It’s OK for C-suite professionals to use their Rolodex to generate more business, but they may be working harder than they need to.
It’s time to look to the Internet, specifically search engine optimization. Getting to the top of the Google search is a surefire way to receive reliable leads, so how do you get there without paying a cent?
Cue the almighty blog.
Blogging is everywhere nowadays, from lifestyle/“mommy” bloggers explaining the benefits of gluten-free pasta and DIY picture frames to travel junkies writing about conquering their wanderlust. The practice is a sacred art in marketing. It’s one that can be overlooked by companies searching for immediate satisfaction, and it can be taken advantage of by anyone who has a lot to type, but we’ll get to that later.
Here’s how to master the art of blogging:
- Know your audience.
It’s cathartic for a lot people to write. You just want to put all of your thoughts and feelings on the Internet. However, I suggest you don’t do that. Take a step back from the keyboard and really think about whom you’re talking to and why. Who’s your target audience? Should your readers already know industry jargon and abbreviations? What’s your voice?
- Write easy-to-digest content.
Skip the superfluous language, Shakespeare. It’s all about writing a blog that is easy for search engines and readers to digest. This creates high quality content through optimization, including long-tail keywords, internal and external links, and more.
- Stay relevant and timely.
As I’m writing this, we’re in the midst of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Will this be relevant next year? Nope.
My point is that when blogging for business, it’s important to remain relevant, timely, and relatable. Think about it:
Is this topic relevant right now? Your content should absolutely be relevant, or people have no reason to read it. Evergreen blogs like basic how-tos and other educational content never go out of style. You can also channel your reader’s nostalgia, or use today’s headlines, which brings us to the next question.
Will this blog be posted in a timely manner? If you’re utilizing the news for inspiration, make sure it’s posted within a timeframe when people still recall the event, then link it to your brand. One of my favorite examples is from LinkedIn when they penned this timely piece that somehow connected to their service: 5 Things Recruiters Can Learn From the Birth of the Royal Baby – and it worked.
Is my content relatable? If you’re a travel agency, write The Ultimate Destination List of The Bachelorette Getaways or How Not To Be A Part Of Shark Week. You’ve referenced something recognizable and related it back to your niche. It’s a win-win.
- Do not post daily.
First-time bloggers typically make the No. 1 mistake of writing content every day, including weekends. Typically, it’s because they’re enthusiastic about their work, and while there’s nothing detrimental about being excited, try to curb your eagerness to posting weekly – at least to start. Increase the frequency to a maximum of 2 to 3 posts per week as your readership grows.
- Use images.
Photos (or GIFs, which are my personal favorite) bring your words to life by visually illustrating what you’re talking about. It also gives readers a sense of your brand and gives you the chance to develop a cool watermark for pictures.
- Post it everywhere.
Utilize social media, email, and every other source of online marketing to post your blog. You can finally make good use of those share buttons.
So, there you have it. That’s who, what, when, where, and how to blog. Now that we’ve given you the basics, go out and crush the marketing world.