In a previous blog post, we highlighted the importance of blogging on a daily basis – which for many businesses is a considerable step-up in terms of volume from what they’re doing now. However, as explained in the above-noted blog, blogging once a day is now the standard best practice, and so it’s not a preference or a choice.
Yet with this being said, it’s just as important to point out that “not all blog posts are created equal!” Some are outstanding; many are acceptable – but most, frankly, are not firing on all cylinders. As a result, businesses are losing customers and ground to their more blog-savvy competitors.
If your business blog is among the (very large) group that currently has a “Needs Improvement” sticker on it, then the good news is that elevating your blogging game is a straightforward process that you can start right now. Here are the 5 rules to keep in mind:
1. Content is King
Each blog post must be relevant to your target audience, and provide them with meaningful information, insight or advice. Fluff and filler are the enemy, and will actually damage your brand and reputation.
2. Quantity Counts
The era of “micro blogging” is over, and taken its 50 and 75-word blog posts with it. Today’s business blogs need to be at least 400 words, but can be as high as 700 or 800. For especially long blog posts, it’s usually a good idea to split it up into parts or a series.
3. Keyword Strategy is Essential
Many years ago – we’re talking a decade or so – business blogs were stuffed with keywords to the point that they were incoherent to everyone but Google’s website scrubbing robot, which, frankly, was too stupid to realize that the post wasn’t fit for human consumption. Well guess what? Google has spent the last few years – and several billions of dollars — making that robot incredibly smart (we’re talking Star Trek smart here). It can now detect with meticulous precision and accuracy when a blog post is little or nothing more than “SEO food”.
The implication of this is that your blog posts must be part of your larger keyword strategy, which includes both the keywords you choose, and how they’re integrated into each post (i.e. where they go, how often they’re used, etc.). Mistakes here can be very costly. Hell hath no fury like Google scorned!
4. You Need a Professional Writer
Doubtless, you’ve written more emails in the last few years than you can remember, not to mention memos, reports and other documents. In fact, if you printed everything out, you’d probably need another office to store it all – or maybe another floor.
However, this doesn’t mean that you, your administrative assistant, or anyone else on your team is capable of crafting professional-grade blogs. We aren’t just talking about spelling and grammar here. We’re talking the approach, structure, strategy, and tone of the content – all of which only a professional writer can command.
Yet with all of this being said, it’s certainly possible that you do indeed have professional writing skills based on your prior experience. Even still, you need to ask yourself whether the ROI makes sense. If it takes you half a day (or maybe longer) to craft a great blog post, is that really a profitable use of your valuable time? Most likely the answer is no, and it’s much wiser to delegate this task; especially since, as noted above, you need to be blogging daily.
5. Have a Plan
Your blog posts shouldn’t be crafted in an ad hoc manner based on what may seem interesting or relevant on a particular day. Rather, you need to develop a plan that covers: buyer personas (fictitious profiles of the people you’re trying to reach), keyword sets, keyword themes, and assets (e.g. ebooks, infographics, webinars, demos, etc.) that you may want to associate with certain blog posts as part of a larger campaign.
As with all good plans, the goal is to create something robust, reliable and realistic, yet at the same time allows you to respond to changing marketplace and target audience dynamics. For this reason, it’s generally a good idea to launch new plans every quarter, though some elements of the plan may stay the same from plan to plan (such as buyer personas, or larger keyword themes).
Your business blog has the potential to be an extremely valuable asset that helps you attract, engage and ultimately convert customers – whether you’re in the B2C or B2B space. Applying the 5 rules above will help you turn this potential into profit, and take your business to the next level!
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