Ignore your real-estate agent, the best location for your business is ONLINE.
We buy our products on social media and find our doctors, lawyers, dentists and even friends through Google.
The key to growing your business is having a strong online presence.
But it’s no longer enough to just buy a couple of Google or Instagram ads.
Content marketing is focused on the creation/publication of content for a target audience online that promotes a brand indirectly by raising interest in its products/services.
The best way to get into content marketing is through blogging!
Having a blog connected to your company gives you several benefits you can’t receive anywhere else:
- Higher quantity and quality content to market
- More social media and general online presence
- A way to engage with and grow a follower base
- Variability to your website
- Credibility to you as a business woman or entrepreneur
- More opportunities to make money! (especially passive money)
- The chance to teach people about your business
And many more!
Convinced yet? Let’s get started.
This post will go through the 7 steps you need to start the right blog to market your business:
1. Narrow your focus.
The first thing you need to do is choose a focus for your blog.
What kind of blog would work best with your business model?
Here are 4 focuses that I’ve seen often —
The Teaching Blog: The business writes TOPICALLY about their area of expertise to teach their audience something.
Ex. a law business that does estate planning writes blog posts explaining complicated legal issues relating to estate planning. The posts are helpful, but they also market the firm because they catch the attention of people are looking to do estate planning. If they like the post, they might set up an appointment with the firm.
The News Blog: The business shares what’s CURRENTLY HAPPENING on the inside.
Ex. a boutique is opening a new location in a different city, so they write a post about it on the blog so people can stay updated on its progress.
The Testimonial Blog: The business has CUSTOMERS write about their own personal EXPERIENCES to help prospective customers decide whether or not to use the company.
Ex. positive reviews by a loyal customer of the latest organic beauty product are posted on the blog.
The Inspirational Blog: The business shares REAL STORIES of the people they AIM TO HELP.
Ex. World Vision writes a blog post about a girl in Uganda that doesn’t have access to clean water and how it impacts her life and future goals.
Generally speaking, companies that provide SERVICES tend to use the TEACHING method, LARGE companies use the NEWS method, companies that sell PRODUCTS use the TESTIMONIAL method, and NON-PROFIT organizations use the INSPIRATIONAL method.
2. Research your competitors.
Start by looking at your competitor’s websites and blogs. Do some research on what you like about them and what you don’t.
When you see what other people are doing and ask yourself,
- What’s missing?
- What can I be doing better?
- What specific valuable thing can I add?
You want to be providing tangible VALUE to your readers in some way, meaning you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd!
If you see that everyone else is hyper-focusing on one topic, consider choosing a different way or at least writing from a new perspective with a new solution.
If no one else is doing what you’re doing, then that’s great and you should definitely let your readers know that!
3. Develop your platform.
The next step is to choose the right platform for your blog.
If you already have a business website (you should), you can add another page and make it your blog.
If you don’t want to connect your business and blog that explicitly, you can create an entirely new site just for your blog, and put links connecting the two sites on each one.
If you’re creating a new platform for your blog, decide whether you want to go full-on social media or focus more on a website (or both if you have the resources).
Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to KEEP EVERYTHING BRANDED.You want consistency across every platform your business owns.Click To Tweet
If you have a signature color, logo and/or graphic, use them on everything!
Creating a blog IS NOT creating a new business or new look.
It is an extension of your company (hint: content marketing!), so it should look like it goes under your company’s brand.
4. Target your audience base
Once you have a site, it naturally follows that you will want visitors to that site.
Now, it’s not wise to target the general public with your blog.
Why? You must be more resourceful than that.
- Who buys your products?
- Who is most likely to use your services?
- Who is interested in the topic you’re writing about?
Don’t try to do it all!
Choose ONE GROUP that you want reading your blog the most, and research how to reach and engage with them.
For example, I’m writing a blog about food to promote my kitchen products and latest cookbook publication. Is the cookbook easy meals for working moms? Or is it more avocado toast type?
If the book is for middle-aged women, I might try a Facebook group and design my website with lots of pictures of people and bright colors. Keeping your website looking up to date and relevant are aspects that will keep the audience interested in your site. Not everyone is as tech savvy as other, so when it comes to designing, they may see this as a challenge. Not to worry though, as there are companies like Web Design Plus SEO, who specialise in website designs at an affordable price. You can talk to them about what you want and be proud of your blog.
If the book is for millennials, I might choose a more minimalistic design and try out an Instagram page with aesthetically pleasing pictures of my recipes.Decide what your ideal customer would like and market your content with that person in mind.Click To Tweet
5. Learn SEO best practices
So now that you have a website and a target audience, you just have to get your website TO your target audience.
Simple yet challenging.
Lucky for you, there’s a few easy steps you can take to make sure your website is showing up at the top of search pages.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of ensuring your site is as easy to find as possible by increasing your potential online visibility.
SEO practices are considered your “organic” reach, so it costs you nothing except a few minutes of your time.
The best way to gain visibility is to carefully use KEYWORDS that people might search for in your bio, on your images alt texts/descriptions, in your headlines and in the first/last lines of your post.
Ex. My site is about female entrepreneurship. Every image has the alt text, “female entrepreneur and business advice on ladybossblogger.com” and my headlines are usually “How To _____” — both very searchable terms!
There are many other SEO best practices that you can utilize in optimizing your web page to be seen. Do more research online and take the time to pay attention to those details that will be key to your online success!
Download the Keywords Everywhere a FREE chrome extension to help you out with keywords.
6. Collaborate with your community
There are people who make a living writing about companies.
These people — usually influencers or full-time bloggers — WANT to work with brands. That’s their goal.
Here’s my biggest piece of advice — use them.
There are 3 ways you can collaborate with other bloggers and influencers:
- Sponsored Posts: You pay someone to review your product or service on their social media page or blog. They (hopefully) recommend your company to their follower base.
- Affiliate Marketing: Someone writes blog posts that link to your product/service and they get a commission when anyone buys from that link.
- Guest Posts: Accepting and submitting blog posts helps you get traffic from other similar websites with people who might be looking for what you have.
To find these people, you can search things like #sponsored or #ad in social media. You can also type in [topic] blog and see what other bloggers that might relate to your company might be interested in collaborating on.
7. Turn readers into customers
Keep providing valuable content to your readers and keep linking them back to your actual product/service.
Once you have a solid readership that trusts you and finds your blog useful, they will naturally slide over to the business part of your site to use those products/services you’re always going on about!
Good luck and happy blogging!
Bethany Peterson is a junior at Wheaton College (IL) studying Interdisciplinary Studies and Journalism with a minor in Spanish. She has worked in blogging for three years first as a staff blogger for 31Women Ministries, and now as an intern with LadyBossBlogger. She serves as Co-Editor in Chief at the Wheaton Record and hopes to go into journalism after graduation.