Business blogging is the topic we discuss most on the GBW Blog.
For our business, we don’t invest in advertising. We don’t really focus on PR and media efforts. We like to focus on business blogging as our main way of attracting new customers.
I say that it’s our main way of attracting customers with the other being referrals from associates, friends and current clients. But other than that our marketing budget is only the time we spend on writing blog posts like the one you’re reading right now.
For many businesses, business blogging is a great way to attract new customers. It’s not a quick fix or something that will work to immediately bring in that new business, but it’s a great long-term strategy.
If you’re thinking of getting involved in business blogging for your company then we have some tips from some of the best marketers around.
Here they are.
1. Leave Your Sales Pitch For Later
Most people aren’t interested in your sales messages. Most people aren’t even interested in your business.
By providing solid advice on a regular basis, you build authority and trust; and that’s how you win new customers.
Info: Henneke Duistermaat (@HennekeD)
This is one of the biggest points to understand when it comes to business blogging. You’re not making sales pitches. When someone reads your blog post it’s often the first time they meet you. When you meet someone in real life for the first time you don’t usually start off with your sales pitch. Your customers have questions. Answer those questions with your blog to get the relationship started.
2. Make Your Blog Lightening Fast
Optimize your loading time – 1 sec loading means 7% drop-off
Info: Belle Beth Cooper (@BelleBCooper)
Speed is so important to the success of a website and for your blog. There are a lot of blogs that take way too long to load. Popups, ads, social buttons and all kinds of things can slow down your page. Take away all that isn’t necessary and get a really good host. It will pay off.
3. Answer Questions
Writing your post to answer her question helps to communicate your ideas in language she is familiar with.This will make her feel like you understand her, and have something in common with her. Pay special attention to the language of your post if your industry uses a lot of obscure acronyms. I’m not saying don’t use them, but explain each one in your reader’s language the first time you include it.
Info: Sarita Harbour (@Avamummy)
Business blogging can be simple. Find questions your customers are asking and answer them with a blog post. Answer one question per post. You’re probably already doing it in person and over the phone and maybe even via email. Publish those answers online and you’ll get traffic from search and social because more of your target customers are searching for the answers to those common questions.
4. Don’t Give Up
Info: Rand Fishkin (@randfish)
This is something Rand of Moz shares often in his posts, videos and presentations. He talks about his wife’s blog and how she plugged away for years before the blog really started becoming popular. Too often, people give up on blogging just when they’re about to start seeing the returns.
5. Clear Headings Are Best
For readers who need only one specific morsel of information, clear headings help them home in on that morsel, negating the need to skim from the beginning of the post. Yes, witty, pun-liscious headings might win a few smiles, but if those headings come at the expense of usefulness, avoid them.
Info: Andy Hollandbeck (@4ndyman)
Simple is usually better. Laughs are great, but it’s usually better and more effective to be clear and descriptive with your titles, headings and paragraph information.
6. The Right Kind Of Controversy Works Well
That’s why an issue like toilet paper orientation works so well — it’s a topic everyone can relate too, it creates division in two very distinct camps, and it is an argument of “low” controversy, in that nobody’s feelings can get truly hurt over the issue.
Info: Gregory Ciotti (@GregoryCiotti)
This is brilliant insight. It’s important to touch on controversy with your blog if you want engagement, but you can’t just go flying off the handle on every topic. You have to choose carefully and this quote and post explain it very well.
7. Take Time Away From The Blog
I don’t care how much you love blogging or writing. I don’t care how much energy it gives you. If you want to give it all the juice and passion you have to offer, you’ve got to step away.
Info: Sonia Simone (@soniasimone)
Most new bloggers don’t struggle with this one, but that’s usually a sign that you’re going to struggle with the blog. If you do love it and have the commitment to it you still need to step away. I’ve found this to work well. If I’m burnt out on blogging I’ll go for a walk. The fresh air can bring about new inspiration.
8. Define Your Target Audience
One of the most obvious, yet common, reasons for ineffective business blogging is the lack of focus on your target market. You don’t want irrelevant people to come to your blog. Traffic alone is useless if it is not converting into regular visitors.
Info: Jawad Khan (@WritingMDestiny)
This does happen more than you would think. If you’re a designer, write for your customer. Don’t write for other designers. It’s tricky sometimes, but keep your focus on the customer and what they care about.
9. Share Your Best Information
By offering a way to connect back to you directly, you give people a chance to get to know you better, get more information and value and choose to hire you. Regardless of whether your business grooms animals, gives cooking classes, does bookkeeping, makes parts or services vehicles, if people see you as someone they connect with and whose information is helpful, they will want to connect.
Info: Tom Searchy (@tomsearcy)
It can be challenging for new bloggers to share everything they know. But if you want to attract your target audience you need to share your best information. This will set you apart from the competition. It will also push you to keep learning new and even better things.
10. Eliminate The Jargon
Nothing’s worse than a memo, newsletter article or blog post littered with industry jargon. Employees are tired of it. And customers (and readers) are certainly tired of it. A blog is your opportunity to “tell it like it is.” To cut through all the corporate jargon and talk directly to your customers.
Info: Arik Hanson (@arikhanson)
This is excellent advice. When you’re so involved in an industry it can be nearly impossible to stop using industry jargon, but it’s necessary if you want to attract your target audience. Use the language your readers understand. For example, if you’re a web designer for small business it might not be good to call yourself a UX Design Firm. Most small businesses don’t know what that means. They only care if you design websites.
Update: 11. Hire Great Bloggers
A great blogger can write on any topic due to the fact that anything can be researched on the web.
Info: Neil Patel (@neilpatel)
If you don’t have the time to write your own blogs then hire really good bloggers to help.
It seems that business blogging continues to grow in importance for businesses. At GBW, we’re working with all kinds of businesses on blogging strategies. They all share similarities, but also provide uniqueness in voice, style and content. It’s working well for those businesses and these tips here are things we see as well in our work. Good luck with your business blogging efforts.