If you’ve been holding off on starting a blog, now’s the time to reconsider.
Since business blogging has become more popular over the years, the stats are out there:
- 61 percent of people made a purchase from reading a blog
- 81 percent of customers trust the advice from a blog
The need for business-to-consumer content is growing. Blogging also helps increase your search engine ranking – the blog will create more pages with keywords and that means more site traffic.
Before you get started, sit down with your team and answer these questions:
1) Should our company start a blog?
Figure out what your audience needs and likes. Poll your customers and consult your marketing plan. If there doesn’t seem to be enough interest to generate a blog, don’t do one. If they prefer social media, then stick with creating rich posts on the social media platform where you’re most successful. The blogs that are written for the sake of having a blog are usually uninteresting and not informative.
Blogging requires passion. If you are brimming with ideas to share with your customers, associates and potential clients, this is absolutely the thing to do.
2) How often should blogs be posted?
The answer depends on several factors – your writing ability or budget for a freelancer, the kinds of topics you’d like to cover, and how much time is on your schedule.
If you choose to hire someone, look for a person with their own blog who understands your industry or can become knowledgable about it and share content with your audience in a clear manner.
Try to limit your blog to one post a day. But you can do twice a day, weekly, biweekly or monthly. The frequency isn’t as important as the consistency. Post at the same time and try not to leave large time gaps in between each post. You may lose followers who believe you’ve stopped blogging.
If you choose to do infrequent posts, stay on top of your blog follower list. Keep in touch with them via email in between posts.
Blogging infrequently also creates an opportunity to do create a long, informative post and have time to market this piece of content over a period of days or weeks. Often with daily blogging, that chance isn’t available, as you’ve already moved on and brought your readers with you.
3) What content makes a good blog?
What you should post is only limited by your marketing needs and technology resources. If you have a great video camera or web cam, consider sharing lawn maintenance tips with your customers via video, show your team working on video or make product recommendations.
If you’ve invested in a good smartphone or digital camera, consider creating photo slideshows of your work.
Use Soundcloud or other audio software to create a podcast – talk with clients, landscaping industry experts or discuss changes in legislation affecting the industry. Create an infographic using software like Canva or hire a good illustrator. You can create a tips sheet and link it to your blog.
Text isn’t the only way to create a good blog post.
4) What is the right word count?
This is another decision that varies. There’s not a “minimum” or “maximum” word count like school essays. Generally posts are around 500 to 1,000 words, but there have been successful blogs that thrive on writing long and detailed posts and they are popular and shared numerous times.
5) What’s the next step?
ProBlogger and Copyblogger are two sites that cater to businesses on the craft of blogging. Their posts are driven to challenge, inspire and educate without the need for further research. Hubspot also has numerous tips and advice on blogging as well.