Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. (Hubspot)
Business blogging is important. Blogging is an important ingredient of the inbound content marketing initiatives. During last few days, I visited several business blogs of startups as well as established businesses. What I found was, most businesses are doing it wrong or doing it with half-hearted inadequate efforts. They do not realize the importance of business blogging.
The status of business blogging is: The blog is an in-thing so we need a blog; therefore you have it on your website. We need some content so you have some content on these blogs.
A business blog is an important tool for the growth of the business. Do not treat it as one of the buttons on the website. The website is usually static while the blog is vibrant. The website is about marketing and the blog is about helping customers. Blogging is not about some content created once in a while. It is about the scientific approach of generating leads and converting the leads into a customer.
Let’s understand the right approach to blogging.
The business blog has a specific purpose. The purpose is to attract, convert, close and delight the customers. The purpose is to attract strangers to the blog, educate them, make them aware, and help solve their problem and overcome challenges or achieve their goals. This way blogging helps in making strangers, fans, and promoters of the brand.
Problems with the most blogs are:
1. Not having a blog is the number one mistake.
Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more online visibility. A business blog is a marketing channel (just like social media, direct mail, email marketing, etc.) that helps support business growth.
53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority.
B2B marketers (75%) are more likely to use blogs in their social media content than B2C (61%). (Source: Social Media Examiner)
2. No blog/content strategy in place. This is another marketing tool. The haphazard way will not work.
3. No one in charge of Blog and content creation. This is a sure way to failed blogging.
4. Blogs have generic content, not persona and buyers’ journey driven content. Noncontextual and nontargeted content are for no one. Which buyer persona and at what journey stage you are targeting with the post content is pre-requisite for writing a post.
5. Blog posts are only talking about the company products. Remember approach to blogging is not marketing the product but helping the readers overcome their challenges/reach their goals.
6. Blog posts are posted as and when time permits. No regular and consistent blog posts.
Consistent posts drive more traffic. See the graphics from Hubspot below:
7. Blog post titles are not attractive. Will you click on boring headlines?
8. Not used proper keywords to attract the relevant traffic. Google is busy with billions of pages. Without proper keyword how your blog will be found?
9. Blog posts have complicated/technical/ jargonized language and inappropriate formatting. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein
10. No use of appropriate images. Remember one image is equal to 1000 words.
11. Blogs have no call to action (CTA) and landing page. Without this how will you collect the visitors’ contact email for future contact?
12. Blog posts have social sharing buttons. 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.
13. Blog posts are not actively promoted on social platforms. Many expert content marketers who have grown their business blogs to huge audiences like Sujan Patel and Derek Halpern argue that brands should spend 20 percent of their time creating content and a full 80 percent of their time promoting it.
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Business blogging is a huge opportunity for small and medial entrepreneurs to grow their business. The data suggests on average, companies allocate 32% of their total marketing budgets toward content. B2B marketers are leading the pack, with 88% using content marketing as part of their overall strategy.
“Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant.” Sufia Tippu.