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Blogging for Fun and Profit: How to Build your Business Blogging Skills
Content Marketing

Blogging for Fun and Profit: How to Build your Business Blogging Skills

March 22, 2024

So, your company has decided to take the leap into the blogosphere. Great! There's no shortage of reasons why blogging can benefit your business. But, the world of business blogging might still feel like uncharted territory. What should your blog cover? How many posts should get published, and how often? Just who the heck is going to read this stuff, anyway? This blog about blogging (a meta-blog?) is intended to help you hit the ground running with ideas on creating timely and fresh blogs that satisfy the needs and engage the minds of your readership.

Lay the foundation

A good blog starts with a good plan, and the planning stage is where you first answer the big questions that will decide what you write about, who you write for, and why you're writing in the first place. Before you fire up your typewriter, be sure to nail down answers to the following questions:

Begin with buyer personas-- who is going to be interested in what your company has to say? What are their pain points, as well as how do your products or services address and solve them? Targeting your content to a certain readership makes it more likely to be viewed (and shared).

Make a list of keywords relevant to your buyer personas. What kinds of search terms will they use when they're searching for services? Knowing your keywords and putting them into use can optimize your blog to be found, guide your writing process and keep your copy consistent.

How often will you write? The fresher and more frequent your content, the more you'll have to offer to your readers, and the more Google's page rankings will look favorably on your website.

Establish measurable goals in both the short and the long term. Are you trying to grow your email list and generate new leads, or are you focused on making your brand's voice trusted and authoritative in your field? Whatever your objectives, make sure that you have dependable metrics for calculating your progress.

Choose your topics

Are you drawing a blank each time you sit down to write? It might be easy to simply write a product feature or fluff up a sales pitch, but it's important to remember that the point of your blogs is to provide value to your readers, not to sell to them. Take a look at your buyer personas and their pain points or problems, and assemble them into categories. These categories and their relevant personas will center your writing and guide your use of keywords to optimize the SEO boost that the post generates. From here, you can begin to address some basic topics.

Another great source of blogging inspiration is your existing customer base. Think about the types of questions from customers that you answer on a regular basis. Many of these represent common pain points, and can easily turn into entire blog posts. For every one customer who comes in or sends an email with a common question, just picture how many there are tapping their inquiry into Google in search of an answer!

For instance, a furniture store might write a blog on the difference in durability between leather, vinyl, and fabric upholsteries, or the different types of mattresses and their levels of support. A helpful post that addresses common questions and provides your audience information that they can act on is going to rank higher on search engines and place your company as a source of information that consumers can rely on.

Content (not copy) is king

Getting the copy down is one thing, but your blog will be as dry as a bone without interesting content to supplement that copy. The content that your copy supports, more than anything, is what sets your blog apart from your competition and drives the solution to your audience's problem.

It's best to make your own, but there are plenty of resources out there for those that do not collect information or use a design team.

Statistic Visuals

Give relevant and verified stats in the form of graphs and infographics-- these add credibility to your posts, and can provide shock value when used properly.

Header and Subheader Images

Use visuals to separate the text. The text of headers and subheaders can usually be incorporated into a relevant picture that attracts the reader's attention and encourages them to read further. An appropriate graphic or photograph can serve to break up the monotony of plain text and also add a visual frame to the information the reader receives.

Screenshots/photos

Lastly, use screenshots or pictures to show your solution in action. Keep in mind that you're here to give value, not to sell.Getting to the end of a blog and feeling like you just read a really long advertisement means that you're not going to return for anything informative or authoritative. The more your readers can gain from your post, the more likely they are to come back to your blog when they have another question that needs an answer.

What's your Story?

Tell compelling stories (and write snappy titles). Narrative is a powerful tool, and we've known how to use it in sales and marketing for a long time. The same goes for your blogs. Framing the movement from conflict to resolution as a journey makes your audience more receptive to the information you have to share and puts it within a familiar and memorable framework.

Begin by choosing a narrative voice. Anecdotes and stories related to your business can use a first-person voice to draw readers in and show your special way of overcoming obstacles in ways that others can learn from and put into practice. A second-person voice (like the one used in this blog) helps the audience to imagine themselves acting out your solutions as you offer them, while a third-person voice is suited to communicating stories about how your company has been part of another customer's success.

Use your buyer personas and their obstacles to tell stories that will engage your readers and show how your company fits into their lives. Your posts do not have to read like a novel, but putting your info in action will help transform your blog from a lecture into a success story.

Sharing is Caring

You've written something you're proud of, so be sure to put it out there! Share your new blog on your business' other marketing channels, and put the work in to gain readers besides Googlers and regular visitors to your site. Leveraging your business' social media following to broaden your blog's audience has the added benefit that a new post that a follower finds useful or intriguing is always easy to share with their own network. The more readers that come to see your business as a trusted source of information, the better!

Your blogs can (and should) also link to each other. Where there's an overlap in information or your blog posts cover similar issues, have them link to each other! An engaged reader will always prepare to learn more, and showing that you have more information to provide is never a bad thing.

Finish Strong

Lastly, and importantly, bring things home with a call to action. Have you ever reached the end of an interesting article, how-to or blog post and been filled with the motivation to immediately test what you've learned? While the point of your blog isn't to sell, it's important to offer your readers something to engage with that enables them to take action and apply their new knowledge. Whether it's more content, a link to a product or promotion or a contact form, your readers will have a way to act on their inspiration, and you will have a way to track engagement and turn readers into leads.

Here's hoping this blog has motivated you to start writing your own! By using these suggestions, you should be well on your way to inspiring your own readers with interesting stories, compelling content, and valuable information that will position your company as a reliable source of information. Write well, help others and have fun!

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