Written by: Lynne Strang
A business blog can be an effective way to gain exposure, establish credibility and attract customers to your website, leading them to see what you have to offer. If you’re a small business owner looking to get better results from your blog, consider these tips:
1) Produce good content.
The old saying “content is king” remains true. But here’s one problem: Some business bloggers tend to focus on topics they like, which may — or may not — be the same topics their customers like.
How do you figure out what content your customers like? One logical place to start is by looking at which of your posts get the most engagement. With this insight, you can choose topics that relate to popular themes. Let’s say your posts on time management do well. What about a new post titled, “6 time wasters to avoid”? Or, “How successful entrepreneurs get the most out of their day”?
2) Make it easy for your visitors.
When people can navigate your blog easily, they’re more likely to come back. Here are some ways to create a user-friendly blog:
Put social media buttons below (or next to) each post so people can share it quickly.
- Get to the point upfront. Eliminate fluff that doesn’t add value to your posts.
- Use subheads in your posts to make them easier to skim.
- Choose a clean, uncluttered blog design with straightforward menu options.
- Place your contact info in a prominent place (or two). Let people reach you easily if they have questions, or want to hire you.
3) Use catchy headlines.
The most successful headlines usually contain 1) self-interest, 2) news or 3) curiosity (or some combination of these three elements). Make sure the text delivers what’s promised in the headline so you don’t disappoint your readers.
4) Share useful tidbits.
“List posts,” where you organize information around a numbered list, are fixtures in the blogging world. Readers like them because they provide useful info in a short, easy-to-digest way. Some examples: 25 fitness websites you should be reading, 9 ways to keep your home cool during the summer and 7 tips for better business blogging (ha!).
5) Include a call-to-action (CTA).
What step do you want people to take once they finish reading your post? Would you like them to leave a comment? Connect with you on social media? Buy your product or service? The best way to encourage readers to do any of these things is to ask them. That’s where a CTA comes into play.
Many business bloggers spend hours researching, writing, editing and proofreading a post – then they don’t include a CTA. As a result, the post isn’t nearly as effective as it could be.
A CTA doesn’t have to be long – but it should be relevant to your topic. Example: If you write about the ins and outs of networking, invite people to take advantage of some offer (such as a free e-book or a complimentary ticket for an upcoming webinar) that will help them improve their networking skills.
The ending of your post is a logical place for a CTA. Here are few possible ways to wrap up:
- I’d welcome your thoughts on this post. Please leave a comment below.
- Ready to take your career to the next level? Grab a copy of my new book here (embed a link or a button).
- Want more tips to jumpstart your marketing? Click here to subscribe to our blog (again, embed a link or a button)
- Need help with your website design? Send me an email to schedule a complimentary consultation.
6) Try vlogging
Video blogging, or “vlogging,” lets you reach new audiences and provides a good way to demonstrate products or services. It’s also a way to let your current and prospective customers see who you are and make them feel connected to you
7) Be patient.
A large blog following doesn’t happen overnight. That’s a good thing for new bloggers. When you make mistakes (which we all do), it doesn’t matter since no one knows about you — yet.
If you plan to use your blog to introduce a business, a book or another endeavor, get started six months to a year before your launch date. It takes time for people to find you, start following your posts regularly and decide whether they like your blog enough to recommend it to others.
Bonus tip: As a blogger, you’re part of an expansive community that values the Golden Rule. Read and share other people’s posts. Leave genuine, thoughtful comments on blogs that cover topics similar to yours. You’ll be supporting other blogs while gaining visibility for your own.
About the author:
Lynne Beverly Strang is a freelance writer who helps small business owners meet their communications and marketing goals. Prior to becoming a solopreneur, Lynne had a long career in public relations where her writing projects ranged from speeches to newsletters. Lynne is the author of Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40. She has an award-winning blog, also called Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs. Her website is lynnebeverlystrang.com.