When it comes to promoting your business, blogging really deserves its own wonderful little category. Nothing else can drive website traffic, boost sales, position you so winningly in your industry, and help you reach new markets in quite the same way – and certainly not as cost-effectively. So why are so many business owners failing to see the light? There are lots of reasons – no time, no content ideas, no clear notion of how to even get started.

Today, I’m hoping to rattle a few cages by sharing six must-read, must-know tips for a business blog that’s happy and healthy (read: seriously performing).

1. remember your reader

One of the trickiest concepts for new biz bloggers to wrap their heads around is this insane idea that their blog isn’t for them. The business owners who use their blog as a platform for airing their grievances, excessively tooting their own horn, and sharing tons of personal details – in other words, as a true online journal – are mistaking their business blog for a lifestyle blog. That’s a problem, and I see it all the time.

Listen up. Your business blog isn’t about you. It’s about your readers. And that means your content should be something clients and/or customers want to read. The most effective content solves a problem for the reader, offers insight in the industry, or educates the reader in some way. Check out this post for a few ideas to kickstart your creative juice.

2. plan & create useful content

If you’re blogging regularly (ahem, tip number three), you can knock out a whole month’s worth of posts in a single afternoon, scheduling them to post every week. You can brainstorm a bunch of topics and create a calendar laying out content ideas and their respective keywords and images. Maybe you can wing it, and sit down to write something relevant every single Monday because you’re just disciplined like that. The point is, there should be some thought going into your content and its publishing schedule.

Every post is an opportunity to connect with your readers, and every one of those should be considered a potential customer. Keep tip number one in mind, and write something that will resonate with them. Remember, offering valuable content is the key to establishing your position in the industry and developing a relationship with potential customers.

This is also where you should be totally realistic with yourself. Do you have the time, writing prowess, and discipline to commit to writing useful blog posts week after week? If the answer is no, get someone to it for you (but not just anyone).

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3. Commit to a schedule

Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly – pick a frequency that you can absolutely maintain. There’s a two-pronged reason for this. From an SEO standpoint, search engines love that fresh new content, and every blog post is a new reason for indexing. The more you blog, the more your online visibility improves, and the more opportunities you have to appear in front of all the right people. The second reason is that a lovingly-updated blog shows your readers that you’re in business, so to speak. Things are happening, and they should be in on all the action.

4. develop a voice

Funny, helpful, or slightly irreverent (my personal favorite), develop a voice for your blog content and stick to it. You want people to become familiar with your blogging style, and consistency in your voice will help. And skip the in-your-face sales pitch. This is a place to help and connect, not a spot for overt self-promotion.

5. Keep things social

Inbound links are an online visibility staple, so make sure your content can be easily shared. When you write something awesome and people decide it’s worth sharing, you’re on a great path for improving your reach and visibility.

6. Track performance

Which posts are your visitors reading the most? And which keywords drove that content? Analyzing your site’s traffic can help you pinpoint how people are finding your site and what they’re doing when they get there.

and now you know

See? It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use these steps to build your own happy, healthy business blog. Or drop me a line and we’ll figure out a plan for making that happen together. I’m good with either.

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