More and more small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) are discovering the importance of content marketing for online promotions. This is because content marketing has proven to be a strategic way that businesses can greatly increase website traffic, improve conversions and push brand awareness in a cost-effective way.
However, if as an entrepreneur, you’re running a static catalog-type e-commerce site with the content rarely changing, you might just be sabotaging your content marketing efforts. The wise decision is to include a blog in your e-commerce site to take advantage of the many gains that content marketing can really bring you. It is important that you do this because various marketing researches have shown that companies that engage in business blogging have a definite edge over their competitors. Also adding a blog to your site will save you thousands of dollars in marketing cost.
Here’s a post that details the many gains of adding a blog to your business website. Make sure you read it for details on this subject.
Content Marketing Challenges for SMBs
It’s unfortunate that despite the many gains of adding a blog to a business website, many small to medium size businesses have problems with this. One of the challenges here is finding the time to update the blog. It is definite that many SMBs are sole entrepreneurs while others have a few hands to run the day to day activities of the business. Adding a blog is sure to be an extra work-load. And this is truly a great challenge for many. This is why many business blogs are rarely updated.
Besides this, one other challenge that many face is the that they are not writers. This is a big challenge as it becomes an impediment when it comes to creating quality blog content to keep the conversion going. Of course, every content marketer understands the importance of having a continuous flow of sizzling high-quality web content if you must succeed with content marketing.
But not minding these challenges, if you have the determination and set out to have a good plan for your business blog, you can actually succeed in the face of the challenges. For example, if you consider yourself not a writer, you could hire the services of a professional web content writer to ghost-write your blog posts. Besides, there are career bloggers who will readily offer their services to help you update your blog while you devote your time to other productive activities to move your business forward!
Business Blogging Success Tips
As much as you can hire content writers and career bloggers to keep your business alive, it’s noteworthy that the success of the blog cannot be driven on these external forces. You must take responsibility to ensure your business blog succeed. The following tips will help you stay in control and steer your blog to success.
1. Decide on the Business Objectives Your Blog Fulfill
What are your business objectives? How will a blog help you achieve these objectives?
Getting this right from the on-set is important. Blogging is such an adventure that demands you being focused else you could easily be sidetracked along the way. This is imperative if you are just learning about the exciting possibilities of blogging technology.
So once, you’re convinced that adding a blog to your business site is the right thing to do; your next move should be to align the blog with your business objectives. Ensure that the blog do not become burden but a supplement to your other business activities helping to achieve your business objectives.
This will help you stay focused and keep you from falling into the trap of neglecting other important aspects of your business. it’s also necessary to point out here that laying out a plan for how often you will update the blog, how you will promote it to attract new readers and also to and retain repeat readers, is also very important.
2. Look Before You Leap!
If this is your first time getting involved with blogging then setting up test blogs is a wise thing to do. You may decide to use a free blogging platform like Wordpress.com. Of course, there are many other free blogging platforms out there but using wordpress.com is advisable since the experience gained will be useful once you are ready to switch to your own self-hosted blog. Please note that the self-hosted wordpress blog (wordpress.org) is the most easy to integrate into your business blog.
Using a free blogging platform, if considered, should be for experimental purposes only. This is because using a free service takes the control of your blog from you as the hosting service can pull it down at the slightest reason! Since you already have a domain name and a webhost (at least you already have a business site), adding a wordpress.org blog will not put any extra cost on you except for consulting fees and maybe a premium theme, if you desire such. But the fact is these are negligible.
So, instead of wasting the time with free blogging platforms, get an experienced hand to set up a wordpress blog on your business site right away and then commit to learning the ropes as you go along.
3. Get a Professional Design for Your Blog
You will soon discover that your blog is the entry point of visitors to your business website. With this in mind it is advisable to make the best impression with that first contact. You can do this with your blog’s design.
This is another plus for wordpress blogs. Wordpress.org is an open source CMS platform giving a large army of professional programmers and script writers, the world over, the opportunity to create a plethora of wordpress themes that are available both as free downloads or as paid premium themes.
Using a free theme and customizing it a little may just serve your purpose, but going for a premium theme will give you more customization options and truly set your blog apart from the many others in cyberspace. Your aim here is to simply make the right impression with your blog. Like we have said earlier it is important that you take your business objectives into consideration. So getting a design that matches your company’s identity and objectives will do wonders.
4. What Topics Should You Blog About?
Of course, this should not be a problem since you’ve determined your objectives. You just need to have a line-up of topics you want for your blogs but be sure they are in consonance with your business objectives. Strive to be consistent with your topic all the time. That does not mean you shouldn’t blog about general and unrelated topics that have broad appeal. This could sometimes make your blog more popular.
5. Educate Yourself about The Do’s And Don’ts of Blogging
There are several blogs out there dedicated to teaching people the do’s and don’ts of blogging. Therefore go do some READING! Include in your reading materials blogs that are consumer-based. These can really give you an idea about running your business blog. Remember that legal issues are sometimes involved in blogging; it is safer to include disclaimers and limitations of liabilities. Create blogging policies and schedule updates regularly.
6. Strive To Hold On To Your Readers
One way to do this is update your blog with a regular flow of relevant and fresh content. This will ensure that new visitors are attracted and the repeat visitors find something new to come back for. Your blog content should also have the capacity to excite and intelligently engage the visitor. Avoid outright marketing on your blog or you will shy away your readers. Learn how to make your business blog pull in your readers without necessary being “pushy”. And in all you do, always reinforce your company’s core values. A professional web content writer will readily help you here if, in any way, you think you are not skilled enough to do it.
7. Use the Right Methods to Promote Your Business Blog
Actively promote your business blogs by submitting your blogs to blog directories and the search engines. Your blog is like a booth in the biggest trade show on planet earth. Marketing possibilities are just around the corner waiting to spike your sale scales up. Be sure that your blog contain exclusive information with value and are always updated to keep readers popping in. Use effective keyword phrases to gain high search engine rankings which will help in generating organic search engine traffic. All of these will give you more chances of driving more traffic to your business site and blogs. Of course, more traffic means more potential sales!
8. Listen to Your Readers
Regularly monitor the coming ins and outs of readers. Read their comments, measure your results by what they are saying and if needed, adjust. You can always play with your business blog design as long as it continues to match the company’s identity. Your blog should be used to point of interaction with your readers and potential clients. Build a raving community around your business blog and you will see great results. You can use your blog to gauge the pulse of your customers by running surveys.
You must understand that blogging for business owners has a lot in common with all other types of blogging, but it has its own unique pitfalls and strengths. Review these tips carefully and see how you can factor them into your blogging adventure. Over time the blog will indeed become your most valuable investment in using web content for marketing your business online.
I’ll be glad to know your responses. Share your thoughts and experiences with business blogging in the comments below. I’ll be glad to respond to them.