Last Updated: Apr 3, 2018 Blogging helps you connect with existing customers and attract new ones, no matter what you’re selling. Here are 7 tips to help you create an effective blog that your customers and prospects will love.
It’s no secret that blogging is a crucial tool for modern marketers. In fact, a recent report reveals that B2B companies that utilize blogging obtain 67 percent more leads than those who don’t. Whether you’re marketing your products to customers or other businesses, a blog lets you connect with your audience in a more personal and engaging way.
Here are seven tips for creating an effective blog that’s sure to keep current clients interested while encouraging new ones to give your company a shot:
1. Be Creative
It’s not enough to post a new blog to your company website each week. Savvy marketers come up with new and creative ways to cover familiar content. When brainstorming titles, strive to approach your content from a different perspective. Instead of crafting yet another blog about tips to entertain the kids during summer vacation, a pool supplies company might opt to write a humorous piece detailing ways to ensure your children destroy your home out of boredom. In other words, the blog would offer suggestions of what not to do, along with alternatives that will keep the kids busy.
If you aren’t posting arresting photos and images with your blog posts, you are likely missing out on the chance to connect with potential customers. Not only do photos intrigue viewers when they click on your post but they also draw views on social media sites. Photos featuring people tend to attract more clicks than those of objects and landscapes. However, it’s important to avoid photos in which people appear silly or awkward. While it’s fine to use stock images, marketers should strive to include photos of their own products and services whenever possible.
Unfortunately, engaging blog content isn’t enough to secure a strong readership; to maximize page views, companies need to utilize formatting that helps users take in the content of your posts. Because reading text online can be harder on the eyes than reading printed copy, it’s important to use a clear font and clean background. Additionally, writers should incorporate subheadings and bulleted lists to break up large chunks of text and make it possible for users to skim a page of content in seconds. Finally, it’s important to make sure the call to action is clear. Let readers know if you want them to call for more information or click to access a sale offer.
4. Optimize for Mobile
A recent study shows that 48 percent of emails are read on mobile devices as opposed to desktops and laptops. Because many businesses send their blogs to customers via email newsletters, it’s crucial that marketers make this content mobile friendly. To ensure your blog can be read from a customer’s smartphone, take steps to boost site speed by removing slow-loading pictures and compress style sheets. And of course you should make sure that the site is responsive and that content can be rearranged in a way to fit a smaller screen. Finally, companies with highly popular blogs might want to consider creating an app to showcase their content.
The best bloggers make use of giveaways and freebies to lure potential customers. Along with providing informative content, marketers can use their blogs to promote contests, offer e-books and white papers, and announce special deals and savings offers. For example, an accountant could offer a complimentary e-book about maximizing deductions to readers who share their blog posts on social media. Contests and giveaways are also great for boosting your email subscribers. Offer a 20 percent off code for clients who sign up for your newsletter.
6. Befriend Other Bloggers
If you want to secure a wider readership, make an effort to befriend other bloggers. When you make friends with writers, you can comment on and share one another’s posts. Doing this allows both parties to access a broader range of potential clients. When making connections, start by reaching out to other bloggers in related but different fields on Facebook and Twitter. You can also share and comment on other bloggers’ content as a show of good faith. The goal is to form relationships that will benefit you both in the coming months.
7. Be Consistent
It takes time and effort to build up a loyal viewership for your blog, and the last thing you want is to lose readers because your output decreases suddenly. Once you’ve created an engaging blog and optimized the formatting for viewing on both desktop and mobile, it’s important to set up a regular schedule for posting. The goal is to create and maintain a timetable, so your readers know when they can expect new content.
The truth is that business owners who blog enjoy 97 percent more links to their websites than those who don’t take advantage of this tactic. Follow the above tips to establish yourself as an industry expert while boosting inbound links to your page.
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2014 Have you lost sight of your original business goals? Are you so busy running your business that you don’t have time to keep it moving in the direction you planned? Here are some questions you should ask yourself to make sure you stay on track to achieving your goals.
A little while ago, in the process of preparing for a radio interview about my book, I was looking at the outline the radio network wanted me to follow when we discussed it on air. What I found particularly interesting about the outline was that it forced me to think again about why I had written the book in the first place — what I wanted readers to take away from it, and what I hoped to achieve from it.
It reminded me of something I didn’t do enough of as a business owner, and wish I had. That is, taking the time, on a regular basis, to ask myself why I’d wanted to own my own business, what I expected to achieve from it, how large I wanted the business to be, how much profit I’d hoped to make, and several other questions. It may seem like asking questions like these once a business is up and running is a waste of time, but the fact is that, if you look at business owners today, it’s painfully obvious that many of them have lost track of their original dream. They do own their own businesses, but what they own is not what they dreamed it would be.
The reason so many owners find themselves in this position is that they’re so busy doing what they do that they lose their focus. The daily, monthly, quarterly grind just wears you down. Every owner, though, started with a goal, a reason for wanting to open a business. And if you lose track of that goal it’s not unlikely you will find yourself with a company — even a successful one — that doesn’t provide you with what you wanted to achieve. It’s been my experience that the only way to keep this from happening is by doing a “check-up from the neck up,” as one of my mentors used to say, on a regular basis.
In other words, it’s not just the success of your business that requires you to make sure you’ve got the business basics down. As an owner you also have personal basics that need to be addressed, and that need to be kept in focus if you’re going to maintain success. In fact, since you are such an important element of your company’s success, it’s essential that you derive both satisfaction and pleasure from going to work every day. Without that, not only are you likely to be unhappy, the business is likely to suffer as well. Here, then, are some questions to ask yourself when you do a “check-up from the neck up.”
“Do I enjoy going to work every day and continuing to manage my company?”As a business owner, success is yours to define, both for the business and for yourself. It’s one thing to have a successful business and quite another to personally enjoy the ride. By asking yourself this question you can determine if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, and if so, take whatever corrective action is necessary to resolve the problem.
“Have I become a slave to my business?”As an owner, you should be running the business rather than having the business run you. And as you’ve probably already learned, it’s easy to let the business take over your life. But if that’s happened, something will have to change, because if it doesn’t neither you nor whatever pleasure you get from managing the business will last.
“Am I making the kind of money I’d hoped to make when I started the business?” One of the ways we all measure success, and happiness, is by how much money we make. So if your answer to this question is “No,” you have to determine if your market, and your talent, are capable of delivering that kind of financial success. Dealing with this reality has to be one of your main focuses, because when it’s all said and done reality always wins.
“Where is my business in its life cycle?”As I discuss in The Facts of Business Life, every company has a life cycle that takes it through five levels: “Ownership and Opportunity,” “Creating Your Company’s DNA,” “From Survival to Success,” “Maintaining Success,” and, finally, “Moving On When it’s Time to Go.” Knowing where your business is in its life cycle enables you to determine not only how much you’ve achieved toward your goal but, even more important, how to get from where you are to where you want to be.
“Where do I want the company to be when I’m ready to leave?”It’s never too early for a successful owner to start thinking about an exit strategy. And since the overall goal of every owner is to get out of the business healthy, wealthy, and satisfied, so they can enjoy the future, asking yourself this question will remind you of what you have to do to make sure that happens.
The bottom line is that owners do what they do for independence, financial rewards, and the thrill of creating success. And if you stop every once in a while to do a check-up and ask yourself if that’s what your business is providing you, you’re much more likely to achieve it
Author Bio Bill McBean, author of The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows that You Don’t, spent many of his nearly forty years as a successful business owner in the automobile industry where, among many other achievements, he purchased several underperforming dealerships and turned them into a successful business enterprise with yearly sales of more than $160 million. Since selling the company to the world’s largest automotive retailer, AutoNation, McBean has been involved in several new businesses, including McBean Partners, an investment and business mentoring company, and Net Claims Now, which provides administrative services and support to the restoration industry.