At this point and time, blogging has been around for nearly 20 years—since 1994 to be exact. While it was initially something people did to publicly share their creative writing, it has since grown into a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In this blog post, we discuss why blogging for business is useful and many foolproof ideas and resources to help you craft the best possible blog posts for your brand.
The benefits of blogging for your business
There are many benefits to having an active corporate blog, although arguably the main advantage is to increase your business’s visibility on the Internet. Corey Wainwright of HubSpot talks about seven benefits of blogging for business and marketing:
1. Helps drive traffic to your website.
Every time you publish a new blog article on your website, it provides you with an additional opportunity to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) and direct traffic to your website. Regular business blogging also tells Google and other search engines that you have an active site that should be checked regularly for new content.
2. You can reuse the blog content for use in social media.
Creating original, interesting and worthwhile social media posts on a daily basis can become quite a challenge. One surefire way to help create content and increase website traffic is to promote your blog posts on your company’s social media platforms. Every link to your business blog that you post on social media has the ability to share across the different social networks of your followers. This can help new audiences discover your website.
3. It helps convert traffic into leads.
When you blog for business, every new post helps convert website traffic into new leads. This idea is really very simple. At the end of every blog post there should always be some kind of call to action; Something you want the reader to do after completing your article. Often times this will be an invitation to connect with your business in one way or another. This call to action should be linked to a landing page that invites the reader to fill out an information form to contact the company or to receive some kind of free offer. The more people follow this call to action, the more chances you have of converting traffic into positive leads for your business.
4. Establish yourself as an industrial authority.
Most business blogs regularly attempt to answer questions they feel readers and customers may have. Not only is this beneficial to consumers, but it also puts your brand in the best possible light by establishing yourself as an industry leader. Readers will begin to see your work as an activity that consistently provides useful information to its audience. This practice goes a long way in creating trust between your company and the consumer, and trust goes a long way in business relationships. It’s what makes the consumer return to your brand and increases the likelihood of them sharing or recommending your products or services to those they know.
5. Blogging helps build links.
Building backlinks, or links to your website from another site, is an essential part of search engine optimization, but it can also be one of the most difficult parts because it requires action on the part of others. Continuous business blogging provides opportunities for others in your industry to link to your content. The more you post, the higher the chances of creating incoming links. Without a lot of content, this part of SEO would be sorely missing.
6. Leads to long lasting results.
The beauty of business blogging is that your blog posts have the potential to continue to bring traffic to your website long after they are published, especially with evergreen posts. While most of your traffic may be in the first few days a blog post is published, once it ranks well with search engines, it will still be something people come across when searching for content. This is why it is important to revisit old blog posts from time to time and edit them to stay current. Reviewing posts doesn’t have to be a time-intensive effort. It can be as simple as replacing old links and adding new information that matches the current climate.
7. It helps you to share company news.
One final way that business blogging can be useful is that it gives you the opportunity to share exciting company news with consumers – big or small. This humanizes your brand, builds trust, and helps your audience see that you don’t always care about selling a product or service. As an added bonus, blogging about company news is usually much easier than writing about other types of content!
Practical ideas and resources for successful business blogging
It is clear that blogging has many benefits for your business. But what happens if you are not comfortable enough with your writing skills to share with the general public? Fortunately, writing is a skill that can be developed and improved with every piece of content you create. For those who struggle with writing, here are some resources and ideas to help you along the way. With a little help, you can turn your blog posts into something you feel confident about and worth sharing with others.
1. Take advantage of Grammarly.
Grammarly is one of the best blogging resources (well, any kind of writing really). It is a free AI-powered writing assistant that helps you create clear and error-free writing. It not only fixes grammatical and spelling errors but also guides you with style and tone suggestions as well. Plus, the Grammarly blog is a great resource for any type of writing question you might have.
2. Read your writing out loud.
While this isn’t a specific blogging resource you can use, I find it one of the most useful things to do when writing – especially when editing before publishing. Reading your writing out loud is the easiest way to find repeating words, omitted words, and sentences that readers may encounter. While it may feel silly while you’re doing this, it really is the best way to work on your writing. It puts yourself in the shoes of the reader, and as an added benefit, it’s free!
3. Use a blog idea generator.
For some people, coming up with an idea to write about is just as difficult as the writing itself. Fortunately, there are some blogging resources to help with that. One of these is the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator. With this free tool, you can enter names related to your business and industry and receive many blogging ideas for the week. It’s a great way to de-stress from regularly creating content for your website, especially if you struggle with writing in the first place.
4. Use Headline Studio.
If you are like me, finding a title for your blog posts for some reason is one of the most difficult tasks. Headline Studio from CoSchedule helps you create headlines for your business blog posts that are guaranteed to attract readers. It analyzes and scores your headlines and offers suggestions on how to improve them to increase traffic, engagement, and SEO rankings. I’ve found that after using it a few times, I’m better able to come up with high score titles without much help from an analyst.
5. Refer to the method guide.
Finding the right rules for writing your business blog posts can sometimes be difficult. There are conflicting recommendations for spelling, grammar, use of words, and punctuation depending on which style guide you choose to use for your business. A style guide is a set of writing conventions (or rules) for a particular industry, brand, or project. While there are many style guides out there (and your company may create their own home style), the first four are:
- The Associated Press Stylebook (AP Style): Typically used in journalism, blogging, and content marketing.
- Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS): Often used in commercial and academic publishing.
- American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Guide: Used primarily for scholarly and journal writing.
- Modern American Language Association (MLA): Most used by writers and journals in the humanities.
Each style guide contains a book that is updated every few years. Since these guides tend to be quite bulky, I suggest subscribing to your online style guide. Although there is a fee associated with this, it has the most up-to-date information and most of it includes an “Ask the Editor” section where you can submit a question or read the questions and answers provided by others.
6. Consider investing in a stock photo plan like 123rf.
This resource is not intended for writing, but something that will help you make your business blogging more successful. Blog posts with images perform much better than those without images. Finding image content that you can legally post on the internet can sometimes be difficult; However, 123rf is a stock stock website filled with royalty-free photos, images, and videos. There are fees associated with this site, but there are several plans you can sign up for depending on how often you plan to use them. Since companies that perform better on a regular basis, a subscription plan on a site like 123rf will provide you with a wealth of images to help your blog succeed. You can also check out the plans on iStock and Getty Images.
7. Create your own images with Canva.
Canva is another blogging resource that you can use to add images to your posts. As with 123rf, this is not a writing resource, but a resource for adding images to your blog posts. Canva has both paid and free plans that allow you to create high-quality images for your own use. For those who are a little hesitant to create something original, there is a large variety of templates that can be used and edited to suit your own purposes.
Anyone can be a writer with the right ideas and resources. While stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult and excruciating at first, especially if writing isn’t something you enjoy, making a move to start blogging for business can help your company drive traffic to your website, and turn that traffic into Leads and establish yourself as an authority in your field.