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10 tips to take your business blog to the next level

10 tips for a winning business blog

One of the most exciting parts of my previous remit as Social Media Manager at MYOB was managing MYOB’s blog, The Pulse. What began as a small blog, with no clear content strategy and low visitation, was in the space of 12 months a popular business resource with 1200% growth in traffic, guest bloggers begging to contribute, and was named one of Australia’s Top 20 Business Blogs for 2014.

So, how do you take your business blog to the next level?
1. Define your audience and develop a content strategy

At MYOB we knew our key audiences were small business owners, and accountants & bookkeepers. We also had a lot of insight into the pain points and challenges facing these groups and so we were able to develop a content strategy based on three content pillars we knew were relevant and offered value. This ensured that we gave our readers a reason to share the posts, sign up to our newsletter, and come back for more!

2. Know thy stats

Ensure your blog has analytics behind it; even the most simple of blogs can utilise Google Analytics. When measuring the success of your blog, unique visits, time spent on site, bounce rate, and page views are vital statistics to consider. You should also be measuring engagement (e.g. post comments) and social shares in order to form an overall view of how your blog is performing. Once this picture is painted, you will know what’s working and what’s not, and adapt your content strategy to suit.

3. Use influential expert bloggers

Your content doesn’t always have to be authored by you or someone at your organisation, especially if the likely writer isn’t an expert in the field of the article. For example, The Pulse recruited regular bloggers such as Marketing and Communications expert Trevor Young, and Digital expert Mal Chia. Not only did these influencers add credibility, but they come with social media followings of their own who may as a result get exposed to your blog. Research who is influential to your target audience and consider a partnership.

4. Generate leads

One of the biggest measures of ROI for a business blog is its ability to generate leads, and in turn sales. If you’re not encouraging people to sign up to your blog and capturing email addresses then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

But you need to ensure that you don’t abuse this opportunity by shoving hard sell marketing down their throats once you’ve got their email. A carefully planned lead nurture strategy heavily laden with relevant and interesting content best paves the way to purchase.

5. Consider acquisition messaging

Acquisition messaging is not always appropriate on blog sites, but there can be an appropriate time and place for it. It might be a banner ad on your site advertising your products, or messaging within the blog text itself. For example, an article on an airline’s blog could be “5 ways to get the most out of your holiday”, and it could include a tip around saving time and arriving at the airport later by checking in early using their online app.

6. Optimise your headlines

If your organisation has an SEO expert then definitely get them involved in your content strategy. They can provide you with search trends and key words that you should be trying to work into your headlines so to rank higher in search and attract your audience.

You should always test and learn with your headlines, trialling different ways of marketing your post. For example, this post could be called “10 ways to improve your organisation’s blog”, “How to improve your business blog” or “10 tips for a winning business blog”. Work out what is going to work best for your audience – you can even try using different headlines in different social media channels.

7. Consider paid distribution options

There are quite a number of paid content discovery platforms at the moment including Taboola and Outbrain, which place links to your content on websites such as Fairfax and News Ltd. You can also promote your social media posts on Facebook or LinkedIn to increase impressions, and if the content is good quality improve your page visits. If you have a content marketing budget then paid distribution is an excellent way to get new visitors to your blog.

8. Change up your content

Plain text posts all the time are boring! Keep your content fresh by experimenting with other formats such as eBooks, Slideshare presentations, videos, podcasts, and infographics. Remember that different people prefer to consume content in different ways, and by acknowledging this your messages will be absorbed by more people. Repurposing content across platforms and formats is another way to ensure that you always have good quality content. For example, you may be able to turn a text blog post into an infographic, or a video into a Slideshare.

9. Share on social media, and more than once

You should definitely make sure that your blog posts are socially shared across platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. One thing the Firebrand Talent blog does brilliantly is extend the life of their content by tweeting about them not just once, but several times over a period of a few months. They also ensure that they are not posting the same tweet over and over, but re-writing the content in a multitude of ways. This also helps for future optimisation, by seeing which tweets get the most engagement and click throughs.

10. Activate your staff base

Your staff base is low hanging fruit when it comes to getting your content shared! You should encourage staff to be sharing your articles on their social media channels, but not mandating it. LinkedIn is an especially worthwhile channel to encourage as not only is this a professional network but it aids in a social selling approach. Your employees are often your biggest advocates!

More reading:

3 reasons why your company should blog (and they’re probably not what you think)
3 things professionals can learn from successful bloggers
37 tools and resources for blogging and social media marketing

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Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.

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