The good news is that starting a blog is a great way to connect with your audience, reach out to new customers, and increase brand awareness. The bad news is that in order to be successful, you have to find a way to stand out among all of the other brands in your space. By following the tips below, you will be able to maximize the impact of your business blog.
In addition to earning more followers, this advice will help you to get those followers engaged and move them further through the sales funnel.
Create a Great User Experience
As an entrepreneur, you know that user experience is all important. Without it, your potential audience members will go elsewhere. Let’s delve into what good UX means when it comes to your business blog.
Navigation Should be Easy
People will land on your blog from a variety of places for a variety of reasons. Once they get there, ideally you want them to stick around. Make sure that your readers can easily do the following from any blog post:
– Share Your Content on Social Media
– Leave a Comment
– Subscribe to Your Blog
– Find Your Contact Information
– Request a Quote
– Access Important Pages on Your Website – About Us, Product Pages, Home Page Etc.
Of course, placement of all of these navigation options matters. Many designers opt for a navigation bar across the top of the screen so readers can make their way around the website without the information intruding on the blog post itself.
Having a visually pleasing and easy to navigate blog is extraordinarily important. If your budget allows, consider hiring a web design pro for the job.
Visitors Should be Able to Find The Content That They Want
After you have published several posts, consider creating categories. This will give your readers the ability to find and click on the content that meets their needs. For example, if you are a home improvement contractor, you might categorize your posts as follows:
– DIY Advice And Tutorials
– Home Safety And Security
– All About Our Services
– Company News
– Just For Fun
By doing this, readers can click directly on the type of content that they want. This ensures that you provide a path
Your Content Must be Readable
We’ll start with the words that you write. The most effective blog posts are short, not just in word count but other ways as well. Use short sentences and short paragraphs. Consider breaking up longer posts info a series of shorter ones.
Make your posts easy on the eyes, especially for mobile users. Use subheadings and bullet points. Including plenty of white space also improves readability. Remember that font matters. Pick a size and type that is easy to read. Fonts without serifs are best for text.
Use visuals in and around your posts. They increase understanding, help your branding efforts, and improve the aesthetics of your blog. Just be choosy. High-quality images should be the standard.
Establish Trust And Credibility
Publishing interesting content is great. It’s just not enough to become a sought after source of information. It’s certainly not enough to turn casual readers into subscribers or customers. To establish trust and credibility you’ll need to do the following:
Establish Thought Leadership
There’s no real ‘trick’ to this, just time and hard work. You establish thought leadership by posting detailed, informative, useful posts for your audience. You earn the respect of your target audience by speaking with authority on the topics relating to your niche. You make predictions and share strong opinions. Share your passion for your products and services. By doing these things, you will eventually become a sought after source for information and education.
Remember that you can help this process along by becoming a presence elsewhere on the internet. Take part in Twitter conversations that are relevant to your industry. Search Quora for questions that you can answer and share your expert opinions.
Post Consistently And Reliably
You have to blog like it’s your job. Posting whenever the urge hits or you have a spare moment isn’t going to benefit your company. In fact, it might do a bit of damage. Find a content calendar that works for you, and use it. Publish posts on a reliable schedule. If can manage to schedule specific types of posts for specific days of the week even better. Here’s an example.
– Monday Direct From The CEO: Company News And Industry Updates Directly From The Chief Executive Officer
– Tuesday At Your Service: Posts That Answer Audience Questions And Requests
– Wednesday Community Spotlight: Highlight a Company or Individual Who is Doing Great Things in The Community (A Great Way to Boost VIP Customers, Suppliers, Etc.)
– Thursday Product Spotlight: Tutorials Troubleshooting Tips And Tricks Related to Your Products
– Friday Fun Day: Content Posted Strictly For Entertainment And Relationship Building Purposes (A Great Day For User Generated Content)
Obviously, you would tailor the schedule to your business and your target audience, but audiences are more likely to return if they know they can count on you to publish new content on a regular basis.
Show Your Work
Anyone can make a claim. Back yours up with proof. Use links to trusted sources of information in your posts. Even when speaking about your own products, share the data whenever you can. For example, if you have 90 percent satisfaction rating link to the customer satisfaction survey results that say so.
Get Buy-in From Respected Sources
Who are respected sources? Well, to begin with, consumers who have had positive experiences with your business. If you’ve gone out of your way for someone, and they are happy with your service, ask them for a testimonial or to leave a positive review on the relevant consumer site. You can even get some blog fodder asking users to submit photos, stories, or videos relating to your products or services.
Getting happy customers to follow you on social media is always a good thing as is sharing your posts. If a post has really gained traction, consider adding social share buttons that indicate the numbers of likes, shares, and tweets you’ve received so far.
Next on the list are authoritative sources that can provide assurance that your company, your website, or your products are trustworthy. People often use trust badges to indicate that their website or company has received a stamp of approval. If your website has been verified as safe, ask the company who conducted the audit to send you a trust badge to display on your website. Other trust badges include BBB accredited and SSL certification.
Don’t dismiss the value of trust badges from niche organizations as well. If you have received accolades, licensing, or special certifications from valued organizations that are either specific to your industry or to your local area, display those as well.
One final and very important source are others in your industry who have established thought leadership. Know who these folks are and nurture relationships with them on social media. Follow them and share their content. Link to their posts when you blog.
The idea behind all of this is to establish enough of a relationship with other industry leaders that you can offer to write guest blogs, ask them to comment on your posts, or even to guest blog for you.
One of the main points of starting a business blog is to develop relationships with your customers and to create engagement. This means taking the time to respond to comments on your posts, and to participate in the conversations that happen as a result.
Quality, consistency, responsiveness and user experience are the key elements to a business blog that truly stands out. Focus on these, and you will seriously increase your chances of getting noticed.