Have you ever read a blog post that shamelessly promotes a product or service to no end? It’s such a blatant sales pitch that it should have its own infomercial slot on TV just after midnight. This is a perfect example of how not to run a blog for your business.
71% of global business executives say the content they don’t like seems more like a sales pitch than valuable information. So why has it become commonplace for businesses to operate their blogs this way? Many companies see the logical connection between a blog’s visibility and an opportunity to promote a product or service.
It makes sense on paper, but how that information is relayed can quickly turn people off. If you’re simply pushing a product or service right in the open throughout every single one of your blog posts — why wouldn’t the reader just go to your website’s products or services page? People don’t read a blog to hear you boast about your business; they read it to get answers to questions and leave more informed than they were before.
That can translate into product or service knowledge. The main goal is knowledge. If you give readers the information they need, you’ve done part of your job. The other part is ensuring that it’s written in a way that informs.
But there’s more to running a successful blog for your business than simply avoiding annoying sales pitches. Blogs are still a powerful lead-generation tool, after all. If you take the time to understand the science behind creating successful blog posts that can simultaneously inform and convert customers — that is the ultimate goal. We will help guide you through some of the most critical aspects of building a successful blog post for your business.
Put Your Customers First
This is crucial when creating blog posts. A blog is not for you. You need to answer your questions and give them insights into things they want to know. The issue, however, comes when you don’t know your customers.
Many businesses think they know their demographics and loosely string together blog posts based on arbitrary information. You need to dig deeper. If you want to become a thought leader, start with a simple competitive analysis. This will give you a better idea of who your primary competitors are and what their content is like. Doing so will allow you to fill in gaps for your audience and see where you can provide valuable blog posts on topics other businesses are not.
The other thing you’ll want to do is create audience personas. This process breaks your customers down into individuals instead of an unspecified group. Creating specific audience personas will give you a better idea of who your customers are as people. This information lets you formulate blog post ideas that address their needs. You’re essentially taking a large chunk of the guesswork out of the process.
Don’t be afraid to go straight to the source, either. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it’s also a direct line between you and potential customers. Ask your audience what kind of blog topics they’d like to see. You can put the question out to cast a wide net of comments or even set up a poll to narrow it down.
Understanding where your audience is in the sales funnel is also essential. Are they just starting their search for a product or service similar to yours and simply gathering information? Do they already know a lot about your business and are on the cusp of making a purchase? Depending on which part of the funnel they’re located in, they’ll look for different information from a blog post.
Develop a Consistent Blog Schedule
There’s nothing worse than following your favourite TV show only to have it cut in the middle of the season for a summer break. Schedule disruptions also happen in the blog world but can be even more costly. All the legwork you’ve done in identifying your audience and formulating great topics for them is useless if you don’t maintain a consistent schedule.
You won’t become a thought leader in your respective field if you sporadically publish blog posts randomly. Even if you come up with a pressing topic that is current and relevant, make sure you put it into a scheduling queue. This is the structure your entire blog is built upon, and you need to adhere to the rules you create for yourself.
This also means you have to determine the frequency. Whether you want to produce 20 blog posts monthly or just four, it doesn’t matter. Decide on a realistic number for your business, and do not overcommit. If you start doing three or four blog posts a week and suddenly slow your output to one or two — your audience will notice.
Consider your audience members as subscribers who have paid good money to read your blog posts consistently. You wouldn’t get a subscription to National Geographic and be happy if they sent you a copy every six months. To make it easy on yourself, map out a long-term blog schedule and fill in the topics as needed.
Another benefit is that consistent blogs impact the SEO strength of your website. When Google sees you actively publishing high-quality content, it legitimizes your blogs and shows your website higher in search results. Google and other search engines always try to find the most relevant and recently published content to answer a user’s search query. It provides SEO value to have a blog where users can discover thoughtful information since you are positioning yourself as an industry leader.
Quality over Quantity
Something that goes hand-in-hand with your blog schedule and frequency is the actual content you produce on it. Harkening back to your audience personas, all your blog topics must address their needs.
You also need to ensure that the blog content stands out from an SEO perspective. As Google continues to become more sophisticated, it also rewards high-quality content. To make it simple, Google has even defined what would be considered low-quality pages:
“Low-quality pages may have been intended to serve a beneficial purpose. However, low-quality pages do not achieve their purpose well because they are lacking in an important dimension, such as having an unsatisfying amount of the main content (MC), or because the creator of the MC lacks expertise for the purpose of the page.”
The gist of that statement is that reputation matters when it comes to your blog. Even if you’ve done an exceptional job researching the appropriate keywords for months, low-quality blog content will set you back. That’s not a maybe, either. You can remedy that by following a consistent blog output with a regular schedule and blog posts helpful for your audience. The more time you spend nurturing this reputation built on solid content, the more likely Google will allow you to move up their search results and increase your visibility.
Create a Distinct Blog Voice and Tone
Remember, your blog represents your brand. Your brand represents your business. Whatever voice and tone you choose for your blog will determine how your audience perceives you. Are you light-hearted and fun but also informative? Are you serious and calculated with an authoritative presence? Make sure you take the time to determine what you want your blog voice and tone to be and stick to that style of writing throughout all of your blog posts.
This will help your business as a brand and highlight what is unique about your business to your audience. If you have five businesses that offer a similar product or service with the same pricing structures in place — what sets the one you ultimately choose apart? The blog might not be the sole reason, but it’s certainly part of it. If all your competitors have a similar voice and tone, there could be an opportunity for you to swoop in with something fresh and innovative.
If a user finds your blog through a search engine, you want to establish trust through the content they read by providing thoughtful pieces representing your brand voice. This also helps you find the right customers by using your blog’s tone, voice, and brand to attract key audience personas.
Need help establishing a blog that generates traffic and new leads? Our team of experienced content writers can help your business maintain a consistent blog presence and drive new business. Find out more about the services we provide and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 250-415-3093.