How to start and maintain a company blog
26 Feb 2019
Nicola Jackson of Cotswold-based wedding blog Hanami Dream advises how to begin a blog that promotes your business and showcases your expertise
Image: Marvin Tolentino via Unsplash
One of the best ways to enhance your rankings and get your website in front of your target audience is to generate regular new content for your website (which Google loves) and one way to achieve this is by having a company blog on your website. Here are a few steps to take and top tips when starting and maintaining a business blog.
What do you want to achieve?
Firstly, you need to decide on your objectives. Why do you want to write a blog? What do you want it to achieve? How will you measure its success? Start with these big questions and always bring everything back to the answers. If what you’re doing doesn’t fulfil the answer then you need to question whether it is worth doing at all.
Choose your niche
Don’t go too broad. Think about your expertise and stick to what you know. Be a content creator, a journalist in your own field, reporting on your area of knowledge as you see it.
Pick your audience
Think about their age, education, interests, location, gender and occupation. Who do they follow on social media? Visualise them. What problems do they have? How will you be able to help them with their sticking points?
Plan your blogging schedule
Think about how regularly you will blog and try to stick to the same time/day for each post. It is worth the effort to plan your content in advance so you’re not struggling to think of something to write each time. Have a calendar for the year and mark out any special events on it (national, local, industry, your company). Then think of themes for the quarter/month/week so that you can ensure all promotions are consistent at the same time.
Image: David Travis via Unsplash
Pick a topic and title
Will your post answer a problem or provide new insight? Will you be able to solve the issues of your target audience?
Plan and organise
Think about what type of posts you will write. Here are a few ideas to get you started which you may also want to combine:
- how-tos or tutorials
- resources or links
- checklists or to-do lists
- interview or q&a with customers on why they chose your services, what they liked
- real stories
- news (awards, milestones, birthdays)
- mood boards
- guest posts
- blog series or a weekly theme
- diary or 'day in the life of'
- personal experience
- relevant celebrity news or cultural topics (tv shows/film)
- videos (tour of workplace, meet the team etc)
Think of your introduction
You need to grab your audience’s interest straight away and outline what the post will cover.
Read around your subject and add in your own stance on the topic.
Write for your audience
Think about the length of your post. Discussion posts are usually around 300 words to get people commenting; blogs for sharing on social media are often around 500-1,000 words; to get more traffic to your website you’re looking at posts of 2,000 words plus. Break up content with sub-headings.
Image: Jenny Russell via Unsplash
Make the appearance appealing
We buy with our eyes and an image speaks a thousand words so think carefully about the images, font, formatting, tags and meta data that you use in the post.
Call to action
Make sure you think about what you want your audience to do with this post once they’ve read it. What is your ‘call to action’? Do you want them to share, comment, sign up for something, buy etc?
SEO and mobile
You need to consider the keywords you use throughout the post (what are your audience searching for on Google?) and how your post will appear on different devices. Install the YOAST plugin to your website to help with keyword and search engine optimisation. It also gives tips on how to make each post have good readability.
Image: Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash
Make it easy for people to share images (pin it, tweet it, like it) and therefore ensure you’ve tagged the visuals so they always point back to your site.
As well as publishing on your own site, consider pushing your content to other providers (via plugins) for a wider reach.
Promote your blog posts
If you don’t promote your content then no one will know it is there. So the promotional side of things is as important as the content itself. Social media is an amazing way of spreading the word without spending a penny on marketing. There are lots of scheduling tools to help to do this in a timely manner.
Think about what your audience read. What social media do they use? You need to tell people what, where and when you’ve written new content. Consider networking/groups in social media for extra coverage.
Image: Con Karampelas via Unsplash
Link to social media
As well as making your content pin-able etc, make sure your social media channels all link to your blog and vice versa. Plus include links in your email signature.
Link in bios of social media
Change the links in Instagram and Twitter bios to the latest blog post or consider having a ‘landing page of links’ (such as LinkTree etc) so that you can include that link in bios.
It is really important that when you’re promoting your blog to try to attract views from non-followers too. Think about hashtags that your audience would use. Don’t go for hashtags which are too popular or broad as your content will get lost. Likewise, don’t go for hashtags that are rarely used as no one will be looking at them.
Review your content
Check what has worked, which posts have been the most successful (traffic/likes/comments/sales etc). Also check which posts haven’t worked and consider why so that you can amend for future posts.
Learn from your successes/failures and repeat what has worked well.