You know the benefits of blogging for your business.
You understand that creating content that provides value to potential and existing customers will increase your website traffic and make you a trusted resource.
But what should you blog about?
We’ve got you covered with all the dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re forming your content game plan for your business blog.
Don’t Use Blogs as Advertisements
If there is one thing nobody likes, it’s a pushy salesperson. People will take great lengths to avoid what they perceive as a sales pitch.
However, you can target your intended sales market by publishing content that is valuable to them. By providing readers with information that is useful and informative, you position yourself as a trusted authority thereby making your business the one that they turn to when they are in need of your particular goods or services.
There are four pillars on which you should build your blogs. Incorporate at least one (or up to all four!) into the content that you publish:
Did you notice? “Sell” is NOT on the list.
When readers find your content engaging, they will be more likely to read through to the end, explore other posts on your site, and perhaps even order your product or seek out your services.
Do Your Keyword Research
Writing blog posts that your audience will find informational, entertaining, or inspiring is the first part of the equation.
The second part is writing blog posts centered around the keywords or phrases that will help people find you online.
What’s a keyword? Simply put, it is the phrase you type when you’re looking for something in a search engine.
Examples are “laundry mat,” “consignment shop,” or “organic lip balm.”
So how do you determine your keywords?The first step is to determine which keywords could direct interested customers to your website. Make a list of terms you think someone would type in if they were trying to find the product or service your business provides.
Having a hard time coming up with keywords to make up your list? No worries, there is more than one solution to that particular problem.
There are keyword research tools available to you, the kind that SEO and digital marketing pros have come to rely on when researching keywords, but they often come at a cost.
Alternately, there is a resource that is free to use and easy to access: Google.
Start typing any word or phrase into the search box on Google and notice that its autocomplete function kicks into gear, displaying search predictions. These predictions are based on such factors as the popularity of a search term as well as its freshness. Use this function to determine which keywords are popular and trending, then take note!
When you’ve completed that step don’t forget to scroll down. The bottom of the page displaying search results will also include Google’s “related searches” information, which is another source for keywords.
This means that by keying in the terms you initially brainstorm, you can mine a wealth of ideal keywords that Google generates for you. And it’s all free of charge.
Create a List of Blog Concepts and Topics
Use your initial keyword list to brainstorm a comprehensive set of topics and concepts around each keyword. Think about the questions that people might ask about that keyword. Your customer service or sales team can be a great resource here… what kinds of questions do they receive most from prospects and current clients about your products or services?
Now you have your list of ideas for what to write about, but that’s just the beginning. The next step is of crucial importance, you need to determine who you’re writing for.
Refine Your List of Topics by Identifying Your Audience
When building a digital marketing strategy for our clients, GROW knows how important it is to identify an audience before we start creating blogs. Persona development is a crucial part of that process.
Persona development: the process of creating an archetype of your ideal customer.
Without even realizing it, you most likely have a wealth of information about current customers at your fingertips. Look to your sales and customer service teams, survey or interview existing customers, and dive into analytics that you’ve already gathered about both website customers and visitors.
Who is your ideal customer? What challenges do they face?
Beyond the basics of demographic information (i.e.: age, sex, location of customers), you need to really get to know them as best you can.
- What are their interests? Their concerns? What is it they care about?
- Which social media platforms do they engage in? Who do they trust their information with?
The farther you reach into researching your persona, the more engaging your blogs will be for your target audience.
Once you dive into all the information you’ve gathered, you may want to refine your blog topics list, finding that some of the existing topics don’t really fit into the persona you’ve developed. Or perhaps you’re inspired with new topic ideas for your list now that you have a more well-rounded knowledge of your customers' interests, challenges, and pain points.
Don’t be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
It is easy to want to write about your specialty. It is, after all, your specialty and you have a wealth of knowledge to share. However, expanding your blog topic list into the magic zone, where your products or services end and your customer’s interests begin, will help you nurture a real relationship with them.
Speak to the things that are important to your customers, while giving them helpful information about your products or services, and you’ll position yourself as a trusted authority.
Gain their trust, earn their business.
The benefits from business blogging won’t be realized overnight, so be patient and keep your sights set on the long game. Stay the course, consistently providing readers with content that is useful and relevant, and you will see a payoff in the end.