Not sure how to how to start a blog for business? Follow our steps to get yours up and running — without pulling a muscle in the process.
I’m not as young as I think I am. I still think that I can wake up, dig out my workout DVDs, and start cross training like I did in my 20s. The truth is, that’s no longer possible. In a matter of minutes, I’ll either collapse in a pile of sweat or pull a muscle.
Once my son arrived, I stopped being fitness active. Sure, I’m busy chasing him around the house or yard, but those bursts only last about five seconds at a time. The harsh reality is that if I want to get back into working out, I need to start low and go slow.
The same goes for your company blog. Many small businesses know a regular blog is healthy in supporting a growing business, but like new year’s resolutions, they get really excited and start strong, only to fail a few months later. But we’re here to help you move past that. Here’s why starting a business blog is so important and five key steps on how to start a blog for business without pulling a muscle in the process.
First and foremost, don’t forget that nearly 4 billion people worldwide are currently connected to the internet. Readers are out there and ready to consume what you create.
The next step is ensuring those people can find you. While it’s perfectly acceptable to go after paid ads, it can get expensive real fast. You want something that is affordable and sustainable. That’s where blogs come into play. Every time you create and publish a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means another opportunity for you to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website in organic search.
Like with every blog post adds another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. By adding calls-to-action throughout, or at the end of your blog, you give readers an opportunity to engage with your business and convert into new business.
Blogs also create opportunities for sharing across social platforms. This creates the potential for viral traffic and exponential market growth. With so many different sharing platforms available, visitors can share the direct link to the blog, tweet it, or email it to a friend.
One of the last (but not exhaustive – there are plenty more) reasons to have a blog is because it sets you apart as an industry leader, which in turn drives trust with current and potential clients. By providing valuable content and expert information, your prospects get to see the knowledge and experience you’ve gained in your field. Over time, writing regularly helpful and informative blogs will make you the “go to” in the industry, leading to more inquiries and higher conversion rates.
But how do you get started? What is practical and feasible, especially for a smaller business? Here are the 5 best ways to start low and slow so you don’t burn out quickly.
Before you begin, take a look at what other content you and your team regularly produce. Do you have a monthly newsletter? A weekly email blast? Some recurring communications piece? Take a look at how that’s currently succeeding and run an audit. See if it’s a strain on your team or if you have the bandwidth to add another collateral piece to the mix.
If you don’t have ongoing communication that you create, consider creating one as a test. Design a mock piece, set a deadline, and cue up your writers and designers. Do a few trial runs to find the gaps in your system. Find out how much you can manage and where your breaking point falls. And then step back to explore what adjustments might need to be made in order to get your company blog off the ground.
This seems obvious, and it is…until other work obligations and deadlines distract you. Before you hit “Publish” on your very first blog you need to outline what you’re trying to accomplish by spending your time creating this content. And make those goals SMART. Meaning, make them:
SPECIFIC – communicate clearly the importance, what’s expected and the people involved.
MEASURABLE– create an indicator of success.
ATTAINABLE – make it realistic and reachable.
RELEVANT– relate it to your business objectives.
TIMELY – set a date to reach the goal.
Once you launch the blog and begin posting regularly, be sure to set a check-in date on your calendar to see how things are going. Examine what’s working well and what’s falling apart. Are you reaching your deadlines? Is your staff surviving or are they neglecting other duties to accomplish these new ones? Is there any response to what you’ve been sharing? What’s resonating? What’s not? Set a date to ask these questions at the very beginning. If you don’t, you may never do it.
You need to keep your company blog well hydrated at all times. In other words, you don’t want to launch your blog, write five great posts, and then start scrambling for new content. You need to have a deep reservoir of great topic ideas, as well as a list of resources ready to explore for future content. You also need to have a group of writers you trust who are able to support the steady stream of thought leadership. They can be internal staff or outside designers and writers, but you should vet them. You may not need them regularly, but they should be ready to assist when needed.
Finally, take some time each month or quarter to, once again, see how your company blog’s going. Take a look back at those goals you set. Are you reaching them? Are people reading what you’re writing? What changes and improvements can be made?
In the same way that you plan out what you hope to share over the course of the year, go back and mark how each of those performed and who responded. The better you can understand the analytics, the better you can plan for future blogs and, hopefully, convert more leads in the process.
We understand getting a blog off the ground can seem like a ton of work. We’re here to assure you that it IS possible to effectively write and manage a blog without throwing your back out. We offer plenty of tips on the nitty gritty of actually writing your first blog and a provide a better blogging worksheet to help get you started. Still not feeling confident? Need some advice? Contact us today and we can sit down for a cup of coffee or beer to talk over your current marketing strategy.