Many business-to-business websites have adopted blogging as their first tactic to frequently published content for their audience to read and share. These first steps tend to generate fear or a sense of uncertainty and raise a lot of questions about how to do it best. Especially when it comes to measuring the impact of content.
The main guideline you want to follow for blog writing Is to write content that your users want to read. Here are 14 other guidelines to follow to help your team get the most out of their blogging efforts.
14 Guidelines to Follow When Blogging for Your Company’s Website
1: Do not focus on sales content
Your audience is made up of real people who don’t want to be sold too. They are looking for resources and tools to help them be better at what they do. Focus on content that will help achieve their goals.
2: Mix up the types of content
While blogging is a safe choice to get content to your audience, try different types of content such as webinars, whitepapers, or slide decks and see which gets the most traction.
3: Tell a story
Millennials are growing up and becoming influences within organizations. Millennials like brands that tell stories and brands in which their values align with. Use your content to tell your story or a story that your audience can get on board with. But again, don’t make it a sales pitch or better yet, try to mention your brand as few times as possible.
4: Leverage Employees
Use internal teams to create content, but teach them how to write content. Just having content on the site doesn’t mean you’ll succeed. Each member should be skilled in writing for the web or your content should be funneled through an editor for formatting before it goes live.
HOW TO USE YOUR BLOG TO BUILD AN AUDIENCE
1: Begin with a purpose
Each post you write should have a purpose. More importantly, that purpose should be solving a user’s problem or answering a question. This way your post is building trust with an audience by providing them with value.
2: Start a conversation
Blogs are a great platform to start a conversation with your audience. To start a conversation, make an opinion on something and ask for others to provide feedback. You may get a few posts that no one cares to respond to, but eventually, users will start commenting and engaging.
3: Respond To Readers
When someone asks a question, respond to them within promptly, even with, “I’m going to look into this a little more and will be back with an update shortly”. Everybody wants to be heard and when they are you are creating a relationship that can lead to more social engagement or a possible lead.
4: Use images
The world is an increasingly visual world and with a growing rise in mobile usage, reading content is going to become less and less frequent. Make use of visuals and include them in posts.
5: No Brand Mention
Better yet, no bragging. I know this was mentioned in the guidelines but it is important enough to mention again. People aren’t going to find you searching for new updates, they are going to find you by asking a search engine a question and your posts answering that question.
6: Write for the web
Or whatever device you’re planning on your readers using. Make use of headlines, bullet lists, or even reduce the amount of content if needed all in efforts to make a better experience for your readers or just those who want to skim your article.
7: Promote and Don’t just Post and Pray
Posting and praying are just putting the blog live and letting Google find it…eventually. You have to promote it. Use your owned media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Newsletters, etc.) to promote your content while it is relevant.
HOW TO USE YOUR BLOG TO GENERATE LEADS
If your company is aiming to make more leads, encourage your users to subscribe to your blog and or newsletter. You also have the opportunity to offer them a free trial or demo of products or services. Place calls-to-action on blog landing pages and individual posts and a/b test the location on each (header, sidebar, footer, etc).
You can also experiment with pop-ups. While pop-ups can be annoying for some users, there has been researching the effects pop-ups have on bounce rates and subscriptions. The results were that with or without the pop-up the bounce rate remained the same but the subscriptions dropped without the pop-up. So you may receive a few complaints but you could receive more subscriptions.
2: Downloadable Content
Creating downloadable content is another way to generate leads, but not just by creating it and putting them on your site for a free. Put the downloadable content behind a form asking for a name and email address. If you need to collect more information, add it but try to keep the form to a minimum to avoid deterring users from downloading the file.
3: Referral Programs
Another way of generating more leads is providing your users with free content as long as they referred more users to your blog. The referral program would be sent out to your current audience through your newsletter or social media in efforts to gain new followers.
If you want to learn more about starting a blog, check out this great resource, First Site Guide.