No matter the size or nature of your company, having a business blog can keep you in touch with your customers, build rapport and boost your bottom line.
In fact, it’s been found that marketers who actively blog receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
Add to that the ability blogs have to build trust (rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information), and blogging would seem to be a no-brainer.
Yet many businesses are still struggling to build momentum and find an audience.
If this is you and you’re ready to build a successful business blog, then read on!
The tips below will show how you to harness the power of blogging and become a better blogger…overnight.
1. Be Responsible
Whether you’re blogging about food, health or social media, the responsibility to your readers is still the same.
Before you hit publish, review your post to ensure you maintain the integrity and credibility of your blog.
How can you do this?
- Do your due diligence. Have you checked your facts, do you know if what you’re sharing is 100% accurate?
- Don’t misrepresent the facts. Gaining a reputation as a writer that overly sensationalizes or promotes content that hasn’t been fact checked is not one you want to earn.
- Link to any resource and properly cite anyone you’ve quoted. There’s a very clear line between properly referencing someone else’s work and stealing their ideas. Make sure you don’t cross it.
- Don’t use an image if you don’t have the rights. This is a big one for bloggers to clearly understand. If you’re confused at all by what is ok and what’s not, watch this interview with my friend Sara F. Hawkins, Social Media Attorney for all the answers.
2. Be Responsive
Perhaps the single most important rule of business blogging is to maintain the conversation.
As a blogger, you’re not simply a disseminator of information. You’re a teacher, a trainer and a guide.
If you want to grow your blog readers and traffic, you can’t ignore your readers.
While this may sound like a no brainer, it can be tough to keep up with depending on the amount of conversation happening on your blog.
But replying is a commitment just like any other. Don’t get so caught up in creating content that you forget to thank those that support you.
Your readers are the backbone of your blog and your business. Ask for their opinion, invite feedback, ask questions and above all, respond to comments, complaints and concerns.
If you want to see the successful use of blog commenting in action, look no further than Adrienne Smith. Adrienne has turned blog commenting into an art and when you look at her engagement, you can see that she’s perfected it.
And look at how thoughtful her responses are. So impressive!
3. Be Steadfast
The only thing harder than starting a business blog is sustaining one. Blogging calls for exceptional writing skills, industry expertise and more importantly, enthusiasm about your business.
It takes time, energy, and perseverance. If you want to succeed, you need to be resolute and determined.
There’s no doubt about it. Building a successful blog is tough work and there will be dark days. I know I’ve seen my fair share. The key is to keep pushing forward.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Celebrate each blogging success. You’ll feel newfound enthusiasm when you do.” quote=”Celebrate each success – even the smallest accomplishments. You’ll feel newfound enthusiasm when you do.”]
4. Be Relevant
You need to be relevant to your audience if you want your blog to succeed.
So, how can you do that? Be passionate, stand for something and let your blog show your human side.
To do this:
- Find balance in your content. You want to be professional and formal without being corporate and/or faceless.
- Write a blog that adds value to your audience, but also ranks high in search based on terms/keywords relevant to your business.
- Promote your products/services to your readers without sounding like a salesperson. Make your content informative and appealing.
- Instead of overly praising your products/services, focus on addressing customer problems and offer genuine advice.
- Write content for the reader rather than for search engines. I know I said you want to rank based on keywords, but there’s a way to do this in an organic way.
- Writing for your reader should be effortless. Once you know who they are and what they need, it becomes terribly easy to create tailored content.
[clickToTweet tweet=”“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.” -John Cheever” quote=”“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.” – John Cheever”]
5. Be Beneficial
There are countless other business blogs within your niche, so what will make readers come back to yours? It’s your ability to become a beneficial resource.
Share insight, wisdom, and the knowledge you’ve gained over the years. Become the go-to resource that your readers simply cannot live without.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Be a benefit to others. Reciprocity is powerful when it comes from a place of gratitude.” quote=”Be a benefit to others. Reciprocity is powerful when it comes from a place of gratitude.”]
How to Be Beneficial
- Inject creativity into your blog. Let your posts echo your voice.
- Create original content, keeping it short and engaging.
- Introduce a new theme or weekly focus.
- Tell stories and use images to get your point across.
- Always offer a ridiculous amount of value to your readers like Regina Anaejionu.
I stumbled upon ByRegina.com quite some time ago and have watched her blog explode due to the thought put into each post, graphic and giveaway.
6. Be Unique
For your readers to keep coming back to your blog, it has to be refreshing and unique.
Want to make that happen? Stay away from these don’ts.
Don’ts of Business Blogging
- Don’t bore your readers to death by over explaining or belaboring a point.
- Don’t be stiff or unapproachable. Your readers want to get to know you, let them.
- Don’t overshare. Try to connect with your audience on a personal level, but be reasonable in what you share both on a personal and professional level. Commit to what makes you feel comfortable.
- Don’t copy your competition. Find your own groove and work it daily.
- Don’t simply pass along information. Share your “why” behind it. Why it captivated or compelled you and why your reader should care.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Blog Tip: Be unique. “Readers are not sheep, and not every pen tempts them.” ― Vladimir Nabokov” quote=”Be unique. “Readers are not sheep, and not every pen tempts them.” ― Vladimir Nabokov”]
7. Be Consistent
It doesn’t matter how often you publish a blog post. I know, I know – there’s a lot that’s been written and said about this topic.
But I’m taking a stand here and now and telling you – stop putting on the pressure to create more content.
Instead, commit to when you can post. Pick a day and then stick with it.
For me that day has been Monday’s. I’ve been posting once a week for years and it’s always on a Monday. Sure, I add a few things in here and there, but the goal is to keep my day/time consistent.
Why is this important? Because you train your audience when to find you.
Consistency ensures that your readers always have something new to come back to and always know when to come looking.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Being consistent in your blogging means your audience is able to anticipate your next post.” quote=”Being consistent in your blogging means your audience is able to anticipate your next post.”]
If there are unpredictable gaps in your posts, readers may well assume you ceased blogging and leave.
8. Be Humble
As your blog grows, there may be the inclination to feel a bit consumed by your success.
I’ve always shied away from that, believing that my readers (and clients) success is what makes me successful.
There’s a fine line between promoting and bragging.
If you’re a braggart or too full of yourself, your audience will quickly sense that.
Make your motivation about them and not you. That’s what will keep them coming back for more.
I’ve always believed this to be true. Work hard and let your success speak for itself!
9. Be Considerate
And last but not least, be considerate of your community.
Your blogging community – the visitors who come back to your blog consistently – they’re your number one asset.
Take the time to say thank you and reach out in other ways.
There are many opportunities on your blog to do this, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Offer discounts for your products/services for anyone who visits your site more than once.
- Interview readers on topics within their area of expertise.
- Highlight reader content and link to their posts.
- Allow readers who write within your space to guest post.
- Collaborate on a project.
- Offer a downloadable that’s only available to subscribers.
- Give away your super smarts – for FREE!
There’s no one that does this better than Peg Fitzpatrick. She spends her days perfecting her social media strategy and then readily gives that knowledge away to her readers.
Don’t be afraid to do the same on your blog.
There are a lot of ingredients that make up a successful blog.
I don’t pretend to know them all, but I can tell you that each of the “Be’s” above has made a major impact on mine.
People are looking for a leader. Be one in your industry and own your niche!