Bloggers are individuals full of opinions, journaling about their everyday lives, right? If you’ve ever believed in this limited view of bloggers, chances are you don’t have a blog for your company website.
If you do it might be stiff and clunky, more like a sales pitch of new products than a compelling read for your customers. However, business blogs can bring in more traffic than an unchanging, basic website, so it’s worth reexamining how you approach your website’s content.
Write About News Related to Your Industry
If you just blog about your new products, no one is going to care but you. Think of your business blog as providing a service for its readers. Check out this promotional pen blog as an example and bookmark it. The blog aims to show business owners how effective personalized pens can be as business swag to include with orders or to give out at festivals and events. Notice how the blog also provides information on pen-related topics as a whole. This is information businesses could use to help them benefit from passing out pens personalized with the business information and logo.
Don’t Be Afraid of “I” and “We”
Many businesses confuse the need to project a “professional image” with the need to be stiff and impersonal. When creating a business blog, don’t be afraid to use first person, i.e., “I/my/me” and “we/our/us.” Whether you assign one person at the company to update the blog regularly or you cycle through a team of writers, showing your readers there are actual humans updating the blog with interesting stories to tell will create a greater readership.
However, while you should loosen your guidelines and aim to be more human on the blog, don’t leave behind professionalism entirely. Keep personal anecdotes brief, without too much detail and related to the business at hand. For example, if you’re selling toys, you could write about a childhood memory with your siblings that would have been even better if you had your business’ toy. Lead with the story and move quickly onto the true focus: the great new toy you’re offering. Inject humor when appropriate, but run it by other co-workers to make sure you won’t offend.
Provide a Behind-the-Scenes Look
While looking for more personal, professional content to post to your company blog, craft a number of behind-the-scenes stories, complete with photos. Give readers an idea of what goes on in the day-to-day operations of your business. Shine a spotlight on one department at a time. Show your readers there are real people who are passionate about their work behind the products or services you sell, and get them excited about getting to know your business as well as the businesses they trust in their local communities.
“Solve” Customer Problems With Your Offerings
Rather than making too many posts just about new products or services, write blog posts about problems your targeted consumers face and how your offerings can solve those problems. For instance, if you fix computers, write a blog about common computer problems that signify a professional should look at the computer. If you sell blankets, write about how consumers can stay warm while they save money by turning down the thermostat in winter. Provide content readers could use, and subtly offer them the solution: your business.
Don’t Overuse Keywords
Early on in the days of Internet marketing, SEO (search engine optimization) involved keyword repetition. For example, if you want people who type “buy health drinks” into a search engine to find your site, you posted content with “buy health drinks” over and over, regardless of how clunky and unappealing the content was. Search engines don’t operate that way anymore and actually penalize sites that use the same keywords too much. Don’t repeat a keyword or phrase more than twice per article; instead, focus on the quality of the content, and include related keywords as well.
According to Forbes.com, only 65 percent of businesses included a blog on their websites as of the end of 2011, but 85 percent of those businesses with a blog considered it “critical” to their marketing success. What seems like a frivolous timewaster to some businesses is actually key to subtly driving more traffic to your website — and to conversion optimization, which is insuring your visitors become repeat visitors because they like what they find on your site. Develop a business website blog effectively, and you’ll reap the benefits of repeat traffic.
About the Author: Gary Austin is the founder of Gary Austin Advertising and runs the site’s blog. He can’t say how much business he has gotten from the quality content he offers on his site!