major SEO trends affecting blogging, such as keywords, meta data, sharing and links. Ultimately, blogs are about engaging with people not robots, so the most successful blogs concentrate on providing high-quality, useful, targeted and shareable content, with engaging headlines. These posts will naturally include relevant keywords, prompt appropriate links, encourage sharing and attract visitors – hey presto, a better search engine ranking! No black magic (or black hat!) required.

Tip: don’t be intimidated by SEO – by regularly blogging, you’re already actively involved in search engine optimization.

7. Solid Strategy

Blogs need a defined and responsive strategy. On-going blog development and enhancement is vital to longevity. Even the most basic strategy should cover: posting schedules, multimedia content, optimization, plugins, guest blogging, engagement, subscribers, analytics data, blog advertising/promotional opportunities, lead conversion, wider business campaign involvement, and competitor/market analysis. For the best results, you’ll need to manage your blog flexibly, in line with a regularly reviewed strategy.

 Tip: if you do nothing else, aim to engage daily, post weekly and analyze (and respond to statistics) monthly.

8. Lead Conversion

Business blogging often forms part of a wider content marketing campaign. Effective blogs are great at bringing visitors further into a sales funnel. Calls-to-action within posts invite people to engage with the post (through comments) or refer them elsewhere for further information (via a link). Discreet, concise and tailored adverts can also be linked from a blog to a targeted landing page on your company website. Regular blog visitors and subscribers are ‘warm leads’, so they’re more likely to respond well to follow-up contact with the business.

Tip: make it easy for people to interact with you – minimize the number of options and clicks from blog to lead conversion.

9. Company-wide Campaign

Some of the best business blogs feature a well-managed selection of bloggers, from different departments. Your blog could provide direct access to a salesperson, technician, creative, administrator, manager or strategist. This contact and involvement benefits customers and employees alike. It is the people within your business who make it truly unique. Whether blogging is outsourced or carried out in-house, try to ensure your blog represents, and engages with, your entire business … for the benefit of everyone.

Tip: invite employees to write and suggest posts, provide case studies, respond to comments or promote the blog through social media.

10. Keep it Legal

Factual accuracy and a respectful tone are vital in business blogging. Rigorous  fact-checking, copy-editing, proofreading and optimisation are essential. For peace of mind and clarity, most business blogs carry a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, even if these form part of wider website policies. It is important to keep in mind that readers will believe your facts and could reference these facts elsewhere. So check all facts and sources thoroughly.

Tip: don’t publish anything until the facts have been investigated and authenticated, to the best of your ability.

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