Blogging for Business: How and Why–Made Simple

why and how to start a company blog marketing blogging Blogs–What are they and how do we start one? We were asking ourselves the same questions and have found some simple answers.

It seems every article regarding driving traffic to your website, best utilizing SEO or simply about attracting new customers and creating leads all immensely emphasize the importance of having a blog on your website. But how do you go about starting one? No one tells you that information.

To be honest, having a company blog was something I was unfamiliar with and didn’t begin to know how to go about creating one. After deciding to dive in and finally move forward with creating this thing, I did extensive research on the “why, how, what and when” in regards to posting, content, optimization and the like.

For those of you who are sailing in the same boat of uncertainty pertaining to blog creation, here are a few things I discovered.

And yes, I want to “dumb” this information down to be understandable to everyone, not just the tech and digital savvy individual, because those are the type of people who already know how to create something like this, right?

Why create a blog? Isn’t your website enough?

The answer is no.

A company website can only drive so much traffic. Search engines favor sites that are constantly being updated and are full of new content, images, videos and links.

Everyone already knows for search engines to find your site, you have to employ Search Engine Optimization, aka SEO. There are two types of SEO you must use to make this happen, on-page and off-page optimization. To simplify what that means….

  • On-page optimization: Headers, titles, content–the actual sentences on your page, links, text within the links, title tags, your URL, image alt text, meta description and so on…Basically, just the stuff on your website. Simple as that.
  • Off-page optimization: In the most simple of terms, links on other webpages that drive traffic back to your site. This includes a link to your site being displayed on another party’s website or even others posting links to your site via social media. Having others driving traffic to your site will boost your rankings and put you higher on the search list, which is where everyone is fighting to be.

How does this pertain to blogging? Well, the big thing about having a blog is to drive more traffic to your website through searches consumers conduct on search engines. On-page optimization can be achieved when you’re writing and publishing your blog by using keywords in your content that search engines will seek out. Then, off-page optimization will occur when others sharing or posting about your blog via their website, blog or social media. Blogging allows you to expand your SEO efforts further than your website alone can reach, with little work on your part.

So, why put all this effort into it just to generate traffic that may or may not become leads?

Content and communication. That’s why.

The point of this blog isn’t necessarily to attract customers to our products and services, but to share our knowledge and expertise, be able to communicate better and more often with our audience, become a place people can find information and be able to connect on a more personal or “alive” sort of feel.

The content generated on a blog can be used for social media posts, which saves you the time of planning and creating posts that essentially lead the reader nowhere. Furthermore, this content can be used to keep your customers up-to-date with your current products and services, as well as a resource for information, news and trends. Communication is key to retaining and attracting new customers, therefore, making a blog is an essential part of your strategy.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Wow, great information, but how in the world do I go about starting one of these things?”

I began with research. There are tons of great articles on how to start a blog, how to do the whole SEO strategy, what to post about and how to share it. Now, just take that information and apply it to your business. Every business is extremely unique and your blog will have to be just as unique to align with your goals and branding.

Here are a few things I took into consideration before beginning this process:

  • BRAINSTORM! I did this the old school way–pen and paper, jotting down scatterbrained thoughts.
    • Consider these things:
      • What does your audience want to know more about?
      • What do you want to learn more about?
      • What kinds of things spark your interest (relating to your business)?
      • What do you want people to know about your business?
      • What sets you apart from the rest?
      • What questions can you answer others may not be able to?
      • What is the “tone” or “personality” of your business?
      • When people come to your site, what are they looking for?
      • What information is your website alone lacking?
      • What about your products or services do you want customers to know more about?
  • How much will we post? When companies shove unwanted information into inboxes and on social feeds 24/7, they may find themselves losing followers and likes. It might be effective for some, but I am a firm believer that the overload tactic doesn’t work well with today’s consumer. They may find your company annoying, rather than helpful.
    • Consider your audience
      • If you believe your audience is avidly seeking new information each and every day, you may want to post everyday or even multiple times a day.
      • If you view your audience as the type to occasionally browse the web and check social media semi-regularly, you may want to consider a lot less. You don’t want them to get back from not being online for a few days and have 40 blog posts they missed of yours that they have to (but realistically won’t) catch up on.
      • My advice: Test the waters. Don’t over-do and don’t under-do.
  • Domain for the blog: It is best to use your own website because that is where you want the traffic to be driven. If your URL is “abccompany.com” you want your blog to be “abcompany.com/blog” or something to that effect. We use WordPress, which includes a blogging platform, so that part was easy. There are tons of blogging platforms to choose from, so you need to research which is right for you. Some will let you create your own domain, others won’t.
  • Deciding who your blog will be: The personality of it. Your tone. Your attitude–personal feel or extremely informative. Light-hearted or serious. Jokes or no jokes. You get what I’m saying.
    • Once again, consider your audience. If your audience is seeking information on “how to fix a flat tire”, you may want to skip the jokes and personal touch and provide extremely straightforward, easy to read type of information. If your audience is looking up “how to start a blog” I feel this can be more personal. Make it feel welcoming, yet informative; sophisticated, but easy enough for anyone to understand.
      • Your tone will be completely unique to your business, your services and your audience. It will have to align with your branding, so make sure you think that one through.

company blog how and why to start a company blog blogging marketing

How do we get people to notice our new blog?

Sharing. Share everywhere.

Social: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. You know the sites. Whatever your company uses, ensure your posts are being shared on these accounts. This will get followers to notice your blog and hopefully it will be shared beyond your reach via retweets, favorites, likes and etc. Using hashtags (these guys: #) are essential to direct users looking for your specific type of information directly to your posts. Keep these simple.

If you don’t use social media, emailing a link to your blog, posting links to your blogs on forums or in comments sections of other blogs, sending people a text with a link or even telling people (customers, family, friends, colleagues, the guy in line by you at Starbucks, etc.) that you’ve created one should get at least a few people looking at your posts.

Takeaway: Creating a blog is a lot easier than it sounds. It doesn’t take much time, money or effort.

Although, it WILL:

  • Generate more traffic to your site
  • Inform others about your company
  • Assist in keeping fresh information on your site
  • Help you communicate on new levels
  • Establish a more “alive” feel to your site
  • Give you content to share on your social media accounts
  • Raise more awareness to your social media..More followers, RT’s, favorites, likes, etc.

If you don’t understand something in regards to blogging, Google it. There are so many articles, blog posts, forums and so on that will tell you anything you need to know, usually step-by-step. Stay hopeful, stay hungry for traffic and start writing.