Blogging is critical for business growth. But before you rush out and start writing articles, there are two things you need to know:
- Quality: Good blog posts get results: Bad blogs posts don't.
- Promotion: A blog post by itself is worthless - it's what you do with it that counts.
The last thing you want to do is spend time and money writing blog articles that aren't helping you get new business. In order to get results, you need to approach blogging from a strategic point of view.
Here are 10 qualities of a good blog strategy:
1. Same Domain as Website
Blogging is a way to add more pages to your website, which gives you more opportunity to get found by people searching for your type of offering. In order to be truly effective, your blog needs to be on your website domain.
Your blog articles are meant to engage potential customers. Make sure to write about topics that will capture the attention of the people you want to sell to.
Your articles should be written from your own experience and expertise. For example, if you typed in “qualities of a good blog strategy” in a search engine you'll probably find other articles similar to this one. But, this article is not exactly the same as the others - it's written from my own perspective.
Important note: Search engines frown upon duplicate content (when the duplicate copy is on multiple websites), so create blog articles that are unique.
4. Search Engine Optimized
One of the main reasons to write blogs is to get found by potential prospects. The only way to do that is to use words you think your prospects will search for online. >For example, the main keyword phrase for this article is “blog strategy.”
5. Visually Appealing
If your blog article isn't easy to read, no one will read it. Make it easy on the eyes by using bullets, bold, and graphics. I see too many blogs that are just huge blocks of small, difficult to read text. Who likes reading that?
6. Includes Hyperlinks
By linking articles together, you're guiding prospects through the buying process by answering more and more of their questions. You're taking them from "Hmmm... I might have a problem" to “Oh my gosh! I need help, and I think this company can provide it for me.”
7. Includes Calls-to-actions
Don't leave it up to the prospect to figure out what to do next. For each blog post ask yourself, in an ideal world, what would you like them to do next? Usually, calls-to-actions give clear instructions to go a landing page where the prospect can convert from a website visitor to a lead.
9. Consistently Published
With blogging, you get what you put into it. If you only write a couple of blogs per month, it will take a LOT longer to start seeing results than if you blog three times per week.
No one will know you wrote an article unless you tell them. Create a strategy for promoting your article using social media and email marketing.
9. Used as a Sales Tool
One very effective way I use my blog articles is as a sales tool. For example, if I come across a prospect that is blogging, but the blogs don't meet the aforementioned qualities, I can send them this article to help clarify a point.
Regularly evaluate how your blog post is performing. With the right technology and processes in place, you should be able to see how many people view your blog, link to it from other websites, comment, and convert to leads and sales. Analyzing blog performance will help you continually create the most relevant - and successful - content.
Don't waste resources on an incomplete blog strategy. Whether you're writing articles yourself or hiring a professional, make sure you understand what it takes to get results from your blogging efforts.