How To Start an Efficient, Effective, Results-Driven Business Blog
Considering starting blog for your business?
Business blogs are huge assets that have the power to improve your SEO, land you new clients and patients, and sell your products and services. They benefit your audience as much as they benefit your business (which is a lot!). And, they make you look awesome by establishing you as an expert in the process.
When they’re done right, business blogs give you a massive ROI — easily paying back the resources you invest in them. Today, we’re teaching you how specifically to do business blogging right, without spending endless hours on each post.
Table of Contents
- Why Blogging is Important for Businesses
- How to Start Blogging for your Business
- Measuring The Success of Your Blog
- Taking Your Business Blog to the Next Level
Why Is Blogging Important For Businesses?
A business blog is a highly powerful but tragically underutilized tool.
If you blog even somewhat consistently and get into a simple but efficient and SEO-focused workflow, you can expect to see tons of results, like:
- More website traffic
- Higher conversion rates
- Better new and future client relationships
- Increased trust between you and your readers
- Better engagement
And all of that? It equals a sky-high ROI.
Blogging improves your website’s SEO
Every time you blog, you’re essentially creating a new page of your website. And more web pages means more chances to rank in Google.
Thing is, ranking on Google doesn’t just happen. (I mean, if it was as easy as just posting something, everyone would rank!) To have a better chance at outranking your competition, you’ll need to put a little effort into your SEO. The good news though, is that if you do, you’re very likely to increase your website traffic!
How likely, you ask? Well, according to HubSpot, businesses that blog have 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links (other sites linking to their site), and 434% more indexed pages, compared to businesses that don’t.
…which essentially means WAY more awareness for you and your business.
It means more eyes on your content, more potential clients landing on your website instead of your competitors, and more websites linking back to yours.
So while it does take a few extra minutes to optimize your blog posts, and you might have to learn a new skill or two to do it well, we promise it’s 100% worth the effort.
SEO = ROI, every damn time.
Blogging helps build your brand
Blogging builds trust with your audience, which is important whenever you’re selling anything.
Especially if they’re in line with your business’s brand voice and messaging, your blog posts will help you reinforce your brand values, connect with your target audience, and showcase both your personality and your expertise.
Bottom line? Blogging makes your business look gooooood.
Blogging serves your business and your audience
If you’re already busy creating content elsewhere, using your blog can help you stay organized. It can and should house all of your best content, so it’s easy for your audience to find what they need (like answers to their FAQs), and easy for you to optimize and monetize where you can.
How To Start a Business Blog
You in for this whole ‘business blogging’ thing? We thought you might be! Here’s how to get started:
First, know that starting a blog is super doable! Depending on the time and resources you have available, you can choose to do it yourself or have it done for you.
For the sake of this post, let’s assume you’re doing it yourself and that you already have your website and blog set up. (If you’re not there yet, check out Neil Patel’s post on how to set up your blog once you’re done here.)
Step 1: Identify your content pillars
Once your blog is set up, it’s time to start coming up with blog post ideas — but don’t go straight to the topic brainstorm! Instead, start by identifying your content pillars.
Content pillars are essentially the 4-6 overall categories that your content will fall into. For most business owners they’re pretty clearly defined.
For example, our content pillars are:
- Content Strategy
- Data Driven Marketing
- Small Business Marketing
(Okay the cats one isn’t real, but with the amount of cat content we create and share… it could be.)
To identify your content pillars, consider the different types of services you offer. You might even do a bit of keyword research to find out what types of content people are searching for.
Step 2: Come up with a list of blog topic ideas
Now that you have your pillars, it’s time to do a blog topic brain dump. Write down any topics you think you could ever want to write about, and then do some basic keyword research to find out what your audience wants.
Stuck on this whole coming-up-with-ideas thing? Our top 3 ways to find new blog post ideas should help!
Pro Tip: Start from your FAQs
Blog topics can be much simpler than you think.
Especially if you’re an expert in your field (which we’re assuming you are), there are very likely things you know — things your audience would love to learn about — that you think are almost too basic to talk about. But, we promise you, they are not!
Keyword research will likely help you identify topics like this. Topics that make you go, “Really? They want to know that? I can talk about that in my SLEEP!”
(Being able to write about something in your sleep is a major time saver!)
Step 3: Do your keyword research
Here’s how to use basic keyword research to help you find blog topics:
First, prep your keyword research sheet
Open a blank Google Sheet or Excel Spreadsheet or make a copy of our Free Content Planning Worksheet.
Next, brainstorm your ideas
Brain dump your blog topic ideas and the keywords you think your audience might search in order to find those topic ideas. Sometimes, these two things will be the same. Other times, they’ll be different.
- Topic idea: How to blog
- Keyword idea: How do I start a business blog?
Then, turn to Google
Type your keyword ideas into a Google search and scroll down to the bottom and check out ‘recommended searches’. These are additional, related keywords that people are, for a fact, searching in Google. Add any relevant ones to your list!
Now, start collecting the data
Enter your keywords into a free tool like Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner to find their ‘Estimated Monthly Searches,’ which just means how many times each month people are searching that phrase in Google.
You want to document which of your topics have the most searches. The more searches it has, more potential it has to bring visitors to your blog and the more likely it is to resonate with your readers because it’s something they’re looking for.
Next, Google again to scope out the competition
Go back to Google and this time, type in each of your keywords to take stock of your competition. Which websites are ranking in the top three spots, and what are they doing well?
Consider how your site compares against those sites. Based on the size and authority of your site (in other words, how you look in Google’s eyes), how likely do you think are you to rank on each keyword? In other words, try to figure out whether or not you can actually compete for that keyword!
If you’re a mommy blog and the top three results on Google come from rock-solid sources like What To Expect, Today’s Parent, and Mother.ly, your chances are not great. But, if the competitors are 3 other small to medium sized mommy blogs, you have a shot!
Rate your keywords on a 1 to 5 scale, 1 being “I could rank easily,” 3 being “ I could very likely rank if I create super strong content,” and 5 being “those sites are way out of my league.”
Pro Tip: Noticing a lot of 4s and 5s?
Try narrowing your key phrase by adding more words to your keyword. Big, broad-topic keywords definitely get searched more, but they’re also harder to rank for. So instead of trying (and failing) to rank for “vegetarian recipes,” maybe you create amazing content about, and actually rank for, “kid-friendly vegetarian recipes.”
Lastly, shortlist your list of keywords
So, now you have an epic list of keywords with their respective search volumes and competition. Have a look through it and make a shorter list of the keywords you want to start with! You’ll want to select ones that have competition levels that you can actually rank for. Ideally, they’ll be ones that have a slightly higher search volume so you can grow your audience.
And, voila! You just did keyword research.
Step 4: Make a Super-Efficient Blog Creation Process
Does writing a blog post take you an entire day? Are you over it before you even start? Do you feel like all you ever do is create content for different platforms? Can you literally not even?!
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you, my friend, are suffering from content creation burnout!
Content creation burnout is defined by having an inefficient,
time-consuming all-consuming, process (or lack thereof), with the resulting feeling being that you’d rather die than keep writing.
Dramatic? Maybe. True? You tell me!
The thing is, good blog posts always take time, but if you have a good system in place, they don’t have to take that much time. There is a world where you write content for 3-4 hours a week and then STOP, having created enough for all of your platforms.
How do we know? Because we live in this world!
There are three steps to blogging efficiently (meaning, in a way that saves you time and gives you the highest ROI):
- Build your blog posts around a keyword (which we’ve covered already)
- Build your content creation plan around your blog
- Repurpose your blog post into content for other platforms
How to build an entire content strategy around your blog
A surefire way to hate creating content is to shoot from the hip and start from scratch each time you do.
To avoid this, develop a content creation strategy that ties everything together and stems from blog posts.
So, instead of spending your week like this…
- Monday: Writing an IG caption on-the-spot
- Tuesday: Write a stream-of-consciousness blog post
- Wednesday: Whip out another IG caption (totally unrelated)
- Thursday: Instagram again
- Friday: Crap, forgot about Facebook. Do Facebook!
Create a system that looks like this…
Monday from 8 am – 12 pm:
- Write a 500 word blog post, built around a keyword (2 hours)
- Pull 3 or 4 Instagram captions from that blog post (45 minutes)
- Pull 1-2 Facebook captions from the same post (15 minutes)
- Create a handful of Pins to drive traffic to (you guessed it!) the same post (1 hour)
BAM! 4 hours, 1 week of content, all platforms covered.
Want to be even more efficient? Batch-create your content. Spend 2 days/month getting all of this done at once, so the other 28 days can focus strictly on revenue-generating activities.
Step 5: Start Blogging!
The best time to start a business blog? Yesterday. The second best time? Right now.
For a little bit of super-manageable up-front work, your business can have its very own SEO-building, brand-strengthening, client-serving blog — one that helps generate leads and convert website visitors.
Measuring The Success of Your Blog
We’re all about creating results-driven content, and like you, we have zero time to waste. So we would never encourage you to invest time and/or resources into blogging if we couldn’t set you up to track and measure your success!
To start, make a copy of our free Blog Performance Tracking Sheet so you can measure the performance of your posts over time, and understand which ones are driving revenue for you vs. which ones might need some TLC to get there.
If you need some guidance on where to find those Key Performance Indicators (aka KPIs) check out our post on measuring the success of your business blog.
Taking Your Business Blog to the Next Level
You now have all the information you need to do it yourself, including our Free Content Planner Worksheet. The rest is up to you. Unless, of course, you want our help!
When you’re ready to take things to the next level, we’re here for you. We help clients with things like building strategic content with internal linking strategies, coordinating guest posts to build SEO authority and generate backlinks, and creating content workflows so they can create content smarter, not harder.
Interested? Book a consultation and we’ll chat about you and how we can grow your business blog.