Blogging Basics in Three Easy Steps
People buy from people and a blog is a great way to communicate with your target audience in a light-hearted, informal way and convey the personality of your company, your leadership team or your employees. In this post, our in-house Content Specialist gives her advice on getting started with blogging, as well as some inspiration for content.
You are the experts of your business – and blogs are a really effective method of getting that expertise, knowledge, insight and experience across in a way that can truly benefit your readers or subscribers. A blog can also be fantastic at boosting your brand’s exposure. Companies that blog generate 126% more leads than those that don’t. And customer acquisition rises with the frequency of blogs: 76% of blog users acquire customers through their blog by posting 2-3 times per week. Great content will influence people positively in terms of the way they view you, your organisation and the way they make connections with your brand. So here are three easy steps to a great blog:
1. Set Clear Objectives
All blogs should be underpinned by your core marketing messages and, through those messages, reinforce the values that your company lives by. Each blog should include some really solid thought-provoking comment and practical tips. Think about what key messages you want the reader to take away about you and your company after reading the post. The best calls to action from a blog are to get the reader to implement your advice, to make sure your organisation is front mind when they need more of your expertise, or to inspire them enough to share it with their peers.
2. Generate Great Ideas for Blog Topics
When thinking of blog topics, really put yourself in the mind of your reader – what is the problem you are helping to solve for them and what value can you add? What is the hook of the blog – and does it resonate or connect with your target audience? Put yourself in their shoes – what stories do your audiences want to hear?
Identify common themes that you would like to cover in your blogs – it is good practice to link to previous posts within your blog because it improves internal SEO and will keep people on your site for longer. If you identify the common themes you’ll tackle from the outset, this will be easier to do.
Here are a handful of suggestions to get you started on ideas for blog topics:
- Discuss issues facing your industry – how do they affect your customers directly and what practical advice can you give to overcome those issues?
- Monitor trends or developments in the press and piggy-back on the media agenda for your industry or the business world in general
- Share research from internal sources that will add value for your customer and show you understand them
- Post images, videos, links and infographics – blog posts with images get 94% more page views
- Interview a client and tell a customer story
- Follow the blogs of industry leaders and discuss issues raised in their blogs with your own comment
- Disagree with the opinion of others – it’s good to be controversial sometimes!
- Note down the questions clients most commonly ask you in meetings? Answer them with a blog
- Talk to your clients and ask them questions – share the general findings of your research
- What trends do you see emerging in the way you are doing business? What will be the knock-on effects for your target audience and customers?
- Discuss your future plans as a company, why it’s important and how it will benefit your stakeholders
- Comment on a great book or article you’ve read related to your area of expertise or industry
- Publish a series of interviews from internal experts
- Review an industry event or summarise a conference keynote speech, adding your own comment
- Go behind the scenes – explain how you what you do
- Have a monthly regular feature on a specific theme, centred on your core messaging
- Run a special series of blogs over a month as a specialist guide for clients
- Be bold and predict the future
- What are the top five things your clients/prospects must know about xyz…?
- Talk about best practices for your industry or in the service you offer
- Offer really practical guides e.g. learn how to xyz, secrets revealed, instant ways to improve (xyz issue/problem), an insider’s guide to, and so on.
3. Revisit Your Objectives
When you have your list of ideas for blog topics and editorial calendar, review them once more with the lens of the overall purpose and objectives of the blog in mind and the core marketing messages conveyed about your company and the topic. Include an author biography to bring your personality, credentials and expertise to life.
Finally, make sure the promise in your blog title has been fulfilled in your content. So go on, get blogging!
About the author: In case you were wondering, Chloe is our in-house Content Specialist. She has worked in marketing and PR for 17 years’ and has wide experience as a copywriter in many different industries, across B2C and B2B. Chloe writes blogs, articles, websites, brochures, case studies, award entries, marketing collateral, email campaigns, direct mail and press releases!
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