Does Your Business Really Need a Blog?
With millions of blog posts published every day, is it really worth the hassle trying to get noticed unless you’ve got a big name and an equally hefty budget?
Everyone’s doing it, a lot of it is mediocre at best, and customers will only read the ones that really mean something to them.
And when each post takes a big chunk out of your day and writing doesn’t come easy, it can seem like something you’re best off without.
Trouble is, people expect you to have a blog. It’s an essential part of online marketing that can make or break whether someone decides to buy from you.
So, how do you deal with a problem like blogging? With a combination of persistence, planning and great content that speaks to your customers.
Know your strategy
Blogging should become another business process, so you’ll need a clear plan of action that you can stick to. That begins with taking a look at your competition, so spend some time researching similar companies.
What are their blogs about?
Are they interesting and well written?
Do people engage with them?
How regularly do they post?
Doing your homework will help inform your own strategy, which you’ll in turn need to document and share with key staff members.
This is where a lot of smaller businesses fall down.
Companies that blog regularly are 13 times more likely to see positive returns, yet according to the Content Marketing Institute, only 37% of B2B marketers have a clear content strategy in place.
It’s no wonder so many businesses are struggling to extend their online reach.
Like everything in business, successful blogging requires having a plan and sticking to it. So, work out how many you need to be doing (16 posts a month is the ideal, 8 is enough to get you noticed) and make sure you schedule it into your diary so it gets done on time, without fail.
You’ll also need to plan your topic ideas, ideally twelve months ahead so you don’t have the excuse of not having the time to come up with an idea that week.
You can use other businesses as inspiration, but if you’re really stuck for ideas, the Hubspot Ideas Generator is great.
Once you get into the swing of it blogging will just become another intrinsic part of what you do – and soon enough, those visitors will convert into sales.
Make it great
Simply cobbling together 500 words about what you do isn’t enough to spark the interest of potential customers. People expect content that’s well written, sharp and interesting, so unless you’re really proud of what you’ve produced you can’t expect it to convert to sales.
In the same way that great blogs make people want to buy, bad ones turn them off. Almost half of B2B content marketers said that poor content had contributed to a decrease in sales. Spelling mistakes, waffle and content that’s too obviously “salesy” won’t keep them reading either.
A great blog post starts with a great headline to hook people in, then talks to the reader like a knowledgeable friend. It needs to have broad appeal but get people thinking at the same time.
And it should follow a tried and tested format:
Present a problem
Explain how you’re going to address it
Add a few (interesting!) statistics if you can
Solve the problem
Finish with a call to action
It’s also important to remember that a huge page of writing can be a bit intimidating, so break up your blog post with images and videos when you can.
Visual content makes blog posts more shareable – those with infographics are three times more likely to be shared on social media than those without.
According to reports, images out trump words every time when it comes to getting people to remember you. When the average person is given some information they’ll only remember 10% of it three days later. But if that information goes hand in hand with an appropriate image, the human brain manages to retain a whopping 65%.
So, get some nice images together and make a point of using at least two in every blog post. And if you’ve got some videos to share, that’s even better.
Keep at it
None of this is going to happen overnight. You can’t expect to put one blog post out there and have that convert into thousands of pounds’ worth of sales. It’s going to take perseverance and a lot of hard work.
If writing content isn’t your thing, outsource it to someone else. Hiring a professional copywriter will save you time, ensure quality and ultimately make you money.
So, do you really need a blog for your business? Emphatically, yes.
With customers expecting shareable online content this isn’t something you can do without if you don’t want to be left behind. But it doesn’t have to be a drain on your resources while you’re trying to get things going.
We can help you reach more people without ever having to worry about coming up with a new topic or sitting down to write a thousand words.
To find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org