We’ve been looking at the best company blogs for a while. Here are a few of the previous examples:
- Analyzing The Top Business Blogs
- The Most Popular Business Blogs
- 5 Keys to a Fantastic Small Business Owners Blog
- The KISSmetrics Blogging Strategy
- The HubSpot Blogging Strategy
If you look through the archives you’ll find even more.
Today we’re going to look at five factors that seem to be consistent across many different and successful company blogs. These are the best company blogs out there based on how they’ve grown readership and turned those readers into customers.
These insights should help you as you start your own company blog.
Best Company Blogs: Analyzing The Best
1. Actionable Advice
Some blogs you read will have mentions of things they suggest you should do. That’s fine to a point, but at the next level the blog needs to show the reader how to take action.
It’s a big difference. We’ve been trying to do a better job of that here on the GBW Blog and it’s one of our goals for the New Year.
The KISSmetrics blog is a great example. They have data to backup their claims in the post and for the most part readers can take action. The recent post about navigation is an example. You can read the post, understand the need to change and then actually go into your own site and make changes.
2. Ideal Reader Defined
Something I have to consciously avoid is writing in absolutes. I’m trying to use the words “some” and “most” more this year, but in the case of this point I can almost say that all of the best company blogs out there have a very defined reader.
It’s to have an ideal reader defined.
I’ve written about this a few times:
- Identifying Your Blog Readers
- A Common Issue With Business Blogging Is Understanding the Reader
- Blog for the People That Really Matter
Derek Halpern also wrote about this recently with How To Get More Blog Readers.
Write for your ideal customer. Any post not about that is a waste unless it can get you sales from your ideal customer.
3. Repeatable Formulas
The Inc. business blog is a great example of formulas that work. For Inc., the formula is a list There are tons of list posts on the site and they must be working because Inc. is one of the most popular business blogs around.
We do a few lists here on GBW as well. You’re reading one right now. Lists work. They’re a great format for sharing content that is insightful and actionable.
But you don’t have to write lists.
You can create stories. You can write long journalist-type articles. It’s about knowing what works for you readers and then repeating the formula. Keep trying new things until you have one that works. Then keep experimenting from time to time to see if you can do even better.
4. Easy to Read, but Educational
Most people are pretty smart if they’re reading company blogs. You don’t likely want to write for the lowest common denominator (as some best practice blogs will tell you).
I feel it’s better to find a good place right in the middle. Don’t write about the head of your reader, but make sure the content is educational and actionable.
If you go too far to the easy side or too far to the hard side your reader won’t be able to use the content and they’ll never come back.
Finally we have the idea of personality on your site.
It should reflect the personality of your business. Your customers have likely been buying from you for a while. No matter what kind of marketing you do there is a personality coming through.
Catalogs have personality. Your personality comes through in word of mouth.
Figure out what your personality is and use it in each post. It’s not as hard as you might think. You can start by talking with a couple customers about how they perceived you or why they purchased from you.
These are five of the factors in most of the best company blogs. If you use these factors in your own company blog you’ll like find success. These are the things readers are looking for from a blog.
It starts with #2 – finding the right reader. From there you can experiment with the others to find your groove in the blogging world.