The Do’s and Don’ts of Blogging For Business
Blogging for your business – is it something you actively take part in, or a chore to be endured? Or perhaps you don't offer blog content at all? However, adding high quality content to your website can be a sure-fire way to both engage with your customers, and can help with making sure that they can find you online by increasing options for organic traffic to reach your website.
With that in mind, we talk about the do's and don'ts of blogging for your business.
Do – start with your audience
Before getting anywhere near putting pen to paper (or more like finger to keyboard) it’s vital that you think about your target audience – the customers you wish to attract and retain. What are they interested in? What problems do they need to solve? What content are they already engaging with?
It’s often the case that we see business owners who, while really interested in getting blogs or article content onto their site, then use their blogs as an extended advert. Articles such as “Why [insert company name here] is the best” isn’t really offering your readers a great experience and it certainly won’t encourage them to read on.
Blogging for business should always put your audience at its heart, and we recommend that you always start by building your buyer personas. This will enable you to come up with a blogging strategy that is really designed to “speak” to your potential and existing customers.
Don’t get too technical
We get it!! You offer a product or service that’s super technical, and you want to showcase your expertise by writing in-depth about it. However, again it’s a case of knowing your audience and tailoring your content to them.
A common mistake that we see in anyone who offers technical services is to write articles to a standard that only their peers can understand when the intent of the content is to reach or inform potential customers who have a lesser knowledge of “what goes on under the bonnet”.
For example – if you offer, say, software development for a CRM – potential customers want to know about what the outcomes will be, but you may need to tailor content to specific audiences. For example, you may have stakeholders who include, the CEO of a business, The CFO, and perhaps the director of IT. All of whom will have different priorities and questions when it comes to choosing a provider. Talking about which programming languages on a piece of content aimed at the first two aren’t going to get you very far – they’ll switch off! They want to know about outcomes.
The head of IT, on the other hand, it more interested in how it may work with existing systems, what it may mean for his department, and more technical aspects of your software.
That’s not to say that technical blogs and articles don’t have a place on websites, they do but think about who you are looking to reach with every piece of content and tailor your content marketing strategy accordingly.
Do – consider SEO
Creating great content is a major part of any good SEO strategy. Blogging gives you additional ways in which to rank for long tail search terms that don’t fit well with your other content or category pages, meaning that you can drive traffic to your website for people searching those longer terms.
However, to make sure that your post is optimised, you need to consider which keywords you wish your blog to rank for. Once you have targeted these keywords, make sure that you place them and semantically relevant words naturally throughout your text. This does mean STUFFING YOUR BLOG WITH KEYWORDS! Think about the user experience, and create something that is meaningful, but that your audience wants to read.
The structure is important too. Make use of headings and subheadings, anchor text to link to other content on your site and high-quality sources too. While SEO content writing takes some practice, get this right and you’ll increase traffic to your site.
Don’t – Forget about user experience
While creating content that is optimised for search engines is important, in our opinion, user experience is more important. After all, so what if you rank number one for your chosen keyword is no-one then engages with your website. When thinking about your blog content, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. In addition to making sure that the content is relevant to your target audience, there are other factors to consider.
For example, is your text too simple or too difficult to read for your target market? Does the font make your eyes hurt (we see this a lot)! Are you using the best images to illustrate your point?
It’s also well worth thinking about what next steps you want your reader to take after reading your blog. Signposting relevant pages on your site is crucial if you want to turn blog readers into buyers, so do think about how the format of your blog page can drive traffic to other parts of your site, and increase conversion rates.
Do consider social
Sharing your blogs on social media can be a super quick way to increase traffic to your blog pages (and therefore your website). Blogging should always align with your social media strategy, as it’s a great way to make your blog content go further.
Here’s a great article on making a single blog post go further by repurposing your blog, making a versatile piece of content, that can be used across multiple platforms.
If you’re in the B2B sector, we strongly suggest that you consider using LinkedIn’s native article platform. While we suggest that you re-write your content to be unique for the platform, there’s no harm in repurposing blog content from your own website, with a slightly different angle.
Don’t be irrelevant
Remember, the purpose of your business blog is to feed information to your customers that is of interest to them but still related to your business niche. It’s easy to get side-tracked with exciting ideas that are personally of interest to you, but if the topics aren’t of interest to your customers, then the blog is irrelevant.
When considering topics for your blog, always look back at your buyer personas and think “is this relevant for them”? If it’s not, scrap the idea and move onto the next one. If you’ve really got the blogging bug and want to move onto writing about other topics, consider creating a personal blog elsewhere.
Do – Be unique
Taking inspiration from other articles on competitor websites is fine. Blatantly copying them is not. In fact, while there’s much discussion about the issue of duplicate content and how it can impact SEO, the thing is – if you copy your content from an existing site – Google will show the original content – not yours!
It’s also bad practice in general. After all, a potential customer has come onto your website looking for something new and original. They want to understand your business, how you think, what you offer. Not see something regurgitated from elsewhere.
However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t check out the competition. The Skyscraper method, as touted by Backlinko’s Brian Dean can be an amazing way to unlock the potential of content, and create backlinks to your site, therefore improving the backlink profile of your website. Learn more about this here.
Don’t get bogged down
Coming up with great content on a regular basis is hard! You have a business to run and other priorities, so unless you’re a writing whizz, it can be arduous to keep coming up with content ideas, write the actual blogs, plus fiddling around with sourcing the right imagery.
If blogging for your business is starting to get you down, then consider hiring a content agency to help! The chances are that in terms of your time and effort, it offers far better value for money than doing it yourself.
Here at the Small Biz Expert, we provide blogs on a wide range of subjects for our clients, and can help you to plan your content strategy, so why not get in touch.