If you’re a business owner, you may be wondering if starting a business blog is worth the time and effort. The answer to that question is always, without exception, YES!
A company blog will facilitate your inbound marketing efforts, drive traffic to your site and grow your customer base. What’s not to like about that?
According to HubSpot, 57% of organisations with a blog report acquiring new customers from their blogging efforts, while 81% of businesses say their company blog is critical to their business’s success.
If you need convincing, here are a few reasons you should start a business blog:
- Blogging will improve your search engine optimisation - when you post content regularly, you give search engines fresh pages to index
- Every blog you post is a chance to use those all important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages
- Blogging will build and develop relationships with your existing customers
- You can strengthen those relationships by encouraging feedback on your blog posts, which will, in turn, give you valuable customer insights
- Starting a business blog can help to establish you as an industry leader and expert in your field - by becoming a resource of information you can attract more customers
- Your company blog will connect more people to your brand and will enable you to find new ways to tell your brand story and communicate your values and vision, as well as the personality of your organisation
- Every blog you post is another opportunity to be shared and liked on social media platforms like LinkedIn, etc
There’s no doubt about it, starting a business blog is a smart move and can quickly become a tremendous business asset if you decide to invest in one.
So, now you have decided to start a business blog, only one question remains: How do you start one?
Getting started can seem daunting if you’re new to it, so we’ll walk you through it. Think of this as your straight talking, jargon-free guide to getting started.
It’s much easier than you think and you’ll build momentum in no time at all. It all begins with ...
How to Start a Business Blog
Get A Hosting Domain
Your first port of call should be securing a hosting domain. If you’re setting up your website for the very first time, the difference between ‘domain’ and ‘hosting’ can be a bit confusing, but it’s quite simple.
A hosting domain is what gets you online and is the name of your website or your URL. For example, www.domainname.com.
So, how should you go about getting a domain? When thinking about choosing a provider, there are plenty of resources and information available online. However, as a basic guideline, the cost of domain names range from about £10 to £50 a year, on average.
Hosting is a different thing to your domain name. Hosting is uploading your website so that it appears on the internet. This can be done with a hosting company, and prices range from around £10 to £50 monthly, depending on the type of server you need and how much space and bandwidth you require.
If you’re setting up a brand new website and business blog, it’s much simpler to purchase the domain name and host it with the same company. But if you’ve already bought the domain name be sure to keep your login details to both your domain registrar and hosting provider, and make sure you pass it on to your web developer.
And don’t worry. While domain and hosting may seem a bit daunting if you’re new to blogging, it gets easier once you’ve done it a few times.
Now, you’ve taken the first step; you’re ready for the next phase!
Getting A Design Template - Or A Professional Designer
When thinking about how to start a business blog, the second thing to consider is whether to go with a web design company/professional designer or whether to opt for a website template. Take care when making this decision.
As well as the obvious reasons, such as allowing you get on with business and taking the headache away from you, one of the most significant benefits to getting a web design company or a professional designer onboard is it will ensure a unique website and help you to stand out from the competition.
Also, custom created websites are far more search engine friendly and tend to rank higher in Google than templates.
What’s more, a professional web design company/web designer will ensure your website adapts to the needs of your business and reflects your brand. Plus, custom-made web designs give you more scalability and can grow as your business grows, so you'll never be limited or pushed into a box.
What are the pluses of ready-made web design templates? Well, they tend to be ideal for small organisations and worth their weight in gold in that you no longer have to be a technical whizz to create a website with a business blog.
These days anyone can create a professional looking website, and if you’re on a low budget and eager to get blogging, then a website template may be the right choice for you.
The decision between hiring a professional web designer or using a ready-made template usually comes down to cost. However, before making this important decision, make sure you weigh cost against the specific needs of your business, now and in the future.
Create A Content Strategy
The next step is to start thinking not just about how to write a business blog, successfully. There are two critical words you should keep in mind: CONTENT STRATEGY.
Writing and posting content, ad hoc, will not deliver results unless you formulate a sound content marketing strategy. Before you can begin writing content, you must figure out who your target audience is. You can do this by creating buying personas - a fictional outline of your ideal customer.
The main reason for creating buyer personas is to determine the kind of content they want, so it’s vital you identify:
What are your buyer personas searching for?
What is the motivation behind these searches?
What makes your target audience stop, click and buy?
Remember, never write what you want to know about. Or what you think your audience may want to know about. Write about what you know your audience wants to know about. You can do this by conducting customer interviews or analysing your company or product reviews.
Another vital part of creating a content strategy is to develop a pattern of frequency - and make sure you stick to it. The general rule of thumb is that the more you update your blog, the more traffic you’ll get.
HubSpot did some research that found companies that blog three to five times a month - or around once a week - have more than twice the traffic of companies that don’t.
The more you blog, the more likely it is your website will gather external links, social shares and indexed pages in Google search results. Remember though; you should never compromise the quality of your blogs.
Planning how to write a business blog is one of the smartest moves you can make, and the only way to ensure this is to write a sound content marketing strategy first.
Creating A Content Calendar
When considering how to write a business blog organisation is vital. This is where a content calendar comes in.
First of all, brainstorm a list of content ideas. If you’re planning your content calendar for your business blog over a year, you can tie in your content creation with special industry events on the business calendar, such as Christmas, the end of the year and the beginning of a New Year - all are popular times for content creation.
When brainstorming your ideas for your content creation calendar, always think about the problems your customer has. Analyse what your competition is doing - or not doing. Look at what’s working for them as well as what isn’t working.
Remember, keywords are crucial, so always check the Google Keywords Planner during your brainstorming.
The Nuts & Bolts of Blog Writing
When thinking about how to write a business blog, always start with a captivating headline.
All too often, headlines are neglected. However, your headline is the most important part of your company blog because it’s what will make your target audience read your blog - or move on and read somebody else’s.
As the famous advertising executive, David Ogilvy said: ‘On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents of your dollar.’
Never underestimate the power of your headline. Remember, the internet is crammed with content, so it’s vital you make sure people read yours.
Check out HubSpot's top tips on how to write a compelling headline here.
Writing in the Correct Tone of Voice
You must always write in the correct tone of voice. Writing in the correct tone of voice isn’t just about what you say, it’s about how you say it. When it comes to planning a business blog, you should always write in the tone of voice of your brand.
What’s writing in your brand tone of voice? It’s the language that gives your company its own distinct and recognisable voice, and it should be present across every part of your content, from your business blogs and e-shots to your brochures and client presentations.
By speaking in one consistent tone of voice, your business will come across as professional, reliable and consistent and will convert more of your website visitors into customers.
Adding a Call-to-Action
Finally, when thinking about how to write a business blog, you must always create a strong call-to-action to convert your website visitors into leads and customers.
A call-to-action is the final sentence or button on your blog that will get your reader to take action.
The most obvious call-to-action is ‘Buy Now!’ However, you don’t want to risk putting potential customers off when it’s only their first experience with your brand, especially if you’re offering premium products or services.
A call-to-action can be used successfully to build up your email list or increase your social media following, so include call-to-actions that include ‘Sign up for a Free Report’ or ‘Join our Email List.’
For more information on writing a call-to-action, click here.
Start Building Your Business Blog
So there you have it - your complete guide to starting a business blog. It’s vital that you start as you mean to go on, making sure every article you post is a long-term business asset.
Without a company blog, you’ll be harder to find on search engines, you'll have nothing to say on social media, and you’ll be missing a precious opportunity to build lasting relationships with your customers.
To help ensure your business success, you need to start a business blog, and you need to post quality articles regularly.
If you would like more help and advice, please get in touch.