By Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser of Prototype guides you through the process of creating and managing a blog for your business
Do you want to create a blog that benefits your business but you don’t know where to start? Does it sound like there is too much work and you need help managing the blog to keep it going? This article aims to offer you practical advice to help you get started with your business’ blog.
There are many reasons why a blog will benefit your business, but there are two that specifically stand out. Firstly, a blog helps to grow your reputation as an industry expert, allowing you to use this platform to give your audience high-quality content for your current and prospective clients and customers. Secondly, a blog helps your website rank for many more keywords that the core pages possibly can alone.
The path to get started with your business blog doesn’t need to be a daunting prospect so long as you take the appropriate steps. Here are some guidelines to get you started:
You have to understand why you are starting a blog and what the purpose is for your blog. Is it to nurture your audience? Is it for lead generation? Is it for business updates or helpful ‘How to’ guides. Don’t start your blog without a clear content strategy. If you plan on pushing your users through a lead generation sales funnel, you need to understand what that looks like. Plan your goals and plan your execution of those goals.
Why should your readers read your blog?
The next thing you need to establish is the purpose of the blog. What makes your blog special in comparison to all the other content online? With the extreme amount of content available online, it is difficult for content to shine - how do you intend to stand out from the crowd?
Know your audience
The most important thing you can do to develop a successful blog is know your audience. You have to understand who your audience is and what they need. How can your content be useful and relevant to your customer? You must have a sound understanding of your customer demographic and needs. You should have cardboard cut-outs of your buyer personas standing around your office. You should be aware of what trends, what news and what content is inspiring them each day and monopolise on this knowledge.
Consistency is key
A blog has to be maintained to be a success. Posting once or twice a month is not going to suffice if you want to maintain an active, engaged audience. You have to be realistic about how much capacity you have to write blogs and if you cannot commit enough time, then you need to commit to employing a copywriter to facilitate. At the very minimum, you want to aim to write one blog per week.
If the prospect of producing content weekly sounds overwhelming, look towards what resources you can use. Many companies have several writers for their blog to spread the responsibility. Look to those brand ambassadors that could be potential writers for you. Look to those seeking work experience or internship opportunities. Typically you can negotiate a way to reward these people with other means than money and yet still generate quality, meaningful content for your business blog.
Planning is key
A content calendar is a great way to stay on top of your content strategy and ensure that your content is valuable and is published in an order that makes sense. It is also a way to keep your blogs aligned with your goals and to stay on your objectives for the year.
Promote your blog
As we mentioned earlier, content has a challenge to rise up to the surface amongst all the other content online. With this in mind, when your blog is in its infancy, it is a good idea to give it a push by promoting the content with paid advertising. One great way to test this is with Facebook boosted posts. You can boost targeted posts towards your audience for $5 and up and measure the success. If one blog does particularly well, it may be worth pushing out on other social channels or developing a search campaign around.
Measure, measure, measure
The most important thing you can do is measure how successful your blog is and whether your efforts are paying off. Start by looking at traffic first, to see if it is tickling the interest of your audience. As time goes by shift this focus to conversion rate.