It’s finally happening. You’re starting that business blog you’ve always talked about.
Before you take any steps, understand why business blogs exist and what they can accomplish.
In the words of our own Kali Greff, “A good blog sits at the intersection of insights and topics important to you and what your readers will care about learning.”
In other words, a good business blog, when done right, will connect you directly to your customers, facilitating better two-way communication.
We could throw a lot of stats at you right now, but since you’re here already, you likely don’t need convincing that blogging is the way to go. If you’re still on the fence, however, consider this: according to The State of Inbound 2017, companies that maintain blogs see 97% more inbound links than companies that don’t.
Let that percentage point sink in for a moment.
Given the high rate of return, establishing a business blog really is a no-brainer.
And getting started is a breeze! Blogging requires surprisingly little setup and virtually no lead time: if you decide to start your business blog today, there’s nothing to stop you from starting it today. Best of all, once it’s set up and you’re in the groove of publishing, your blog works as a set-it-and-forget-it side hustle, quietly and consistently funneling traffic to your site while you go about your daily work.
Unfortunately, the deceptive simplicity of getting started has led far too many businesses to jump in with both feet, slapping together a starter post before taking time to consider how to put their best blogging foot forward.
This is a mistake.
Because your first post will set the tone for your company’s future in the blogosphere, it’s worth taking the time to get it right. But how?
For A First Post, Start Small—But Solid
Starting small is okay. Your first post doesn’t need to be earth-shattering. But it needs to be solid.
Resist the temptation to start with a garden-variety “Hello, Blogging World!” post. For one thing, we already know you’re starting a blog. The fact that you’ve written a post proves this. Also, these posts are totally cliché.
More importantly, though, such posts add little value—and adding value is so important.
Starting your blog strong doesn’t mean that you need to lead with a complex, fully-researched opinion piece bristling with impressive statistics and slick iconography. (I mean, you can. You don’t have to, but you definitely can.) Starting strong does mean, however, that you absolutely can’t waste words.
Your first post, then, should have a targeted purpose.
Here are a few good places to start.
- Develop a voice. In your first post, set your blogging mood. Do you plan to offer serious, hard-hitting journalism—or will you skew more chummy and conversational? Your first post sets the tone. Decide with care.
- Highlight a need. Not just any need, either—a need that only you can meet. Posts that point out how your product or service improves people’s daily lives definitely add value.
- Establish authority. Everyone’s an authority on something, even if it’s just your own company. In your first post, you could detail your credentials, delve into your experience, or outline what sets you apart.
- Answer common questions. Don’t overlap with your FAQ page. Instead, answer some questions that you generally encounter any time you have face time with your clients. Posts like these not only add value, but they’re also useful tools for directing people to your site: “You know, I blogged about that recently. Here’s where you can check out those answers.”
Whether you choose from these ideas or decide to branch out in other directions, bear in mind that your first post should break the me-centric mold that often ensnares new bloggers.
While business blogs remind customers of the human element—that there’s a literal face behind the company—you mustn’t let that human element overwhelm the message. The research is clear: blogs that help you hit marketing goals build brand recognition by establishing trust and likability.
And nothing’s less likable than the Me Monster. Make sure yours stays in its cage.
Pick Up The Phone
A good way to think about business blogging is to equate it with turning on a smart phone. When the phone’s off, you have no way of contacting anyone and no idea who’s trying to reach you—if anyone. Only by turning on the phone, keeping it on, and picking up consistently, do you ensure two-way communication.
But remember, frequency of communication isn’t as important as quality. (Think of the needy significant other who calls just a little too often “just to check in.” Don’t be the blogging equivalent of that.)
When it comes to blogging, posting consistently is important; but the content needs to have value and you must set a sustainable pace.
Says the Content Marketing Institute:
“Marketers may believe they need to create more content, more often, to be more successful. But, in fact, the opposite often seems to be the case…[The] goal is not to create more content but to create enough content to influence a desired behavior.”
How much is enough? So much of that answer depends on the particulars of your specific situation. It’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself.
Ask For Assistance
Even if you commit to starting small and setting a sustainable pace, you still might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of building a solid business blog.
The good news is that Verblio’s here to help if you need it.
Not only do we provide practical resources for novice business bloggers, but we’re also available to assist behind the scenes. With over 3,000 U.S.-based freelance writers on our books, we’re confident we have someone on board who can help with your blogging heavy lifting.