A successful blogging strategy can be difficult for a small business to pull off. For one thing, the task of creating long-form content on a regular basis takes serious manpower. For another, the creative strain of planning a quality blog can be too much for an already-busy entrepreneur to handle.
Still, the numbers suggest that all blogging matters, and creating articles or similar resources remains to be a very lucrative strategy for 2019.
For this article, I’ll be examining a handful of must-know blogging tips for any business that wants to benefit from a digital presence. Along the way, I’ll be putting together the elements of a high-powered blogging strategy that even the most tapped-out business owner can execute.
1. Blogging for Visibility
With over 3 billion Google searches happening every day, creating content that people are actively searching for is a must-do. Sadly, ranking on the front page of Google is easier said than done.
There are a hundred different opinions about how best to conquer Google’s algorithms, but my advice is to follow the pillar strategy for SEO. Essentially, you want to list all the possible topics you want to cover, write comprehensive (I’m talking a few thousand words at a time) articles about them, and use them as link hubs from which you’ll be linking out to more specific articles on the same topic.
If you run a hardware store, for instance, you might create a 4000-word pillar article about home repair, and seven or eight more specific articles ranging from picking the right tools for home repair, to setting a budget for renovations. When you have your content all put together, you’d link each narrow article to the pillar and vice versa.
The pillar strategy is great for making sure your most important content ranks well on search engines, and comes with the perk of boosting your site’s user experience by keeping your content well-organized.
Pro Tip: When starting a blog for your business, make sure to consider distribution. Work blogging into your social media activity, email campaigns, and other digital marketing plans. SEO is just the tip of the iceberg for putting your content out there.
Finally, part of your blogging strategy should involve a healthy amount of guest posting. By writing content for other, related blogs, you gain the opportunity to include links to your site and content on a separate domain. This improves your off-page SEO while giving the added benefit of wider reach: everyone who reads your guest article has the potential to follow your CTA through to your home domain.
2. Blogging for Reputation
You’ll find mountains of content about the technical side of blogging and SEO, but strikingly little about the power that a good blog has for brand positioning. Beyond reach, the best blogs aim to serve as quality resources that demonstrate a business’ expertise and establish connections to their audience.
When blogging for a small business, your content plan must be guided by a sense of what your audience needs and wants to see. If you’ve been paying attention to your customers, your sales team, and your market research, then you should have a healthy list of problems and frequently asked questions --start there, and excel at providing answers to their questions.
The most effective blogging strategies are research-driven, and articles worth sharing and linking to are able to provide fresh new perspectives on old problems. Alternately, they summarize a handful of key points that your audience would have only found by sifting through pages of scattered content.
Pro Tip: Your blog is an opportunity to stand out as an authority, and people worth following keep their information fresh. Update your high-performing articles every quarter of the year to improve your page ranking and establish your credibility.
3. Blogging for the Sale
Any marketing activity aims to convert leads into sales, and blogging for a small business is no different. Your blog should be optimized to lead readers through a carefully designed marketing funnel.
When planning out your blog, be mindful of the different types of content you can generate. Articles typically fall into three categories:
- Awareness. Writing informative articles about topics that closely relate to your target market’s needs and problems.
- Consideration. Writing articles that dive deeper into your target market’s problems, and position your service as a prime solution.
- Decision. Writing articles that illustrate what it’s like to avail of your product, work with your business, or engage in your services.
Odds are that majority of your content will fall under the first type and seek to generate awareness about your ideal customer’s problems or a solution that you offer. Alternately, these articles could ride the wave of popular questions related to your industry and draw in traffic with the goal of introducing them to your services.
Pro Tip: When blogging for audience in the awareness stage, it pays to let your brand identity take a back seat to quality content. Floor your readers with well-written material, then encourage them to read more with a well-crafted CTA.
Writing for the consideration step takes a bit more of a clever hand. At this stage, your goal is to take a closer look at your leads’ problems, and supply enough answers while giving them a reason to either a) keep reading, or b) heavily consider your solutions. Doing so means understanding what motivates your existing customers to contact you for a quote or place an order --so make sure to keep in close touch with the employees who handle your sales for ideas.
Finally, writing for the decision step is as close to traditional advertising as blogging can get. Create content that highlights the best and most appealing features of your product or service. These can take the forms of case studies, news features, or coverage of any awards and accolades you’ve recently won.
Like I said at the beginning, blogging for small business is a lot of work. The article above should provide you with a starting point for your blogging efforts, but it’ll take a substantial investment of time and manpower if you choose to start a blog on your own.
If you know your target market and take an organized approach to planning your content, you should be all set to write your way into greater revenue --either on your own as a business, or with the help of some seasoned experts.