A Guide on Blogging for Any Industry

A Guide to Blogging

Here is a blog about blogging – how meta, right? A lot of us read blogs to learn something new, check out places to visit while traveling, get parenting tips, or find solutions to problems we might have. Some of us might even blog personally. But what about blogging for your brand or your business? Blogging for your business is a marketing tactic that helps you earn more online visibility. This guide on blogging goes into the whys and hows of blogging for your company with some best practices and information on how blogging fits into your brand’s overall content marketing strategy.

Why Should My Company Have a Blog?

There are many benefits to blogging for your company. If you know a lot about your industry and your target consumers, it’s time to share your knowledge and provide helpful (and fun!) information. Some of the benefits of blogging include:

  • Blogs give you a home base
  • Blogs provide thought leadership
  • Blogs establish brand awareness
  • Blog posts are great for fueling your email marketing efforts
  • Blog posts make for great social media content
  • Blogs increase traffic to your website
  • Blogs engage current and future consumers
  • Blogs are good for SEO

How to Determine the Goals for Your Blog 

There are many reasons why your business or organization should have a blog. If you’ve decided to get started with blogging, you’ll need to define your blog’s purpose. Ask yourself:

  • Why are we starting this blog?
  • What do we want our readers to do with our blog content? 
  • What is our long-term blogging strategy? 

Content marketing is often a “slow-burn” meaning that blog content is a long-term strategy. The three questions above will help you determine what your goals are. These goals will help guide you in setting up your blog plus decide what blog topics you want to cover. 

Common goals for blogging include:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Converting leads and assisting sales efforts
  • Driving new viewers to your website
  • Generating subscribers
  • Retaining and converting customers 

You can have more than one goal for blogging, and each goal has its pros and cons. Remember to keep your goals in mind as you design and set up your blog, identify blog topics, and decide which blog metrics to track.

Strategically Setting Up Your Blog

This section talks about the “x’s and o’s” of setting up your blog. Some brands create a new website to run their blog on, while others set the blog up directly on their existing website. From a brand and search engine perspective, we recommend you set your blog up directly on your website for these reasons:

  1. It keeps your blog aligned with your brand identity
  2. It gives you the most SEO value from posting consistent new content. 

Work with your website developer to add blog functionality to your website. You can add a tab in your website’s main navigation, or you can place it under resources. It’s up to you!

Here is a simplified checklist for designing your blog and getting your blog up and running:

  • Give your blog a brand identity and visual identity that looks consistent with the branding of the rest of your website. For your blog’s visual identity, use your brand colors as a base and make sure the whole design is tied together. 
  • Give your blog a descriptive name. Here are a few examples for “inspo”:
  • Create a main blog page that tells visitors about the blog, includes links to the most recent posts, and links to an archive of your past posts so visitors can access both new and old content.
  • Place ads/graphics about your company on the sidebar. (You’ll see that traffic comes into your blog that has no idea what your business does.)
  • Add relevant CTAs. Linking to other pieces of content (e.g. related posts or pages, ebooks, whitepapers, etc.) will nurture your visitors and keep them on your site. 
  • Put your logo at the top of the blog for consistency.
  • Add a subscribe form on the sidebar. (And decide how you’re going to manage subscriptions.) 
  • Come up with a tagline that describes what your blog is about.
  • Upload all the bios and headshots of who will be publishing.
  • Create an editorial calendar.

Identifying Topics

Your blog should always provide thought leadership to your target audience. Don’t publish posts that just promote your brand. This will cause your audience to drop like flies. An occasional post highlighting an employee, an award, new things at the company, etc. are fine, but you want to limit those.

Identifying blog posts that are going to resonate with your current and future audience all starts by analyzing buyer personas. If you don’t have buyer personas yet, there is a free tool from HubSpot to create them.

Here are a few ideas for identifying blog post topics:

  1. Consider the common pain points your buyer personas experience and write posts that speak to those pain points.
  2. Do keyword research to understand what your target audience is searching for and how they are searching for it. This can also help you to identify gaps in the search results where you could gain additional rankings.
  3. Come up with topics that establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, and write timely industry news blog posts. You can even consider newsjacking.
  4. You can also survey your current audience and ask them which topics they want to see on your company’s blog.
  5. Lastly, check out what your competitors are doing. Of course, you won’t copy their posts, but you can get some ideas.

In addition to coming up with ideas – make sure you balance content types. There are two major types of blog content:

  1. Evergreen content is SEO-friendly and remains relevant and fresh for readers over a long time.
  2. Topical/time-sensitive content is relevant only for a short period, making it valuable to visitors for a limited time.

Both types of content are important. Most recommendations say your content should be 80% evergreen and 20% topical/time-sensitive. This allows your blog to grow both quickly and over time. 

It’s a good idea to have blogs written and approved ahead of your blog launch. How many is up to you. You don’t need to have a ton of blog posts written before you launch your blog. We recommend 3-5 at most. 

5 Blog Writing Best Practices

Once your blog is set up and you’ve come up with topics for your blog, you’re ready to go!

If you are a little intimidated by writing blog posts yourself, check out this wonderful guide on how to get started with writing.

Whether your posts will be written by yourself, a team, or an outside agency, here are some basic blogging best practices to keep in mind: 

  • Get yourself familiar with the structure of blog posts. Your paragraphs should be short and to the point, your post should be broken up by headlines, there should be a CTA at the end of your post, and you should write conversationally.
  • Try to post at least once per week on your company’s blog. This keeps your audience engaged and eager for your content.
  • Gather tips from experts and incorporate those into a post or do a roundup post with many expert tips. Link to the experts and tag them on social and they will be sure to share your post with their audience, maximizing the traffic to your blog. See an example of when we did that here.
  • If you quote a statistic or fact, cite the original publication for the data you are referencing and link it to your source.
  • Incorporate your team and even freelance writers to vary the voice on your company’s blog. Multiple perspectives are engaging and reach different audiences.

Promoting Your Blog Posts

What is the point of crafting excellent content if no one reads your blog posts? Since content doesn’t promote itself, promote each post every time you publish it on your company’s blog. Here are five tips on how to promote your company’s blog posts:

  1. Share your posts organically on all of your social channels. When sharing to Instagram, in your caption you want to say “link in bio” and make sure you update the link in the bio every week. Or, use a link-in-bio tool. (And if you notice an organic post gaining significant organic reach and engagement, consider boosting the post to get more eyes on your content.) 
  2. Leverage your blog posts as a reason to email all of your contacts. Share your weekly posts with them as it positions your brand as a thought leader in your space and will keep your brand top of mind. Or, create a monthly newsletter digest with all of that content plus other company updates, offers, and promotions. 
  3. Encourage your employees to practice social media advocacy – sharing company content on their personal social media accounts. This includes blog articles, but it can also include job postings, product launches, company news, and industry research. 
  4. You can also partner with like-minded creators. Agree to share their blog posts on your social channels and ask them to do the same.
  5. Lastly, identify blogs in your space that aren’t competitors. Reach out to the publishers and ask if they would take a quality guest blog post from you. When you land your guest posting spots, you can link to blog posts that you published on your company’s blog.

How to Measure and Optimize Your Blog’s Performance

Don’t forget you need to measure your blog and its success. Remember earlier on in this post when we told you to set up goals? Once you set up goals for your blog, choose blog metrics as key performance indicators (KPIs) based on your goals. KPIs are metrics that are tracked and reported weekly and monthly. Google Analytics provides a lot of value, as long as you know how to use the data. 

How do you decide what to track? Examples of common blog metrics and what they can tell you are included here: 

  • The ratio of new to returning visitors can show you if you’re driving new users to your website, and if you’re succeeding in getting users to come back for more. 
  • Popular posts and pages show you which content resonates with your audience. This information informs future content. If the content is outdated, does it need to be updated? Also, looking at underperforming content, how can it be improved upon? What’s missing?
  • Website traffic sources can track all the traffic information and determine where every visitor came from before landing on your website. 
    • Direct traffic growth can show a growth in brand awareness.
    • Organic traffic growth can show how well your SEO efforts are going. 
    • Referral traffic can show us the top websites sending traffic to your blog and could help define potential partnerships. 
    • Social traffic can show the volume of users who come to your blog from social media channels. 
    • Email traffic can demonstrate the success of your email marketing campaigns. 

Remember, blogging for business is a long-term strategy. You may not see immediate results, but you should see your authority build the longer you blog.

Final Thoughts: Get Started Blogging Today

As we mentioned, blogging should be fun! If you’re ready to have some fun with your company’s blog, be sure to follow the tips and strategies that we went over. Dive into your buyer personas, identify topics that resonate, and promote your posts like crazy.

If you don’t have the time to craft posts or you don’t think you have the right skills, you can always hire an agency like Overit to produce your content. You can decide if your agency is a ghostwriter and you have the option to publish posts under your name. This is quite common.

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