Like a New Year’s resolution, a lot of business owners and marketing departments start the year highly motivated. They tell themselves this is the year that we are finally going to stick to our content calendar and write a blog every week. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever started a diet in January, you know what happens next. As the weeks and months roll by, workloads increase, motivation dwindles, and then out of nowhere, it’s April, and you haven’t even attempted to start a blog.
It’s 2020, if your website doesn’t have a blog, it’s time to shape up.
How Does Blog Writing Help My Business?
Similar to how a well-balanced breakfast is the best way to start your day, blogs can provide a foundation to kick off your content marketing strategy. Articles are great building blocks for creating tons of evergreen content like social media posts, infographics, and videos.
Well-written and researched articles also establish expertise. Your company may have one or more people that the industry views as a thought leader. Start a blog to share their knowledge and opinions with customers and prospects. Sharing these types of blogs builds credibility and keeps your business top of mind.
Blogs are also a fantastic way to establish SEO. Google and other search engines love fresh content. If one of your articles helps people find an answer to their question better than another website, you have a chance for a higher ranking. With a top spot on Google, your site gains exposure, which brings in more visitors and the opportunity for more leads.
How Do I Come Up With Blog Topics To Write About?
We hear this question from clients often, and we usually answer it in the following way, “What value or expertise can you share with a customer?” Every one of your customers and prospects has unmet needs and outstanding questions about your product or service. Your job is to provide them with the answers or resources they seek. Start with these questions:
Who are your customers?
This question seems obvious, but it’s essential to know who you’re writing a blog for. If your business is like most, you have multiple types of customers that use your product or service. Each customer segment may use your product differently and, in turn, gain various benefits from it.
To build a successful company blog, you’ll want to write your articles in such a way that they speak to one segment at a time. If you create blogs that talk to your overall customer base, you will inevitably leave out a question or need that one subset has and cover topics that some of your customers just don’t care about.
So, now that you know you need to focus your articles on each type of customer that your business serves, let’s start thinking about their needs. If you need help creating customer profiles for your business, check out our in-depth blog on the subject.
What questions are your customers asking?
To find the questions that your customers are asking may require some heavy lifting, mentally. Start by thinking back to conversations that you’ve had with your customers over the phone, email, and in person. To help you jog your memory, here’s an example.
Let’s say you own a software company. Is there a specific feature that your customers are always asking questions about? Do you receive calls requesting future enhancements and bug fixes? Are people stopping you at conferences to ask your thoughts on the latest industry trends? These questions are potential blog topic ideas that are ripe for the picking.
If we dive into the example above, we can identify blog ideas for each type of question. Let’s take a look at the first one and assume that your software company is receiving a lot of messages about specific features. This type of inquiry is perfect for you to write a more technical blog article such as a “tech tip” or a “how to.” Just remember that not all customers use every feature, so categorize these articles in your blog accordingly.
All of the questions that our imaginary software company receives from customers can be used to write different types of blogs. Now, it’s time to focus on your situation. Are there questions that you receive all of the time or interesting conversations that you’ve had, which may provide value for your clients? Demonstrate your expertise and provide a valuable resource to your current clients and prospects by writing a blog post.
What are prospects searching to find your business online?
What are your prospects typing into Google? Are there specific industry terms that potential customers use to find products like those you sell?
The terms that people enter into Google to find your business usually start with the types of products or services that your company offers. At Fable Heart Media, we know that our prospective customers are looking for marketing services and the agencies that provide them. So, when we write a post, our team covers a topic that we believe can help customers and prospects. For example, if you stumbled upon this article from a Google search, it’s likely that you are interested in starting a blog or need help with blog writing.
To figure out what your prospects are using to find your products or services, google them. Start with broad terms and then keep narrowing them down. If you see your website or competitor site appear in the search results, that’s a term that your customers are likely using. To find more specific and niche search terms, add in your location or extra product features.
In our example, the phrase “marketing agency” is pretty broad and not very specific. However, when we add “digital” along with “in Jacksonville, FL” so that the search term is “Digital Marketing Agency in Jacksonville, FL,” Fable Heart Media starts to appear in the results.
What Tools Can I Use To Generate Blog Ideas?
When getting into shape, there is no single magic pill that can help you drop weight or gain six-pack abs. It takes a mix of eating right and exercise. When coming up with blog topics, we recommend using a combination of internal and external tools to come up with the best ideas.
Internal tools are those that your business is already using today, such as an email client or CRM. According to Hubspot, “86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes,” which means that your inbox is likely housing a wealth of untapped customer data. You can start uncovering blog ideas right now, by simply searching through your emails.
Check out our article about uncovering unique blog ideas to learn about other internal resources and external resources that you can start using today.
What Is The Best Length For A Blog Post?
According to research by Hubspot, the best length depends on the type of blog that you’re writing. For lead generation, the recommended word count is right around 2,500 words. The word count for a resource article ranges from 1,300 to 2,100 words.
Here’s our take, if you’re starting from scratch or haven’t written an article in a year or more, it’s better to begin a writing routine and stick with it, than aim for 2,000 words on your first blog. It’s like training for a marathon, if you go out on day one and try to run 26 miles, you’ll likely give up. For a lot of people, getting into the habit of writing blogs takes time. Don’t overdo it.
Where do I publish my blog post?
Our recommendation is to publish your article on your company website within a blog section. Well-written blog posts are great for SEO and are an excellent tool for attracting visitors to your site. On your website, you also control the narrative. You can include a call to action halfway through your blog, recommend additional articles for your visitors to read, and link to products on your site.
Warning: Do not republish a blog from your website to other sites like Medium. On these large sites, you usually can’t add a canonical tag to let Google know where the content originated. Without that tag in place, they may penalize your site.
How Do I Promote My Blog?
Like an Instagram person at the gym, if you don’t share a video or picture, does it even count. After publishing your blog, it’s time to share it with the world, and the best way is by using social media. However, don’t just share a link; for maximum engagement, you need to be more purposeful than that. Earlier in this article, we mentioned that blogs are a great building block for creating evergreen content like posts, infographics, and videos. Let’s start there.
Is your article filled with lots of statistics and numbers? Create an infographic and share it on social media with a link back to your blog. Infographics work really well on Linkedin. Here are some infographic examples.
Do some of your customers prefer to watch or listen to content rather than read? Create a video to share on social media. Difficulty can vary greatly depending on quality when producing video content. However, there are tools like Adobe Spark and Adobe Premiere Rush that have made it easy for people with little or no experience to create social media videos.
Social media is just one way to publicize your blog article. Depending on your topic and situation, you may have a ton of sharing options that you can utilize. For instance, if you have a large number of email subscribers, send them an email with excerpts and links to your latest blog(s). Check out our article on 15 types of content you can use to drive traffic and grow your business for more ideas.
How Do I Make My Blog Appear In Google Searches?
So, you’ve written a blog, and now you’re ready to start pulling in the site visitors. Well, there’s one more crucial step that you need to take to make sure your article ranks on Google, and that step involves SEO.
The good news is you’ve already taken steps towards a top ranking by writing articles based on the needs of your customers, making sure they’re the right length, and sharing them with the world. In a future article, we will cover the steps you can take to write a great blog post that’s also SEO-rich.
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Fable Heart Media is Here For You.
Whether you own a small company or lead a marketing team, Fable Heart Media can help you achieve your business goals. Our process focuses on driving measurable growth and obtaining results. Of course, we love creating beautiful websites and writing awesome blogs, but for us, nothing tops the feeling of seeing our customers grow online due to our partnership.