Contributed by Ella Jane Dantzler
Blogging doesn’t seem like a natural fit for all businesses. Your typical dentist, car dealership, or local café often doesn’t see the value in putting out “thought leadership” content.
However, the benefits of blogging are not just for content marketers! Blogging is a great asset to all businesses.
A quick overview of the benefits:
Having fresh, updated content on your site boosts your SEO.
Having relevant, recent industry related content signals to your audience that you are up to date with all the latest industry trends and changes.
Thought leadership content provides credibility for your business.
For those of you who have decided to give blogging a try, I’m going to walk you through a few steps that will help get you started.
- Define your purpose and your audience
Before you type the first letter- decide what the primary purpose for your blog will be. This will likely stem from an area of your business that you are trying to improve or grow.
Are you hoping to use it as a tool to pull in prospective customers visiting your site? Will you be promoting it on Linkedin to establish yourself as a thought leader among your competitors? Or is it a fun way to engage with your current customers/audience on social media?
The purpose of the blog will lead you to your ideal reader. If your blog is mainly a sales tool, your ideal reader’s profile will match with your ideal customer. If your focus on blogging is establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, your ideal reader will likely be employees from other companies in your industry. Your blog can also be used simply to engage with your current audience of customers/fans of your business on social media or the web.
- Choose the right topic
When choosing a blog topic, ask yourself three questions: Is it original? Is it engaging? Does it add value to my reader?
Is it original? Your blog is original content unique to you and your perspective. Make your topic reflect this! If you’re commenting on a current event or industry trend, do it through the lens of your experience.
Is it engaging? So much of content marketing is done via video and audio formats making it more difficult for blogs to pull in readers since more effort/time is required. Your writing style needs to be interesting, engaging, and to the point to respect the investment of your reader.
Does it add value? Blog content should be something that your reader directly benefits from viewing. Make sure your blog is informing them, teaching them, or in some way adding value to their day.
- Have some variety!
Don’t always blog about the same topics. Have some variety! Publish some internal posts celebrating company anniversaries or telling the story of your business, write some informational posts aimed at educating your audience on an aspect of your industry or a service you offer. Use national holidays or significant dates that relate to your industry as a chance to highlight your business. Case studies of your work can also be repurposed as blogs as well as thought or opinion pieces on industry news or trends.
A video intro can also be added as a fun extra way to engage with your audience.
- Keep it simple.
When it comes to the actual writing of the blog- focus on keeping it simple. For non-content marketers, it can be best to stick to the facts and narrow your comments to just the essentials.
One way to do this is to structure your blog post into a list of items- “5 Simple Steps to Whiter Teeth” or “20 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following.” Or turn it into a manual of sorts: “A How To Guide to a Successful First Interview” or “The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Shopping.” Focusing your topic into a structured list or format not only provides a quick and easy read for your audience but also helps you to simplify and streamline your content.