How To Start A Business Blog From Scratch
Companies that blog have 80% more new visits than companies that don’t blog.
Businesses with over 200 blog posts get 4.6 times more leads than businesses with under 20 blog posts.
Blogging is a great way to get new visitors and more leads for your business.
But there are barriers to business blogging.
The first is looking at blogging as an opportunity to build organic traffic from sources like organic search, email and social media.
But even after getting on board with the opportunity is the challenge of committing to blogging for the long-term.
Many businesses will get to about the 20 blog post level and get frustrated with the lack of instant traffic. And it can often take a few months to get to the 20 blog post level making the results even more frustrating.
But what are 4.6 times more leads worth to your business?
And once you build those posts they don’t go away. They continue working for your company unlike advertising.
Your Committed To Blogging
But I know you’re committed to business blogging. That’s why you’re reading this post.
The next challenge is starting from scratch.
Here are the steps to starting your business blog from scratch.
Step 1. Your Target Customer
The first step in starting your business blog is knowing your target customer.
It’s good to get detailed with the target customer. The more details you know about the exact person you want to attract the more targeted you can get with your topics and titles and it will be easier for the writer to personalize the content.
But you can start with a general idea as well. It’ll be more challenging, but you can build the customer profile over time as you learn more about your best and less-than-best customers for the business.
Step 2. What Your Target Customer Is Searching For (Before They Know You Exist)
The next step is figuring out what your target customer wants to know.
I often say that you want to know what your customer is asking or searching for in relation to your industry. This allows you to find a good balance of things specifically related to the product or service you sell and the things your customer is really searching for.
I’ve read that consumers in general are often only looking for products 3% of the time.
That leaves 97% of the time for them to be searching for other kinds of information.
Let’s say you’re in the insurance business. The first thought would be to write about insurance-related questions like, How to I get the best insurance rate?
That’s certainly a question someone shopping for insurance would ask, but how often do people shop for insurance?
And when they do you want them to find your main website pages because they’re possibly ready to buy from you.
A business blog is good for attracting potential customers that aren’t necessarily searching for your product or service yet. They will likely be interested in that in the future, but first you can attract them by answering the other related questions they have.
So an insurance company could blog about the things their customers are searching for and asking like:
- Car maintenance tips
- Home maintenance tips
- Renter tips
- City events, trends, etc.
At GBW, our target customer is business owners (small businesses) and marketing managers (medium businesses). We write about blogging like the post you’re reading now, but we also write about other business-related items those target customers are searching for.
You can find the things your customers are searching for by:
- Asking current customers
- Popular industry website articles and topics
- Popular industry website comment sections
- Industry forums
- Mainstream forums like Quora
- And more
Step 3. Content Calendar
The next item on the list is to take the ideas you find and put them in a content calendar.
The easiest way to do this is with a spreadsheet on Google Drive.
Create a column for the title or idea. Create a column for a few notes to help the writer. Then create a Due Date and Publish Date.
Put the publish date 7 days after the due date to leave time for editing and emergencies.
Fill in the calendar with all the ideas you have, but spread them out over a consistent schedule like weekly or twice weekly.
Then set a reminder to look for more ideas a month before you run out of current titles.
Step 4. Writers
Next up is choosing the writer or writers that will handle the blogging for your business.
If you’re choosing someone from within your company make sure they have the time to commit to blogging. What often happens with blogging and social media for businesses is that the tasks are pushed down the priority list and after a short time they are forgotten.
If you think that’s the potential situation for your business then hiring outside writers might be the better way to go so your company can focus on other tasks while your blogging asset is being built to bring you new traffic and leads in the future.
Step 5. Blog Setup
Finally comes the blog setup.
My favorite blogging software is WordPress and even if your site is currently not running on WordPress you can have a developer install WordPress to manage only your blog on your website.
I would recommend doing what you can to get your blog on a subfolder on your domain which is:
It’s better than starting a blog on another domain. You want to build the authority of your domain and that often happens with a blog and helps your main website pages like your homepage rank for important service-specific keywords.
Today, WordPress is pretty much setup and ready to optimize blog posts even from an SEO standpoint.
A few important formatting notes:
- Aim for about 600-800 words
- Break up paragraphs into short sentences and short paragraphs
- Use headings to break up content.
- Cite studies and stats and use examples
It’s great that you’re looking at starting a business blog. The first big step is understanding how business blogging works and if you have the right long-term outlook you’re ahead of many businesses that will give up after about 20 posts.
Follow the other steps outlined above and you’ll be in a great position to turn on your automated blogging machine that will build the authority of your website and bring you new traffic and leads in the future.