Okay, so we’ve told you why your business needs a blog, reinforced the importance of writing well and even shared some sweet hacks on how to streamline your blogging process. But let’s cut to the chase – just like your fancy sushi lunch doesn’t count unless you Instagram it, what’s the point of putting time and energy into a blog if no one is going to read it?
Duh. There isn’t a point. So if you want your blog to capture attention, there are three critical factors you need keep in mind before you put your virtual pen to paper. Those factors are content, presentation and promotion.
Much like email, no one is going to read your blog if your content sucks. That means the first step toward having a blog people will read is to create content that people want to read. I read blogs when I have a question I want to answer or I want to learn something – in short, I’m seeking knowledge. What SEO strategies are out this year? What are the best productivity apps that will help me to remember tomorrow’s meeting and to take my dog to the vet? Okay, what does the fox really say?
What I’m not looking for is a sales pitch – thinly-veiled or otherwise. And since there are plenty of other ways to convert blog visitors into leads with calls-to-action for premium content offers, trust me when I say you want to channel your content-creating efforts elsewhere.
A blog is a platform to demonstrate your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by providing valuable insights and strategic guidance. So when planning out your blog topics, try thinking about what questions your desired customers have – and then answer them. That’s the first step to attracting visitors to you and your brand.
Just having great content isn’t everything. You also need to make sure your ideas are presented in a way that is visually appealing and easy to understand. Why? In this modern age of shrinking attention spans, most folks tend to skim blog posts – either to confirm what they’ve found is going to answer their question before they read or to skip straight to the sections that are the most relevant to their interests.
To make your more content user-friendly, break up your posts visually with bold images and graphics, as well as topic subheadings and bulleted lists. Looking at this very post as an example, a reader with a quick skim can glean what topics I will be covering, thanks to my subheadings.
Once you have a rockstar blog post – and you’ve formatted it like a champ – the next step is to get people to read it. Unfortunately hitting the “publish” button, crossing your fingers and mentally willing site traffic to start rolling in isn’t going to cut it. You need to promote your content.
Social media is going to be your buddy here. If you’re using a platform like Hubspot, you can adjust your settings to auto-publish social media updates whenever you post a new blog. And if not, make a plan to not only share whenever you post a new blog, but periodically again throughout the future for timeless, evergreen topics – you’d be surprised how much you can extend the lifespan of a piece of content by scheduling social media posts into the future.
If you take anything away from this little lesson, remember there is no single magical solution to getting people to read your business blog. And the blogs that are the most successful are those that dedicate time and effort on each step of this process equally.