More of Your Questions About Business Blogging Answered • Amanda Powell Digital

In the first of this series, Your Questions About Business Blogging Answered, I covered what a business blog is all about, why your business needs a blog, and how your business can benefit from having a blog.

This second post will delve more into the type of things you could write about on your business blog, how to drive traffic to your blog, and some useful tips on how to blog regularly when you don’t think you have the time.

Not everyone is born a professional writer and fortunately for us, writing effective and engaging content is a skill we can all learn with a little patience and a whole lot of practice. 

With these helpful tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a business blogger before you know it.

 

What should I blog about?

Each post should have a purpose, whether it is to educate, entertain or inspire, and should be geared toward your target audience.  A great place to start is to scour your social media accounts for questions from your audience. Take these questions and answer them in an informative and useful post. With a blog, you can afford for your tone to be more conversational than on your website, which gives you a more “human” voice in your writing.

Other ideas for things to blog about:

  • Create helpful how-to’s, tutorials or guides
  • Promote your product/service (remember to stick to the 80/20 rule!)
  • Share an entertaining, yet still relevant, story
  • Write about current industry-related news
  • Share the success story behind a positive testimonial
  • Curate a “best of” or “top” list (perfect for displaying multiple images)
  • Share your thoughts on current industry trends
  • Write a review of a product/service relevant to your industry
  • Thought-provoking content – stuff that makes your audience really think

How can I drive traffic to my blog?

One great way to send people to your blog is to leverage your socials. You have taken the time to create and nurture these accounts, now it’s time to use them to your advantage. Most of the major platforms allow you to link to external URL’s. The exception to this being Instagram which only allows you to link to one URL at a time (Psst… I have a workaround for this – just comment below if you’d like to know more!).

When writing your blog posts, make sure you complete the excerpt (the short text extract from your blog post). Apart from the title, the excerpt is your audiences first taste of what’s in the blog post so make it exciting. Also, add an eye-catching featured image as this is what is displayed when you share the blog post on social media.

Another awesome way to get traffic to your blog is search engine optimisation (SEO). Are you writing about the things your audience want to read? Ensuring your blog posts are optimised with specific keywords and relevant metadata will mean you are more likely to be found in an online search by people looking for those specific words or phrases. There are many other factors involved in SEO but this is a great start.

Make sure your images are optimised too. This means they’ll appear in Google Image searches which ultimately will send traffic to your site too. Before uploading any images to your blog, change the filename to include what the image is about and your business name. For example, dog-eating-icecream-amandapowelldigital.jpg. Take the extra time to add a title, alt-tag and description which will also make your images more findable.

BONUS TIP!

As a blogger, you need to be aware of the implications of using someone else’s image when you don’t have permission. This is known as copyright infringement and can get you into some hot water if you don’t know what you’re doing. Never take an image direct from Google Images or another website or blog unless you have been granted permission to use it by the original owner. There are plenty of free stock photography sites around such as Pixabay, Pexels, Freepix and, my personal favourite, Unsplash.

What if I don’t have time to blog?

This is the most common complaint I hear from business owners. The time invested in writing a top-quality blog post is definitely time well spent and will benefit your business in the long run. I’ll be honest though, it does take time to craft a great blog post. To take away some of the overwhelm, break it down into smaller tasks. Here’s the tried and tested method I use.

Task 1: Brainstorm ideas for topics and titles. (30 minutes)

Write everything down so you don’t have to rely on your memory too much. Yes, I said write, not type. I find writing it down with good old fashioned pen and paper helps me to focus better on the task and it’s also easier to make any side notes on paper (or draw doodles). Once you have decided on the perfect topic, start thinking up some compelling titles for your post. This is where you want your post to reach out and grab your readers by the eyeballs. I usually write down three and choose the most appropriate after I’ve written the post. However occasionally, I’ll change it altogether. You can do that, it’s your blog!
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Task 2. Do your homework. (1 hour)

If your post is going to contain some cold, hard facts, make sure you’ve done any industry research before you begin writing so you’ve got all the information correct. The last thing you want to do is misinform your audience, losing your credibility and their trust. This is where I write myself many, many questions about the topic I’ve chosen and then go find the answers I need. I generally write these in dot format to save time. This then forms the basis of my post.

Task 3. Get typing. (2 hours)

The fun part! This is where you have to pull together all of your notes and create your literary masterpiece. I try to dedicate at least a solid two hours to this task, however, you may bowl it over in less. It’s that darn perfectionist in me. Optimally, you want to aim for between 300-500 words, which seems like a lot but trust me, it isn’t really once you get started. This word limit is by no means a hard and fast rule, just more of a guide. You can check your word limit using Word Counter. Don’t forget to break up your post with subheadings and images as this makes it easier for your audience to stay focused. Adding a ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) at the end of your post is a must. This means telling your audience what you need them to do once they’ve finished reading your post. Subscribe to your blog? Contact you for more information? Visit your Instagram for more photos? Make it clear so there’s no confusion.
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Task 4. Edit, edit and edit some more. (30 minutes)

So, you’ve finished writing your post, now read it back to yourself. And again. And a third time. Does it make sense? Does it flow nicely? A handy little trick I use here is to get my iPhone to read out loud what I have written. If that isn’t an option, I’ll ask someone else to read my post and provide feedback as they may see something I’ve missed. It’s also during this process that you need to double-check your SEO, excerpt and image tags. You want to get this right before you publish and share. A tool I use to help with proofreading my blog posts is Grammarly,

Task 5. Press publish and share the love!

All the time and effort you’ve put in over the past few hours is about to pay off in the form of shiny, new content for your business blog. Once you hit publish and send your post out to the blogosphere, you need to grab that URL and share it on all of your socials. Before you do that though, give your post one final proofread. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ll quite often find a sneaky typo at this point which snuck under my radar.

 

You’ve done it!

Congratulations on writing your first business blog post. It wasn’t that difficult, was it? You’ll be a seasoned pro in no time. I suggest aiming to write one post a week if possible, or even one a month would be beneficial to your business over time.

If you are still hesitant to begin a blog on your business website due to lack of time, patience or knowledge, you can always outsource the task. I personally know a great professional writer – blog posts are her jam!

Some additional key factors to consider when it comes to blogging for your business are:

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Your blog posts need to provide value to your readers or you’ll be unlikely to snag any return visitors or blog subscribers.
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Always interact with any readers that have taken the time to comment on your blog posts as you never know who may turn into a potential customer (except for SPAM comments – bin those right away).
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Adding fresh and relevant content to your blog regularly creates more pages indexed by search engines which means the more you post, the better your chances of showing up in searches conducted by your target market.
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It will take time to see the results of your blogging efforts so be patient and don’t be too quick to dismiss it if you aren’t getting thousands of visits right away.
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Don’t be afraid to have a go! There is ample help available to guide you along the way, including me.

Well, our journey to better business blogging is coming to a close and I’d like to wish you all the best in your blog ventures. There is a lot of competition in the blogosphere but if you’re committed to pushing out regular, quality content, you’ll stand a greater chance of getting noticed first.

If you still have unanswered questions about blogging for business that I haven’t covered in this series, drop me a comment below or contact me and I’ll do my best to find an answer for you. I’m going to be turning this series into an easy-to-read ebook with all the information and additional tips all in one place so stay tuned.

Blog on!

Amanda xx

 

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