Your client has decided…they will add a blog to their website. They know that blogging is one of the most popular methods of inbound marketing. They know it will add new content--and link juice--to their site on a regular basis. And, they may even know that companies with blogs have 67%-88% more leads per month.
Now what? How does your client make that blog work as hard as possible for them? Here are five ways to help your clients' blogs rise above the rest:
Know Your Audience
Relevancy is the key to great content. You must determine what your target customers are concerned about, their pain points, their goals, and their interests. Listening via social media channels can give you some ideas about the hot topics surrounding your product or service. Tune in to Twitter, industry forums, other blogs, and customer FAQs for ideas.
Create an Editorial Calendar
This is not as complicated as it sounds. Just decide the topics you will write about and when they might be the most effective. With a calendar showing what will be written when, you have advance notice to research that topic and have your notes together. It also makes it easier to tie into product and content promotions.
A calendar will keep you from repeating a particular topic too often and gets all your keywords out on a regular basis. If you have more than one contributor, this will help keep everyone on track for when it is “their turn.”
Structure for Readability
Most people scan what they read on the internet. With so much information and so little time, they need to get the information in easy to digest chunks.
- Write skimmable text.
- Use short paragraphs.
- Make judicious use of headlines and subheadlines.
- Use bulleted lists.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you have a picture, graph, or other visual way to present information that would otherwise take pages and pages to explain, use it. Pictures also enliven a page that is otherwise a glob of words and can be what grabs attention in the first place.
Include Calls to Action
This is, after all, a business blog. You have a product or service to provide. So end your post with a CTA, urging your readers to deepen their relationship with you. Place links to other content landing pages; urge them to enjoy an online demo; or to share your post with their contacts. Make sure you engage your commenters as well. Social media is a two-way street and nothing is more pleasing than to feel recognized by someone else online.
Use Caution: too much promotional content is a definite turn-off.
Make Sharing and Subscribing Easy
You want your readers to read more of your content and evangelize you, don’t you? So make it easy for them. Place social bookmarking and sharing buttons prominently. Offer subscriptions by RSS and email. If you offer relevant and valuable content, it will get sent out to others who have an interest in what you can do for them.
You can share your own blog posts as well by submitting your blog to one or more blog directories such as SmallBusiness.com and Bloggapedia. And don’t forget to autopublish new posts to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other social media your audience might be using. It is also possible to ping news aggregators each time you post and spread your good word that way. Commenting on other influential blogs in your industry can also pique interest in reading more of your ideas.
Now, it's time to tell your clients get out there and start blogging! People are just itching to read what they have to say-- if their interests are addressed. And it has never been easier to find out what they want to know.