To many business owners, launching a company blog is accomplished in a couple of clicks. They write a paragraph or two about their latest sale, include a promo code, and excitedly hit the publish button. As they wait for website traffic and phone calls to pour in, the only feedback they receive is the sound of chirping crickets.
If you’re a business owner who is attempting to blog without much success, rest assured that you aren’t alone. Many professionals give up their business blogging venture within weeks due to lack of results. However, the truth is that blogging for business is both a science and an art. You need to consistently hit the right notes with your customers in order to reap the benefits of your blog, which include:
- Generating leads
- Increasing brand awareness
- Building a social media following
- E-mail subscription signups
- And more
But if you’re using blogging to grow your business, there are several key tips to keep in mind to maximize your results.
Tip #1: Be Helpful
One of the secrets of blogging for business is to offer helpful content for your customers. Customers are coming to your website to learn something about your product or service, and they don’t want to get lured into a blog post that’s disguised as a sales pitch. There’s a time and place to sell your products, but your company blog isn’t one of them.
Instead, focus on helping your customers solve problems. Offer them solutions to obstacles that they might be experiencing, and give helpful tips to help them move forward. Some simple blog post ideas that can help your customers are:
- Getting-started guides
- Tips and tricks posts
- How-to posts
- Printable templates
- FAQ posts
When you genuinely help customers through your blog, inquiries and phone calls will follow.
Tip #2: Aim to Engage
No one wants to read boring content. In fact, boring content is one of the top reasons why customers will leave your website entirely. Putting your readers to sleep will never lead to increased web traffic, let alone convert reasons into customers.
There are numerous ways that you can make your blog post an engaging read. The first method is to write short, snappy paragraphs. Short paragraphs make for a quick read, and it helps customers easily scan your post.
Next, consider incorporating title tags, bold fonts, and italicizing phrases. You want to use this technique sparingly, but it adds visual interest to your blog post.
To take the aspect of visual interest to the next level, consider adding graphics where appropriate. You can take original photos, subscribe to a stock photography service, or even hire a graphic designer. Avoid tacky, overused photography and never take photos from another website without permission.
Tip #3: Keep a Consistent Tone
One of the challenges of blogging is finding your company’s voice. This style of writing should be completely unique to your blog, and it should always remain consistent.
For example, you don’t want to flip from an academic tone one week to a fun, offbeat tone the next week. Think about the impression that you want to make on your customers and how you want them to convey you as a business owner.
Your tone should establish a strong connection with your customers and set your company apart from the competition.
Tip #4: Consider Word Count
Did you know that the ideal blog post is a 7-minute read? That’s around 1,600 words. While you don’t have to write a novel every time that you blog, you want to be sure that you offer enough substance to make your post a worthwhile read.
Blog posts with high word counts also receive more social shares, as you can see from this graph from OKDork:
However, there is no hard and fast rule that your blog must be 1,600 words or more. Write as many words as you feel necessary in order to get your point across, whether it’s 300 words or 3,000 words.
Tip #5: Include a Call-to-Action
Once your customer gets to the end of your blog post, you’ll need to point them in the direction with what to do next. The call-to-action shouldn’t necessarily be a hard sales push, but you can ask your customers to do things such as:
- Call your company for a quote
- Call your company to schedule an appointment
- Download a free eBook
- Subscribe to your newsletter
- Share your post on social media
Including a call-to-action can help escalate the results of your company blog and move readers further down the sales funnel.
Get the most out of your content, blogging, social media marketing, and more by attending DOYO Live in downtown Youngstown on August 4, 2016. Stay tuned for upcoming speaker announcements and new schedule details. Register today!
Amanda Lynch is owner of Busy Blogs Plus LLC, a blogging and content writing business based in Boardman, Ohio. She is a 2011 graduate of Youngstown State University and offers content writing services for businesses across the Valley, from blogs to brochures.