I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a pretty bold statement…blogging isn’t dead. But it’s probably not what you think. Today we’re going to unpack how to start a blog for business, starting with what a blog IS NOT.
What happens when we start throwing out the word “blog” is that people have this preconceived notion that only “bloggers” create blog content and that there’s really no place for blogging in business. Hence the thought that “blogging is dead”. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you’re a business owner – you’re actually in a great place to start blogging, and do it with goals in mind.
When we talk about blogging for your business, we are not referring to creating a blog that is going to monetize itself and replace your business revenue.
What we are ARE referring to is a content marketing strategy anchored in targeted goals, content repurposing, and search engine optimization.
Why You Need a Blog for Business
I first learned about SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) before I had started really blogging. I was dabbling in some blogging using the Blogger platform, but I hadn’t taken the dive into owning my own domain name….yet.
I’ll be the first to admit that even just upon hearing the term ‘SEO’ I was intimidated and didn’t think I had any place trying to wrap my head around how the “algorithms” worked.
Well, I was wrong.
Little by little as I exposed myself to learning more about creating good content on the internet and what it took to make it visible, I learned that SEO wasn’t really that hard after all.
It’s really just the combination of a few (or maybe more than a few) characteristics and components of your website and content.
You probably already know that you should be focusing on SEO. But if you’re anything like I was…you want to understand what the tangible, applicable steps are.
Among other things, having a blog with great content is one of the better ways to increase your SEO.
Want to learn more about SEO? I share all about my search engine optimization tips here.
2. Content Lifespan
You’re doing it all wrong. At least I was.
I was spending SO MUCH TIME pouring into the content I was creating on Instagram for less than a 24hr content lifespan. Womp womp.
When I learned that the lifespan of a single blog post was around 2 years – I was stunned. I had been doing it all wrong. And you might be too.
But don’t just take my word for it, the proof is really in the pudding. For example, a blog post I wrote back in 2019 is still generating over 1k pageviews to my site every.sinth
And don’t get me wrong – platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter serve a purpose and are a great TOOL to repurpose the content from your blog. But if you want to make an expert investment as the CEO of your business….a blog should be it.
3. Brand Authority
No one cares who you are until you SHOW them what you have to offer.
Harsh? Yeah, I know but it’s really so true. It can be easy to fall into the cracks or blend in in a saturated market but it doesn’t HAVE to happen to you.
Brand authority (and thought leadership) is your brand’s reputation around the block. When you build your brand authority you are basically putting your money where your mouth is and highlighting your own expertise.
Like this blog post. I’m showing you that I have experience and sharing about that experience here and so therefore I am building my brand authority.
And you can too. It CAN BE as simple as sharing what you know in a blog post.
4. Grow Your Email List
Well if we’ve learned anything from Jenna Kutcher or Amy Porterfield it’s that email marketing is alive and well. In fact, some would say (and I’d agree) that email marketing is one of the BEST marketing tools for your business.
There’s something about showing up in someone’s inbox that creates a more personal connection and your RELATIONSHIPS with people are number one.
But an added benefit of a growing email list is that it gives you a direct line to your community without relying on the algorithms or social platforms that you don’t own.
I used to think the key to success was getting to 10k followers on Instagram – but I was gravely mistaken. Imagine having 10k email subscribers…now THAT’s a goal. But really – It’s about how you connect with people along the way and that brings me back to the point that relationships are everything.
5. Content for Social
I know we just talked about the fact that the answer to all your problems is NOT Instagram. But allow me to contradict myself for a moment. Your social media platforms are like business networking events that you get to show up to every single day. When you show up, engage, get to know people, and share value – then your business grows.
When you sit back on the sidelines, not engaging, not getting to know people, staying in your comfortable little space…your business becomes stagnant.
You NEED fresh content on your social channels to stay in front of the people you are in the virtual “networking” room with. And what better way to promote the fact that you have a blog (why hello there thought leader!) than to repurpose your blog content into bite size, digestible bits of content for social?
Not to mention the fact that repurposing your content is just plain smart because you’re going to end up saving yourself a ton of time and energy and at the same time create a streamlined message across your brand. BOOM!
Ahh visibility. Quite the buzz word these days. But what does it really mean? Well, in a world where more and more businesses are increasing their online presences – visibility is the thing that you need more than ever to be top of mind for your ideal clients.
Is it all about sheer volume? Certainly not. But it does make sense. More visibility equals more eyes on your content. More eyes on your content equals more email subscribers. More email subscribers equals more warm leads. More warm leads turn into more hot leads. And I bet you can’t guess what comes next?!
Oh yeah – the sale.
So how does blog content give you visibility? Well first of all – let’s go back to the SEO bit. When people search Google for their questions – your content shows up and you’re visible. Then that same person is scrolling through Instagram and happen to scroll past your post about the same topic…oop, well what do ya know?
All of a sudden they’re thinking…”gosh, Anna is everywhere these days, she must really know her stuff” – and next thing you know – connection built.
What Should I Write About in My Blog for Business?
I know, creating the content to start with can be one of the most challenging parts of developing a blog content calendar. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t overthink every single blog topic, title, and outline.
You want your content to be really good, really high quality, and really helpful to your audience. Putting all of those things together can feel overwhelming.
So I want to help you come up with some simple topics for your blog for business that you can either start with or use when you hit a creativity roadblock.
For some of you – your long form Instagram or Facebook posts could be turned into blog posts. I see those and think, “oh man – I really hope they’re using a blog!”
But in case you’re still here waiting for those general topic ideas…here you go:
How to Start a Blog for Business
Ready to do this thing?
There’s a few logistical steps you’ll want to make sure you’ve taken care of first like securing a domain name, etc. But once those are taken care of – it’s time to dive into your content strategy.
I’m really about keeping things tangible and straightforward. I want you to really be able to consider how you could take what you learn here and put it into action. I’ve put together a list of steps for how to start a blog for your business.
1. Take Care of the Technical Stuff
If you don’t already have a website for your business there are going to be a few more steps in this process. However, I think it’s safe to assume that you have one. Just make sure you have purchased a domain name. Something like….yourbusinessname.com. You will want to start with choosing a webhost like BigScoots, Siteground, or Bluehost. Next, make sure you have a designated blog page on your website. No need to create an entirely different site for your blog. Remember, you want to generate that traffic to your business site and grow the community from there.
2. Decide How Often You Will Blog
Before diving into creating a content map for your blog, you’ll want to have an idea of how often you can commit to blogging. In the beginning a blog post might take you a few hours to complete but as you get more experienced, you’ll be able to whip out a blog post in no time. You want to consider what a good consistency is for you because you will want to be able to remain consistent with it. So whether it’s every week or every other week – decide on something that is doable for you and go from there.
3. Decide When You Will Publish New Blog Posts
It’s best to publish new blog posts on the same day each week (or every other week, if that’s what you decide). So choose a day that works for you and stick with it. Give it a few months and then reevaluate. If you know your community is more engaged on a specific day of the week – then switch it up. But try to remain consistent so that you can measure the effectiveness of the timing.
This will also help you with your workflow and knowing how to space everything out just right. I don’t just sit down in a single sitting and write a blog post to publish. Usually it’s a few different sessions working from research to outline to complete publishing. So give yourself time and space to work through the steps.
4. Create a Content Map
Content mapping is a way to plan out and structure your blog content in a well thought out and strategic approach. It’s a big web of content ideas and topics, showing how each one is related to the other through content pillars (or buckets) and related topics.
When I first started It’s Anna Blog back in 2015 – my approach was quite different. I’d sit down one day a week (usually Sunday) and craft up a blog post that I was proud of and hit publish. No content calendar, no plan, nada. And while you *can* use that approach – it won’t get you far. When I learned more about the things successful bloggers were doing, I understood that they started with a master plan.
Did the plan ever change? Sure! But at least when it did, you had something to go off of.
5. Establish a Workflow
Don’t do like I did and sit down one day a week to whip out a blog post. Take your time and plan each post out methodically. If you’re a perfectionist like me, try not to get too caught up in creating the perfect workflow. Trust me, I know the struggle of being in constant perfection mode and it can keep us stuck spinning our wheels at times. Here’s a few tips to help you get a blogging workflow started.
Decide what day(s) you will work on blog content.
Give yourself time to research the topic
Develop an outline before you start writing
Embed time to go back for editing/revising
These ideas for a blogging workflow should help you get started. As you go, you’ll learn what works for you and what doesn’t and you’ll be able to change and tweak it along the way.
What should a business blog about?
Remember how I said your blog is an authority builder?
Keep this at the front of your mind as you’re brainstorming topics! Remember that people want to know what you know. Think about the questions you often get about what you do? How can you provide a way for people to educate themselves?
Your blog content should be less of a journal of sorts and more of a guide that focuses on solving a problem for your audience. Doesn’t mean you can put your own spin on it or infuse your voice or personality in it! Actually, that’s the secret sauce to making better content – giving it the personal touch that only *you* can give it.
You’re going to have to have a good understanding of what it is that your readers want to know. It’s going to stretch you to think about what you do in new and interesting ways – but it’ll totally be worth it.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with topics here are a few general ones to get you started:
Frequently Asked Questions: Take each question and write a blog post dedicated to explaining the answer. Ex: What Should My Business Blog About?
“How To” posts – think about what it is you do and share how you do it. How to posts are popular and click worthy. Ex: How to Start a Blog for Business
“What Not to Do” posts – share some of the common mistakes you see made and how to avoid them. Ex: 15 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Blog
“Listicle” posts – Create a list of ways to, reasons why, or something different. Keep it tied to a list. This is what makes it appealing. Ex: 5 Reasons to Have a Blog for Business
How Do I Promote my Blog for Business?
If you haven’t ever promoted your blog for business before then it could feel really strange the first time you do.
Don’t let that stop you! Remember, someone in your community probably needs to hear what you have to share.
What I actually do after I press publish on a new blog post is plan out the supporting social media content, publish the blog post on as many platforms as possible (Pinterest is at the top of that list) and make sure my email list knows about it.
Don’t forget to tie in your blog content to your social content and make the call to action to go read the blog post for all the details you provided.
Our community members get used to interacting with us how we have conditioned them to – so give it some time before you start freaking out that it’s not working.
To wrap all this up with a bow, let me put it like this – blogging isn’t dead, but it’s not super easy either.
Writing blog content isn’t something everyone wants/likes to do, I get that. But if you do choose to invest in blog content on your website – the benefits will work for you over time as it’s such a great investment of your time and energy. And if you know blogging won’t be your ‘thing’ I highly recommend outsourcing and getting the support of an experienced content writer who knows how to structure your content for maximum visibility.