How to get started with blogging for business
Published: 24 Jun, 2013
With measurable results, blogs are the catalyst that ignites your brand's search engine presence.
Blogging is a valuable tool for communicating with your customers, but it does present a few unique challenges.
How is blogging for business different from personal blogging?
Whereas personal blogs can become a platform for anything, blogging for business focuses on communicating your brand's most relevant information and updates to your audience.
A key point that brands often miss, unfortunately, is that business are not an open space to publish whatever, whenever. The content that makes its way to your blog should have value for your customer, be it in the form of a how-to, guide, or other resource. Blogs can also be imbrued with social currency, 'top ten' lists, look books, and 'best of' type articles.
The modern consumer wants to read things that make them to feel like they gain something from the time invested in the reading. What they gain is knowledge about using your product/service. Whatever the case is, it is important to make sure your customers will see the value in the message.
Editorial considerations for business blogs
The way you present your blog is critically important. You should set up some content guidelines that keep your business blog easily readable.
Here are some of the most common editorial considerations to bear in mind:
- Great content is front-loaded; the main idea of each piece should come first
- Blog posts are narrow in focus, covering only one overall theme per post
- Minimize the focus on jargon
- All topics should have value for your audience
Creating a content schedule that coincides with events of your business and its campaigns is wise idea, too. Blogging for business is all about making the right statement, at the right time. For example, if you are planning to introduce a new product, the content leading up to its release could build up to it; after its release, explain its practical application.
Invest some time into establishing well-informed editorial guidelines, before you start writing blog posts.
Style ideas for business blogging
Here are some best practices for blogging:
- Use personal pronouns to refer to your reader and your business – we, you, and us, but do it consistently
- Avoid excess adjectives (some might say, 'avoid adjectives' but we will not go that far)
- Avoid clichés
- Read the content out loud to make sure it reads in a natural way
- Make sure the content urges an actionable outcome (a call-to-action)
- Keep paragraphs limited to three sentences, and use simple sentences often
- Be certain to use correct grammar and spelling throughout the writing.
- Avoid passive voice, as it makes text harder to understand, and discourages action.
- Most word processing applications have a spell checker, but you will want to double-check everything. You can use an online spelling, grammar, and style checker to make sure you avoid issues like passive voice and clichés.
SEO tips for business blogs
You have likely already heard about search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is a study unto itself, and one that is always changing.
The best advice is to engage in organic SEO (writing good quality content) aimed more at the human audience than the search engines.
Here are some tips for readable SEO:
- Choose no more than three keywords or key word phrases for each post
- Use the keyword/phrase in the title and make it interesting
- Use the keyword in the meta description for the page where the post will appear
- Use contextual links (such as those in this article)
- Use keyword-relevant sub headings
- Bold keywords
- Link to other pages within your site
- Front-load keywords into the first 100 words of the post
Blogging is a great tool for any business. By connecting the content of your blog posts to your products and services, you can gain a better position in search rankings.
The final important tip is to update your blog regularly. Both the search engines and your audience are looking for fresh, current content that speaks to trending issues.
So, as you get started with blogging for business, keep you customer in mind.
By tailoring each post to their interests, you will reinforce your brand's message. Once you get started, you will surely see what a difference having a business blog can make.