Before you go rushing off to start banging out blog posts for your business willy nilly, it’s important to remember that amazing business blogging results don’t happen by accident.

There are a few important things to keep in mind before you embark on business blogging:

1. Make sure your content is solving real problems for your customers and potential customers

content_that_speaks_to_target_audienceThe holy grail of business blogging is to find yourself in an industry where customers have questions that aren’t being answered by your competitors. To be able to swoop in and solve these problems not only guarantees you organic traffic from people searching for the answers on Google, but also positions you as an expert in your field when you answer the question that’s bugging them. If your industry is saturated with content already, then find out what topics aren’t being covered already, and focus on them. Avoid being a “me too” publisher because you’ll be drowned out by the established industry heavyweights who have an established audience and platform.

2. Make sure every blog post has a call to action, or “next step”

improve-calls-to-actionI often see company blogs that have no “next step” offer at the end of the post. This is such a huge waste of an opportunity. Without some sort of gated content offer, the reader simply leaves your site and will never return. Instead, give them a more in-depth piece of content related to the blog post they just read. They’ll need to give their name and email address for this more valuable piece of content, so make sure it’s attractive enough for them to want to give you this information (you can see this in action at the end of this post!).

3. Have a way to manage your contacts and track success

manage-contacts-mailing-listsMake sure you’re turning your precious blog views into email subscribers by making it easy for people to subscribe. You can do this by embedding a sign up form from a tool like HubSpot or Mailchimp on your blog and building an email list. Track how many people are subscribing relative to the number of views, and experiment with different positioning and copy around the subscription options to see if improves results.

4. Understand that content promotion is just as important as content creation

promote-contentA lot of businesses make the mistake of thinking the blog is complete when they click the “Publish” button. That people will magically find your article. This is far from true. In fact, many experts argue you should spend more time promoting your content than you spend creating it. Make sure you don’t just share your blog articles once on your social channels and be done with it, but share multiple times with different text (e.g. tweet out a stat mentioned in the article, or one of the subheadings as the social update). Also reach out to anyone mentioned in the articles and ask them to share it. Plus, be sure to notify your mailing list about each new post, and consider some paid blog post promotion on Facebook (e.g. “Boost Post”) and LinkedIn (Sponsored Updates).

5. Don’t get too bogged down in the details

Start (as Tim Ferriss does) by asking yourself how it would look if blogging for your business was easy. Does it mean hiring outside help? Or creating a blogging schedule you’ll stick to religiously? Maybe it means not “blogging” at all, but instead creating a video each week like Rand Fishkin, or a podcast like Tim Ferriss. Find what traps are causing most business blogs to fail, and build in processes to avoid this happening to you.

6. Give it time

it-takes-timeThe mistake I see a lot of businesses make is that they publish a few blog posts and then give up because they didn’t suddenly experience an influx of traffic, leads, and sales. Blogging doesn’t work this way. It takes time to build up a strong foundation. Give it time to see results, and don’t quit too early. One way to ensure you’ll stick at it is to use a blogging publishing calendar to ensure you have topics mapped out for the future, reducing the amount of obstacles you’ll encounter when trying to keep on publishing week in week out.

Bottom Line on Successful Business Blogging

We’ve demonstrated that business blogging works. Follow these 6 simple steps to give yourself the best possible chance at business blogging success.

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