Let's face facts: there is a huge amount of content out there and it's not that easy to stand out from the crowd when it's extremely crowded. But when you have a business, one good way of distinguishing yourself from the competition is to have a blog on your website. But starting a blog is not worth doing unless you plan to consistently produce something of high quality. Done well, a blog can help increase awareness of your business or brand and drive traffic to your website. Not only could it get shared on social media, it might also cultivate loyalty among your customers. After all, if it speaks to them, they will probably use your service or buy your product again.
Blogging has been transformed in the last 15 years. People mostly started blogs as digital diaries and they tended to have a personal slant. Before long, however, there were blogs about every subject imaginable, from food to fashion. Now blogs are regularly used by businesses as part of their content marketing strategy, because they are a great way of communicating directly with customers or a target audience. But before you put pen to paper or anything into a content management system, you need to think about what makes a good blog.
A blog is a piece of writing and that means it needs to answer two questions: who is this for and why would they want to read it? Always, always have your audience in mind as you write. That is the golden rule. Additionally, you need to find topics that are interesting and relevant to them. The topics you choose will depend on your business and your objectives.
If you are selling beauty products online, you might blog about your bestsellers; you could make seasonal suggestions for your customers; or you could have guest bloggers offering tips for recreating some of the year's hottest looks. All of this content could appeal to the people who come to your website to buy from you. When blogging, it's worthwhile thinking about your brand and how you want it to come across. If your customer base is young, maybe a cheeky, irreverent tone would work best in your copy.
A bank will take an entirely different approach to how they write content. The tone of voice should sound professional and authoritative. When thinking about what kinds of stories to publish, a bank needs to pinpoint why a customer comes to them. Stories about managing finances are a good starting point. For instance, a blog about how to fund a gap year would be of interest to many younger customers, while one about mortgages might appeal to families. Another approach might be to do a series about what entrepreneurs did after securing a small-business loan. Not only would these stories feature people (always good!), but they would be appealing to lots of potential customers too.
The better you make the content and the more relevant to your audience, the more likely it will get shared on social media - and that will eventually increase awareness of your product or business. So, don't make it as bland as dry toast - give it zing. Lift your writing with bold pictures or graphics to make it engaging and readable.
To wrap up, a good blog for your business should do the following:
Be relevant to your audience
Add value to people
Answer questions that your business solves
Be engaging, interesting and to the point
Drive traffic back to your website
Be interesting enough to get shared on social media
Be consistent in tone and published consistently
If you don't feel you can write regularly or aren't sure that your writing is up to scratch, hire someone to blog for you. It's a worthwhile investment when it's done well.