A blog on your company website can bring a wealth of benefits but how do you keep it going when your time is limited? This post will tell you how you can build a pipeline of interesting content for your visitors without it taking up all your time. Read on for the busy entrepreneur’s guide to business blogging.
…why does your business even need a blog?
1. It’ll help drive quality traffic to your site.
Provided your blog posts focus on a topic relevant to your target audience, you can summarise and link to them in LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter posts and drive that audience right back to your blog page.
And once they’re on your website, it’s your job to keep them there so that they learn about your business! Look at adding links to other pages and Call-to-Action (CTA) boxes to convert visitors into leads for your sales team.
2. A blog is a simple way to inject some personality into your content, and assert authority on a certain topic.
Every time you communicate with prospects or customers you should bring value and entertain. Use your blog posts to bring humour, drama, intrigue or empathy to your messaging.
What’s more, you can use blog posts to talk about the problems your target audience faces, present a company position on them and become a thought leader.
3. The biggie – it will help your business website’s SEO
One of the ways to maintain a good SEO performance is to increase the number of webpages your site has featuring the search terms you want to rank highly for. Therefore, think of every new blog post as one more page on your website and one more opportunity to show up in search engines.
So as you can see, a business blog is well worth investing some time on. But what if you have very little time to spare? Here’s some tips and resources to help you busy entrepreneurs get your company blog up and running.
Busy entrepreneur tip 1: Focus on quality over quantity
Some believe that a successful blogger needs to post every other day but that’s just not true. If you spend the same time on one long, in depth, valuable blog post as you do on three that you just rushed together, which option do you think will generate the most traffic?
It’s the first one.
Think of your blog posts as being the ULTIMATE guide to something your target audience wants to know about and you’ll find that you’ll not only attract more visitors, but they’ll also come back again because they value what you have to teach them. And if they consider you to be an authority on the subject, they’ll most likely share your content widely.
I know, you’re thinking “isn’t this the busy entrepreneur’s guide to business blogging? Why are you telling me to spend MORE time on posts!?” Well, if you write one quality post choc-full of keywords and rich in SEO-nessnessness (technical term) every 10-14 days, rather than three or four little posts over the same period, you’re still saving yourself time.
Busy entrepreneur tip 2: Find post topics in Quora
One of the hardest bits about business blogging is coming up with topic ideas to write about. Sure, there are loads of blog post generator tools out there (like this one from HubSpot). But, unless you’re writing about things that your target audience actually wants to know, then you’re just filling the internet with noise.
Quora is the biggest question and answer website in the world. It’s basically Ask Jeeves on steroids. So, when you go on the site, and enter a keyword that is relevant to what you do, a ton of the most popular questions related to that keyword will pop up. You can then see what people want to know (and are likely to be asking Google) and build a blog post to answer them.
Busy entrepreneur tip 3: Mix it up with post formats that work
Because the goal is to produce new and interesting content frequently, even with Quora, it’s easy for the ideas to dry up. That’s why it’s good to keep referring back to a list of tried and tested blog post styles that are guaranteed to get you inspired again!
- News hijacking – While it’s not “evergreen” content, i.e it won’t stay up to date for very long, this form of post where you write about your point of view on a current news story is great for sharing on social media and driving engagement. All you need to do is find an article that (1) is relevant to your target audience and (2) you have a strong view on, and simple write a response and post it on your company blog. Just be careful not to say anything you’ll regret.
- Data – every day some new report or publication is released containing statistics of some kind. Find something relevant to your target audience and your product/service and write about the research.
- FAQ – Look on social media for the most common questions being asked by your target audience and answer them on your blog.
- How to guide – This is probably the most popular form of blog post. Why? Because most of the time when people read non-fiction, it’s to solve a problem. Just make sure your piece is extensive with some original thought or it’ll just get lost in the noise.
- Lists – Pull together a list of things that are helpful to your target audience, such as top 10 apps for productivity, 50 ways to close a sale etc. And if you use ideas from other people, even better as you can include a backlink to the source, tell them they were included (via social media) and hopefully they’ll share your post to their network as a thank you.
Busy entrepreneur tip 4: Get other people to write posts for you
The ultimate tip in the busy entrepreneur’s guide to business blogging has got to be to get someone else to do it, right?
For a little cash, you can hire a copywriter from sites like Upwork,or Freelancer or here at Upmarketry to write posts for you. The downside is that unless you find an expert in your industry, you’ll still have to spend time briefing them on the subject matter and reviewing the post before publishing. On the plus side, you’ll be using a professional writer so the copy content should be top notch.
There are ways to find quality writers for free though.
If you don’t work on your own, get members of your team to write content. They’re likely to be experts in their field so you’re not going to find a better source of valuable insight for your readers.
For those of you who have a small team who are just as busy as you are, the alternative is to ask your peers. Let’s say, in return for a discount or an introduction to a prospect, they write you some content that your target audience would love to read. If you include a backlink to their website in the blog copy too, you’ll also make them happy and they’re likely to share it on their company feeds. This will in turn increase your likelihood of reaching new audiences.
Busy entrepreneur tip 5: Know where to find quality stock photography fast
We’re drawn to imagery so if your blog pictures stink, no one will read what you have to say.
The good news is here’s a list of sites crammed full of great images that are free to use (and require no attribution either). YOU’RE WELCOME.
Busy entrepreneur tip 6: Re-use marketing and PR content
Done any PR recently? A press release about your company, a viewpoint on an industry issue, or even a media interview? All of that content, and its coverage, can be turned into blog content with minimal effort. If you have a PR agency, get them to do it for you.
Also, look through all your marketing content. Any research, webinars, presentations, reports and videos could form the start of a cracking blog post and save you some time.
Busy entrepreneur tip 7: Use the Yoast plug-in
I mentioned earlier that blogs helps SEO but only if you write them in the correct way. This means applying the right keywords, structure, tags, title lengths and so on. Now, you could get someone else to do this or spend hours on it yourself but it’s is the busy entrepreneur’s guide to business blogging so I have a cheat!
If your site is on WordPress – I strongly recommend you opt for this as it’s so easy to use and update yourself – then there’s a plug-in that will help you with SEO.
The Yoast SEO plug in claims to:
- help you write killer content
- keep your site in great shape
- help you please visitors and search engine spiders.
In my opinion, it does all that and teaches you about the world of SEO. The more you know, the less time you’ll need to write quality blog posts.
To get the plug-in, go to ‘Add new’ in the plug-in section on your WordPress.org site, and search for Yoast SEO. Then ‘install’ and ‘activate’ and every new blog post you write will be assessed by Yoast. For a simple guide on how to use it, try this one Yoast wrote themselves.
Busy entrepreneur tip 8: Crowdsource your content
Why have one expert writing all the content when you can use ready-made stuff? The idea of crowdsourcing is that you find relevant content for your blog post from a number of other blogs or websites.
For example, you could look at what industry influencers or bloggers have said on your subject, lift a tip or two from each and then pull it altogether in a blog post. As long as you’re crediting each person (ideally with a link) and you’re not changing any of the wording they’ve used, it’s completely allowed.
And rather than reading though hundreds of articles for interesting nuggets of info to use, you could cut a corner and ask for insight on your social media channels. Telling your networks on Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter that you’re crowdsourcing for an article will often produce a wealth of volunteers and support. So try it!
And why would they want to help you? Because you’re giving them a backlink on your site which in turn helps their SEO and potentially introduces them to new audiences. It’s win-win.
And that’s it.
The busy entrepreneur’s guide to business blogging – a summary
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Find post topics on Quora
- Mix it up with post formats that work
- Get other people to write posts for you
- Know where to find quality stock photography fast
- Re-use marketing and PR content
- Use the Yoast SEO plug-in
- Crowdsource your content
Tags: business blogging