Mediocre Blog Content

3 Keys to Having a Successful Business Blog

The average business blog owner is doing it wrong. By “it” I mean the content creation and the day-to-day management of that content. The truth is that the average business blog is nothing more than a bundle of boring text that puts the readers that they have to sleep. This is unfortunate, because in 2014 there are few ways better ways to promote your business, gain new prospects/customers, and sharpen your brand’s identity than with a powerful, focused business blog.

Mediocre Blog Content

Mediocrity is the norm in the blogosphere. But that’s good news for you. Because when mediocrity is so common, a little bit of effort and strategy will put your blog over the top. We’re going to highlight the steps you need to take to elevate your blog’s content, and to transcend the status quo. We’re going to talk about the 3 keys to having a successful blog, but you must first know this: Your blog should represent who you are.

Your readers need to know who you are when they hit your blog. When I say “know who you are” I’m not talking about the name of your business, where you’re located, the type of products you sell—all of that can fit into your About Page. I’m talking about the vibe you evoke, your philosophy, your style, what separates you from the multitude of other businesses in your niche. See, your voice needs to be loud enough to escape the noise. You need to be a white dot on a black canvas.

There are a few ways to do this—ways that you can better express your message so that you stay memorable in the minds of your readers.

Key 1: Having a Nicely Designed Blog

One of the first things they’ll notice is the actual design of the blog. People judge a book by its cover, so make sure that your design is, at the very least, appealing to your audience. No, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you don’t need a super-sophisticated, state of the art blog design. A basic and minimal design that is well done (and easy to navigate) can perform better than a complex design in some cases. But know this: your brand’s personality can be articulated in the design of your blog. If you use the right colors, have interesting typography, and select eye-catching images for the individual blog posts, you will stand out. This is called visual branding. Think of this visual branding as a way to get new prospects through the door. No, design alone won’t keep them invested in your blog, but it will help to spark an initial interest.

Key #2: Using a Natural Tone in Your Posts

The tone of the blog is, needless to say, very important. Do you want a free-flowing conversational style, sophisticated business-speak, or something esoteric and technical? The tone of your posts needs to be congruent with your company’s brand. A company that sells software solutions in the B2B sphere will have a far different tone than a florist, for example. The default tone of a blog post will be, in most cases, conversational, as that gives the blog owner the most flexibility in the content that he/she creates. But that is just a suggestion. No one should know your audience better than you, so use a tone that they’ll find agreeable and natural.

Key #3: Having Content That Provides Real Value

Every “epic” piece of content has great value. It’s what attracts the majority of your blog visitors and it’s what keeps them interested and invested in the long run.

In a previous blog post we talked about the effectiveness of long-form blog articles and the process of writing them. One major point that we want to get across is that just because the blog post is long-form it doesn’t make it great. A 1500 word post with little value is like buying a $500 pair of shoes that will fall apart the day after you buy them. Only write a long post if the topic requires it.  And if a long post is necessary, make sure it is filled to the brim with value.

Writing a blog posts for a business is a balancing act. You don’t want too much of one thing. If you have a business blog, the purpose is probably to make sales AND build the perception of authority. This is where many bloggers screw up. They get too thirsty and become too sales-focused, often force-feeding their products and services to their reading audience. You are essentially building a house with no foundation if you place the pursuit of sales before your authority.

You gain authority by writing powerful, actionable posts. This type of content offers extreme value to your audience, and they will see your blog as a prime resource in your market or niche.

Throughout your posts, talk about your service or product in a subtle way. Heavy promotion is arrogant and unmindful and your readers will resent you for it. Robust content that offers great, free value is the best way to garner appreciation from your readers and to secure their long-term interest in your brand. You want promotion to seem natural, and you want to present your product as a necessary solution to the problems that your readers may face.

Providing content that your audience will want to consume is an evergreen strategy. It’s predicated on one strong principle: Giving people what they want. It’s about putting the needs of your prospects/customers before your own. It’s a slow process, but very rewarding, and it’s something that can facilitate new sales growth in the long run.

8 thoughts on “3 Keys to Having a Successful Business Blog”

  1. Each of the keys mentioned above are very necessary no matter what kind of a blog you own.

    If you want people to read and return again then those things must all be taken into consideration.

    The design of your blog as mentioned is one very important thing you must work on. If you have a drabby looking blog or a blog that is cluttered with ads and hard to navigate, then not many people are going to like it.

    Providing value is another great point because if you are not going to provide value then what is the point of your blog. You have to build your blog with your readers in mind and if you do, you can build a really great blog that people will love reading!

    Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!

  2. What’s sad here is that these three simple rules must be written down and preached time and again. While it’s understandable that not all have experience when it comes to running a business blog the points you made are one of the first things you read when learning about blogging.

    A good design for your blog is like having a clean inviting house. A natural voice for the posts is like a good greeting offered to your visitors. And finally, providing content with real value for the users is like putting something nice on the table for your house guests to eat.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! I think there are some points that are rehashed time and time again but I feel this post is done with a genuine emphasis for those whom are new to the ” blog ” game. There are quite a few start ups, aspiring web entrepreneurs, or new blog owners whom seem to read the points listed, roll their eyes, and not follow directions.

      As a social media marketer, I have heard these three points to nauseam but I find myself directing my clients to this article because they seem to displace their expectations on what they need to be successful overall.

      To me, it’s not about building a site, it’s about creating a brand that yields a variety of benefits allowing the audience to take confidence in the logo and ethics at which I operate. There are about 100 points that are missing from this article but I think the basics are well covered.

    2. Preach, for you are incredibly correct! I’d go as far to say as the basic concepts behind these ideas are timeless, not matter how much society changes around us! Also, your analogy with the clean house is very clear! It’s easy to feel lost in a dirty, uninviting, and cluttered home (hint hint, home is blog). Haha!

  3. I’ve recently just started a blog where I’ll be doing the process of affiliate marketing on. I wouldn’t say it’s a business blog, however, I will be making some extra cash on that blog through a commission basis.

    I love this post because it gives me some great advice when starting up. I’m worried about the content that I put up. I’m afraid people will think it’s boring or trying too hard. I really want my blog to be liked by many viewers, and I really hope I get great feedback from my market.

    1. If your going for the concept of making money through commissions provided by affiliate marketers then I would suggest the following:

      1. Niche Specific – Create content specific to the product’s niche and make sure the tone of your content is ” Evergreen”. Evergreen means the content is cohesive yet relative to all comprehension levels. If you want to sell a product, it should come through to the audience as authentic and genuine.

      2. Affiliate Overload- Never overload each article with ” sales pitches”. Make sure you have content available on your site that is prevalent to the niche. Your able to generate income through CPA or Adsense. You will uphold a better reputation and sell more if your audience feels as though you are an afficienado on the topic.

      3. Consistency – Ensure you work with the same writer or have a back up writer who is aware of the general tone of your content to produce content daily for you. You want to keep the site updated to gain prevalence with your audience.

      I would suggest creating a blog with a magazine theme. This allows you to cover different topics, broadens the audience and allows you to provide affiliate suggestions authentically.

  4. While I agree with everything you are saying, I’d like to add that the blog should be fun as well. People really like fun, easy-to-read posts like top 10 lists with large images. These kind of blog posts can go viral on social media and bring in a lot of traffic. And, yes, social media traffic doesn’t convert very well, but I’m sure that at least a very small percentage of the visitors would convert. Besides that, you’d get the word out there.

  5. Thanks for the helpful tips, they pretty much apply to any type of blog! I especially like the using a natural tone tip! I cannot stress how true it is. No one likes a blogger who seems like he/she is trying way too hard to grab you attention!

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