Content marketing can be a powerful tool for all types of small business owners, and a blog is one of the best ways to leverage content. The idea of starting a business blog from scratch may be a bit intimidating, but it doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience, and the benefits of starting a business blog can make the process worthwhile. Here are 12 tips for getting started with a business blog and making it a success.
1. Post Consistently
There are no defined rules when it comes to posting frequency. Whether you post once a week or every day, the most important factor is that you blog on a consistent schedule.
2. Provide Relevant, Useful and Valuable Information
The more useful the information you post, the more readers you will attract and the more likely they will become regular readers.
3. Ask for and Respond to Comments
Make a point to invite your readers to weigh in and share their opinions in your comments on every post. And when they do have something to say, acknowledge their comments, even when their viewpoint differs from your own.
4. Have a Focus, but Be Willing to go Off-Topic
It's good to have a clear focus when it comes to your blogging topics, but too much of anything can be a turn-off. Be willing to introduce new topics or a new way to look at a common topic to add interest and increase engagement.
5. Make It Easy to Subscribe
If you want your readers to continue reading, put your subscription options in an easy-to-find place. You can also attract more subscribers by offering multiple options — access to the RSS feed and a post-by-email option are popular choices.
6. Promote and Share What You Write
Don't expect your readers to catch every single post you write unless you're reminding them that your blog exists.
Share links to your blog in social media, on your website, in your newsletters and even in your email signature and encourage people to click through.
7. Mix Up Your Format
If you typically write long all-text posts, try mixing in a few shorter posts or adding images to see if it changes your pageviews. You can even consider throwing in an occasional video post to add a new level of interest.
8. Have a Point of View
Sometimes, all it takes is a little controversy to get your blog on the map. Don't be afraid to take a stand on a hot topic in your industry, and then encourage discussion in your comments.
9. Make It Easy to Read
Use sub headings, bullets and other formatting wherever appropriate to make it easier for your readers to skim and zero in on the most important information in your posts.
10. Self-Edit or Find a Proofreader
It can be difficult to catch errors as you write, so try writing your posts a day or two ahead and then coming back to read them again with fresh eyes. Or, if possible, ask a colleague to proof your posts for you to make sure they are error-free.
11. Share a Little Bit of You
Your business blog may be about business, but that doesn't mean there isn't a place to mention your personal life and experiences.
Many times an anecdotal post can attract a new type of reader, and give your consistent readers a peek at a new side of you.
12. Think of a Marathon Instead of a Sprint
It takes time for a business blog to build momentum, pull in readers and create a loyal following. Be patient and try not to get discouraged if the progress seems sluggish. Slow, steady and consistent wins the race when it comes to blogging.