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How to start a blog for your business.
It’s January 27th. Your new year’s resolution at the end of last year was to start that dreaded blog for your business. It’s near the end of the month now, and you still haven’t started. It seems like such a chore. But, you know you need to start blogging; you’ve heard all the success stories from other entrepreneurs about why your business needs a blog and all the other reasons to blog.
You’re not lazy, nor a procrastinator! Well, maybe just procrastinating a little bit when it comes to putting pen to paper, right? But there are so many other higher priorities with the day-to-day running of your business. And, blogs keep getting shoved further down the pile. So, next week/month, you’ll do it…
I hear you. You are not alone. There are 100s of thousands (Possibly millions) of other people (Including me) and exactly like you who understand why blogs are important for business but haven’t got around to starting one themselves.
Hi, I’m Gray, founder and CEO of PagesThatConvert — a web design and digital marketing agency. And this is our first blog piece for our site.
You’re probably wondering why I haven’t been blogging before now? It seems a tad hypocritical, coming from a digital marketing agency that drills the virtues of business blogging into its clients? And you’d be right — I put my hand up to that one —guilty as charged.
Like you, I have a thousand other things to look after and deal with on a day-to-day basis; I just haven’t had the time, if I’m honest. Although I’ve been in this game for a while now, I’ve only ever done it at a freelance or consultancy level with plenty of client work queued up, ready for me to start. I haven’t needed a website and I haven’t needed a blog
Up until now, I’ve been helping other individuals and businesses get off the ground with their technologies, site builds, and launches, and starting them on their journey for online growth and success. PagesThatConvert is a new baby — born in 2020 as a new agency startup. I’ve had my hands full, getting everything else off the ground, building my camp, and housing my tribe. Now I’ve got the core business running; it’s time to practice what I preach.
So, welcome to the first of hopefully many, many more blog posts, giving candid, no-nonsense advice on all things web design and digital marketing related. As our business grows, we’ll share our tips and experiences with you to help you get the most out of your web presence and online growth.
I’m glad you found us, and I welcome you to drop in anytime. Why not subscribe to our newsletter and blog subscription list below. We don’t send spam or share our email lists with anyone else.
Okay, so without further ado…
Why do I need a blog for my business?
Why should businesses blog? That’s an easy one to answer. There are many reasons why every business with an online presence should blog. Here are 9 of them:
1. Your business blog gives your brand a voice.
It’s not only static web pages on your site anymore. An inspirational blog post is a living, breathing, evolving mouthpiece and communication tool for your audience, existing clients, and anyone interested in what you do or you have to say.
2. It allows your audience to communicate back to you and about you.
It gets people talking, either by sharing the excellent content you’ve produced or actually in the blog discussions at the bottom of the blog itself.
A hot-topic blog shared far and wide, which sees a lot of traffic, will also make Google and other search engines happy. When Google is happy with the excellent content you produce, this, in turn, improves your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and you should see your blog post starting to climb positions in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
3. To increase your business’s online profile and searchability.
People often ask me, “Do blogs really make money?” – The short answer – You bet! Put simply, the more you blog, the more you will be found. One of the main reasons to start blogging is to increase organic traffic to your site and your brand’s visibility.
This is significantly more important to new businesses or startups whose sites may not be as mature as the more prominent brands or the larger competitors who’ve been around awhile and are well established with their online presence. You might have a lot of work ahead of you to catch up to the competition, so it’s essential to get going with this as soon as you are able.
4. It keeps your clients and interested visitors or subscribers updated about your business or your industry/niche.
New products or services, emerging industry trends, legislations, innovations, and new technologies – the list goes on… If it’s happening in your business or industry, you need to be shouting it from the rooftops. Why? Well, because you’re an expert in your field.
Clients and prospects look to you for your expert advice and input. So talking about what’s new and trending not only gives you further kudos and credibility in your industry, but you’re also targeting the keywords relevant to the topics which you should be trying to rank your business for.
5. To target keywords that you wish to rank.
It’s no secret that blogging is probably the best tool to target many different keywords you want your site to rank for. It’s excellent for improving your site’s ‘SEO fitness.’ It’s a bit like exercise — the more you do it, the fitter you get. Because blog posts tend to be larger in word count than other static pages on your website, there is so much more opportunity to cover a much broader number of keywords in any one blog post.
However, you have to make sure that the keywords you’re targeting are all on-topic, and the blog piece’s subject or sub-sections should match the search intent for the queries that search engine users type into the search box. (Much more on this in future blog posts, so stay tuned!)
6. To strengthen the overall SEO fitness of the rest of your site.
Hopefully, your blog should bring in a chunk of organic traffic if you’re doing things right. And with a load of internal links in the blog’s content to your site’s products or services pages, you, in turn, pass on some of this SEO ‘link juice’ to the other pages. And there is a chance that you can convert visitors to the blog who were prospects into paying clients while you do this. Win-win!
7. To grow your subscriber email list.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools to convert visitors or subscribers interested in what you do into paying clients. If you produce helpful, relevant content for visitors to your blog, they are more likely to subscribe to your blog or newsletter. This not only opens up a channel to communicate with prospects, but they are prospects who have already expressed an interest in what you have to say or in the products or services that you offer.
Because of the subscribers’ interests in you, they are more likely to convert into clients.
So you can see that with a higher conversion rate here, this is where you can focus more of your marketing efforts.
The great thing about growing your email subscriber list is it’s probably one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions available to any business. You own that list — they are your prospects. They’re interested in what you say or do. So, grow that list.
Nurture your prospects with great advice and fantastic deals with great value. Convert higher percentages into paying clients. Then forge that ongoing strategic partnership, and everyone wins!
8. Educate your audience
Chances are, when you land on someone’s blog page, you’ve been searching for an answer to something. And that blog post you land on will hopefully have the answers to the question you asked or the topic you are researching. At least it will if the blog author understood the search intent of the query and targeted the relevant keywords on the blog post to answer that question.
So this is what you are doing — you’re educating your audience. As an expert in your field, people find you via what you have to say and the advice you can give them. This gives you a chance to deep-dive your content and explanations on a specific topic.
The more in-depth content you produce like this, the more your business or brand will be seen and the more authoritative you become as an expert. And Google loves this, so it also gives your SEO fitness a leg-up.
Everyone uses social media these days. It’s an excellent technology for sharing your published blog articles. And if you write something of interest and it turns into a hot topic, it’s a quick and easy way for others to share that article with their networks. Boom! You can go viral before you know it!
Okay, so there are nine reasons why your business needs a blog, and hopefully, I’ve given you some inspiration to get going with yours.
What do I need to start blogging?
First off, you need to have a website platform that allows you to create blog post articles. WordPress is perfect for this and if you are worried about messing up the rest of the site because you are not a web designer, fear not! Your webmaster or hosting provider should be able to give you access to the platform at a level where you can’t do too much damage to the rest of the site if you screw things up.
Once you have access to the platform and understand how to create, edit and publish posts, you can get started. Well, you can get started before you have this. Just start typing your content into your word processor application of choice. This blog post was created in Google docs, and then I just copied and pasted my final edit into the WordPress platform once I was happy with it. With some creative formatting and some media, it’s a polished product ready to go live and be published. Start rolling the press!
Where can I get inspiration for my blog articles?
Well, most ideas come to me at the strangest of times. Sometimes in dreams — it’s not uncommon for me to wake up in the small hours and start scribbling ideas down. But more often than not, when I’m working on something else or interacting with my clients. So I keep a list of potential blog topics, and I add to that list when a Eureka moment comes.
Remember the point above – blog articles educate your audience most of the time. So when a client or prospect asks you questions about things they don’t necessarily understand, that’s fuel for a blog piece right there.
Then, if the question arises again in the future, you already will have produced content that you can link to and share.
Sometimes, you can get a bit of writer’s block and wonder what to discuss. You might have decided on a prominent blog topic and title, but you’re wondering what makes a good blog piece and what should the content and body of the post include? It happens to professional bloggers all the time. Fortunately, the internet is here to help. But typing in “inspiration blogs” won’t cut it. Instead, type in your topic, blog title, or the questions that your blog hopes to answer into your search engine. There will likely be other blog posts on the same or similar topics, so you can see what others are doing and gain your inspiration from those.
What should I write on my blog?
I’m not suggesting you copy what others are doing. However, when you’re thinking, “What should I post on my blog?” you should read other articles and understand what information is already out there in the public domain. And then look to produce your version of the content, take or opinion piece on the topic.
Only try to do it better and satisfy that user search intent with better content and more profound explanations. Give your readers a richer experience than what the other top article says or does. Give them videos, tools, calculators, infographics, pie-charts, graphs, Venn diagrams (I bet you thought you’d never use those when you were at school.), comparison tables, citations, interviews, case studies, etc.
People love to read about stats and share them. So include them where you can with links back to the sources of the information from your research. This makes your content more credible and increases your authority on the topic. Also, Google loves this and will reward you.
And don’t forget to link back to your products, services, and other blog articles you have produced. After all, that’s where you want to drive the traffic visiting you in the first place.
Check it before you publish it!
Then recheck it. Then get someone else to read it. Then add some final edits or changes. Then check it again!
There’s no denying it; blog writing can take time and effort. And it can be a lonely place. It’s not unrealistic to be sat over the keyboard working on the latest masterpiece for hours or even days at a time. But, because you’re investing your time with it and need it to be a credible source of information, it needs to be an example of your finest work. So don’t churn it out, and f**k off early, as some of us Brits like to say!
I’d strongly recommend using a tool like Grammarly to check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Even if you’ve got an English major, or bachelor’s first in English literature, you’ll probably be surprised at how much tools like this can improve your sentences or words by running the copy through before you hit that publish button.
The take home message
Now you know why your business needs a blog, and hopefully, I’ve given you a few insights on how to start a blog to promote your business. Everyone has to start somewhere. Kind of like me and this blog post you are reading now.
Don’t be put off if you don’t start to see results immediately with a surge in traffic to your site or increased conversions on sales. It’s a slow burn process—a marathon, not a sprint. SEO can be nuanced, and it’s a long game that can take months or even years before your new page or domain ranks well for the keywords you are trying to target.
Additionally, your industry may be saturated and competitive, making things even slower and harder to rank. Just stick at it. Quality, regular, in-depth, and frequent content production is the key. Don’t sweat so much on the SEO stats and metrics too much when you first start out. Your enthusiasm will only wear down if you don’t see a quick win. Instead, focus your energies on the quality content via keyword research and content strategies, then the rest will fall into place.
There are also other SEO ranking factors, which we’ll discuss in other blog post articles which can affect your positioning in the SERPs. But as a business owner, quality content creation should be your main focus when starting out. The other stuff you can start to look at when you gain a bit of traction with your content.
If you’re reading this and ready to start your blog, check back in here every while. You can pick up many hints and tips from us to assist your blogging journey. We can ride together. See you at the top!
If you need help with any of it, like web design, SEO consultancy, or keyword research, please get in touch with us. We’re here to help, and we’d love to hear from you.