Let’s face it—growing your business isn’t a cakewalk. There are countless ups and downs, losses and gains, and curveballs that you don’t see coming. With the numerous challenges of growing any business, most will take all the help they can get to reach a level of success.
Business blogging can help set the foundation of growing your business online. It can increase your company’s credibility, generate awareness of your product or service, and enable customers to find your website on Google.
If you’re looking to grow your business and you’re turning to blogging to get the job done, this is a guide to help you achieve growth in areas ranging from consumer awareness to increased sales.
Planning Ahead: Preparing Your Company Blog For Growth
Just like a flowerbed, you’ll need a plan before you start digging. When you plant flowers, you’ll need to consider how much sunlight your plants will need. And with your company blog, it’s helpful to plan ahead for blog topics in case your motivation begins to wilt.
Blog planners can be created in an excel spreadsheet, on even in a Google Docs spreadsheet. Your company blog planner should include components such as:
- Blog titles
- Blog categories (e.g. seasonal, news, keyword oriented, guide, how-to)
- Publishing date
- Assigned writer (if multiple members of your team contribute to the blog)
- Target keywords
- And more
You can plan your blog calendar down to a science by researching the best practices of publishing blog posts. For example, studies have shown that the best day of the week to publish blog posts for social sharing is Thursdays. You can be prepared to post your weekly blog post or your strongest piece on Thursdays for a social boost:
Your blog planner can be as complex and consistent as you like, but the key is to maintain the planner so you can stay on track with your blogging efforts. It’s easy to hit the ground running with initial enthusiasm to grow your business, but it’s just as easy to run out of steam. A blog planner ensures that you have a source of consist, quality blog topics to turn to when you need it them most.
And when your blog planner is ready, you can move forward with planting your seeds.
Plant The Seed With The Right Keywords
The first step to growing your business with a blog is finding a source to kick start its growth. Keywords got a bad reputation several years back when keyword stuffing became a major problem. In order to cheat the search engines, articles were written that were overloaded with keywords as an attempt to get on the first page on Google. The efforts worked for a while, but algorithm adjustments sent spammy articles back to the abyss of Google’s archives, never to be seen again.
Part of growing your business online is knowing your best keywords to target, and targeting those keywords with strategy through your blog. You’ll want to target keywords that have enough traction to give your business a bit of exposure online. Low volume keywords aren’t always bad, but it won’t help generate much awareness if only 50 people are searching for a particular keyword per year.
The answer is using keyword research tools that explore highly targeted keywords to help grow your business. Premium tools such as KeywordEye will show you yearly/monthly search volume of a keyword as well as how competitive it is to rank for that term.
When potential customers Google your specific keyword, they can eventually find your website listed in the search engines. Note that this is not an overnight process. In order to be successful at ranking for keywords that aren’t obscure, you’ll need to consistently publish content that aligns with your selected keywords.
Water Often With a Steady Stream of Blog Posts
What happens if you water a plant once every couple of months? It’s probably going to die. The same concept applies when you grow your business with blogging. Your blog needs a consistent source of content to thrive and grow to its true potential. Publishing blog posts whenever the moment strikes you is the same as watering your houseplant only when you notice it’s dying.
So, how often should you publish new blog posts? The answer can vary depending on your goals and how aggressively you want to grow your business. Too much water can kill houseplants, but it’s unlikely that you’ll run the risk of “blogging too much.” As long as you’re producing high-quality blog content that is relevant and relatable, you can publish blog posts 7 days per week.
Studies have shown that consistent blogging results in a higher amount of inbound leads per month. Frequent blogging increases the likelihood that your blog will help bring in business.
But there’s more to consistent blogging than just generating leads. Blogging on a regular basis also keeps fresh content sending to the search engines, which can help increase your search engine rankings down the line. It also helps establish trust and credibility with your customers while building a strong connection.
However, unless you just don’t sleep, blogging 7 days per week isn’t realistic for the average business owner. You can take a less aggressive approach and start out with blogging once per week, or hire a professional to take on the task for you. But as your confidence grows (along with your business) and you begin to write faster, you can step it up to blogging twice per week. You can still get results with blogging a couple times per month, but those will results will likely be smaller scale.
Feed Regularly With Quality Content
Aside from water, plants thrive when they have quality and nutritious food and soil. Blogging also thrives and performs at its best when you feed it with quality content every time you post. Whenever you draft a new post, you should ask yourself what your audience has to gain from your efforts. Does your blog teach them something new? Does it help them solve a problem? If you plan to grow your business by blogging, you can’t cut corners on quality.
But how do you determine if the blog that you’re publishing is considered quality? Here are several clues:
Your blog content is original.
One of the number one rules of crafting quality blog content is that it’s original to your brand. Swiping content from other websites or simply re-writing (without adding new value) won’t help your blog in terms of quality. Focus on giving your own expert insight on every blog post that you publish, and tell the story in your own words.
Your content is engaging.
Running a blog that puts your audience to sleep is no way to grow your business. But engaging content is a sign of quality content, and you can engage your customers by asking questions and writing in tone that lets them know that you’re human—not a robot.
You blaze your own trail.
You aren’t afraid to publish your own case studies or position yourself as an expert in your field. You learn from the mistakes of your competitors and add value to your content from every angle.
Your blog serves a purpose to your customers.
It gives helpful tips, how-to articles, guides, and even free downloadables like eBooks or templates. Your blog is focused on the user, not yourself.
Continuously Bask Your Blog in Promotion (Sunlight)
Everyone knows that plants need sunlight to grow, whether we’re talking about a cactus or a rose. Your blog needs plenty of promotion to help grow your business to a recognizable brand, and promoting your blog is not a one-and-done activity. Neglecting to promote your blog is like trying to grow a flower garden inside a dark and drafty garage.
While you don’t want to spam your followers and fill their feeds with endless amounts of self-promotion, you do want to promote enough to attract extra eyeballs.
But how much promotion is enough? Take a look at the following chart from KISSmetrics:
You can see that the initial social post generates the highest amount of clicks. However, clicks are continuously generated as the same blog post is shared two more times. The best part is that if your blog consists of evergreen content, you’ll be able to share the same blog post yet again at some point down the road. Evergreen content can remain relevant for up to 2-3 years, so continue to share over its lifetime if it provides value to your customers.
How Are You Growing Your Business?
Whether you’re a small startup or a thriving corporation, growth is a sign of success. There are many paths you can take to help grow your business, and business blogging can help take your company to the top with quality content and a smart strategy.
Blogging may not work as quickly as Miracle Grow, but you can’t deny the value and results that a blog can bring for growing your business.