Too often business owners start blogging in the hope that it will drive traffic to their business, only to quickly fall into the trap of posting stale or sales-heavy content that gets no or few views. Then they become frustrated and either blog less frequently or abandon their blog, wondering why they bothered.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Business blogs, when done right, can help businesses (of all sizes) attract potential customers – and increase sales. Just follow these simple tips from SMB and blogging experts.
1. Think about and write for your target audience. “Think about the audience you are trying to attract to your blog and share content that is relevant, interesting and valuable to that specific demographic,” says Arsineh Ghazarian, cofounder & CEO, Zveil.
“What are their most pressing questions and what information do you think they would find most helpful?” adds Shawn Graham, founder, Deep Varnish, a strategic marketing consulting firm. “Every post should provide interesting and relevant content and be written with your target audience in mind. If you’re not sure what questions they have, just ask! Doing so creates an opportunity to have a conversation with your readers and that’s ultimately what’s going to keep them coming back.”
2. Create a click-worthy headline. “Think of a headline as a billboard,” says Vincent Scatena, CMO, IMP Corporation, a supplier of new-surplus & used power generation equipment. “If [it’s] eye-catching [enough], people will click [on it] and read your blog. Simply put, the headline is your first impression. Our headlines have gotten us enough attention to be cited on major news outlets. I’m not saying you should put all your focus on headlines—having appropriate content is just as important—but it opens the door.”
3. Skip the jargon – and the sales pitch – and use a friendly, conversational tone. Write as though you are having a friendly, yet professional, conversation with your readers, keeping in mind that many of your readers may not know, or like, industry lingo. And even if they do, they probably don’t want to read something loaded with jargon.
Similarly, your blog posts shouldn’t all read like ads for your product or service.
“Hard sales pitches are a surefire way to ensure a high bounce rate and encourage visitors to look elsewhere for the information and services they need,” says Andy Lindus, COO, Lindus Construction.
4. Answer your customers’ questions.“Ask your sales team and customer service reps which questions are asked again and again and write posts that answer those questions,” says Julie Graff, social content liaison, Pole Position Marketing. “These are also the types of things [people] are typing into search engine queries, so this will help you gain some SEO traction. Not only that, but you will be providing truly useful information your audience will enjoy and appreciate. Doing this also helps establish you as an expert in your field, so even if searchers aren't ready to buy now, they will remember you when they are.”
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.