Edit: The old adage, “practice what you preach” makes perfect sense… especially when you’re caught publishing an article about the importance of properly proofing your work – without having properly proofed your work.
Muddy gently called me on it, for which I’m grateful. At least it was only MY reputation affected, not a client’s. My apologies to everyone, regardless.
Before we begin discussing tips for writing an effective business blog, let me first talk about the importance of starting a blog for any business.
I work with clients day in and day out. Even though my time is limited, I still maintain and regularly publish content on my own site. It humanizes my brand and my business. It also offers my customers a place to learn more about my work and a place to interact with me on a more personal level.
Why Your Business Needs to Blog Too
Blogging allows your brand or company to connect with your customers by letting them know who you are and what you have to offer. It also increases your online visibility.
According to statistics, businesses who have blogs generate 67% more leads per month than business that don’t blog. It is also important to point out that every time you publish content you are boosting your search-ability online.
Customers will do their research first via the internet whenever they are looking for information so you want to be properly positioned to be easily found online.
Making Your Blog Work for You
Here are eight blogging tips to help maximize your online presence, demonstrate thought leadership in your field and drive conversation with your customers:
Tip 1 – Your tone matters – When you write your articles, make sure you use a conversational tone. Offer a point of view. Treat your blog as an extension of your professional voice. Make sure your readers understand your language and avoid using overly technical terms.
If you’re writing about a particularly complex or technical subject, be careful to explain it in a way your audience will understand the meaning of your message.
Tip 2 – Consider your audience – Get to know who your readers are. They will most likely be your existing or potential customers. Once you have determined who they are, offer information-rich content that they’ll find valuable and helpful.
Focus on your readers and on how your business can be helpful in solving their problems or providing information about a particular service or product. Remember, this is your way of establishing thought leadership in your respective field.
Tip 3 – Don’t make your blog an extension of your advertising – You can include testimonials on your site but use your blog as the venue to provide vital information to your customers, not sell to them.
Do your research, talk to your sales team or customer service reps and ask them to provide you with the most asked questions about your product and/or service. Answer those questions in depth via your blog. Your customers will love you even more for it.
Tip 4 – Check grammar and spelling – We can’t stress enough the importance of publishing well written articles free of spelling and grammatical errors. Nothing can turn off a potential customer more than having a badly written post with grammatical errors and misspellings.
Remember: your blog reflects your business standards. If you cannot be meticulous with the little things, how can they trust you with big things?
Tip 5 – Long posts versus short posts – People nowadays are busy. Consider writing articles that are easy to read and straightforward. We recommend 400 to 800 words per post. If you want to write a more in-depth article, it may be a better idea to do it in two parts.
Tip 6 – Be consistent – The mistake some business owners make is to start a blog, but when things get busy, they only post when they have time or feel like it. Consistency is key in building your thought leadership and your community. We recommend you publish one or two blog posts a week.
If you are managing your reputation online, publishing fresh content on a regular basis will help your business show up more frequently on auto-complete search queries and can also help you earn higher rankings in search results.
Tip 7- Your title and format matters – Compel your readers to read your articles. Make them want to click on your link when you share your posts on social sites. You can do this by taking special care in composing your titles. Make them descriptive, thought provoking and inviting.
Remember to pay attention to the format of your articles. Use images that will attract your visitors to actually read your posts. Utilize white space to increase readability and include “call to action” words to encourage people to either buy your product or click a link for more information on where they can buy your product or service.
Tip 8 – Engage with your readers – When you see your readers commenting on your articles, engage with them and comment back. If they ask you to explain further, do so. Your blog is an extension of your business and is a great way to build your community.
Tip 9- Bonus – Go through the preceding 8 tips again, so you don’t suffer the embarrassment of a commenter catching you at being inattentive to your own rules.
The members of your community can be the best and most passionate advocates for your brand. Word of mouth is powerful. If they see that you care and provide them what they need, they will recommend and talk about you.
There you go, there are eight tips to help you build an effective business blog. Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear your thoughts.