Making your voice heard these days is more complicated than it used to be. Where age and experience used to be the backbone of a trusted business, people are looking for something quite different these days; ability to express unique ideas, as well as generously sharing stories of failure and success. Rather than the wise and steady voice of experience, they want to hear about a startup that’s still young and vibrant but made it to the top nonetheless.
People want to see themselves in your business and want your blog to speak directly to them. It sounds easy enough, but everyone is doing it these days. They blog on the side, as a hobby; they blog for free and for the pure fun of it.
So how is one to stand out in the crowd when everyone has already arrived at the party and networked for hours? Use this detailed guide to fight your way to the top, past all those beauty bloggers, teen vloggers, and stay-at-home-dads who’ll tell you how to decorate your man cave.
The Beginning: Purpose and Buyer Persona
You have something that all of those hobby bloggers are only able to identify and define vaguely: a purpose to your blog. It should exist to deliver useful content to your audience and act as your company’s voice – and you can use a lot of the work you did when getting your business up and going to make your blog work.
Think about what the purpose of your company is. To keep it entertaining, we’ll provide you with a mock-scenario and say that you’re running a milkshake shop that specializes in organic and healthy shakes. The basic purpose of this sweet company is to help their customers to a few moments of delight, brighten up their day or evening with homemade treats, and make sure they feel good about themselves afterward.
It has a higher purpose too – or a vision, so to speak, namely to make people happy and to put a smile on their faces. It sounds like a dream job to me. Consider who might share your passion for this purpose, and you’ve already brought a bit of clarity to the purpose of your business blog.
Next question; who do you think is the ideal customer in this scenario? Make a clear and detailed description of the perfect buyer, imagine her everyday life and the problems she might run into. How can your milkshake shop help her with these problems, and when would she need your advice the most? Say that your typical guest in the milkshake shop is a thirty-five-year-old mom with her children, and she’s likely to pop in around 1 PM after taking her kids to the park.
It’s a good idea to reach out to people who fit your imaginative buyer persona to get some hands-on suggestions on topics they’d enjoy reading about. We’re talking customer behavior and you’re going to indulge in a lot of research to get it right; remember that the more preparation you’re willing to put into your blog, the more useful it will be for your audience.
Customer research doesn’t have to be expensive either – social media is a great place to start, and you can reach out to people directly.
Building the Blog: Competition and SEO
After establishing the purpose of your new blog, researching your potential audience, and developing a detailed buyer persona, you can lift your gaze up from your own business and look to the side; who else is doing this? Create a list of between five and ten of your strongest competitors in the milkshake blogging industry, and spend some time on reading these. You’d want to deliver even better content than they’re currently creating, and the only way to do this is to know them through and through.
If your competitors are covering topics that your audience will love, you have to make sure that they have a reason for visiting your blog too. A post that reviews the newest blenders of 2017 will be useful for any milkshake lover; cover these topics as well and make them better than your competitor’s.
When you’ve spent time on creating a lifelike buyer persona and read enough milkshake blogs to know what you’re up against, you need to get your head around relevant keywords. What would your thirty-five-year-old mother of two be searching for in order to find you online?
You need a list of five to ten keywords of the most obvious ones to include in your blog posts. For our imaginative shake bar, we would use milkshakes, healthy shakes, organic, chocolate, strawberry, smoothies, as well as the area we’ve established our bar in.
The search engines want to make it easy for every searcher out there and attempts to rank the website according to relevance – which is exactly where these keywords come in. If your competitor’s sites are ranking much higher than yours when you search for the keywords that are relevant to what you do, you’ll need to write better content and promote it as much as you can.
If content writing isn’t for you, after all, consider outsourcing it to someone who can write catchy content for you, and reach out to a marketing company that specializes in your field; whether it’s beauty or milkshakes. Have a look at med spa marketing for beauty professionals or this link to guide you through the jungle of offers.
Keep in mind that this guide is to make it easier for you to launch a blog and get it up on its feet. The marketing you do in this stage is basic; with time, you might notice how time-consuming it actually is to maintain a decent business blog.
Blog it and Share it!
The only way to share your brilliant blog posts is to share it on platforms that are relevant to your audience. Wherever they are, they’re certainly on Facebook, so it’s a good idea to start here. You can be creative in this step and have a bit of fun; a scrapbook mindset to the posts you’ve written in the past is a good idea for promotion on social media.
Using key quotes or interesting topics from these posts, combine them with pictures and post them across the platforms. People like to scroll through content fast when they’re checking up on their account, so images and short quotes are always a good idea.
Remember to use these platforms for networking as well. Join different groups where your potential audience might be hanging out and discreetly promote your blog in these groups; if you have spent enough time on researching customer behavior and building a buyer persona, a potential audience should be easy to locate.
The more your blog can be mentioned across the web, the better your chances are of increasing the traffic to your useful blog posts. Make a list of influencers that you’d love to see mentioning your blog; by making use of Twitter, you can retweet these and hope to be retweeted or followed in return.
As you’re still a young business blogger, it’s smart to try to hang with the big boys on the playground as they’re communicating with a much larger network than you are. Imagine its potential when someone with an ocean of followers retweets you, when your milkshake post on the best farmer’s market for organic strawberries is able to get an amount of likes on its own.
It’s too good to miss out on, so don’t be afraid to suck up a bit – it’s for your company, after all.
Maintenance: Feed the Beast
Now that you’ve made your voice heard and developed a handful of loyal readers, you have to keep feeding the beast. Otherwise, it will seek food from other sources, meaning your competitors. A common advice is to keep posting every day, and this may work well for some – but times change and search engines especially, so less is starting to become more in the blogging world.
Search engines want to see unique and specific content, not generalized 1-2-3s; quality wins over quantity every time. Spend some time on this interesting read to gain a bit more posting knowledge.
When you don’t have to come up with something every day, you can spend more time on researching topics and creating something of quality – rather than a miserable and half-made blog post just to get something out there. It’s a refreshing and reassuring thought to any new or existing blogger out there.
An excellent business blog is able to get you the promotion you deserve, connect with new customers, maintain a relationship with loyal ones, and stay ahead of the competition – all at the same time. Keep in mind what we talked about earlier; that if writing and content creating isn’t for you, don’t think twice about outsourcing it. Little can do as much for your marketing needs as a well-maintained blog can, and it’s important to understand just how much it can help when you invest a bit of time and effort into it.