Most marketers know how important blogging is, but if you have ever managed a blog for your company, you know how difficult it is to build a dedicated audience. Unlike social media, which allows you to cultivate new followers directly within an already-popular platform, blogging requires you to give your readers a compelling reason to leave Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for your website. This is no easy task, which is why some modern marketers are focusing only on social media.
That approach, however, is misguided.
Think of it this way: building your social presence on a platform like Facebook or LinkedIn is like renting your home. You never really own your property. So not only are you subject to ever-changing search algorithms, but you also limit your opportunities to those available on that platform. Sharing articles can help you cultivate a sense of industry authority, but you aren’t likely to generate new leads. Driving traffic to your own website is a long-term investment in yourself and your company. No matter what new social media channels may rise or fall in popularity, you will always have a platform to express your ideas and reach new customers.
So, how do you start a successful business blog? The short answer is patience and perseverance, but thankfully, there are concrete ways to grow a dedicated audience. Here are three specific steps you can take today toward seeing your audience grow tomorrow:
Create an editorial calendar.
Consistency is often what separates successful blogs from those that never quite take off – even if those blogs feature useful content. Having a plan is the best way to persevere when it feels like no one’s reading. Before you begin publishing, start by getting organized. Determine the topics you plan to cover and what makes your approach unique, then develop a calendar with specific story ideas. An editorial calendar with due dates will help you commit to publishing on a regular schedule, whether it’s once a day or once a week. Letting your readers know when to expect fresh content gives them a reason to visit your site. Use your advertising and influencer marketing calendar to help you generate topics that you know will interest your customers, and likely inspire them to make a purchase.
Create compelling content.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of high-quality content to cultivating your audience. Taking the time to maintain high standards will pay far greater dividends than rushing to produce content for content’s sake.
Fortunately, if you’re an expert in your field, you already have a trove of great content to share with readers. Think about the problems you help clients solve and the advice you typically offer. Break up long answers into a series of posts, allowing you to create internal links, which boost your SEO, while giving your readers a reason to come back for more content.
Create a newsletter.
Sometimes, even consistently updated, always-compelling content isn’t enough to gain immediate traction. Don’t get discouraged! Remember, your customers lead busy lives just like you do, and the Internet is full of distractions. To break through, you need to make it easy for your readers to find your articles. A newsletter is the best way to achieve this, and thankfully, you don’t need any technical experience. Free services like MailChimp allow you to create branded templates, and popular hosting platforms like WordPress now offer free plugins to capture email addresses on your site. You can also use your social channels to encourage subscribers.
Although building a dedicated blog audience is hard work and can be discouraging as you get started, persevering with patience, consistency, and a commitment to high-quality content will help you stand apart from your competitors and gain traction among followers, who hopefully soon become customers. Developing a clear editorial calendar, implementing sound SEO tactics and understanding your analytics will also help to build — and maintain — a strong following. Above all, remember that your readers value genuine content.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community