Every business should have a blog, yet few take the time to create a blog and even fewer actively create content for their blogs. It seems like every other day I see new business courses on Facebook marketing, Instagram marketing, and Pinterest marketing—yet very few people are taking advantage of the biggest search engine in the world—Google.
54% of people search monthly for local business related topics and 12% of people are searching for a local business everyday. If we break that down into the U.S., that’s 160 million people searching each week for a business like yours.
And to go a step deeper, people aren’t just searching for a business, they are searching for answers to their questions, which in time, leads them to become customers as they trust you. People crave information and it’s your prerogative as a business to educate them. Let’s look at how a business blog can revolutionize your business.
What makes a good business blog?
A good business blog needs to accomplish a few things simultaneously. This isn’t difficult, but it’s important to have a formula you can use every time. Whenever your fingers hit the keyboard, you should know exactly what you are about to do.
A good business blog should provide incredible information, generate consistent organic traffic (free traffic), and create powerful content to share on other networks. Think of your blog as the place where you create industry authority.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these blogging needs.
A business blog needs to offer great information
The main reason you start a business blog is to answer questions, offer advice, and show authority. And this is precisely the reason you need to create compelling content. Content is everything.
GOOD CONTENT IS KING!
You will be tempted to air-out industry frustrations or personal battles, but your blog is not the place. Remember, every new visitor is a potential new customer, and their first impression will be shaped by your words.
A customer, no matter what industry, will start off with a need or a question. That’s how they will find you. Chances are, they’ll be searching the internet for specific type of company or help with a specific issue.
A search engine is where people go to find the answer to their problems—and you should be first in line to help them.
And here is the golden nugget to always keep in mind: Content is meant to FIRST help your customer, and then to show your expertise and authority. It’s all about the needs of the customer.
Far too many companies write about how great they are, their big wins, and yet, no one ever finds their page because they aren’t searching for conceited content.
Whenever you are wondering what to write, first think, “Will this help my customer?” And, “Is this truly valuable content?”
If the answer is yes to both of the those questions, start writing.
An entrepreneur understands the needs of their customer and provides answers to that need. If the need is hunger, a good chef can show you how to cook. If the need is more time back in your day, a great landscaper can offer helpful advice.
Think in terms of talking less about yourself and more about what your customer cares about.
The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”Peter Drucker
A business blog needs to generate organic traffic
If you are going to spend the time blogging, you might as well do a little bit of keyword research and find out what types of information people are searching for.
And yes, PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING! Every second, 63,000 searches are typed into Google. That’s a lot of searching people!
You see, people are constantly searching for answers to questions. Don’t believe me? Look at your search history and observe how many times you’ve asked Google to help you solve a problem.
We do it all the time, sometimes unaware of how often we do it.
And this search doesn’t always include Google, Yahoo, or Safari. Many times that search is taken to YouTube or other social media platforms. The point is, people are constantly searching for help and search engines are getting better and better at presenting reasonable solutions to questions in the form of website suggestions.
This is the reason why starting a blog for your business is a terrific idea. It gives you an opportunity to generate traffic based on the questions of your customers.
So how does this work?
It’s not complicated. Head over to Google and start typing in questions that you think your customers are looking for. Google will then give you a bunch of suggestions.
From those suggestions, you can pull a ton of low competition searches. I wrote all about my step by step process to using Google search suggestions to do SEO for free.
You’ll get better and better at asking the same questions your customers will ask. In fact, I’m sure you have 10-15 questions in mind already.
What are the questions you hear over and over again from your existing customers? Image there are hundreds more just like them waiting to be helped everyday.
A business blog should educate customers across multiple platforms
The best part about blogging is when you answer questions on your blog today, they will be relevant today AND in the future. We call this “evergreen content”.
Evergreen content is when you create content that people can continue to search for over the course of years. For example, when you search for something on YouTube, you’ll notice that many of the video suggestions are years old.
In the example above, this video was created 3 years old, and yet today, I found it. That’s the beauty of creating content–it continues to reward you over time.
And when you write timeless content, you can share it across multiple platforms. The minute you publish a blog, you can share it on your business Facebook, Medium, business Instagram, business LinkedIn, and more.
Blogging gives you a reason to share your content across multiple platforms. In fact, every time you write a blog, you have a rough draft for a great YouTube video. And then you can put the link to your blog in your YouTube description.
Expert tip 1: Take the date published off your blog. That way, when people are visiting your blog and land on a page that was written two years ago, they don’t leave because they think it’s outdated.
Expert tip 2: You most likely to have 4-8 headings/questions answered in your single blog post. You can use those headings as ideas to promote your blog across social media platforms multiple times per week. Each question or heading could be one social post. Even though you’ll be promoting the same blog, certain questions and topics will impact people differently and encourage them to click.
Expert tip 3: If you own a local business, you can research customer questions by including the location as well. For example, if you are a realtor in Boise, you might want to include great local content.
❌ Blog topic: Is renting or buying better? – Too competitive, too broad, you’ll never rank.
✅ Blog topic: Is renting or buying better in Meridian, Idaho? Very focused, demographic specific, relevant, and you have a chance rank over time for quality evergreen content.
How do I make my business blog successful?
There are three things that matter more than anything else:
- Great blogs create the most useful content on the search page
- Great blogs are updated weekly with fresh content
- Great blogs write on topics that they can rank for
Yep, that’s it. Just three steps. Those three steps are what separates cruddy business blogs from booming, successful business blogs.
Why you should always strive to write the most useful content
Writing helpful content is probably the most important thing you can do for your business blog. There are millions of blogs on the internet, and most of them are unhelpful. To find out if you are on the right track, ask yourself these four questions after every blog:
- Is this the best resource that you can find on the subject?
- Is this resource genuinely helpful or filled with fluff?
- Is the information in this blog detailed enough to provide maximum impact?
- Are there things my competitors are putting on their blog that might make it difficult to rank above them (e.g., videos, pictures, guides, lists, etc)?
If you can answer “yes” to questions 1,2,3 and no to 4, then you should get writing.
Why you should update your blog weekly
Updating your blog weekly is great habit to get into. The more content you write, the more opportunities you give yourself to market your expertise.
Think of your business blog like a billboard. If you put up one billboard, some cars will see it, and most won’t. If you put up 5 billboards, a good many cars will so it, some won’t. If you put a billboard up every mile on route 66, every driver would see it at some point.
It’s all about exposure.
It’s great to get into a habit of blogging weekly because you can get into a rhythm. It’s easy to write two or three great posts and then wait six months for another one. Blogging success must meet blogging posture.
By blogging about 1 specific topic week in and week out, your readers will return every week because they know what to expect, and see you as a specialist, not a generalist.Ryan Biddulph
Blogging From Paradise
In my experience, writing 30 blogs put you in a position to start to get traffic. At 34 blogs, this traffic was receiving over 1000 visitors per day (within the first year).
In general, the average quality blog post will have +-1500 words. A blog with 66 posts will have around 100,000 words. In comparison, a 400 page book is about 100,000 words. That’s right, you will have written the equivalent of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 66 high-quality blog posts.
Your goal should be to get to 30 high-quality blogs as quickly as you can. And from there—with consistency—your success will escalate quickly.
|Writing 1 Blog Per Week||Writing 2 Blogs Per Week||Writing 3 Blogs Per Week|
|Words Per Year||78,000||156,000||234,000|
Why you should write content that you can rank for
Okay, here’s the hard truth: writing impulsively on topics without direction will lead your business blog to no-man’s land.
Sure, writing 100+ blog posts will get nearly all business websites some traffic—even if it’s riddled with errors. On the other hand, writing 100 low-competition blog posts will get nearly all business websites MASSIVE traffic.
So how do you know what is low competition? This is a skill you can pick up pretty quickly. I wrote an in-depth article about this recently. In general, the longer and more specific the question, the lower competition you will see.
The example above shows us two different stories. The first search was “how to write a book.” This search had Domain Authority (DA) rankings of 59 and 48 for the first two websites. This is a 0-100 ranking on how authoritative a site is. A DA of 50 is really strong. Chances are, you’re not outranking these sites.
The second site search was “how to write a book with two authors.” Two of the first three search results were DA under 26 and the first result was a DA 4. Because this search term was ultra-specific, your chance of writing a first page ranking blog post is much better.
Expert tip: The DA plug-in is called MOZ search bar. It’s helpful when getting a birds-eye-view of what the page ranking looks like. Stay away from really competitive search terms if possible.
Just get started already
Which brings me to my GOLDEN POINT: If you start blogging today, and you don’t stop, you’ll be WAY AHEAD. Search engines reward the diligent. They love consistency. And the amount of content you create is often correlated with the amount of traffic you receive.
Blog five times, and you’ll receive no traffic. Blog 150 times, and you will see SERIOUS traffic. The key is setting a schedule and honoring your commitment. I’d recommend blogging 2x per week. If you do this, you’ll have roughly 100 posts within the year.
That’s A LOT of content and very impactful work.
If you are going to write 100 posts over the next year, write good content. Don’t waste your time. You’d never start cooking a meal if you thought it would taste like crap. The same goes for blogging. Write with the intention of creating sensational content. My guide on post length and research will help you a lot.
What should I blog about for my business?
You should always talk about what’s most relevant to your customer. Your accolades, accomplishments, and all-around awesome business acumen means ZERO to your customer until they TRUST YOU.
How do you build trust? You answer their questions with detailed, relevant content.
So what is relevant content? I’ll use an example to illustrate my point.
Let’s say you’re a landscaping company and you want to start a blog. Think about what your potential customer might be ask Google:
- Why won’t my grass seed grow in the summer?
- How can I remove a maple tree from my backyard?
- Is hiring a lawn mowing company worth it?
- Will baking soda kill weeds?
These are all examples of content ideas that a landscaper could consider writing about. And if you think answering questions specifically will encourage customers to DIY their own yard, you are absolutely right. Many of them will.
But you need to focus on what matters. Getting people to your website. As any good business owner knows, sales are all about opportunities. If you get 100 opportunities, you’ll close more sales than if you only get 10 opportunities.
So while answering the pressing questions to your clients concerns may lead them to do things themselves, this fantastic content will also encourage search engines to send you piles of traffic. Piles of traffic = new customers.
How long should my blog post be? Your blog post should be at least 1200 words. After you write 1200 words, the goal is to eliminate the fluff while optimizing the information. My average blog length is around 1750 words and I’ve gone over 5000 words before. If you want a breakdown of how I determine blog length, this post will help you out.
Where should I create a business blog? For long-term success, I would start a self-hosted WordPress site. It’s a scalable platform that makes blogging very easy. I’ve outlined every plugin and theme I use for WordPress in this post.
How do I create a business blog for free? You can start a business blog for free at WordPress.com or Medium.com. Both of these platforms are great. Medium can give you greater short term exposure because it’s also a search engine while WordPress can offer the greatest business flexibility long-term (you own your site).
A third option for people with big LinkedIn networks is to start a blog there and post it to your audience. This can work well in business to business industries.