Businesses know the importance of content marketing in creating brand awareness, lead generation and boosting conversions rate. With content businesses can attract their target audience by providing them with relevant information they are looking for. Content helps brands build credibility and trust with their audience. Content is especially useful for B2B companies to reach and build valuable business relationships with their target buyers. According to DemandMetric, 59% of B2B marketers consider blogs the most valuable channel. In addition, companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog.
Audiences prefer relevant content over any other form of advertisement. DemandMetric states that 70% of people prefer learning about a company through articles rather than advertisements. Many companies are adapting blogging to attract quality leads to their website and increase brand awareness. If you are planning to launch your own blog, then this article will be helpful. In this article, we will look at how to start a blog and some best practices that can generate successful results.
How to Start a Blog?
Select a blog topic
The first step is to identify what type of topics you want to write on. The blog topics you choose should be relevant to your product or services and industry. It should educate your audiences in a way that they are more curious to explore your business. You can also write about news and updates in your industry. Your blog will discuss a specific topic relevant to a broad topic. You need to choose topics where you can discuss something specific that your audiences want to know more about.
Think about your target audiences and determine which type of topics they may be looking for. Keyword research can help you generate many ideas for your blogs. Keywords are search terms that your audience uses to find certain information. By using the right keywords, you can reach people who are looking for that specific information. When deciding your topics, the important thing to consider is the purpose of your blog. Consider how your blog topic will help your audiences. Does your blog align with the interests of your target customers? Is it addressing the pain-points? How useful it is in solving their problems? Answering these questions can help you stay on track and focus on topics that are important.
Design your blog
Design plays a key role in enhancing user experience. Along with quality content it is also important to focus on the design to keep the users engaged. Your blogs should align with your brand images. When it comes to design there are some elements you need to take care of. The first is the layout of your blog. The layout should be clean and simple without looking cluttered. Use white space strategically so that the text looks breathable. Another important element is the structure of your blog. The topics and subtopics should be clearly defined with bold fonts, headings, and color. This makes it easy for the users to read your blog and to know what is important.
Next, choose your fonts and colors to align with your brand image. Fonts should be legible and appropriately sized. The color scheme used should be pleasing to the eyes. Lastly, use high quality images and videos in your blog. You can also use free or paid themes for your blogs depending on which host you use. For example, HubSpot offers free and paid blog template options which you can customize as per your business.
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Decide who will manage your blog
You will need to appoint a team member to write the blogs. However, writing is not the only responsibility that this person will have. There are other aspects of blogging that need to be taken care of. Here are the responsibilities related to blogging:
- Keyword research
- SEO or search engine optimization
- Updating and managing blog content
Depending on the resources you have or how big your marketing team is, you can find an individual who can take care of these responsibilities. If you don’t have a marketing team then you can outsource the task by taking help from an agency or a hired content creator.
Come up with a blog schedule
When planning your blog, determine how frequently you are going to publish articles. According to Orbit Media, 44% of bloggers report publishing new blog content between three to six times per month. Consistency is important when it comes to creating successful blogs. Create a schedule and plan how often you are going to post. Posting blogs regularly is a great way to keep your audience engaged. Posting blogs regularly can help you generate more website traffic.
Create a content calendar and plan a schedule to publish blogs on various topics. A content calendar can help you stay on track and publish without missing out.
Use relevant CTAs
CTA or call to action buttons are a great tool to help users convert. These links lead the users to other pages which contain relevant content or any offers. CTAs encourage users to take next steps instead of the blog being just a dead end. For example, if you are offering a free e-book for download, you can add a CTA in the blog content that leads users to the relevant landing page.
Create CTAs that are easily visible to the users. Do not overuse CTAs in your blog as it can interfere with their reading. Place CTAs strategically so that users can see it and would want to engage with it. The CTA should be relevant with the blog’s content. This can encourage users to explore more about certain topics.
Analyze blog performance
After you launch the blog remember to keep tracking its progress. To start measuring your progress first identify the metrics that are useful for your business. These metrics often relate to your goals. You can use platforms like Google Analytics to track the performance of important landing pages. Look at your page views, number of referrals, conversions, bounce rate etc. Also, analyze which blog topics get more page views. In addition, track how your blogs rank on search engine results pages.
Tracking your blog performance is important as it will help you find out what your audience preferences are. You can make improvements to your content based on the results you track. If you see that you have not reached your desired goals, you can make changes to your existing content strategy to help you drive better results.
Best Practices for Blogging
Now that we discussed how to create a blog, let’s look at some best practices that can help you perfect your blogs.
Refer to your buyer personas
Before you start selecting your blog topics it is important to look at your buyer personas. Buyer personas help you understand your target customers better. It is important to incorporate these insights when you plan your blogging strategy. What are your customers searching for? What are their interests? What are their pain points? How can you educate them about your industry, products, or services? All these questions can be answered with the help of your buyer personas.
A successful content strategy is the one that is customized for the target audience. Hence, when planning your blog topics use buyer personas to know how you can engage your audience. Buyer personas can also help you in your keyword research.
Don’t have a buyer persona? Here is a guide on how you can build your buyer persona.
Optimize your blog content
When you create a blog, you need to ensure that it is ranking well on the search engine results page or SERP. If your blog is not on the first page of the search engine results page, you are not going to get enough traffic for it. Hence, to ensure that your blog reaches your target customers you need to optimize it. Optimizing your blog content is a part of SEO or search engine optimization efforts. SEO helps your blog rank well on SERP and helps you get more organic traffic.
Ensure that you optimize your blog content with the targeted keywords. Use these keywords in the title, URL, meta description and throughout the text. However, don’t overload your blog with excessive use of a keyword. Instead use keywords strategically that helps maintain the organic flow of your blog.
Add internal links
Adding internal links is another element of SEO. Google indexes your web pages before it appears on SERP. Internal links make it easier for Google bot to go through all the relevant web pages and index them. Internal links are hyperlinks that take users to another one of your web pages. You can use these links to give users more information on a specific topic. When Google looks at how you have provided more information about a certain topic it adds to your credibility. It gives you a chance to improve your search engine rankings.
Use relevant links in your blogs that give readers more information relevant to a topic. This way you can boost user experience as well as your search engine rankings.
Distribute your blog content
Most businesses use social media to create brand awareness and generate leads. When you create a blog, it makes sense to distribute your blog content on social media. It can help you generate more traffic for your blogs. Once you publish a blog, distribute it on your social media channels so that more people can access it. Sharing your knowledge and expertise on social media helps you to establish yourself as a thought leader. You can also sponsor your posts so that it gains more impressions. B2B businesses using LinkedIn can take advantage of LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Group is a great place to share your blogs with like-minded professionals who will be interested in your content.
On social media you can also use hashtags (#) to target a wider group of audiences. By using hashtags, you increase the possibilities of your post showing up for certain topics. This can help you reach more audiences outside of your follower list.
Infographics are a great way to convey information that can seem a lot. These visuals make it easy for users to understand your content. You can use infographics for statistics, certain ‘how to’ topics and more. According to Venngage, 40% of content marketers say original visuals, like infographics, perform best in their articles. Incorporate infographics to make your blogs more engaging and interesting.
A part of managing your blog is updating them often. For example, you can update statistics that may be outdated. Or incorporate certain news or updates that have come up in the present year. Updating your blogs keeps it fresh and relevant. Users want current information and sometimes old blogs can discourage them from engaging with your content. Keep your blogs updated to add any new and relevant information to it.
In addition, you can perform an audit to identify which blogs have not been optimized for SEO. If you have blogs that are not optimized, then definitely update them by using relevant keywords or adding internal links.
Blogging can seem like a challenge for many businesses who do not have a content strategy planned. Many of them can also be skeptical about investing in blogs. As we have seen in the facts above, blogging is a useful tool for many businesses to improve their ROI. It can help you reach your target customers and build trust with them. Having a blog shows your users that you are an expert in your industry. It improves the credibility of your website as well as your business when you establish yourself as a thought leader.
If you are planning to start your blog, the tips discussed above can help you out. Using these strategies, you can get started in the right direction to build a successful blog. The success of your blogs depends on how well you understand your target market. Focus on writing on topics that provide value to your audience. Blogs can take time to show results but in the long-run they contribute to the success of your business.
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