Having a blog is important to the long-term success of a small business’s marketing strategy and the overall reputation of the business. Knowing how to begin blogging can be confusing, leaving many people staring at a blank screen. If you’ve started your small business blog but don’t know what to do next, consider the following seven tips to push past the introductory phase and start thriving.
Tips for Starting a Business Blog
Make a Budget for Time and Money
Maintaining your blog is time-consuming, so before you begin, make a plan for how much time per week you can realistically devote to preparing and marketing the content. Depending on the content, putting in about one to three hours per post is a good standard. Allocating the right amount of resources when establishing your blog will have a huge impact on its long-term success, so in addition to budgeting your time, you might want to make room in your budget for:
- Advertising on social media platforms
- Plugins and other features for your blog
- Expenses to make specific content for your blog such as videos and audio podcasts
- Marketing expenses for newsletters and alternative promotional means
- Website hosting if your website doesn’t have blogging capabilities
Determine Your Main Objective
When determining the purpose of your blog, consider what you want it to be. There are any number of ways to use a blog, so ask yourself: Am I going to use my blog as a marketing tool, a communication tool, a journal, to obtain leads, as the company’s primary website, a landing page, or as a way of increasing company credibility? It doesn’t matter whether you want your blog to serve one or a combination of these functions, as long as you understand how you will use it to promote the growth of your small business.
Determine Your Target Audience
Before you start sharing posts and developing content, it is imperative to define your target audience. If you don’t, you’ll be unable to pick the optimal topics, content styles and marketing channels necessary to reach potential clients and/or consumers. Consider the people you want to address to establish the tone best suited to your audience’s preferences.
Examine Competitor Blogs
Your company’s originality is what sets you apart from other businesses in your industry, so examining your competitor’s blogs is a great way to make sure your strategy, along with any content you produce, is unique. Get a better understanding of the competition’s strategy by looking at:
- User communication,
- Content technique and styles,
- Site layout and user experience,
- Keywords targeted,
- Subjects included.
SEMrush is a great tool to help you carry out a large-scale keyword analysis on your competitor’s search engine rankings. SEMrush gives users a solid understanding of which competitor pages rank high and what keywords they’re using to get more views. This tool can be a great aid in forming phrase modifications, so you can target the identical keywords in your content.
Develop a Content Plan and Make an Editorial Calendar
To begin establishing a general guideline for your content, make categories for the content types you plan to use. But first, you might want to do keyword research with tools like Google keyword planner, Wordtracker and Ubersuggest to get an understanding of what keywords best embody the content you want to produce. Once you determine these keywords, title your content categories with the keyword names, so when you make a blog post, your content will be more likely to appear in search engines. Make an editorial calendar to help you form a schedule detailing when you will post or how many posts you will make per week. Remember that relevant keywords change over time, so conduct keyword research on a regular basis to optimize your blog content and increase the chances of exposure.
Because every business has a blog nowadays, it is imperative for you to be responsive if you hope to attract subscribers. Increase the likelihood of receiving relevant consumer views and comments by responding quickly and commenting on other blogs in your industry.
Use Social Media and Analytical Tools
Social media monitoring and analytical tools can help you understand what your customers are saying about your business and help you stay on top of the competition. For example, if a competitor announces a promotion, real-time marketing and social tools can notify you, giving you the opportunity to decide whether you want to offer a promotion as well. Monitoring tools can also help you manage consumer complaints made on social media platforms. So, if a consumer complains about your products or services, monitoring tools can inform you of the complaint and give you the chance to respond quickly.