Recently, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about business blogging, so we did a boot camp on the topic that was well attended. We thought we’d take some time to summarize some of our main points on the topic.
Believe it or not, there are still some people out there who don’t know what a blog is. Basically, it’s just another opportunity for a business owner to tell the browser more about what they do. If a resume covers your work history, think of a blog as your cover letter. Or, as some people have recently inferred, think of the homepage as the hotel lobby and the blog is the bar where all the fun people hang out.
It’s a good question really. Who reads this stuff? Well, your target market does for one. So does Google. Here are some quick facts:
- Small businesses with blogs generate around 126% more leads
- More than 80% of consumers say they trust the content on blogs
- Websites with blogs get indexed by Google more than 400% more times
- Sites with blogs get nearly 100% more inbound links
- B2B marketers with blogs generate 67% more leads
If this data is remotely correct, it makes a good case for blogging.
The point is that more people are at least glancing through blogs to get a feel for the business they’re considering doing business with. Browsers are looking for relevant, useful content that helps them solve problems in an entertaining way. Plus, Google loves new content that is keyword rich and helps them determine what to do with your site.
Who Has Time To Blog?
Truthfully, no one feels like they have enough time in business- especially, if things are going well. That’s why you have to make blogging a priority, and there are certainly ways to be more efficient about it. Here are our top tips:
- Use Evernote or some other app to record ideas for blog posts
- Look for blog post ideas from your clients (i.e. what are the top 5 questions they ask or should ask?)
- Look for ideas from competitor’s blog posts
- Try newsjacking (connecting current events to what you do)
- Connect what you do to seasonal events or holidays
- Set aside 2 hours a month to write all your posts
- Review all your ideas & create an outline for each
- Use bullet points so that your outline becomes most of your text
- Proofread what you write then schedule your posts!
Best Blog Designs
How your blog looks should really be about you and your industry, but we do have some basic ideas that we think will help business owners across the board. Here’s what we think works:
- Run your content on the left side and add sidebars on the right
- Have a call to action with links to relevant pages on your site
- Include a bio in your sidebar
- Allow comments to get readers to add content of their own (moderate the comments though)
- Include an ad in your sidebar to something elsewhere on your site
- Always include a relevant image on your blog
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make about blogging is, well, simply, they just don’t do it. Or, they don’t do it enough. If you’re looking to rank better for a particular keyword or phrase, obviously, use those terms in your blog, but it’s important to blog anywhere from 1-6 times a month (more like 4-6 times a month if you’re really working on SEO).
The more you blog, the easier it gets. Good content helps win browsers over to customers and that’s really what blogging is all about.