Tag Archives: Business Blogging

10 Beginners Tips for Business Blogging

beginners-tips-for-business-blogging

Recently someone asked on Quora what would be a better blogging platform: Blogger.com or WordPress? Frankly, I didn’t realize that people are still using Blogger.com for personal and business blogging. So, it came to my mind, there might be many beginners who are looking for some good tips on how to set up a business blog and how to profit from it.

Almost every major business has a blog and it uses blogging to promote its brand, to engage with audience and to draw targeted traffic from search engines and social networking websites. Still, blogging isn’t taken as seriously as a website, especially by the small business owners who haven’t had much time to keep themselves updated of latest trends on the Internet.

Maybe because initially when blogging began, it was an amateur activity. It was mostly journalling. Then started political blogs. Web design blogs. Internet marketing blogs.

looking-for-a-blog-content-writing-service

Business blogging began a lot later, though, even in early 2000’s, I was promoting my business (web design and development) by publishing lots of web design-related web pages on my website. There existed is no concept of “blogging”.

I don’t remember if Blogger.com came first or Typepad.com (powered by Movabletype). Then came WordPress. From the beginning itself you could install WordPress on your website and start publishing a blog. Ever since then I have been using WordPress although these days I routinely publish on Medium too.

Why business blogging is necessary to grow your business on the web

Long gone are the days when blogging was considered an idle person’s pastime. As I have written above, every serious business these days has a blog. Salesforce has a blog. New York Times has multiple blogs. Google has a blog. IBM has multiple blogs. Accenture has multiple blogs. Credible Content has a content writing and content marketing blog.

Every major business and publication on the web has a blog. Is it a fad, or is it a necessity? Or is it just an insatiable desire to reach out to your target audience?

Whether you are a beginner in the realm of business blogging or a seasoned professional, primarily there are 7 reasons why you might be publishing:

  1. A business blog increases content density on your website.
  2. As you cover various topics in your niche, your search engine rankings improve.
  3. You are constantly feeding Google with new content to crawl, index and rank.
  4. People regularly access your website or blog for the valuable content you provide.
  5. You constantly have something new and original to post on social networking websites.
  6. You give yourself and your employees opportunities to share their wisdom and expertise using your business blog.
  7. Eventually, you develop a platform that is independent and doesn’t have to rely on search engines and social networking websites for targeted traffic.

In 2013 New York Times published a negative review of Elon Musk’s Tesla Model’s S car. Elon Musk claimed that the review caused the company almost $100 million.

Musk used his own blog to respond. In the blog he was able to prove what New York Times published was “fake news” and the faults detailed in the New York Times article weren’t actually faults. Consequently New York Times drew lots of flak from Tesla car enthusiasts.

You may say that Elon Musk is one of the most powerful individuals in the world and hence, people would pay attention to his blog.

But the point is, his website has a blog and hence, he has a platform that could be used to counter the New York Times article, the same New York Times that has a well-established publishing platform. In the absence of blogging, Elon Musk would have had to depend on another news publication to carry out his counter argument.

your-business-blog-gives-you-a-platform

This is just one example of how you can use your business blogging platform to put across your own point in the time of bad PR, and many companies are already doing that.

But that’s just one aspect of business blogging.

Business blogging is good for search engine rankings and creating buzz on social media and social networking websites. As mentioned above, when you start writing about your niche topics, you begin to cover all the important keywords and search terms on your blog. Business blogging is the strongest tool in the hands of small businesses.

Since you are continuously publishing your blog, Google’s crawlers begin to crawl your website and blog frequently, even multiple times a day. This way, you not just have better search engine rankings, your latest content is also added to the Google index almost immediately.

Sometimes my blog posts and web pages begin to appear in search results within a minute of publishing.

Ready to publish your blog?

Know more about my blog content writing and consulting services.

Beginners tips for business blogging

  1. Be ready to make a long-term commitment: Business blogging, or rather, any sort of blogging, but especially business blogging, is a long-term commitment. You can’t have 10 blog posts and then be satisfied. Depending on your goals, you should publish a weekly blog post or a daily blog post. If you want to improve your search engine rankings and conversion rate within 3-4 months then I suggest you publish daily. Once you have started getting decent traffic, you can switch to alternative days and then, you can even go for once a week publishing schedule with high quality blog posts. But be ready for a long-term commitment.
  2. Decide on a blogging platform: My recommendation is always WordPress because when you use WordPress (WordPress.org), though, it has a learning curve in the beginning, you own your content. Everything is there on your website. Your own search engine rankings improve when you publish on your own blog. It is an uphill task to build an audience, but in the end, when you begin to get the results, you will realize that all that effort was worth it.
  3. In the beginning, you can also focus on Medium: This, I wouldn’t suggest for every other blogging platform, but Medium is a bit different. More than blogging, it’s a publishing platform. It has a thriving audience and even when you haven’t published many blog posts, depending on your quality, any of your blog posts can be picked up and suddenly, you will have thousands of people reading your blog post.
  4. Develop a unique voice: Your writing style for your business blogging should be conversational no matter how serious your niche is. Through your business blog, you are mostly having conversations with your audience. Write the way you speak. Since every person speaks differently, if you write the way you speak, your blog will carry a unique voice.
  5. Write as a human being: Even on a business blog something like “we do this” and “we do that” doesn’t sound very good and friendly. If you are a single person managing your business blog then it’s very easy to write as that person, but if you have multiple employees writing for your blog, you can create their profiles so that they write blog posts as themselves rather than as a company. This way your audience can relate to the people writing your blogs, and it will feel connected.
  6. Refrain from promoting your product or service on your business blog: This is because when people come to your blog, they are not interested in knowing about your product or service unless they want to read reviews. People are looking for information. They want their questions answered. If they have a problem, they want to solve that problem. It is best to create a list of questions and then create many blog posts providing answers to those questions. This will also give you an opportunity to use your keywords.
  7. Don’t over-use your keywords, but do use them: Business blogging is a great way of covering all your primary and longtail keywords, but don’t make it too obvious. People can easily make out if you are providing useful information or simply covering your keywords. And anyway, when you are constantly providing solutions and answers to questions, you will be automatically covering your niche keywords, so, you don’t have to walk an extra mile to use them.
  8. Learn to market your business blog content: There was a time when it was very easy to find websites and blogs. With millions of websites and blogs being created every week, there is a lot to be found. This is where content marketing comes in. You have to market your business blog. You have to make sure that people are able to find it. The best way to market your blog is to create and maintain interactive social media and social networking profiles. Whenever you publish a new blog post on your business blog, share the link using your social media and social networking platforms.
  9. Focus on networking and guest blogging to promote your business blog: This is something I need to do more but I don’t, but I’m gradually inching towards that. Constantly publishing your business blog on your own eventually begins to get you enough traction, but the real boost you will get by networking with other, already established publishers and industry leaders who would occasionally promote your links on their own timelines and blogs. You can also offer to write blog posts for other publications to expand your presence. You will also need quality backlinks to improve your search engine rankings.
  10. Let yourself loose sometimes: Although business blogging is primarily used to improve search engine rankings and engagement, especially by small business owners, you don’t always have to strictly stick to your topics. Sometimes also share interesting and amusing pieces of information with your blog audience. You can share a funny joke. You can share a GIF that makes people laugh. Or maybe there is a video that is going viral and you can publish it with your own take. Don’t dilute the focus of your blog by more regularly posting such material, but you can keep a 19-1 ratio of such posts with 19 of business-related content and 1 of simple entertainment.

Business blogging is a work of love, commitment and passion for your field. You can publish a business blog on an ongoing basis only when you have got lots to say.

If you think you won’t be able to commit the required effort and time on your business blog, it is better to collaborate with the content writer or a content writing service like Credible Content. My content writers routinely provide high-quality content to business blogs from all over the world.

Do let me know if you are looking for a business blog content writer for your business and I will gladly provide you the needed information.

So which is better for your business, a business blog or a personal blog?

personal blog or business blogA long, long, long time ago when people started blogging, it was completely personal. Many blogging services called themselves “journals”, for example, Livejournal. People wrote about personal stuff. Yours truly had a blog on web design, and I used to manually upload the HTML pages in an “articles” folder and then manually update the index file.

Search engines like Google gladly lapped up blog posts because people created them in droves and soon blog posts began to rank higher than the website. This is because the search engines have this insatiable hunger to crawl and index and then rank as many links as they can find. The more links there are in the world, the happier the search engines are. To their great delight people observed that blogs enjoyed better search engine rankings than conventional business websites. It was not that the search engines preferred “blogs” over websites, it was just that for their algorithms, the content arranged by blogging platforms was more amenable. Because basically, what do search engines like?

  • Lots of content.
  • Constantly updated content.
  • Topical content.
  • Relevant content.
  • Socially promoted content.

All these traits were found in blogs.

This, was the inflection point where people started publishing blogs for their businesses to get better search engine rankings. They actually did. Business websites with business blogs got better rankings than business websites with no business blogs.

Now, almost every business has a blog. The question these days is not whether your business should have a blog or not, the question is, how to fare better than other blogs.

So life has come full circle. Blogging started with personal blogging, and it’s again being asked if you should have a business blog or a personal blog.

Both have their place in the world, and whether you should have a personal blog or a business blog depends on what you are trying to achieve. Are you developing a personal brand or a business brand? Does your audience want to connect with you or they don’t mind interacting with a nameless entity as long as they’re getting the information they seek?

Although it has been more than 15 years since people started blogging (in contemporary sense) – this is 2017 – it is still considered as one of the best inbound marketing tools. Have a look at the graphic below from SmartInsights:

blogging and content marketing

In more than 95% of the cases, if there is content marketing, if there is digital marketing, then a thriving blog is always there in one way or another. As you can see in the above graphic, 81% B2B marketers prefer to rely on blogs for content marketing and inbound marketing.

What are the similarities between a personal blog and a business blog?

  • Both personal and business blog are used to regularly communicate to your customers and clients.
  • Updates are arranged in a chronological manner with the latest update appearing at the top.
  • Content is arranged sorted by date in descending order.
  • Personal business blogs are theme-oriented.
  • Both personal blogs and business blogs are good for SEO.
  • A personal blog as well as a business blog can be developed into a platform with a huge audience that can be used to convey important messages or introduce new products and services.
  • Personal blogs and business blogs can be used to publish important content that does not fit into the main template of your website.
  • Communities can be created around personal blogs as well as business blogs.

What are the differences between a personal blog and a business blog?

  • As the name suggests, a personal blog may be used to promote a personal brand and business blog can be used to promote a business.
  • A personal blog can be more informal. You can write about your personal experiences, your personal opinions, your personal tastes and whatever catches your fancy (while sticking to the main theme of your blog). On a business blog there is less scope to be informal because your business blog does not represent an individual: it represents an entire organization. You have to be careful when you publish content or your business blog because it reflects on the entire company.
  • There is more engagement through a personal blog because your visitors personally know who is publishing the blog posts and what’s the basic philosophy of the person behind the blog.
  • Personal blog can be totally personal where you try to explain why your cat leaves and comes randomly and sometimes makes weird faces. A personal blog can also be a business blog, for example this blog where, although I write in a personal style (mostly in the first person) all the time I write about my business. I don’t talk of my political beliefs here; I talk about content writing and content marketing.
  • People normally stay away from controversial topics on their businesses blog because they don’t want to offend the customers and clients. On your personal blog, if you want, you can piss people off. But then again, if you use your personal blog to promote your business, you have to exercise discretion (if you want to, that is).

 

If you want to decide immediately without much data, research and experimentation, then a personal blog works better than a business blog merely because blogging is meant to be personal. It’s, mostly, a linear collection of thoughts, opinions, rants, or nuggets of wisdom around a particular topic, in a conversational, personal tone. This is the key…conversational, personal tone. This tone is more human, more personal, and ultimately, more approachable. There are many big companies that, although, have business blogs, for example Google and Facebook, they also encourage their employees to maintain their personal blogs.

But then again, in the end, what matters is, what sort of audience you are catering to.

Is most blogging waste of time?

Is blogging waste of time

At least the title of this article seems to say so. Actually you can say the same with content marketing: is content marketing waste of time?

Okay, I’m going into a loop – is most driving waste of time? Is most reading waste of time? Is most physical work waste of time? Is most studying waste of time?

I personally believe that an activity is rarely a waste of time. The thing that decides whether it’s a waste of time or not is the end result that you achieve. Whether a particular business promotion activity (for that matter, even an enterprise) bears results or not depends on its implementation, execution and targeting. The same is the case with blogging, whether you indulge in personal blogging or business blogging.

There are many businesses that are doing great with the help of their blog. Most of my business comes due to blogging. Yes, it is time consuming and I would rather have an activity that gets me targeted traffic without having to blog every day, but for now, blogging gets the business. The more I blog, the more business I get, the less I blog, the less business I get.

I have observed that with more blogging I get more targeted traffic. It’s not that my clients give me more business because they can see me blogging everyday. It’s because my visibility increases and more people come to know of my services whether my search engine rankings are improving, new blog posts and webpages are continuously being added to the search engine index or more people are having more content from me to share on social media and social networking websites. Whatever is the case, ultimately, I experience an improvement when a blog more. So at a personal level I can never say that blogging is waste of time.

In a blog post titled Why every business should blog Neil Patel shares the following statistics regarding business blogging:

  • 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post that they read.
  • 60% of consumers feel positive about a company after reading its blog.
  • 70% consumers learn about a company through its blog vs ads.

According to an infographic shared on the same page, websites that blog have 97% more inbound links. Websites that regularly blog have 434% more indexed pages compared to websites that don’t.

Is blogging good for your business? It depends on your targeting, your intention, and your seriousness. Please don’t think that I’m trying to preach, but most business blogging ventures fail because people are not persistent. The problem is not with blogging, the problem is with commitment. Business blogging requires serious commitment, whether it comes directly from you (you writing the blog regularly) or it comes from someone you have hired. Persistence is the key.

5 ways to generate more business with guest blogging

5 ways to generate more business with guest blogging

Guest blogging is a great way to generate fresh traffic to your blog and website, provided you make the right moves and you have crossed a certain threshold level. I repeatedly talk about this “certain threshold level” because unless you have crossed it, nobody is going to bother with approaching you for guest blogging opportunities.

Guest blogging has two sides:

  1. You offering guest blogs to other high traffic-blogs
  2. People offering to write for your blog to get exposure for their own website or blog

As rightly mentioned in this Copyblogger blog post on the power of guest blogging and how it frees you from the clutches of search engines like Google, guest blogging can be a double-edged sword. To understand this, you first need to understand

Why do people guest blog and invite guest bloggers?

Why do you want to guest blog on other blogs and why do people want to guest blog on your blog? You can achieve the following by guest blogging:

  1. Get more direct traffic by publishing your blog post on another, high-traffic blog and getting your byline included.
  2. Expose your ideas to a different, wider audience.
  3. As a person or as a brand become known to more people.
  4. Get fresh content for your own blog by letting others write for it.
  5. Get yourself some respite by not having to continuously write yourself and instead, allowing others to generate quality content for your blog.
  6. Increase search engine rankings.

Unfortunately, it is the last, 6th reason for which people mostly guest blog and this is how you can become a victim of spamming if you are not careful about for whom you write and from whom you accept content. If you can take care of both these aspects guest blogging is one of the greatest ways of getting access to a wider audience as well as continuously getting new content for your own blog.

How do you generate more business with guest blogging?

Yes, ultimately you want to generate more business. How does guest blogging contribute? Here is how…

  1. You get exposure: If yours is a relatively new business or if you are looking for a bigger audience you can either wait for your search engine rankings to improve and your social media and social networking audience to increase or you can guest blog for more famous blogs. A good thing about guest blogging is, provided you use the right sort of blogs, you can gain massive amount of traffic in no time. How does this help you grow your business? When you are guest blogging you are mostly targeting highly focused, niche blogs, read and viewed by people who are already interested in what you have to offer. Suppose you are in the business of producing biodegradable building materials. Which blogs would you choose? Maybe architecture? Alternative lifestyle? Green living? Regular visitors to these blogs will be more eager to check out your website and become your customers.
  2. You expand your influence as an expert:
    Suppose you make a living off advising people how to do a particular thing. For that you need to establish yourself as an expert. You want to be known as an expert in your field. More and more people should know about your expertise so that when they need the expertise that you can provide, they remember that you can provide it. The more you are known as an expert, the better are your prospects.
  3. You get more targeted traffic to your website:
    Generating more business from your website and blog is all about getting targeted traffic. Most of the websites face this problem that although they get lots of traffic, they are not attracting the sort of traffic that turns into business. When you are guest blogging you carefully choose the blogs. As I have mentioned in the first bullet, if you are producing biodegradable building materials you will naturally be guest blogging for blogs that attract an audience interested in nature-friendly architecture, green living and pursuing alternative lifestyles. This will send your way lots of targeted traffic and this in turn will improve your conversion rate and hence, generate more business for you.
  4. You get quality content for your own blog: Just as you are providing quality content to other blogs as guest blogger, when you invite other guest bloggers to write for your blog, you are engaging more and more people to generate content for you. As a small business it might be difficult to produce lots of quality content on an ongoing basis over a sustained period of time. But once your blog has crossed a certain threshold level of popularity and traffic, greater number of people will be interested in writing for you. Just imagine, a single person writing one blog post every day and a slew of writers writing multiple blog posts every day. Wouldn’t that be marvellous for your content quantity and quality? The more content you have, the more content is indexed by the search engines, the more content of yours is exposed on social networking websites and the more targeted traffic you have to your blog and website, getting more business to you.
  5. You strike up new business partnerships: It is not just about traffic and exposure when you use guest blogging to generate more business. You can strike up direct business partnerships with people who get involved with you and with people you get involved with. Many of the guest bloggers may turn out to be your customers and clients later on. Similarly you may end up doing business with people you are right now writing for.

Guest blogging is a great networking opportunity because when someone allows you to write blog posts for his or her blog he or she is allowing you to enter his or her space. This is a great opportunity for you to get close to that person in terms of establishing a mutually beneficial business relationship. The same is applied to people who want to guest blog for you.

15 ways you never run out of blogging ideas

Image showing a long road captioned never running out of blogging ideas

Whether you’re running a personal blog or a business blog the success of your blog lies in the fact that you are able to publish regularly without running out of great ideas. Regularity may differ from person to person and business to business, the more you publish, the better people remember you. Although, ideally, it is the quality of your blogging that leaves an imprint on people’s minds, it should also be mixed with frequency. For example, great blog posts published every day are better for your business rather than great blog posts published every week, every fortnight or every month.

This is slightly an old survey but the challenge of producing great content on an ongoing basis remains around 65% (source), this means that when it comes to implementing a result-oriented content marketing strategy, the biggest challenge faced by small as well as big business remains continuously coming up with great stuff to write about or talk about. You may have an awesome beginning but soon you start wondering, okay, what to write about? You begin to run out of blogging ideas.

This problem isn’t just faced by novice bloggers or bloggers who are blogging half-heartedly just because they think that blogging is good for their business without understanding why. Even seasoned bloggers, the so-called a-list bloggers also now and then run out of blogging ideas. What do they do? They have a system. The same system I use as a professional content writer while coming up with great blogging ideas for my clients.

These 15 ways will make sure you never run out of blogging ideas

  1. Take ideas from your existing blog posts: Many of your blog posts have subtopics and you can always stretch the subtopics into full-fledged blog posts. Even the bulleted lists may contain new blogging opportunities. For example, I can use this very bullet point to write a blog post on “How to create new blog posts from your existing blog posts”.
  2. Ask questions from your customers and clients: In fact this is the best way of coming up with new topics because as long as customers and clients are doing business with you they are going to have one or another issue and some concern that needs to be looked into. Ask them questions, turn them into blogging format and create new blog posts providing answers to those questions and this is one of the best way of never running out of blogging ideas.
  3. Use newsjacking to make your blog posts more relevant and optical: News is always happening. If somehow you can create a spin in order to contextually attach the news to your business topic it can do wonders to your inbound marketing efforts. Suppose a big snowstorm is coming up and the news is all over. Suppose you sell batteries. How about creating a blog post that advises people how to prolong battery life during such emergencies? Here is a blog post that explains what is newsjacking and how to use it for content marketing.
  4. Maintain an editorial calendar:
    Sometimes you run out of blogging ideas because you don’t know what to do on a particular day. If you have an editorial calendar you always have a topic to write about. In the beginning of every month chart out your editorial calendar and then stick to it. Read here about the importance of maintaining a content marketing calendar.
  5. Maintain an ideas file: This is something like an editorial calendar but you can also do it roughly. You can use Evernote or Google Keep or even something like ToDoist to maintain lists of blog post ideas that you would like to work on.
  6. Write multiple blog posts at a time without worrying about completing them:
    It slows you down when you worry too much about completing a particular blog post. Once you have lots of topics with you just keep on adding your thoughts as they hit you. Evernote can come quite handy in this regard. Create a dedicated note to particular blog topic and then keep on adding text to it or the research data that you need to use with the blog post.
  7. Ask your blog visitors: Many bloggers have a dedicated form on their blogs to ask the visitors what all they would like to read. This is something like crowdsourcing the generation of your blogging ideas.
  8. Use Quora to do research on blogging ideas: People post great questions on Quora – the crowd sourced question-answer website with immense wealth of knowledge. You can go through the questions being asked in your niche and instead of answering those questions on Quora you can answer them on your own blog.
  9. Create Google alerts: People are constantly posting content on the Internet and as this content is posted, you can immediately get email alerts with the links and description of the content. Just Google alerts can keep you going for many months without running out of blogging ideas.
  10. Use keyword research tools: By using these tools – some free and some premium – you can find various combinations of keywords relevant to your niche and this can help you create blogging topics. Remember that it’s important to create blog topics with your main keywords as much as possible without needlessly stuffing them. A good example of an online keyword research tool is the Google keyword planner.
  11. Use the FAQs of other websites in your niche: Regularly visit the websites of your competitors and see what all topics, especially in the FAQs section, they have covered and then create blogging topics out of those questions and answers.
  12. Use social media and social networking websites: You can use something like Hootsuite to create a dedicated column posting updates about your niche. For example, I’m constantly getting new updates on “content marketing”, “content writing”, “SEO content” and so on in a separate column and from that column I get lots of blogging ideas.
  13. Use news aggregators: News aggregators like Feedly, Alltop, Prismatic and Flipboard can constantly supply you with new blogging ideas in your niche. Some of these platforms also tell you how popular some of the topics are and you can create your blogging ideas accordingly.
  14. Use Google Analytics data: If you have a blog you also must have Google analytics script on it that tells you what sort of traffic comes to your blog. One section in your Google Analytics also tells you what keywords and search phrases are drawing traffic to your blog and you can use this information to create blog content.
  15. Invite guest bloggers to write for your blog: This happens when your blog has become a bit known in your niche and people would like to highlight their content on your blog. For this you need to cross a certain threshold level but once you have done that, it is a great way to make sure that you never run out of blogging ideas. In fact, once you start inviting guest bloggers you will have to exercise discretion and be careful about what to publish and what not to publish.

Once you have seriously started blogging it’s just a matter of being sensitive towards receiving new blogging ideas. I have personally observed that when I am blogging regularly I rarely www. run out of blogging ideas because consciously and subconsciously I’m constantly looking for new things to write about.