Understanding Blogging for Business
Google has used content quality as a major ranking factor since 2011, and with each algorithm update, they are finding new ways to boost sites with high-quality content.
A blog is a way for businesses of any size to write new, interesting content for customers and search engines.
If we keep our cake-baking metaphor going, blogging is like baking soda, helping the cake rise.
Which businesses need blogging?
If you produce raw materials or commodities that don’t change regularly, you can probably get by with high-quality web pages about your services and skip the regular blog posts.
But for any other business, a blog will most likely improve your SEO.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, ask yourself, “Am I able to offer tips to customers and provide insight into my industry?” Your blog can cover a variety of topics, but every blog post you write should solve a problem or answer a question for your customer.
You know all about your industry, but your customers likely don’t have the same in-depth understanding. A blog helps bridge the gap of knowledge between company and consumer.
Why is blogging important?
The main two business benefits of a blog are to reach new customers and to retain existing customers.
First, refreshing your site content will increase your reach in search engine results.
Search engines prioritize sites that are regularly updated and are contributing new ideas and information.
Updating your website with a new blog post once a week or even once a month will show search engines that your content is fresh and up to date, improving your site's ranking and increasing the odds of a new customer finding your website.
Setting up a blogging calendar will help you stay on top of posts. You should aim for producing new content at least once every couple of months, but if you can create relevant and useful posts more often, that's even better.
Second, regular blogging serves your loyal customers.
Blogging allows you to build up a substantial resource library for your customers over time.
As you blog, you will build a collection of posts addressing specific issues and FAQs about your business, services, and products.
When a customer experiences a common issue, you can refer them to your blog to help them better understand the problem, while providing help specific to their needs.
After hours, your blog functions as a help desk for you. Make sure you ask your web developer to include a search bar if your website doesn’t have one already.
How can you get started with blogging?
The best place to start with any new online marketing tactic is to decide who is going to be in charge.
Your initial instinct may be to write the blog yourself. After all, no one knows your business like you do! However, you might already have a long to-do list and a limited amount of time, and the tasks involved in managing a blog add up fast.
Let's take a look at each step in blog writing process and how you can tackle or delegate each:
1. Finding ideas for blog posts
The hardest part about starting a blog is coming up with the ideas time after time.
No matter what you end up writing your blog about, you want it to help your customers by answering a question or providing a step-by-step solution to a problem. You don’t want to write a blog just for the sake of writing a blog.
Tackle: On our blog, we offer tips for generating and organizing blog post ideas.
Delegate: Our team of content writers can use online tools and analytics to find out what your audience is searching and reading online. If you're a current OMM client, ask us about generating a list of ideas for your specific business.
2. Writing blog posts
Once you know your topic, it's time to pour a fresh cup of coffee and get typing!
Tackle: Blogging for business is different from the writing you learned in high school. Search engines and users have made specific rules for writing great online content, and we break down a few of these blogging best practices for you on the Esultants blog.
Delegate: Your business shouldn’t feel like an annoying school assignment. Esultants has writers on staff who have years of experience creating content for a variety of businesses. Also, when we do your writing, you always get final approval before it goes live.
3. Editing and optimizing content
With so many blogs and websites crowding the online space, you need to optimize your blog posts for what readers want. You will be more efficient if you focus on quality over quantity.
Tackle: Many writing professionals recommend writing a post, and then letting it sit a day or two before editing it with a fresh perspective. You can also try reading your post out loud to make sure it flows properly and the tone is conversational. Use spell check or install Grammarly on your browser to make sure your post is error-free, but know that spell checkers still only work 80-90% of the time.
Delegate: Even if you spend hours poring over every sentence in your blog post for mistakes, if you don’t know what you’re looking for or how to fix common errors, you won’t improve your work. Consider using your OMM hours to have trained eyes take a look at your work and polish it for publishing.
4. Promoting blog posts
Once your post is complete, the next step is making sure people find it.
Tackle: To start, we recommend promoting your latest blog posts on your website and social media platforms. Check out our blog post for tips and examples for marketing your blog.
Delegate: At Esultants, we spend several hours after the blog post is complete creating social media posts and website links to promote our new content.
If you think any part of the writing process isn’t for you, but you still want to have a blog for your company, let us know. We offer ongoing content writing programs or à la carte services to help you with any blogging needs you may have.