10 Tips for Marketing Your Business with a Blog

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Do you want to become known as an industry expert, attract traffic to your website and boost sales? Blogging just once a month can deliver all that—and more. More than half of companies that blog at least once a month have acquired customers through their blog, according to HubSpot’s The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing. (Sixty-six percent of those who blog weekly, and 78 percent of those who blog daily, have gained new customers.)

However much time you choose to invest, here are 10 tips for successful blogging.

1. Set a goal. Decide how your blog fits into your overall marketing strategy. Is the goal to promote your expertise, increase website traffic or interact with potential customers? Setting goals helps you measure results and determines what you’ll blog about.

2. Choose a blogging platform. WordPress, TypePad and Movable Type are three popular options that offer a variety of templates and plug-ins, and are simple to use.

3. Choose a leader. Whether it’s you or an employee, someone must take ownership of planning, obtaining and posting content, as well as managing the blog.

4. Create a schedule. Decide how often you will post, and stick to a regular schedule. Use an online calendar or Excel spreadsheet to plan and track post topics and dates.

5. Start writing. Your topics are limited only by your imagination and goals. Blog about trends in your industry (what new tax laws mean to clients of your CPA business); seasons (summer lawncare tips for clients of your landscaping business); or holidays (a toy-store owner could blog about the hottest kids’ toys for Christmas). Blog about news in your business, such as new products, new hires or upcoming events. Keep up on general news, too: Tying posts to trending topics attracts readers (a hair salon could blog about the best hairstyles at the Academy Awards).

6. Don’t stress. If you’re not a natural writer, don’t worry. Blog posts work best when they’re brief (under 500 words) informal and conversational, so just write the way you talk.

7. Use SEO. Optimize your blog for search engines by using keywords related to your business in post titles, in the first paragraphs of posts, and in post tags.

8. Use images. Photos not only attract readers’ eyes, but also boost SEO if you tag the images with keywords. Post only photos that you have the rights to use. Take your own photos, subscribe to a stock photo service like Thinkstock or Getty Images, or search online for “creative commons” photos that you can use by citing the photographer.

9. Interact. Allowing readers to post comments enables you to build relationships. To avoid inappropriate comments and spam, adjust your settings so you can approve comments before publication. Respond to every comment, even if just to say, “Thanks!”

10. Promote. Tell customers and prospects about your blog by promoting it on your social media accounts, in your marketing materials, in your email signature and newsletters, and on the home page of your website.


Rieva LesonskyRieva Lesonsky is founder and President of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Before launching her business, she was Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website SmallBizDaily.com to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for free TrendCast reports.

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5 Comments

  1. Business Law says:

    These are great tips. Having one person to manage the blog is the best way to keep the voice and message consistent for the company.

  2. Hi Rieva,

    This was an excellent post!

    Many business are yet to adapt to a marketing 2.0 strategy.

    Businesses that blog, create another avenue to form relationships with readers and customers.

    Businesses stuck in commodity hell, can use blogging to help them differentiate from their competitors. Blogging can also be used to create a competitive advantage.

    I’d like to dive a bit deeper on points 7 and 8 in the top 10 list.

    #7 – Use SEO – Make sure businesses are using the rel=”canonical” and 301 redirects to ensure they are not stuck in duplicate content hell. When 301 redirecting an already established site, ensure to redirect the url with the lower amount of links as a 301 redirect diminish’s link juice. There’s nothing worse than duplicate content in the SEO world….Don’t make the mistake
    It’s also a good idea to utilize Google authorship to develop trust and authority. This can be achieved by linking a Google+ profile to the blog, and embedding the rel=”author” / rel=”publisher” code in the HTML.
    If using wordpress, AuthorSure is an excellent plugin for this, and the simple 301 redirects and Yoast SEO are great plugins for preventing duplicate content.

    #8 – Use Images, and more than one! Ensure that the image to be used has a file name that either describes your post topic, or has one of the targeted key phrases in it. Also, use the “Alt” attribute to identify the image with the post topic or key phrases.
    The Alt attribute is useful when browsers are slow to load the image, the words are placed instead of the image. Search engines also have difficulty understanding images so the Alt text helps the search engine to understand what the image is and how it can be related to the topic.
    Business owners should also focus on using video as it creates an excellent user experience. Just make sure to host the video on the blog to make so there is an SEO benefit.

    I stumbled upon this post while doing research. Great job!

    Chris

  3. Thanks for the tips Rieva. I’d add that for those that choose to go with a WordPress site, and not talking about the free WordPress.com ones, there are some free plugins you can use to deal with setting up 301 redirects for your pages.

    One that we use a lot is called Simple 301 Redirects. It gives you and easy to use interface to add the bad urls and a place for the new page that the bad one used to go to.

    We did a review if you want to check it out…

    https://websiteservice360.com/wordpress/handle-301-redirects-with-wordpress-the-simple-way/

    And to go along with Chris’ comment above, add videos. While pictures are nice, and useful, people love videos. Just don’t set them all to auto play, while that would increase your view count it can be irritating to your visitors.

  4. If you are blogging to market your business or company website and if your business is a local business then it is good to implement different schema.org Rich Snippets on your blog and business website related to your trade.
    SEO is very important for successful blogging and marketing. Organic traffic are the best source of business. Proper Title of the blog articles, with proper heading, image optimization and inner linking is very important onpage optimization factors. Building quality and authority links from different kinds of sites on your business niche is important factor on offpage SEO.
    Be aware of canonical and cannibalization issues.
    Don’t get involved in unethical or blackhat SEO. If you do be sure that you will get penalized.
    Lastly social media promotion and user engagement is very important. Using Google plus efficiently can boost your ranking on SERP over time.

  5. build a personal brand is really great strategy for building a great business marketing, with a blog of course. I think you made great points with this article. thank you so much

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