It isn’t easy to get your business blog noticed – as of two years ago, there were 156 million blogs out there, so it’s fair to say that the competition is fierce. There are some organizations that see those numbers and quit before they even start, a mistake that will certainly cost those businesses in the long run. But there are plenty of other organizations that have dived into content and have carved out a niche. It’s going well, but that isn’t good enough, because as you know good is the enemy of great.
And a great business blog can make a major positive impact to your business’s bottom line. A blog that connects with the audience and drives the industry conversation positions the organization as a thought leader, builds trust with customers and ultimately leads to sales.
But how do you take your business blog from good to great? Assuming your blog is certifiably “good,” we’re not going to tell you to write better, because it can’t be good if the writing isn’t good. So, with that caveat, here are four ways to go from a nice also-ran type of content strategy, to a landscape-changing blog that gets people talking and drives business:
Great content creates a connection with the audience. It doesn’t just inform in a dry way; it teaches, but it also entertains. Think of a great teacher you had back in your school days. The teacher not only knew her stuff, she communicated in a way that probably still makes you think today. The key is to infuse some emotion and passion into what you’re talking about – if you don’t demonstrate how much you care about the topic, the audience won’t care. Open up and let ‘er rip.
Expand the scope of help you provide your customers.
We’re assuming your business blog is already good, so therefore it’s audience-focused, and not obsessed with your product or your company barbeque. In other words, you’re likely already providing help to your customers and prospects by demonstrating your thinking and helping them to do their jobs. However, I’m guessing that your focus is still rather narrow, focused very much on your industry. If you’ve done it well, you’ve earned some trust. Now it’s time to branch out to new topics areas – if you’re a technology company, that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly opining about the Emmys or making football prognostications. It means that you’re helping people in your industry conduct business. Maybe you’re analyzing a tax law change; maybe you’re offering marketing guidance; maybe you’re discussing leadership in business. These are topics of interest to your audience and it’s okay for you to dabble in them. It will demonstrate the depth of your thinking and help to make your business blog a go-to information source.
We have become a visual society. Because of that, people prefer a website that’s illustrated with pictures and videos. It also means that that formatting and UX matter. White space is important. Font is important. The way your blog is organized is important. A pleasing experience makes it far more likely that people will reach the end of your blog posts.
Post more. Yes, more.
More material can lead to more readership, which can lead to more engagement. So many businesses will say “we don’t want to add to the clutter on the Internet; there’s already too much stuff out there.” This is of course wrong. The problem is that there’s too much lousy content out there; there’s a dearth of quality. Creating and delivery high quality content is never a negative. (This is not to say that it’s easy to do!) A steady stream of quality, audience-focused content will attract people to your site more frequently and help your search engine rankings. This will both raise the profile of your company and assist with building trust with the audience. So, how much should you blog? Research shows that business blogs with more than 15 posts a month drive more sales. It appears we have some work to do. Let’s get busy.