Your blog can be a powerful marketing tool, and a hub that allows you to connect more deeply with your customers and prospects. The challenge is that your competition knows that, too, and there are a lot of businesses looking to appeal to the same audience. You need to offer your audience real value and insight to keep their attention. Most importantly, you need consistency. Follow our 4 business blogging best practices, and you'll have the tools you need for blogging success.
Act Like an Editor
Editors read. A lot. If you want your blog to resonate with your audience, you need to stay up to date on the larger conversation surrounding your industry. What's new, what's changing, and, yes, what are people complaining about? Keep a list of your favorite resources, check them regularly, and leave a comment when a post catches your interest. Business blogging best practices evolve over time, too.
Editors also value consistency, and that means turning a critical eye to your own work. Don't be afraid to show your personality in your writing, or to take a position based on thoughtful consideration. Proofread every post before it goes live, and edit for clarity. Consistency also matters for your posting schedule. By setting a regular schedule and sticking to it, your audience will automatically know when it's time to check back for a new post.
Write Directly to Your Audience
One if the biggest misconceptions about blogging is that you have to write for a broad audience. The truth is that you have to write for the audience that you want to read your work. If you're talking about the technical aspects of a service in a post geared toward the industry you serve, using jargon and industry terms is fine. If you're on the fence about whether your audience will understand a term, simply slip an explanation into the content.
Respecting your audience is always the right move, and they'll appreciate you not holding their hand when addressing basic topics. Your target audience will also play a major role in determining your writing style. A bit of edginess or humor can add some real personality to your blog, but it's only a fit if you know your audience will appreciate it.
Tie Lead-Generation Offers to Post Topics
Once you've found your editorial voice and locked in on your audience, finding regular post topics will rise to the top of your list of challenges. Keeping up with industry news will help, but you can also mine for post ideas a bit closer to home. If you're aiming to showcase a lead-generation offer, look for topics that offer a natural tie-in.
The basic idea is to share your expertise and build up some goodwill, then close with a call to action to showcase how you can help the reader. When you write posts in this style, it's important to make sure that the whole post doesn't read like an advertisement. The most simple of business blogging best practices is to lead with quality, and you'll be better positioned to make a conversion at the end of the post.
Aim for Constant Improvement with Analytics
Growing your audience is a challenge, but you won't be flying blind. Pay close attention to your analytics, and you'll have the insight to constantly improve your blog over time. Improvement isn't just about looking at the negative, either. You'll also learn what's working well, and how to highlight the strong points to further engage your audience.
Pageviews are a good place to start, and looking a session length shows how long visitors are sticking around on a given post. Comments and social shares will give you an indication of how people are engaging with your blog through various channels. Subscriptions are like gold, so you're doing quite well if that number is high. Leads generated provides a tangible picture of your blog's success, and helps tie the rest of the data together.
One of the hidden benefits of business blogging best practices is that they are open for interpretation. Finding your audience, establishing a voice, and being consistent are all important, but there are many ways to reach those goals. Your personality and creativity are the final ingredients that allow your blog to stand out from the competition. Through it all, your analytics will be there to help guide the way.