How to Start a Business Blog

By Rhonda Bradley / 11 June 2018

Learn how to start a business blog that improves your traffic and conversions. Fine tune your SEO, establish authority, and improve your conversion rates with these business blog tips. 

Launching a blog can help take your business to the next level. A business blog can:

  • Improve your rankings in the search engines.
  • Establish authority in your industry.
  • Improve your lead conversion rates.

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the important points of starting a blog for your business, including:

  • Reasons to start a blog for your business
  • Search engine basics for business blogs
  • Content planning for business blogs
  • What to learn before you begin writing

If you haven’t started a blog for your business yet, this guide will prepare you to launch a successful blog that’s worth your time and financial investment.

Reasons to Start a Blog for Your Business

Blogs help drive traffic from your social channel to your site, where they hopefully subscribe to your email list. This is the only way to truly “own” your audience.

Social platforms are great for promoting your content, but they’re not a reliable way to maintain your audience. On social media, policy updates and program changes leave you vulnerable to losing your audience without warning, because you don’t own any of the data associated with your followers.

So, it’s important to do everything within your power to convert your followers into email subscribers. A blog is one of the best ways to make that happen.

For example, entrepreneur and author Seth Godin includes an email capture form on the front page of his website.

Example of lead capture form

It’s common to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list or blog before promoting your product. This way, you’re able to continue nurturing sales if they don’t purchase during their first visit.

Search Engine Basics for Business Blogs

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a big reason why companies are willing to invest their time and money into a business blog.

By preparing your content for search engines, you improve the chances that your business will be listed higher in search engine rankings.

More than 70% of all online searches are done on Google and more than 90% of all mobile searches are done on Google. 

For this reason, marketers focus their time and effort on ranking in Google.

Much of your success in the search engines relies on how well you optimize your blog and its posts. SEO extends to every facet of your blog, including:

  • Website structure and speed
  • Metadata (information you give to search engine robots)
  • Readability and formatting of your blog posts
  • Internal and external linking
  • Content themes and structure

Investing your time into learning about how SEO works and how you can apply it to your blog is well-worth your efforts. To get started, read a handful of current articles. HubSpot is a good place to familiarize yourself with basic SEO concepts.

Next, take a class on SEO from an industry leader like Moz. They offer a free comprehensive course on search engine optimization for beginners.

Moz SEO course

Google changes its algorithms constantly, so keeping up with the changes is important to your success.

Luckily, you can stay current in about a half hour a week. Here’s how:

  1. Follow Google’s blog for SEO-related topics.
  2. Watch the new video posted at Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays once a week. Their archives are also one of the best sources to turn to when you have SEO-related questions.

Whiteboard Fridays are also a great example of outstanding blog content.

Moz Whiteboard Friday

Their content stands out because they’re able to pack a lot of detail into blog posts that are fun to watch and read, and easy to understand.

As a blog owner, your responsibility is to familiarize yourself with SEO, but not to become an expert. SEO is a complex topic and, for the most part, requires a full-time commitment to master.

Here are the most important aspects of SEO to understand:

  1. Keyword research and tools
  2. Keyword usage
  3. Readability
  4. Formatting
  5. Mobile responsive design
  6. Content strategy and planning
  7. Rich snippets
  8. Alt tags for your blog images
  9. Image compression and optimization

When it comes to getting your business found in the search engines, think in long-term strategy.

It takes time to rank and it takes time to see the results of your efforts. The businesses that succeed do so because of a serious commitment to publishing quality content on a consistent basis.

Content Planning for Business Blogs

Planning your content in advance is a key indicator of your success as a business blogger.

Plan Your Content Around Topic Clusters

Plan your content around topic clusters. The topic cluster approach is one of the key paths to SEO success, and also keeps your readers onsite longer.

Topic clusters are a content planning strategy that focuses on topics over keywords. A topic cluster contains a “pillar” article and a collection of related pieces that link back to it.

The topic cluster approach is logical, easy to understand, and simple to implement. Take some time to learn about topic clusters before you begin planning your content.

HubSpot is an excellent resource for learning about topic clusters. Their articles include plenty of graphics and videos that make the topic easy to understand.

HubSpot topic clusters
Source

Create an Editorial Calendar

Planning your articles or videos in advance is an important step that helps you stay focused on your strategy and target audience.

Create your own editorial calendar using a spreadsheet, Google Calendar, or dedicated app like Airtable or Asana.

Editorial calendars should always include:

  • Topics
  • Keywords
  • Publishing dates
  • Distribution channels

Some calendars also include workflow information such as when drafts, edits, and uploads are due. However, you might try an app like Trello or Basecamp to manage your workflow in a simpler, more visual way.

What to Learn Before You Begin Writing

There’s a lot of work involved in launching a blog for your business, but most businesses do invest time and money into content marketing.

Avoid burnout by preparing to launch your blog before you begin writing:

  1. Start by learning about the topics you need to know, like SEO and content planning.
  2. Next, document your content strategy.
  3. Finally, create editorial calendars for the first 1-3 months.

When launching a blog, be sure to make the most of helpful tools and apps for content marketing. Tools help simplify detailed tasks with structured processes and colorful visuals.

Business Blogs Are Worth the Investment

A blog can help drive traffic to your website and turn visitors into email subscribers. This gives you the chance to nurture them through the customer journey, increasing your profits and visibility.

The amount of work you put into a business blog is well worth it if you prepare, plan, and blog consistently.

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