Blogging: The backbone of a good inbound marketing strategy
Blogging might seem like a chore initially, but the more you work on getting it right, the more you’ll find yourself thinking like a professional blogger. Plus, blogging is an important part of every effective inbound strategy.
Often, when people hear the term “blogging” a stereotype conjures up images of people typing about cats, cakes or whatever their hobby might be, in their pyjamas. People also assume they don’t make a great deal of money, despite having a huge online audience.
While this may be the case for some bloggers, there are many very successful business bloggers who live a life very different to the one portrayed in the scenario above.
So, what exactly is a business blog? It’s simply a page on your website where you post information about your business or industry, which are then classified into categories. Typically, an RSS feed will be attached to it too.
It’s also the easiest way to update your website with new and relevant news, without having to make changes to the entire site. Another important feature of a blog mu are social media sharing buttons, so if a reader likes your information and they want to share it with others, they can do so easily.
Here are three good reasons for why you should be blogging:
- Companies who blog 3 times per week get 55 percent more traffic than companies who do not.
- Business who blog acquire more leads per month: Business to Consumer (B2C) companies get 88 percent more leads and Business to Business (B2B) companies get 67 percent more leads.
- Google loves blogs and rewards good, relevant blogs that are updated regularly with higher rankings, which will help a business be found online by its ideal clients.
A question thrown around a lot is: “What can I blog about?” The answer can be found in the sent item folder of your emails. When you answer questions from clients about your products or services and respond to them via email, this is information that’s hidden in your sent items which should actually be shared with other potential customers on a blog.
Your blog is a marketing asset for your business that positions you as an expert, by allowing you to freely share information about your industry. A simple and very practical blog topic idea is that you could write about the common problems people come to your business with and how they can be solved.
To be effective at blogging I recommend a process I use myself. Book a couple of hours, perhaps once per month and take your laptop to a place where you’re offline. Invest in a fantastic tool called Evernote and create a notebook for your blogs:
1. Gather your keywords and write out five to ten headlines you could write a blog post on.
2. Take one of these headlines and write a introductory paragraph about the topic.
3. Next, write five to ten bullet points discussing the benefits, solutions, or how to fix the problem posed in the blog.
4. Finish off with a summary paragraph.
5. And, have a clear call to action at the end.
And, there’s your blog post! It’s important to remember that blogs aren’t articles, so they should be short, to the point and generally a length of 200 – 600 words is the industry norm.
When you’ve written as many posts as you can in the two hours you set aside, upload them to your blog and schedule them to be uploaded throughout the week. I recommend including a picture (that has your keywords included in it), relevant to the topic along with the blog post, as this helps make it more visually appealing.
Remember to have a clear call to action either on the right hand side of your blog or at the end of your post so that people know what to do if they want more information from you or would like to connect with your business.
Blogging is just like exercising. In the beginning it can feel weird and you might not enjoy it much, but after a few weeks you get into a habit. Soon, you’ll start observing things around you and find yourself saying “I could write a blog post about that.” That’s when you know you’ve become a blogger.
A business blog forms the backbone of your inbound marketing strategy. If you see people asking questions on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter and you know you can answer them, create a blog post resolving the issue and join in the conversation by directing them to your blog.