Blogging Strategies For Marketing

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Clients ask me time and time again, “why should I have a blogging strategy?” or “why do I even need to blog for my business?”  These questions are followed up with a “I don’t have anything to blog about.”  You probably know the next statement as well, “I don’t have the time to write a blog post.”  These are all legitimate questions and statements;  how you answer these questions will separate the companies that are generating leads online from the companies that are using their website as an online brochure.

Here are some statistics for blog companies vs. non-blog companies:

  • Nearly 40% of companies use blogs for marketing purposes.
  • Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors.
  • B2C companies that blog get 88% more leads/month than those who do not blog.
  • B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads/month than those who do not blog.
  • 82% of marketers who blog daily, report positive ROI for overall inbound efforts.

Blogging Strategies For Marketing

Why Should You Have A Blog?

The facts above illustrate the effects of a blog on a web presence,  but what does that mean to you?  The basics are simple!   Blog posts create pages on your website that are all searchable content for search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.  If you have blogged about a topic that someone is searching, your website will have a chance to come up on the search results.  This generates a visit to your website, which will, hopefully, turn into a lead for you!

My thought is this is  just one perspective.   This content is also sharable on social networks; that is great news!   If a user finds your blog post informative, they could shareit with their network and drive morevisits to your website!

As users find your blog through search and social sharing, you may be considered as an expert in your field; this builds trust and credibility.  People like to do business with people that can trust and have the expertise to do a great job for them.

What Do I Blog?

This is the biggest stumbling block for most people to start a blogging campaign!    You may look at the blog campaign as a black hole of content, but the simple fact is you have a lifetime of knowledge that may be very useful to many people.  Think about the questions that customers ask you every day and how simple they are to answer for you.  Those are your blog topics!   Those are the things that will bring value and credibility to your customersYou will be an expert in your industry.

Let’s try this first step:

Gather the front line people in your organization, salespeople, for example.  Tell them to keep a journal or note paper handy..  Each time a customer or prospect asks them a question, have the write it down.  Every week, gather the troops and brainstorm.  Have everyone share their questions, find trends and patterns and then answer them.

How Often Should I Blog?

How often you should blog is a hard pill to swallow!  My answer would be to do it every day, although I can’t even keep up with that schedule!  A more realistic schedule for me is 2-3 times per week; yes, it is a lot of work!   If you are just starting your blog campaign, try for a minimum of once per week.  Keep in mind,  a blog post needs to be approximately 500 words to be most effective;  one paragraph doesn’t count!

Creating an editorial calendar will help you as well.  I mentioned an editorial calendar in a previous post, “What Is Inbound Marketing And Will It Help Me?”  Basically, create an editorial calendar on your calendar of choice and list out your weekly blogging concepts a couple months in advance.  Make sure to set up alerts so you will be reminded when your post is due each week.

editorial calendar

If you need a starting point for your editorial calendar, we have you covered.  We have an editorial calendar template you may download as an excel file to get you started.

How To Optimize A Blog Post?

When you are optimizing a blog post, you have two audiences:  optimize for search and optimize for readers.  Let’s look at the difference in optimization for the two audiences.

Search Engine Optimization: For SEO, here is the basic concept to follow.  Build your entire post around one phrase, or in other terms, the theme of the post.  This way it will be natural to use the phrase multiple times throughout the post.  Also, make sure to use the phrase as the title of the post;  this helps to verify with search engines what you are posting.

Optimizing For Readers: When you talk about optimizing a post for a reader, you are talking about an entirely different concept.  It should be both easy to read to scan; many times users will just scan content for the things they find most useful to them.  Here are a few optimization ideas to keep in mind:

  • Compelling images that flow with the content and give visual support
  • Eye-catching titles
  • Format text, breaking it up into sections
  • In text links to supporting articles

How Can You Promote Your Blog Post?

There are tens of thousands of blogs worldwide!   How should you market your blog?  Setting your blog up for success requires a lot of hard work and having great content is the number one step.  Once you have great content, here are some ideas to promote your blog:

  • Find other bloggers and help each other by sharing links between like post.
  • Share your content on social media and ask others to share it as well.
  • Calls to actions and banners on your website highlighting your blog or specific post will be important.
  • Mention your blog in events and presentations at speaking events and seminars.
  • Put a link to your blog in your email signature.
  • Submit your blog to blog directories.

These are only the basics to get you rolling on your new blogging campaign in 2014.  You will learn what works for your business and fine tune your post along the way. For now, work on getting your initial post ideas on a calendar and making them interesting.

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