Blogging. The lifeblood of inbound marketing. The uplifter of website SEO. The content upon which all other content marketing relies. Sound like a big deal? It is! If content is king, blogging is the queen.
Maintaining a business blog is one of the best things you can do to market your business. It helps you connect with your clients and prospects on a relational level. It also helps Google find and rank your website. It provides the foundation for your email marketing and social media marketing campaigns. That’s a lot of heavy lifting. Here are some tips for making the most of your business blog.
Create a content calendar.
We started this year’s Smart Talk posts with tips on how to set marketing goals and create a plan. The number-one tip we have for starting and—more importantly maintaining—a blog is to plan ahead. Decide how many blog posts you have the bandwidth to write a month. Then, come up with a theme for the month and topics to cover in each post on that theme. Commit yourself to your plan. As Tower of Power says, don’t change horses in the middle of the stream.
Put your calendar on your calendar.
The next important step in blogging is to get your content calendar on your actual calendar. Block off time every week for you to research, draft, edit, source images, and publish your posts. If writing comes easily to you, two hours may be enough. If the idea of writing makes you want to snap a bunch of pencils, block out the morning.
Get a second pair of eyes (and a third, too).
Once you’ve written your first draft, get a coworker or someone you trust to read it over for you. A third set of eyes doesn’t hurt either. If you don’t have someone to look over your work, let it sit for 24 hours or so before taking a second look yourself. This will give you time to recover some objectivity and be alert to grammatical errors.
Add some eye candy.
Adding images and video to blog posts adds interest and engages your readers. They also help your post rank better in a Google search. Images and video from your own business are always great, but stock images work well, too. Don’t forget to label your image with the title of your blog post (aka an alt tag). Alt tags help boost SEO, too. (Shameful plug: the Solutionistas can help with photography, too!)
Know when to post ‘em; know how to promote ‘em.
Publishing your blog is an art and a science in and of itself. Every marketing expert has their favorite days of the week and time of the day to publish blog posts. You can catch up on the latest research (yes, research!) in this infographic from the folks at Kissmetrics. To get the most bang for your blogging buck, it’s not enough just to publish your post. You need to share it with your contacts. Email marketing is a great tool for this, as is social media.
Call for reinforcements.
Here’s where the Solutionistas come in! Now that you know how important blogging is for your business and the effort it takes to be consistent, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. We can take blogging off your to-do list, from the content calendar to promotion. Want to learn more? Let’s Talk!