Hi Connie! Great question.
Blogging is a central pillar of a larger "content marketing" strategy.
Content marketing is all about attacking the keywords your audience is already searching for, effectively driving you up in the search engine rankings over time. It is a marathon approach, not a sprint. You probably won't see it drives sales overnight, but it is an excellent brand-building option that can get your business in front of more potential customers.
If you're blogging for content marketing purposes (that is, driving traffic to your website) it's important to be sure your landing pages are optimized. What that means is applying SEO best practices to your entire website. You can be creating great content to try and rank on Google for specific keywords, but if your website ranks poorly it's going to amount to a lot of wasted effort. If you're not sure how to optimize your website, it might be worth consulting with professional digital marketers. You'll also want to leverage tools like Google AdWords to make sure your blogs are incorporating the best possible keywords. Basically, you want to think about what your audience would be searching for that you have to offer and then use tools like this to find a keyword that is A) relevant and B) not overly competitive.
What I personally love about a content marketing approach is that it's not just a way to push your website up in Google's search rankings, but it's also a way to differentiate yourself as an expert in your field. Blogs shouldn't just be thrown together for the sake of packing in keywords. They should be long-form, high quality content (that's what search engines reward, and it has the added benefit of showing your readers that you are a thought leader in your field!) It also gives you great shareable content for your social channels, which helps you grow your audience and better engage your existing followers.
Blogging takes quite a bit of time if you want to do it right, and it can often take a while to drive demonstrable results. If you're serious about going the content marketing route, though, and you stick to it, it can be very rewarding to watch your audience grow and your website go up, up, up in the search rankings!
1) You're going to make a lot of mistakes, and it's necessary to do so for the learning process. What's crucial as to how long you'll make a particular mistake is identifying it as such, and finding solutions.
2) Grammarly is your friend. The free version is all you need. Fragments are easy to oversee and if you want to succeed you need a boatload of content. That content will be hard to read with fragments and people won't like it.
3) Get Yoast so you don't have to memorize every aspect of optimizing and structuring your articles. After you use it for about a year you will be able to do everything off the top of your head and it will all be on point.
4) The way you get more business with your blogs is by writing an article based on the keywords (2-4 in the title) and what you fill the article could be tutorials, top 10 lists, whatever's going to keep them engaged and on the page.
5) Add an infographic.
6) Make a Youtube video and make the title match the title of your article. Youtube videos drive traffic to the blog if you design them to. Use the annoying popup link you're allowed to use a link 3 times per video. Make it say some ridiculous off the wall, catchy clickbait phrase.
Include a link at the very top of the description and immediately following the link, explain the reason why they want to click the link. People are impatient, or have ADHD, or are in a big hurry to go nowhere, so get to the point SUPER FAST. Originality is gold so make this explanation for visiting your site amazing and invaluable. Ebook of immortality! Solve your fictitious worldly problems! Beat up the bully with your pinky, drive it home my man (and yes, be relevant to your niche)!
7) Need even more traffic? Put the same video on several platforms, Vimeo, Twitch.tv, Dailymotion.
IMPORTANT: 6-8 times
That's how many times someone will need to show up consecutively before they are in a state of conversion. So yes, some super rare occurrences happen where they roll through and buy, but the bulk will be because your content is good enough to get them to keep coming back.
FOCUS ON AMAZING CONTENT :-)
Here are a few things to focus on:
1. Setup your blogging goal (It can be educating the prospect or driving the traffic)
2. Identify your target audience (Very important)
3. Divide your blogs into 3 parts of Inbound - Awareness, Consideration & Decision.
P.S. Awareness Stage - When a prospect is looking for information to solve a problem or buy a product.
Consideration Stage - Your target audience/ prospect already has a fair idea about the problem or product.
Decision Stage - When your prospect/target audience has already figured out the solution or product.
Just be sure about the topics that you are planning to write on. For instance, whether you are planning to write on fashion, lifestyle or technical topics. Before you straightaway start writing, make sure that you do a bit of research. See the type of blogs that are popular and engaging users in that particular field. Take a note of your major competitor and see their contents as well. Figure out the pattern on which they are writing contents. Follow them, but do not copy.
Create your social media account and start engaging users there even before you start writing. This is an important aspect when it comes to promoting the site and write-ups. Start from the scratch. Ask your friends and family to start sharing and liking your blogs. It will become easier when you successfully spread the word-of-mouth.
When it comes to SEO, make sure that you focus on the keywords. You may refer some of the blogs for the same: https://neilpatel.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-writing-blog-posts-that-rank-in-googles-top-10/
Check the analytics of the blogs and optimize accordingly. Refer this blog: https://www.mockingfish.com/blog/how-to-use-ab-test-to-enhance-the-quality-of-your-blog/
Content, content and again content. People want to read useful, unique and quality information. Ask yourself how you can differentiate yourself from others? What's special about you? If you can answer these questions, you are ready to start! Good luck!
I started blogging several years back and I have had my successes and challenges. I found that having a picture of the complete blogging roadmap is critical, otherwise, you can end up spending weeks and even years just by following all the textbook advice on the internet.
Some of the questions you need to answer upfront are:
- Do I have the technical skills (and time!) to master WordPress?
- What will be the theme of my content (blog niche)?
- How will anyone find my blog (SEO, blog promotion)?
If you get a chance, visit zavesti.com to check out free resources and templates for bloggers. My team has really poured their heart in creating this resource library and I would love to hear from you if this proves to be useful for you.
I see this question was posed in September, but I felt I had something to add (in addition to the stellar advice provided in the comments below)!
I would absolutely recommend adapting various tactics previously listed in the comments, but also just some fundamental knowledge and understanding behind blogs and their numerous uses/purposes.
Since you asked if it will help you get more business, the answer is yes... eventually. In the beginning, it's a LOT of planning, calculating, researching and studying trends, analytics, and how people access/use your site. Things like this can be found through google analytics, and there are also numerous SEO companies at various price points that can be of assistance, as well.
In order to produce more business from your blog on your business's site, you'll need a plan that's rooted in consistency and high-value information to inform those you're trying to attract. A great tool to find out what your target market is searching is answerthepublic.com. Beyond the planning and research, you'll do prior to writing any blog post, you'll want to ensure there's valuable information that's "hot" in the market you're in. What are people asking? What updates have come about in your industry? What does your expertise show that raises you above that o your competition? This is what you'll want to brainstorm off of.
Once you have the content and you're ready to publish it to the blog on your website, you'll first want to ensure there's some sort of call to action (CTA) presented on the page. Providing needed information to consumers is great, but converting them into customers is definitely what we're after, here. The goal is to create a buyers journey and keep them in the funnel. You can do this by directing them to various pages that provide different understandings of the market, and your solution — whatever that may be. You want to keep their engagement levels and time on site high, and you can do so by drafting out a funnel that leads them right where you want them, but without being pushy.
Hope you can apply this to your current strategy!
Depending on the type of your business, my advice is very simple:
• B2C - focus on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and create easy-to-consume blog posts for your readers.
• B2B - focus on networking (you can call it link-building or guest blogging) and write compelling use cases on your own site.
B2C clients hang out on social media channels so it's wise to be present there too. These are the first places they will be looking for customer reviews to make sure your business is worth it.
B2B clients hang out on LinkedIn which is a social network too. However, B2B clients are more thorough when it comes to choosing a company, so they'll probably look for lists or references to compare. And you have to be on those comparison lists, you know.
Stating a blog is such a great thing. Nowadays, everyone wants to create a blog because blogging is an incredible marketing tool. There are several things you need to know before you start blogging.
1. Define Your Goal:
Before getting started, decide your goal for blogging and why you want to write the blog.
2. Choose Best Platform for Blogging:
There has many blogging platforms available like WordPress, Tumbler, Medium, Bloggers, etc. I would suggest WordPress. WordPress is easy to use and everyone prefers WordPress as a CMS for their website because of its simplicity and functionality.
2. Get a Domain and Hosting for Your Website:
WordPress has two main parts: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a free platform but it is now allowed to add any new plugin or themes. Whereas, WordPress.org is the popular website platform. Here, you get the total control of your website. For that, you need a domain and hosting for your website.
3. Install WordPress.
4. Identify Your Blog Topic:
Decide what to write about and focus on your content.
You don't know what you are doing?
I suggest that you search Google for "how to start a blog" and everything you can find.