10 Ways to Build Authority with Your Business Blog
Okay! Welcome back to Social Cues. Jennie Morton of Herringbone Freelance has graciously given us her expertise on content marketing. This is some incredible insight on what it takes to blog for your business!
So you decided to start a business blog – good job on committing to this important marketing tool! You took the time to find a niche and pick a beautiful design – fantastic planning! But now it’s time to write and you’re staring at a blank page and blinking cursor – oops!
Where businesses are currently missing the mark:
Many businesses have great intentions with their blog but then miss the mark with execution. Without any content strategy, business blogging is an impulsive, aimless, and unproductive endeavor. That’s a whole lot of unnecessary stress and wasted time that no business needs!
One problem is when topics are chosen randomly – there’s no consistency or planning that guides what kind of content is created and on what schedule. Especially if a small business is struggling to find time for blogging, post frequency will start becoming sporadic and then the entire blog will ultimately fall silent.
Another misstep is when companies use their blog as a dumping ground for everything they possibly want to communicate to the public – press releases, announcements, product promos, opinion pieces, thought leadership, and public relations. There’s no rhyme or reason to what gets posted or, and here’s the kicker, who the intended audience is.
But the biggest mistake businesses commit is using their blog as a sales tool. Wrong! Do you want to read a written commercial? Me neither. Nobody has time for that. And unless a customer is a die hard fan, they’re not interested in who got promoted or which division was sold or what the deal of the day is.
So, how do you use your blog for your business:
So what the heck should you post about?
Here’s the secret sauce – every business has something to TEACH their customers.
Let that soak in for a moment.
Your company has something valuable to offer clients. Your company has something they want. Your company has something they need.
A blog is a great way to share your wisdom, knowledge, and passion. This strategy is called content marketing. EVERY industry can benefit from having a friendly, helpful conversation with their customers. Influence existing and potential clients by showing them you care about their:
When you engage your clients, you build trust and rapport with them. That’s how brands get and keep the attention of their audience – they provide content that has value.
The key is to sit down and determine 1) what expertise you have to share and 2) what your readers want to hear from you. The answer will be unique for every brand, but here are ten easy ideas to get you started:
Answer a frequently asked question
Explain a process step-by-step
Share a takeaway from an event, book, or podcast
Explore a current event in your industry
Dive deep into a topic that customers struggle to understand
Talk about common mistakes, obstacles, or frustrations that clients encounter
Profile an employee, new hire, customer, volunteer, or collaborator
Do a multi-post series on one topic
Tackle myths common in your business sector
Reveal a behind-the-scenes look at a part of your operations
Worried about the time you need for blogging? You don’t need to write a novel or even post every week. Slow and steady wins the content marketing race. Focus on quality posts rather than throwing up words without a plan.
Blog posts average 300-600 words – that’s about 3-6 minutes to read. But it’s ok to be in the 1,000-word range for topics that need a thorough examination – just make sure every word has a purpose at that length. People will stop and read long formats as long as they are getting something out of it.
As you begin business blogging, remember to experiment to see what topics resonates with your audience. Keep an eye on what your analytics – views, comments, likes, shares, etc. – say about engagement and then cater to your readers’ preferences.