We’ve put this guide together in the first place to help improve blogging for business. From exploring countless blog sites, we found that while some included great content, every single one of them have different elements to improve on.
Therefore, we have decided to create this guide as an introduction to help you set up a preliminary system to blog better and consistently.
If you are new to blogging for your business, this is a great place to start as well. Not only will you learn how to get started, but you will also reap the benefits of starting a blog that will generate more visits, traffic and income to your business.
Competition is fierce and buyers are tired of being bombarded by sales chasing after them. Blogging is a great way to take a step back and allow your prospects to do their own research by discovering your content.
Blogging has become a very common activity for all businesses in all industries. Buyers have change their shopping behaviour and consequently firms need to adapt to that change.
If you want to increase the amount of visits into your website, blogging is a must. The traffic comes from 2 places: from prospects on search engines (organic search) such as Google and through social media when you share your blog articles. According to HubSpot, companies that blog see 3.3 more visitors per month within 1 year.
It’s nice to have more traffic to your website, but without visitors converting to leads, it’s a lot of missed opportunities and resources down the drain. You want every blog article to encourage your prospects to take action and move further down in the sales process.
If you claim that you are the expert in the field of your business, blogging is a channel to help you support that claim. It will allow you to show your ideal prospects that you are able to help them with their challenges.
When you write blog articles, you need to focus on helping your potential customers with their pain points and challenges. Instead of explicitly advertising your business and services, write about the challenges
and goals commonly associated with your industry. The general rule of thumb is to not blog about your company. If you write a blog article and you find that you are talking about yourself and your product, it may be better to put it aside for a newsletter.
Prospects who read blogs are looking for top of the funnel information, which means they are looking
for educational pieces of content that will help them better understand their pain point, how to overcome whatever challenge they’re facing, and to take the gathered information to seek the appropriate help that they need.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents your ideal customer. When you write blog articles, you always need to keep your buyer persona in mind.
What’s their name? If you are focusing on CEOs, you can give the name, for example CEO Charlie. What are their goals and challenges in life? How do they like to consume information? Are they married with kids? How much money do they have? How much of their wealth are they willing to invest? Having a well-developed buyer persona will answer all the questions above and even more.
By having your persona in mind, you will instinctively write your blog articles that are specifically for them. You want to attract the right leads for your business and the best are those that fall under the characteristics and criteria you’ve set for your buyer persona.
A CTA, is an image, text, or a combination of the two that probes an action from the reader. Here is an example below:
You do not want your potential prospects to simply read one of your blog articles and then leave right after. You want them to further engage with your content to lead them towards your business offering. By placing a CTA that is relevant to your blog, you will be on your way to generating leads for the sales team.
You want your CTA to be a tool to obtain your prospects’ contact information. Providing eBooks, tip sheets, or checklists are great downloadable content that you could use as CTAs in exchange for their email at the minimum. For example, if you write a blog about risks in alternative investments, you could offer a guide in selecting the right type of alternative investments in exchange for their email contact information.
Once you have their email, you can nurture your lead to become sales ready by providing more valuable content via email and to establish trust. When your sales staff call them down the line, they will be well educated on what you can do for them.
It is best to avoid the typical “Contact us for a free consultation” as a CTA. Most are not ready to speak with a sales staff just yet. They are most likely still at the stage where they need to do more research on their own.
Now that you understand how blogging works, it’s time to build a team that will help you blog successfully. It is great that you may have taken the initiative to write blog articles by yourself but to make it sustainable, especially if you are busy running your own business, you will need a team to help you deliver.
➞ The one you call the “IT guy/girl” at work.
Now that you know how to build your blogging team, it’s time to work on the planning. We suggest that you start off with 4 blog posts a month and plan on a month to month basis. If you can or already write more than 4 blog articles, by all means do so.
Having 1 theme for the month will help you narrow down what you should be blogging about. To find your theme, think about what pain points and challenges your prospects could be dealing with.
Think about what downloadable content you can offer to potential customers related to your theme. You may already have one on hand or if need be, you can create one. You could use the same CTA for all 4 blog posts as they are all within the same theme.
The best way to guide your thoughts is by focusing on the CTA. Ask yourself “what can I write about that they will want to download my free resource?” If you need more ideas, you could write down questions that you believe your prospects may be asking related to the theme.
Titles must be carefully crafted. You may have an amazing blog article but without a compelling title, prospects may not stop to read. Adding numbers and words that imply help, such as “how to” or “helpful tips” is a great start to eye catching titles.
You will need to set due dates for the following list:
➞ First Draft
➞ Text Editing
➞ Compliance Editing
Now that you have gathered all the information needed, it is time to put everything into one place. Having a blog editorial calendar is a great worksheet that you can use and be shared with the blog team. It can be easily created on Excel.
Here is a template sample below:
This section is to help you work on the aesthetics so that you provide the best user experience. The last thing you want is for someone to decide not to read your blog because it’s hard on the eyes and simply looks like an extract from a dictionary.
Instead of having large chunks of paragraph, break them down to several small ones. Don’t be afraid to even have 1 sentence as a paragraph of it’s own. You want to make your content digestible in small bites.
This is especially true for those who skim through content. According to HubSpot, 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts. Headings will allow readers to quickly identify the sections and what the blog will cover at a glance.
MS Word tends to run on the smaller side and if that same font size is used when the content is published and displayed on your website, the blog post will consequently be harder to read and more strenuous on the eyes. As a general rule to make your content more reader-friendly, your font size should be at the minimum size 16 when you publish on your blog. This whole paragraph is at font-size 16.
Having visuals will make your blog post more fun and interesting to read. People love images because they can gather information in an impactful way and with less effort. Here is an image of a dog to give your eyes a nice break from reading.
You may write the best blog articles but if you do not optimize them for search engines, your blog articles may not show up as a search result for your prospects.
The best practices to optimizing for search engines is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is complex and could be quite technical, but we will provide you some pointers to get the basics covered.
You need to select 1 focused keyword that you would like your article to show up as a result when your prospects are on search engines and typing down your focused keyword. Consider using long tailed keywords (alternative real estate investments v.s. real estate) so that you have a better chance to rank higher because it is much more specific and less competitive.
Simply make sure that the title of your blog includes the focused keyword. E.g. If your focused keyword is “alternative real estate investments”, your title could be “5 Reasons Why Alternative Real Estate Investments are Becoming a Common Option”. If you look at the HTML code your title tag would be <H1>.
Headings act as the sub-sections of your blog articles. Just as books have chapters, so should your blog articles. Make sure that your focused keyword is included in these headings. In HTML these are the <H2>s.
Whenever you upload pictures on your blog article, you will see an option where it says “alt-text”. A lot of people leave this blank because they do not know what it is. Search engines are not able to read images so they rely on the alt-text description to know what the image is about and to know if it is relevant to what the content is about.
Do your best to describe what the the image is in the context of your blog article with hyphens separating each word .E.g. if you upload a picture of buildings, your alt-text for that image could be “high-rises-in-toronto-real-estate”
Following the same example as above, those who leave the URL unedited, it may look like this: www.finance.com/blog/12984urfs
But what you really want is the following:
The easiest solution is to put your blog title as the page title. You can see the page title by hovering your mouse over the tab where your blog is open. Leave your mouse over the tab for about 2-3 seconds and it will pop out.
Let's chat about your blogging activities. In the meeting, we will provide you insights on how to improve your current efforts and what more you can do to create amazing blog articles that will help you generate more leads for your sales team.