With over 130m blogs in existence and rising, blogging is the cornerstone of any self respecting content marketing strategy – providing an interactive platform where ideas and opinions can be expressed, shared, countered and, above all, engaged with.
Blogging regularly on specific topics increases your search engine visibility, as you routinely include certain critical keywords in your content. This in turn builds your reputation on these topics and the blog will build an audience. If that doesn’t inspire, how about the fact that it is the easiest to self publishing and other than the time involved, it is free most of the time.
What to blog about?
The challenge to the b2b marketer is to develop a blog that offers relevant and insightful comment rather than corporate news and views. That’s what the web news stream is for. Instead, use your blog to create a personality for your business. Offer an opinion on the industry news of the day. Comment on business news at large. Survey your customers, assess trends, run polls and competitions and publish all the findings on your blog.
Blog posts which gain notable traction often discuss issues and problems, offer how to guides and approaches to issue resolution. Provide links to other articles, blogs and contents you’ve seen, liked and rated, positioning yourself as a true content provider.
How to get started?
Create a free blog at www.wordpress.com. Over time, this can be ported to the self-hosted www.wordpress.org, but it serves the needs of most bloggers as it has a number of bespoke design themes, requires no programming expertise, offers a range of interactive options and analytics, and allows you to start writing straight away.
Before you write anything, create a calendar. This will focus the mind. Think about a number of blog posts and start drafting them. But don’t publish anything. The idea is to create a pool of articles so you have content in reserve. Schedule a blog post fortnightly and post it at the same time of day so people over time become used to seeing it / receiving it. As your confidence grows, and resource allows, move to weekly, then perhaps twice weekly. Writing every day is incredibly demanding and should be avoided in the early months.
Writing and posting a blog article takes a little longer than you might think. The content itself might be straight forward but you need to consider the title, tags and a relevant image. I’d recommend keeping posts to 200 words. It’s a good approach to try to include some keywords that are used by your target readers in the title and copy.
Blogging demands integrated use of social media tools to drive traffic and provides a great objective to using a wider portfolio of tools. As posts go live, email the link to your database, your colleagues, post it to Twitter, relevant industry Linkedin groups and any other social and business networks you use. WordPress.com analytics can provide extraordinary data on where traffic comes from so this can be refined over time.
Check out my other posts on blogging…
Blogging in hindsight – lessons learnt from my own experience
Marketing Metrics 7: News and blogs – using news and blog functions to generate and distribute content
Stepping into the blog spotlight – read last, its about ramping up your exposure
Image credit Why?,