You need to switch it on first…
Image courtesy of tidybay.com
You’ll already know what a blog is. You’re reading one right now. So we won’t patronise you with the usual bumpf about the technical aspects.
We’re going to look at how to use a blog as a cost-effective tool for your business, and how to generate sales leads from good content. We can’t give away all of our secrets, of course – just most of them.
Keep to schedule
Ensuring regular traffic means keeping your blog updated – maybe once a week, twice a week – however many times is suitable for your business. However, over-posting – posting because you think you have to, rather than because you have something to say – can damage your readership just as much as lapsed posting.
Avoid posting irrelevant content, and keep it fresh and interesting, by creating an editorial schedule a few months in advance.
Strong content compels readers to return
Quality is key – your content should represent your business vision, and demonstrate your industry knowledge. If you only use your posts as an extension of direct marketing or to adapt print advertising, you’re doing it wrong.
Provide value: invite industry leaders for an interview, or provide insight into new trends to show your audience that you know your stuff. All of this builds brand trust which, as we already know, is a Very Important Thing.
Keep it short
Any blog above about 800 words is too long. Ideally, you should vary the length of your blogs to between 400-550 words, with the occasional longer post for in-depth content and discussion. Just as visual media needs to be attention grabbing, blogs need to hold all of the information in an engaging and to-the-point way.
Another tip is to break it up: use short sentences, sub headers, numbered lists or graphics to make it easy to read. Consider the devices your blog will be read on – just a PC, a laptop, a tablet, a mobile phone? Make sure it covers all of these devices in a readable format to encourage people to get to the end.
Remember – a blog is an indirect sales tool. Use other industry sources to back up your statistics, or link to other companies in your field who you think provide good examples to illustrate your point. Working with others is a positive in today’s connected world, so make the most of it by seeing the competition as allies instead of enemies. Build trust in your industry as people who know your stuff, and the respect earned from other companies will translate into brand reputation.
Show that you value your customers
Letting people comment on blog posts will give you more of an idea which content they are most interested in, generate discussion on industry topics you could use for future posts, or show you what they want to see from you. Encourage customers to comment with a call to action at the end of each post – a question or asking for comments (it really is that simple).
There are many tools out there which will tell you how your blog is being viewed. These analytical tools are great for finding out which posts are most shared, most viewed, most commented etc. You can discover the best times of day to put up a post, and which platforms are the biggest referrers (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc). Doing these all together will make a huge difference to your traffic and provide a much larger pool from which to generate warmer sales leads.
Get it done
Blogs and editorial calendars can take up quite a bit of time. Sourcing the content, finding relevant links, writing drafts, proofing drafts, setting up to go live, generating traffic through social promotion… it’s not a simple task. The content needs to be of a high quality, produced on a regular basis and promoted through various channels to be successful.
Finding someone on your current team with the time and skills to do this regularly and with efficiency can be tricky. That’s where paying for such a service can pay off. A freelance blogger can deliver the quality content to you, without disturbing your regular working day – and is likely able to do the promotional side of it, too. Using an expert writer means less time is taken for the crafting of each post, while the quality remains high.
And that’s what we can do for you. Just in case you hadn’t guessed yet.