When it comes to blogging in your business there are options to consider: ignore it all together, do it or use someone else’s?
Original Post By Gail Gardner
Time to read: 3 minutes
The questions that seem to come up frequently are:
- We’re a local, community-focused organization, do we need a blog or is blogging so three years ago?
- We can blog directly on LinkedIn or Facebook now! Shouldn’t we just blog there where the potential reach is greater?
- Contributed content has become a focal point in our media relations plan. That means we can kill our blog right?
No. No. No.
The answer is no. To all of these things.
The rise in content awareness and content options is great. I am a champion of content (usually). I love that businesses are seeing diversity, not only in the types of content they create but where they’re able to house that content.
But in my opinion, your blog is still the cornerstone of your content marketing efforts. Everything still leads there.
Here’s why it is a waste of money for many businesses still.
Most business blogs are filled with content that won’t do that business any good. Simply publishing posts isn’t enough. You must have a strategy behind what you publish. Here are seven considerations you probably haven’t addressed:
1) You aren’t writing for your potential buyers
Are you writing what your existing and future customers want to read? Have you even thought about who they are or what they want? If you aren’t sure, ASK THEM! Until you have a clear idea of who your buyers are, you can’t write what they will want to read. Refer to The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Business Blogging for details.
2) Your writing is boring
Are your titles compelling? Does the first sentence grab the reader’s attention and keep them reading? Do you create content with a hook? If you think your business is boring, so will your readers. You have to find a way to make it interesting. Stories are good. The best writers are the best story tellers.
3) No visual appeal
Every post should have a good-sized image above the fold. Images should be optimized for fast loading and to draw attention without overwhelming your post. Add an infographic or a relevant video. Newer blog themes feature a large image centered at the top. Typical sizes that work well are 560×300 or 600×340. Older blogs may use a square image. You will want to upgrade your theme.
4) Not mobile responsive
Speaking of upgrading your theme, your blog must be mobile responsive. Early “mobile responsive” themes even on Genesis were not fully responsive. Check to make sure your header, images, and videos all resize automatically to fit every device size. If they don’t, you need a different theme or custom coding or a plugin. Find out more in Making Your Blog Mobile Responsive.
5) Content isn’t relevant to your business
Do not listen to people who claim you can blog about “anything”. You need to be writing about topics people likely to buy from you will want to read. At least some of the time, that content should be about what you sell. Before you write another post, make a list of topics your buyers would be interested in.
6) Are you making your business likeable?
People buy from people they like. You don’t want to always be selling, but you do want to be generating goodwill. Does your content make you likeable to your readers? Are you building trust and developing a relationship with them? Are they commenting and sharing your content? (You DO have social sharing buttons, right? Be sure your Twitter button is configured to add your Twitter username.)
7) Publishing Frequency
How often should you publish? There is no one answer, but once a week is a good minimum. If you can’t seem to make that happen, consider hiring someone to manage your blog. Write Collective provides an affordable blog management service staffed with writers who know marketing.
TIP: Promote, Promote, Promote
Spend twice as much time promoting your content as you do creating it. Refer to How to Promote Your Blog Posts Effectively and How to Promote Blog Posts: 200+ Ideas from 8 Experts.
If all this seems overwhelming, why not hire it done for you? That way you can focus on your core business while an expert in marketing who loves to write gets the results you aren’t getting from doing it yourself. Every small business I’ve consulted with has found keeping their blog updated a challenge until they hired it done.