It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. With the help of a website, you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. The next step is to build a successful business blog.
Business blogging can do so much for your business. It helps you establish authority by writing articles that add value to your readers. It also helps in driving traffic to your website so visitors would know your products or services.
A few statistics to show why blogging is crucial for your business:
- 181 (36%) of the Fortune 500 are using their blogs for thought leadership, product promotion and engagement in 2016.
- B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those who do not.
- Companies that blogged 20 or more times in a month saw the most return in traffic and leads.
If you’re ready to start blogging now, here are 19 tips from the experts on how you can build a successful business blog.
Find a Unique Angle
“Business blogging is one of the most competitive niches you can get into, so if you’re just starting out it will be critical that you find a unique angle that isn’t already being covered well by other bloggers. You could do this by writing about a specific type of business (i.e., how to run a successful outdoor adventure guide service, or how to start a microbrewery, etc.).
However, there are so many bloggers out there that unless the business you’re writing about simply didn’t exist until very recently (such as something related to drone photography or virtual reality), it is probably being covered by other bloggers.
A better approach might be to start a business blog focused on a specific geographic area or economic region. Other than the business section of your local newspaper, there probably isn’t anybody covering business news in your area in an in-depth way, so you’ll have very little competition.
If you start a podcast to compliment your blog (highly recommended), you can begin interviewing local business and community leaders for your podcast, which will probably be a unique and exciting experience for them. They will help you promote the podcast and blog because it will be in their own interest to do so, and as long as your content is good you’ll have a devoted following of readers and listeners in no time.”
Write Content With Your Audience
“I’ve been blogging since 2001. I started blogging so that I could share my ideas and help other entrepreneurs get visibility for theirs too. Back then, there weren’t as many business bloggers, but I was able to meet and help many fellow entrepreneurs.
Over time, blogging became a tool for business to promote their own expertise and grow search traffic. And social media sites took over as the place to meet people and give visibility to worthwhile ideas and entrepreneurs.
But, I still think of blogging as a key way to build community.
That’s why we write our content with our audience, not for them.
We tell our partners that our marketing channels – of which the blog is our primary one – are their marketing channels. If they have a message they want to get out about something they are doing, they are welcome to leverage our channels.
We also ask others to contribute to our content. So far, more than 900 people have done that.
As a result of our approach, we’ve grown our traffic from just a few thousand sessions per month to 50,000 and have built our email list to 32,000 subscribers. We’ve also helped our partners generate 10s of thousands of visitors and leads.
Being collaborative has paid off for us and our community.
If you’re going to blog, don’t just make it about your company or achieving your goals. Create community goals too. If you put your community’s goals first, you’ll find that the benefits accrue to you too.”
Make It Easy for People to Write
“More than any other tips that I can provide, the most important things that I can impart is that you have to make it easy for people to write. If one of your salespeople isn’t contributing to your blog, meet with them and talk about potential topics. I always try to make topics based off of the things they are working on, or that they have experience with.
Remember, contributing to your business blog is unlikely to not be in the job description for your writers. For that reason, it takes proactive effort to make sure everyone has a topic that they can write. Last thing to keep in mind is that blogging takes a while to drive results. Revenue River has been blogging very seriously since 2013, and we’ve grown our blog traffic significantly over that time.”
The best way to build a blog is to stay regimented. When you’re building a business blog, and your income depends on the success of the blog, staying regimented is especially important. For example, you need tools to help you. Can you afford the tools? Are you on a shoe-string budget? I use these tools to help me promote my content. These tools are all free.
You also need a way to get people to opt-in to your email list. The best opt-ins are the most creative and not downloadable. I published an article explaining how to get 1,000 subscribers to your email list within a week. These are my top tips for building a business blog.
Follow These Handy Tips
“I have many tips on building a successful business blog. They include:
- being honest when blogging
- including social media links on your site (to connect with your customers/readers)
- including sharing buttons on your blog posts
- having an About page (see related post here)
- blogging to help your business thrive
- branding your business online
- using phone apps to help you manage your business
- including testimonials, because they are so powerful
There are more, which I am sure will be shared by others in this round-up, but these are my best pieces of advice when building a business blog.”
Build Backlinks the Right Way
“Building a successful business blog is a big challenge these days. You are now competing against tens of thousands of other business blogs in all niches run by other dedicated entrepreneurs, ambitious small businesses, and global corporations with vast resources.
Aside from consistently creating exceptional unique content and building up your social media following, you’ll need to build a lot of high-quality backlinks. Getting natural backlinks from respected websites in your niche will improve your blog’s Google rank so you can generate the necessary organic traffic to compete in a crowded and cut-throat market.”
Keep in Mind These Three Things
“The keys to having a successful business blog are threefold:
- Know your target audience.
- Share relevant content so you build trust with that audience.
- Be consistent in writing and sharing that content.
If you do these 3 key activities, you’ll gain a competitive edge and attract customers and clients with free, organic traffic. You’ll be able to reduce ad costs and do content marketing to set your business apart. You’ll also be seen as a thought leader in your field because of that content.”
Find the Best Plan and Strategy to Grow
“There is no right formula for building a successful blog. But, I’ve built two business blogs that have helped me make a living as a professional writer and blogger. Each blog had a completely different plan and strategy to grow.
My freelance writing blog, Elna Cain, started with the idea of making money. I opened up a freelance writing service and created a blog. It soon turned into helpful advice for new writers.
So, while I was collaborating on big projects with influencers and small business owners by providing content for them, I was in the works of monetizing my freelance writing blog. I did this by providing coaching first and then some affiliate marketing. I stopped coaching as I was limited on time and focused on creating a course for writers.
While this has helped me generate income, what really helped with positioning my blog as the place for freelance writing help was networking with bigger bloggers, guest posting and being featured on popular sites like Freelance Writing.
A big mistake I did with this business was do nothing after that! I continued to land freelance writing projects but I did not create any more courses or products, until recently.
My goal for this blog is to create two more courses and more tripwire products and guides. Takeaways for building a successful blog:
- Offer services like coaching
- Diversify your income with affiliate income, service income, and products
- Leverage your network of bloggers and influencers
My other blog, Twins Mommy, was more of a passion project when I first started. I started this blog with the intention of building a blog the “traditional way.”
What this meant was focus on affiliate marketing since many bloggers learn towards this monetization method first.
At first, I wasn’t invested in this method and wasn’t successful. I signed up for affiliate programs I used and placed my links in various posts. I didn’t make any money doing this.
It wasn’t until I focused on promoting my affiliate products in a post that I suddenly generated income. I created tutorial posts and guides based on the product I was promoting and this has helped me generate income.
I moved into product creation a year later and have created several products and am working on more. The plan I focused on with growing Twins Mommy was:
- Focused on one social media platform – Pinterest
- Connect with bloggers in my niche
- Build my list
- Create a Facebook group and Facebook page to build my brand
But I have a bigger overall plan. My business plan for this side of my business is to build blogs up. I’ve secured more blogs and am slowly growing their traffic. Tactics I’m using:
- Open a blog up for contributors
- Curate list post
- Create 3k word posts
- Have “click” worthy post topics
A challenge I have with one of my blogs is trying to grow my income using Amazon affiliate marketing. This tactic isn’t generating enough income per month and I have to switch tactics from income generating to traffic generating for one of my blogs.
I think for any new entrepreneur, you have to look at building a business as a series of steps and challenges. You will succeed and fail many times. But, learn from those mistakes and use them to grow from!”
Create the Best Content
“The biggest challenges when building a successful business blog are that there is usually a lot of competition and it takes time for a new blog to establish authority and attract an audience. It may take more than 12 months for that business blog to gain the authority it needs in order to compete with those who are already successful.
At the beginning your competitors seem unbeatable: they have their own audience, email list, social media following, budget to spend on PPC and they’re on the first page of Google…
You can outrank them if you have the persistence. It will be a marathon of creating better content than them and building links to your site on a weekly basis. If you’re not a leader in your industry, nobody is linking to your blog, you have to build the links yourself.
In a nutshell, create the best content that responds to user’s intention and build links to your articles and home page. Slowly but surely your blog authority will start growing and you will start ranking for some keywords on Google.”
Be a Thought Leader in Your Industry
Any business should aim to build their blog into an authoritative resource around the industry they’re serving. Think of companies like Canva, Hubspot, Groove. But tips and tutorials aren’t the only things they should be doing. The most successful business blogs have a very personal element to them, where the founder will share what they’re doing to grow their business.
It may not be content that directly targets their target customer, but it’s a great way to get links and social shares. This type of content can also lead to opportunities like being invited to speak at conferences or tell their story in podcasting interviews, all of which help build strong links.
Find the Right Tone
“It’s always important – and challenging – to find the right tone while also getting straight to the point. The main reason people read business blogs (especially if they’re going to find yours through Google) is to get quick answers to problems. This is why so many blog posts start with “How to…” So it’s essential that your posts are clear, with good headings and not too much waffle.
But at the same time, you want your blog to stand out, to feel special, and you also want to enjoy writing the thing. And you’ll quickly get bored if your posts have no feeling or humor in them.
When you set out, think about what you want people to do with your posts. Chances are, you’re giving advice and tips. So it’s crucial that you write in a straight-forward manner. But you can still leave room for fun. Jokes and informal language do have a place in business writing, just as long as your posts are still functional first and foremost.”
There’s one key secret to having a successful business blog and it’s this – you have to be so in love with helping people and teaching people that you would write the blog even if it didn’t help your business or career.
It’s that simple. If you don’t have that kind of passion and drive, then there’s no way you’ll write enough to break through the clutter of the gazillion other blogs out there. And there really are a gazillion. I’m not kidding.
Requires Hard Work
“You have to work hard at your blog to make it a success. You must work with others by networking and collaborating.
You have to invest lots of time and some money to become successful. Marketing is NOT free. That is a misconception. Marketing is a big part of blogging if you want it to be successful.
My biggest challenge is to market myself. I find it hard to promote myself and need to get over that hurdle. I tend to be shy online.”
Backed by Research
“A recent marketing report said, nearly 50% of business buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. Companies that posted 16+ blogs per month got almost 3.5x more traffic than companies who published less than 5 posts. This alone says what you are missing if you aren’t blogging!”
Roundups – just like this one – are an excellent way to create top quality content that people will want to share and link to. For one, people who are mentioned will want to share it with their network, but as well as that the multitude of answers will provide a valuable resource that people will find genuinely useful.
One great way to build an expert roundup is by sending out a HARO request – which suitable parties can respond to. All you have to do is select the responses worth using and include them.
Bonus tip: to promote it, create a mailing list based on similar content and send out a mail merge letting people know about your awesome new post.
Create Buyer Personas
“Know your audience! You have to identify and clearly define your buyer personas before you start blogging. Who is your ideal customer? Job title? Company size? Gender? Age? Location? Interests? Education? Knowledge in this space? Pain points? Challenges? Goals? Decision maker or influencer? Budget? Where do they go for information? What do they value? What do they do in their spare time?
I see so many people skip this step, but it is crucial. Once you know who your target audience is, write every blog post with them in mind. Speak directly to them. Use language they use and understand. Answer questions they have. Explain concepts they might not understand yet. Solve problems they face. Offer them value.”
Think Like a Customer
“Write content that people actually want to read. Sounds obvious, but too often people write about topics that they think are interesting, before doing any initial research. Here are a couple of proven ways to find out what people are interested in:
- Do your keyword research. There are tools (like Ahrefs or Google’s keyword planner) that tell you how many times people have searched a specific keyword in a month. So if you think people want to know what the best CRM is for small business, you can do a search for “best CRM for small business” and see that that keyword typically gets 2,800 searches per month.
- Use content marketing tools like Buzzsumo. With this site, you can see what articles are getting a lot of engagement on social media. If an article has thousands of shares on Facebook, it’s a good indicator that a lot of people are interested in the content of the article. Put your own spin on it and see if a similar article works for you!”
“Create collaborative content with non-competing companies that serve the same audience as yours. Sometimes we can focus on working with companies too close to ours, but that doesn’t actually expand your reach as much as going outside your own corner of the internet a little bit.”
Provide Solutions for Your Readers’ Problems
“Most businesses immediately focus on news & company announcements when they start their blog.
And while these types of posts definitely have their place, you need to create a more diverse content strategy.
Your blog is a platform to grow an audience that can, in turn, help your business flourish. And you’ll grow that audience will grow so much faster if you publish content focused on solving their pain points.
Start off by putting together audience persona’s so you can get an idea of who your ideal reader is. Then use it to plan a diverse editorial calendar focused on content that solves their pain points.
Just don’t forget that a content calendar isn’t the same thing as a content strategy. The content you publish needs to be underpinned by a strong strategy that ties everything together.
For a better idea of how this process works, check out my post on persona-driven content.”
Nowadays, writing content for your website is not an option–it’s a must. Follow the expert tips above so you can start building a successful business blog.