When your aim is to promote your business or sell your products with a blog, you can’t just decide that a topic would be nice to write about and then get typing.
Instead, you need to research keywords and formatting and solve an actual problem faced by your customers while also telling a story.
In this guide, we’ll look at the key components of writing a successful business blog and how to execute each of them:
Identify your audience
The first thing you need to do is identify your audience. While this should always align with your overall target demographic, you will see the best results by focusing on a smaller segment. For example, if your overall demographic is busy women between the ages of 25 and 45, you may wish to select a segment for your blog such as busy women juggling kids and a career who could save two hours a day thanks to (insert product or service that you’re promoting).
Refer back to your buyer persona when niching down your blog post. You still want to appeal to as many of these factors as possible to ensure that if a qualified lead who doesn’t fall within the segment for this particular blog comes across the content, they’ll still receive value and know that they’re in the right place.
Investigate your aim
Even if you already have a clear understanding of your aim, now is a good time to dig a little deeper.
For example, if your purpose is to bring more traffic to your website, consider how your new blog post fits with the rest of your ecosystem to help guide new leads through the appropriate conversion channels.
If your blog is designed to boost sales of a product, first go back and look over the description you currently have written for that item. Consider your USPs, features and benefits, and how you’re going to convey them in a longform piece without seeming too salesy.
Or perhaps you want to promote an event or call on your audience to join you in a more intimate setting? This type of blog will focus more on exploration and should include details about when the event is and provide an easy way to book, either directly on the blog, or through the shortest funnel possible.
By establishing this information now, you’ll have a clearer idea of what needs to go into your blog, will have noticed any holes that need to be plugged or key points that may have been overlooked, and will have set yourself up for a streamlined optimisation process once your blog is written.
Identify secondary keywords
Although you probably already know what your primary keyword is going to be, secondary keywords are often overlooked. Which sucks. Because they’re gold mines. Say for instance you want to rank for dog treats; that’s a great starting point, but if you really want to get the most out of your new blog, you should also look into including dog biscuits, dog food and dog diet on your keyword list. While they won’t be the stars of the show, they will help support your primary keyword and can help bring in a wider range of qualified leads as your audience won’t always be searching for the exact thing that they’re after.
Research your topic
Even if your blog focuses purely on promoting a product or service that you offer, you should still take the time to properly research your topic. Seeing what others are saying about similar items, and more specifically the problems they solve, can help you work out how you’re going to differentiate yourself and your offerings. This is particularly important in industries where there are multiple versions of what is essentially the same product available, but even if you’re relatively unique and niche, you will still benefit from going into things with your eyes open.
Research your keywords
Now that you’ve identified a list of keywords that align nicely with your primary one, it’s time to dig a little deeper so you can be sure that you come out on top. Look at what’s ranking for each keyword and decide whether it falls under the banner of “competition”. If it does, much like in the step above, make sure you take note of what sets you apart and highlight this in your blog copy.
Plan the blog
Now you’ve gotten the groundwork out of the way, it’s time to get serious about planning out your blog. Approach this step much in the same way as you would have approached essays in high school – identify your key themes and arguments, break them into the appropriate segments, and make sure you have evidence to back everything up. This step may feel tedious, humans are naturally impulsive after all, but by making sure you have a clear framework to expand your blog from, you’ll make writing it a whole lot easier for yourself and ensure that you stay on track.
Write the blog
This step is pretty self explanatory. Simply expand on the plan that you created in the last step and make edits until you’re happy that you’ve got a well rounded piece of content that both converys your message, and serves the reader.
Format your blog
Now you’ve gotten your masterpiece written out, it’s time to format everything nicely, both for your audience, and for search engines. This is the part where you make sure all your headings feature the appropriate H tag, add in any images or other multimedia content you wish to include and make sure that your blog reads in short sharp chunks that allows the reader to quickly skim to a particular paragraph if they’re after a certain piece of information. This is also the part where you complete any further edits that are needed, make sure you’ve got the appropriate keyphrase density for both your primary and secondary keywords and add alt tags to your images.
NOTE: Please do not fall into the trap of keyword stuffing. You want your keywords to appear naturally throughout your text, not be thrown in the readers face. Not only does keyword stuffing destroy your user experience (and probably your credibility) it also gets flagged by search engines and won’t actually provide you with any benefits at all. Also, please use alt text responsibly with your images, yes it is a great way to boost your SEO, but it also exists so that those who can’t enjoy the pictures can still have a clear idea of what’s going on. Please don’t ruin that for them, it’s a bad move ethically and search engines will catch and penalise you for it.
Optimse for SEO
There’s a lot that goes into optimising for SEO, but for the purpose of this guide, we’re just going to focus on the key content related ones that can be easily optimised. You should already have your keywords mapped out nicely, heading tags set and image alt text entered so now it’s time to move on to your SEO title and meta description. The SEO title is what appears in search engine results and doesn’t necessarily have to be identical to the on page title of your blog. As long as they both convey the same message, and clearly explain what your blog is about, feel free to shorten your SEO title so that the whole thing can be displayed if you’re a little on the long side. The other important element to consider here is your meta description. The meta description for a post or page is what appears underneath your SEO title in search results. Ideally, this is one to two sentences long, includes your primary keyword (and a secondary BUT only if you can work it in naturally) and gives the reader a better understanding of what they’ll find if they click through to your site.
Finally, before moving on to the next step, ensure that you have linked to relevant pages within your site. In some instances this may be as simple as sending the reader to your contact page or that of a specific product, but those who have previous established content can start to build an intricate map that links their posts together in a way that is useful for the reader and boosts their standing with search engines.
Write the excerpt
Congratulations, you’re in the home stretch. In most cases, all that should be left to do now is craft an excerpt. Your excerpt is essentially a longer version of your meta description that appears alongside your featured image and blog title anywhere the piece is promoted internally on your site. You don’t have to write an essay here, a short paragraph will usually suffice. Remember to include your keywords and focus on grabbing the reader’s attention while providing an overview of what problems the blog will help them solve.
Polish and post
That’s it! You’re done.
Read over your blog one last time and check that all your formatting and optimisation is correctly implemented. Then it’s time to hit publish.
Writing a business blog can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be hard and the formula isn’t a mystery. Yes, blogging for business takes practice and you can’t run it exactly like you would a personal blog, but if you follow this structure, you should be ok.
Or, if you’d rather not worry about it all, head over to my contact page and fill out the form to discuss how I can help with your business blogs, social posts and more.