A post on Tech Crunch got a lot of attention recently.
Why Startups Need to Blog (and what to talk about …) received a ton of views and shares in the social world. It looks like people are interested in the potential of how a blogging inititative can benefit a start up (or any company).
I thought I’d take a few snippets and expand with my own thoughts.
Thoughts on Blogging
If you care about accessing customers, reaching an audience, communicating your vision, influencing people in your industry, marketing your services or just plain engaging in a dialog with others in your industry a blog is a great way to achieve this.
More and more businesses are looking to blogging as a way to build their standing in an industry with the ultimate goal of increasing sales and revenue. Blogging creates a destination on your company website for your audience to find the information they need to successfully travel down the sales funnel and eventually make a purchase preferably from your company.
The content you create on your company blog will serve as an asset forever. The information you provide is something people are seeking when making decisions along the purchasing path.
If your company is blogging consistently you’re going to fall behind your competitors within the next few years. Somebody is going to provide answers for your target customers and if it’s not you those people will find somewhere else to do business because thought leaders are emerging via blogging and people are gravitating to them.
If you’re still not convince think about where your sales leads come from. If website traffic is one of the sources you’ll find it interesting that businesses that blog get 55% more visitors than non-blogging businesses.
Thoughts on Topic
If you’re going to pump out regular content that is meaningful, you obviously need to blog about a topic in which you’re knowledgeable, thoughtful and passionate. If you’re not all three of these things in your industry then I guess you’ve got a broader problem. Honestly.
So my biggest recommendation of “what” to blog is a series of articles that will be helpful to your community.
Being knowledgeable about your industry should come fairly easy. If you’ve been in business for a while you probably know more than you think. Share your insight with your audience and they’ll come to appreciate your contributions to their lives.
The common rule is to discuss what you know. Don’t try to be anything you aren’t. There are ways to figure out what your audience is looking for. Combine those needs with your knowledge and blogging from there gets easier.
The next tricky part is being consistent.
I’ve found blogging consistently on a schedule benefits blogs. People like consistency. People like to get into a routine and that includes checking websites. If consistently publish blog posts – monthly, weekly, or even daily – you have a good chance of getting into your customers’ routines. That’s a good thing in the blogging world. It builds trust, which is crucial for any thought leader in any industry.
Determine a consistency you can live with and maintain over the long term. Stick to the schedule while still maintaining a level of enjoyment and experimentation with your blog publishing.
Thoughts on Guest Posting
So once you have a blog, a voice and a small following – don’t be shy about writing some guest posts for target blogs. Remember – for you that’s likely not TC – it’s the place your community hangs out.
Guest posting is a great way to provide content to other bloggers in return for access to an expanded audience. It takes work to find blogs where your potential audience is spending time. You’ll need to become a reader of blogs similar to yours. You might want to contribute a few comments to the blogs. You might want to read through the archives to understand what a specific blog is really about. From here you can determine what kind of blog post you can write for the guest post.
I like to think of guest posting as a duet between singers. When artists from two different genres or even the same genre of music get together to record a hit duet they are each trying to tap into the attention of each other’s audience. Guest blogging is really the same thing and the ultimate deciding factor to success if how good the content is.
In general I’ve been seeing an increasing number of articles and blog posts about the benefits of blogging. The benefits are there for the taking by individuals and businesses. With a large percentage of businesses expected to be blogging in the next few years it’s not a matter of if your company should blog, it’s a matter of how are your going to make your blog better than the competition.
A few key ways:
- Answer the right questions
Write consistent posts to become part of people’s routines. Find the questions your readers are asking and use your knowledge to answer via your blog. Allow your personality to enter your blog posts.
There is a ton more in the article. It’s worth ten minutes of your time. I didn’t want to take too much of the article for this post.