You know what the problem is with a lot of corporate blogs? The content is awful. Not awful, like “oh I had a Pepsi at lunch and it was kind of flat, it was awful.” But awful in a horrific kind of train wreck where the carnage is so bad you want to look away but you’re stuck gawking because you’re bearing witness to something so awful. Is that how you want your audience to view your efforts when you start business blogging?
Probably not – but you can wipe the look of doom off your face. Just because there are a lot of business owners getting their blog wrong doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Your business has succeeded thus far because you did something different and refused to be a lemming; take the same approach with your business blogging.
Let’s look at 10 ways you can improve your business blogging for better leads, stronger content and a corporate blog that doesn’t suck.
Good Business Blogging Speaks To Your Target Audience
The number one thing you need to concern yourself with is not “what to write today” but “what does my target audience want to hear today?” If you’re not sure then you need to set up listening channels for your business. This can tune you into what interests them, what they want to hear, etc. If your company specializes in building mobile applications then your target audience is likely going to be executives and marketing departments – write content for that audience. That means dumming down the tech jargon and talking more about benefits and uses, problems and solutions, etc.
Business Blogging Should Focus on One Audience Per Post
You would be hard pressed to find a business with only a single type of customers. Many of us have a variety of target audiences and each requires its own style of content. Your business blogging should focus on one in each post and stick with them from start to finish, otherwise you’ll lose them in the mix.
Don’t Hammer Them with Words
Good business blogging is always done with brevity in mind. Your posts should be short, between 400 and 500 words. If you must exceed that length because of the technical nature of the content or to flesh out an idea then either break it into two (or more) 500 words blog posts in a series or limit one post to 1000 words. A blog post should be something that can be read and digested on a coffee break. If you can’t trim the fat down on a long piece of content, and it won’t work in a series, then consider compiling it into an eBook or white paper then distribute it on your site.
Good Business Blogging is Easy to Read
Don’t get confused with “short” and “easy to read”. I’ve come across my fair share of business blogs that were a mere 300 words but were difficult to digest. Most people don’t read blog posts word for word and skim for highlights. You need to make a post easy to skim through by breaking up your content. Use lists or bullets as well as subheadings to mark sections and idea shifts. You can also bold the most important points of each section to make it easy for your readers to hit on key points.
Good Business Blogging is Interesting and Useful
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel but the content you share should be strong enough – and be complete enough in thought – to provide value, spur an idea, reconsider an issue, etc. If you can’t provide value within your content then revisit it and see where you can improve it.
Be a Publisher, Not an Artist
A publisher works to share valuable information. You’re not likely to win any kind of prize but there’s no harm in wishing for a Pulitzer. Just focus on keeping your content useful and your regular readers will return to see what they can learn from your content.
Business Blogging Is Humble
One of the easiest ways to burn bridges with readers is to try and sell them in your blog. The most successful blogs don’t tell readers that they’re badass. They provide high quality content that is extremely valuable, and it’s the readers who decide they’re badass. Build trust and credibility with good content and your readers will follow you anywhere.
Business Blogging Doesn’t Need a Bait and Switch
One of the worst things you can do to your readers is lie. When you promise one thing in the title or intro and the body of your business blogging delivers something different, that’s a bait and switch. Never promise something with your title that you cannot deliver on. Clickbait is the worst kind of evil in the marketing world.
Great Business Blogging is Optimized
If you take the time to optimize your site pages but not your blog posts, you’re missing out on quality long tail traffic. Strike a balance between catchy titles and search optimization. For the post, write your content first in a way that’s geared toward the reader. When you’re finished, cycle back through the content and look for areas to insert your targeted keyword(s) so they appear natural and organic.
Business Blogging Tells the Reader What to Do Next
You should always close a blog post out with a call to action. You’re not necessarily selling the reader on anything but you’re telling them where to go – generally to keep them within your sales funnel or simply engaged with your brand. A good CTA can be a note to follow you on Twitter, leave a comment, ask a question to inspire engagement, download an eBook, or to contact you for more information.
Are you already blogging or are you one of the many business owners who have yet to join the fray? Sound off in the comments and let me know your take on business blogging.