Is it worth starting a blog?
With so many ways to promote your business online today, is it still worth writing a blog? Yes. Blog posts can help you show up in search results, provide you with extra content to share on social media, attract links from other websites and influencers, show your audience your expertise and establish you as a thought leader in the industry.
Starting a blog for your business is one of the most valuable things you can do to promote your business online – and it’s probably not as difficult as you think! Use these 7 steps to start your blog
1. Identify your blog’s audience
Before you start your blog, you need to be crystal clear about who you’re writing for. This will help you stay focused on what your target audience finds useful, and helps you avoid writing blog posts nobody wants to read.
Make sure you have created buyer personas for your business that highlight what challenges your audience faces, what goals they want to achieve, and who else they look to for guidance (as this can be a good inspiration for your blogs too!)
2. Determine how frequently you can write blogs
Next, you’ll need to be honest about how much time you can dedicate to writing and promoting a blog. This will help you set realistic targets for post frequency and help you create your content calendar later on.
While more frequent blog posts are better for your brand awareness and audience engagement, consistency is arguably more important. If you’re limited on time, commit to writing fewer blog posts at a consistent pace rather than only sticking to a more frequent schedule for a couple of weeks.
3. Choose where to host your blog
When you write a blog, there are a few different places you can choose to host it:
- Your website
- Your LinkedIn profile
- A third-party blog site e.g. Medium
There is no right or wrong platform for your blog, it comes down to what you want to get from it. Generally speaking, we recommend:
Hosting your blog on your website if you want to show up in search results, build awareness of your business and link back to your services.
Hosting your blog on LinkedIn if you want to build awareness of your personal brand and expertise.
Hosting your blog on a third-party site if you want to show up in search results but don’t have a website.
4. Research the best topics to blog about
Rather than just relying on your gut or what you think people want to read about, do some research to find out exactly what your audience wants to know. This can be as simple as asking some of your clients or target audience what they want to hear about while having a conversation with them, jotting down the questions that come up when they talk to you or putting a poll out to see which topics they find the most interesting.
You can also (and this is our favourite method) research the most commonly searched for questions online (i.e. keyword research) and write blogs that answer those questions. This will help you rank in search results for searches relevant to your business while simultaneously writing an article someone wants to read.
You can use free tools like Ubersuggest or AnswerThePublic to find common searches or paid tools like SEMRush, MOZ and Buzzsumo to get a bit more detail that can help you craft an even better blog piece.
5. Create a content calendar
Now that you’ve figured out how frequently you can write posts for your blog and what topics you want to write about, it’s time to get organised with a content calendar.
At its core, a content calendar is a simple way to make sure you stay consistent with your blog schedule and know in advance what you’re going to write about (and saves you scrambling for an idea on the day you’re due to publish a blog post).
Your content calendar can have as much or as little information as you want to include. As a minimum, your content calendar should include:
- Blog concept
- Blog publish date
But it can also be helpful to include:
- Target audience
- Target keyword
- URL for the published blog
- Notes/blog description
- References & research
- Date blog needs to be written by (if not published on the same day)
6. Learn to write blogs correctly
For blogs to be successful, they need to be well written, in an appropriate tone of voice, with user-friendly formatting.
This can vary depending on your audience (so it’s worth referring back to your buyer personas to see what other blog styles they like) but in most cases, you should:
- Use line breaks to break up lengthy paragraphs (nobody wants to read a solid block of text)
- Use headers to highlight what each section talks about and make it easy for readers to jump to the section they want
- Use lists and bullet points to make information easy to digest
- Include links to other helpful and relevant resources
For more advice on how to properly write and format your blogs, check out our article: How to write a blog post
7. Share your blog online
Once you’ve published your blog, you need to get people to read it by sharing it online. Bring readers to your blog by
- Getting other websites and blogs to link to your post
- Sharing your blog posts on social media
- Emailing links to your latest blog posts in newsletters to your followers
The more you write and post on your blog, the more you will start to understand what works for your company and audience. There is a lot that goes into starting a blog for your business but when done well it can have big returns across your whole marketing campaign.
Book a free call with our team to see how we can help you create great blog content to benefit all your other marketing activities.