Let’s face it—blogging for business is anything but effortless. Business blogging requires a lot of time and brainpower to take brilliant ideas and translate them into resourceful and engaging copy. And beyond having standout copywriting skills, you’ll also need to have an effective strategy that will turn your audience into paying customers.
Don’t run away yet!
Even though business blogging can be time consuming, there are ways to make your life a whole lot easier. Some of these techniques require a bit of work, but you will ultimately get yourself into a rhythm and feel like blogging is less of an uphill battle, and more of a way to attract new customers and boost business.
Blogging For Business: It Pays to Have a Plan
It’s hard to feel as if any activity is effortless if you’re using a “wing it” schedule. Everyone has the best of intentions when they initially launch a blog, and often business owners publically pledge to stay on top of their efforts. However, it’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day business operations and let blogging slip to the back burner.
The first step in making blogging for business feel more effortless is to have a plan. Ideally, this plan will consist of a blog planner or editorial calendar that has your best blogging ideas mapped out for you in advance.
You’ll spend some initial time planning topics and prepping your calendar, but it’ll be a valuable resource to have on hand when you need a stash of writing prompts. Your blog planner will also not allow you to use the excuse of no ideas to skip your weekly post.
Yes, I’m talking about you.
Don’t Overlook Your Outline
You might have learned about story outlines in grade school, but they truly enable you to write your blog posts with less effort. When you have a step-by-step guide right in front of you, it takes all the guesswork about what you should talk in the next paragraph or subsection.
You’ll likely make tweaks along the way, and that’s fine. But a quick outline can save you a lot of time from debating over sub header titles and
Stick to What You Know
When you’re running a company blog, the subject matter of your posts should be evident. The good news is that you’re already an expert in your field, which should make writing topics a snap. You already talk about your services and products all day long to your customers, and you can easily use past discussions to help spark blog post ideas.
Blog About Exciting Aspects of Your Business
If you’re stuck and not sure where to start on your topics, choose to write about what excites you the most about your product or service. Be careful here not to be too salsey—the reason you’re blogging about what excites you is so that you speak in a conversational tone, not a sales pitch.
Even if you aren’t exactly in an exciting industry, that’s OK. Get creative and help people understand why your products and services excite you so much. Better yet, bring excitement by demonstrating exactly how your product improved another customer’s life. When new customers see what your product has accomplished for another person, they’ll feel the excitement, too.
Get Inspired, Light The Fire
Crafting a blog post isn’t any fun at all when you’re not feeling inspired. It makes your effort levels shoot through the roof and regret that you ever sat down at your keyboard in the first place. Instead of sitting at your desk with a blank document and feelings of frustration, go on a search for sources to bring you some blogging inspiration.
Inspiration from blogging can come from just about anywhere, but a lot of times it boils down to needing a few good ideas or a bit of direction. If you need a place to help get your creative juices flowing, check into:
- Industry forums where other professionals are talking about your products and services. What are they saying about the market? What are their concerns and complaints? If you dig long enough, you’ll likely find a comment or quote that gives you a light bulb moment
- Quora is a great resource to use for finding questions asked by real human beings—human beings that could be your customers. Search around on Quora for questions involving your industry. If you find an interesting question that peaks your interest, give an in-depth and well-researched answer on your blog post
- Social media groups that involve your industry. While industry forums can be a great source, sometimes your field might be a bit more active on places like LinkedIn or Google+ groups. However, the idea here is still the same. Introduce yourself and get to know people in your group. Ask questions, read comments, and gather up inspiration to spark your next blog post idea
- YouTube can provide a great deal of inspiration, especially for certain industries. Most people are visual learners, and visual stimulation can help inspire you to write a new topic or find a new angle on an overdone subject
Once you find your source of inspiration, it becomes a whole lot easier to sit down on at your desk and type out an awe-inspiring blog post.
6 Tools For Effortless Business Blogging
While you can certainly blog for business without many tools at all, they certainly can help make blogging feel a bit more effortless. These tools can also help increase the sharing of your blog posts, which ultimately drives traffic back to your blog with the intention of bringing in new customers.
Here are a few business blogging tools that will enhance your blog (without much effort):
1. Stock Photo Subscription
Unless you plan on supplying your own photos, you’ll need access to a stock photo subscription service. A few of the popular stock photo provides are iStock and Shutterstock. Adobe, the creator of Photoshop, has also recently launched a photo subscription service called Adobe Stock.
How does a stock photo subscription service equal to less effort on your part? It saves you the time of running around and collecting random images on Google that could be subject to copyright. When you use a photo stock subscription service, you’ll know for sure that you’re allowed to use your images on your blog—just be sure to read the licensing policies.
2. Set up Google Alerts For Extra Industry Insight
Google alerts can help keep you on top of any industry news and updates. This will save you from continuously hunting for sources of inspiration via Google, and you can get blog topic ideas and prompts delivered straight to your inbox.
3. Install Social Media Sharing Plugins
If you’re using WordPress for your business blog, there are countless social media plugins that you can install to encourage social sharing. This will help promote your blog posts without having to do any additional work at all.
4. Google Docs
If you don’t have Microsoft Word to craft your blog posts, consider using Google Docs. It’s Google’s cloud-based version of Microsoft Office, and you’re able to access your files from anywhere that you have an Internet connection.
Be forewarned: Google Docs isn’t the best for picking up grammatical errors. If you do use Google Docs to write your blogs, be sure to carefully proofread your posts before publishing.
When you’re running a company blog, eventually you might want to build an e-mail list to keep your audience updated with new posts. MailChimp has both free and paid versions that you can use to collect customer e-mail addresses and effortlessly send out updates the click of a button.
6. Google Analytics
Need an easy and efficient way to track the traffic that’s coming to your website? Google Analytics is one of the top pick for marketers when it comes to monitoring a website’s traffic flow. Not only that, but analytics will also tell you your most (and least) popular blog posts—and you can use it for clues in terms of what type of blog content performs the best.
If you find that Google Analytics is a little too advanced (or you aren’t sure how to install it on your website), your host or server will likely have a traffic reporting log installed within your control panel. After you log into your control panel, look for a feature called AWStats—best of all, there’s no installation required.
Effortless Blogging Doesn’t Mean Taking Shortcuts
Blogging will always require some level of effort on your part, especially if you want it to generate business for your brand. While you can use tools and your own expert insight to make blogging for business feel effortless, it’s important that you don’t take shortcuts that sacrifice your blog’s quality.
Avoid taking shortcuts such as:
- Publishing blogs that are littered with grammatical and spelling errors
- Swiping images from around the Internet to use without permission
- Directly copying content from a competitor’s blog
- Sacrificing quality for quantity
- Not linking your sources
- Inconsistent publishing
- Writing uninspiring copy with boring headlines
Hiring Help From a Pro
Perhaps the best way to make blogging for business feel completely effortless is by hiring a blogging professional to handle the job for you. Although business blogging feels more effortless over time, sometimes business owners simply don’t have the time to spare. When you find yourself strapped for time and even
You can bundle everything you need into one convenient blogging package, and pack a punch with your business blog with the help of a skilled blogger and a dash of strategy.