With the right blog article content, you can stand out from the competition as a knowledgeable expert in your niche. Timely and relevant content helps develop a relationship with your target customers. Eventually, they will come looking to purchase something or hire you for services.
Even better—content marketing gets three times the leads over paid search advertising. In fact, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through blog articles rather than by seeing an ad.
Starting a Business Blog: The Setup
For an existing website
For an existing website with no blog, you’ll want to check what capabilities your CMS (content management system) has for blogging. WordPress was originally created as a blog platform. Although the features are so much more robust now, it is one of the best platforms for blogging.
Not only is WordPress geared for SEO (search engine optimization—so that your site pages can be found on Google via search), but the interface for writing blogs is easy-to-use. You can find tutorials to help you add the component to your WordPress site. Just Google it. If you are not on WordPress (maybe you have Squarespace or Shopify), find out from the provider about how to add the blog to your website.
For a new website
Here are the steps to take if you are just starting out without any website or blog.
From March 2022 you will be able to register your domain and create your website directly from your Afirmo dashboard. One platform to manage your online presence. Simple. If can’t wait until March to get up and running continue on with step 1.
Step #1 – Register the domain
The first step in creating a website with a blog is registering the domain (the .com, .net, .org, etc). You can search available domains to find the best match for your brand name, and then secure it with the any number of domain name providers.
Even if you are in the early stages of planning your brand, invest in this if you have a brand name. Domain names are getting snatched up by the minute. Remember that from March 2022 you will be able to register and manage your domains from your Afirmo dashboard.
Step #2 – Sign up for web hosting
Next, you need to host the website securely. When you have a content management system with databases and plugins, it’s best to have web hosting that specifically caters to the platform. Do not skimp out on your web hosting. It’s worth the investment for a top-notch provider in this department. If you would rather use a simple website builder
Step #3 – Choose a WordPress theme
Finally, pick the design and user experience you like the best for your blog. Once you’ve completed your account set up with you host and picked a WordPress theme, your new account is automatically connected to the latest version of WordPress. Login to your customer dashboard and find your new site waiting for you to start editing.
Step #4 – Explore other WordPress themes
If you are picky and can’t find a free WordPress theme that you like the next solution is to find a paid theme. If you want an awesome-looking WordPress website design theme for your brand that is great for SEO, mobile-friendly and loads fast, you can get one from StudioPress. All themes look great out-of-the-box but can also be highly customized if needed. You’ll need to install this theme onto your Bluehost web hosting space, but they can walk you through that.
Step #5 – Create clear goals for blogging
Here comes the fun part. Setting goals for your blog and blogging efforts will give you the best way to measure progress.
It will also help you stay motivated to stay consistent with blogging, because you’ll be guided by your purpose. You can even create a thorough seo content brief using these goals when working with freelance writers or agencies for your content. Do this after you get through setup, but before you start writing and publishing.
How to Blog For Business With the Right Goals
The face of marketing changes quickly, especially as technology takes over our everyday lives. Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their business relationships without human interaction. It’s no surprise that communicating without traditional interaction requires consistent online content publishing to convey your message—and market your brand. The solution is to start blogging for business growth—but with intention. Blogging for the sake of blogging is not a good use of resources or time.
Unfortunately, you will not just magically end up with a successful blog for your business that drives tons of traffic and new customers. You need to create clear goals for blogging that will give you vision, purpose, and a way to measure results.
Answering these questions will get you there.
1. Why are you blogging?
Before you even begin writing anything, ask that question of the hour: “Why?” Why is it important for your brand to have a blog?
Blogging for business will result in sales. But to start a blog, you need a clear purpose that focuses mainly on the consumer.
A few things you can consider when establishing the “why” behind your business blog:
- Are you trying to help solve problems or pain points with your blog?
- Is the blog meant to illustrate your skills or expertise in a particular niche?
- Are you using your blog to improve your SEO for a certain topic?
- Is the blog meant to improve your bottom line, or generate brand awareness?
Once you understand the purpose of your business blog, you can better organize and share your content in a way that meets both your business needs and the needs of your readers.
2. Who is your target audience?
Your audience is not just a two-dimensional man vs. woman. A successful blog is written with a clearly defined reader persona in mind.
To determine your target audience, find out answers to the following questions:
- What is the gender, age and income of my perfect audience?
- Where does my ideal audience member work, and what do they do for fun?
- In what area does my audience want to grow and improve? Do they face challenges and have pain points?
- Where does my audience get information, and where do they spend a lot of time (online and offline)?
When you determine who your target audience exactly is, learn how to write a blog post specifically for them.
3. What value does your blog offer?
What you offer your readers goes back to why you’re writing your blog in the first place. 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content. Readers and consumers are not going to flock to your blog unless you have something of value to provide.
For success in digital marketing, you have to give first if you want to receive. This means that traditional, “Buy this!” advertising does not work for blogs.
When writing content for your blog, offer readers something other than self-promotion.
- Are you giving them insight that they can’t find anywhere else?
- Are you solving a problem?
Understand that even if all your blog offers is something intangible like great advice or thought leadership, you’re still giving something. Adding to the online knowledge database is a great step toward building a successful blog for your business. Determine what unique value you can contribute
4. What voice and tone does your blog use?
When you seek the answer for, “how to create a business blog”, voice and tone play a big role. How you articulate your brand and ideas is crucial. As mentioned previously, 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via content marketing rather than ads. Blogging for business is your opportunity to virtually shake hands and introduce yourself.
If your blog uses confusing language, a boring tone, and an arrogant voice, then that’s the image you’ll portray to your readers.
Choose a tone and voice that matches your brand building and target audience.
If your audience is composed of Millennials, then your blog may need to be direct, fun, and personal. If your brand is an up-and-coming tech company, your blog could be witty, educational, and cutting edge. If the subject of your blog is serious in nature, but your website is lighthearted, it’s appropriate to change your voice to match the topic. When blogging for branding, always be consistent in writing articles that match your brand in subject, tone, or voice.
5. How will you measure success?
Building a successful blog can only be deemed a success if you can show ROI. For some companies, ROI comes back to customer acquisition.
Metrics that illustrate success come back to why you are writing your particular blog, and what you are offering the reader. If you write your business blog to improve your SEO rankings on Google, then the following metrics are important to measure:
- Blog readership
- Page rank based on your SEO focus keyword(s)
- Organic website traffic to the blog page
- Outbound and inbound link clicks
However, if your goal is to increase purchases of a specific product or service, your key metrics could include:
Sales calls to a direct phone number
- Link clicks on a blog URL
- Email subscribers
- Product conversions
Whatever focus you choose to measure, always create S.M.A.R.T goals. These are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and timely. It’s helpful to break up goals into tiered time frames: such as yearly, quarterly and monthly. This way, you can meet milestones as you go along and feel accomplished enough to continue.
Remember that each blog can and should have different measurements for success, but you should also strive for consistency. Only by measuring the same key metrics for every blog, can you determine which topics, goals, and offers are the most successful
6. What action do you want your readers to take?
Every business blogging effort can benefit from a single, often simple, call-to-action. The action your readers perform is the easiest measure of how to build a successful blog.
When trying to come up with your call-to-action, think about the fact that small businesses with a blog get:
- 55% more website visitors
- 102% more Twitter followers
- 126% more client leads
Your call-to-action can be anything, but it should roll back to “why” you blogged, your target audience, and what you offer your readers. Potential calls to action ideas include:
- Download a free report
- Sign up for an email list
- Register for a webinar
- Follow on Twitter (or insert other social network)
- Visit the services page
- Buy a product
- Leave a comment
The exact language which makes up these CTAs can vary, but the idea is to tell your users exactly what to do when you have their attention. Going without a clear call to action on your website’s blog design would be a big mistake. Think about it carefully!
7. How will your blog gain exposure?
The final secret for how to start a business blog is to remember that your work doesn’t stop after you’ve written your blog.
A successful blog is not one that no one has read. Instead, the goal of every blog should be to gain exposure. Of course, this requires even more marketing and promotion.
- According to Hubspot, companies that blog have 97% more inbound links, but these links don’t happen by accident. Every blog requires:
- A focus keyword to drive organic exposure from search engines
- Backlinks to illustrate your relevance
- Research and thought leader quotes to demonstrate your knowledge
And after you write your blog, you need to promote it on social media, other blogs, and your website. Each post will need consistent and persistent promotion over time. Create more than one social media post message using variations in the headline, image, and hashtags.
To make your promotion successful, your blog articles need:
- Compelling headline/title
- Focus keywords
- Optimized meta description and URL tag
- Shareable content (text quotes and/or images)
- Social sharing button
You don’t want to just throw your blog content against the wall and hope it sticks! Instead, learn how to start a blog for your business after answering the seven questions in this article.
- Why are you blogging?
- Who is your target audience?
- What value does your blog offer?
- What voice and tone does your blog use?
- How will you measure success?
- What action do you want readers to take?
- How will your blog gain exposure?
By putting in the time and effort to outline goals and a plan for business blogging, you’ll find a far greater return on your investment. What this simply means for you is more credibility, traffic, leads and ultimately sales!