HubSpot reports that business blogs can increase the number of links to your website by 97% and improve your leads by 67%. When done right, adding a blog to your company website can bring tremendous value to your business. However, a poorly executed blog or one that does not effectively reach your target audience can, at best, be a waste of time and, at worst, be a detriment to your company and what you are trying to accomplish.
The point of a company blog is to provide value to your readers as potential customers. The way to accomplish this is by presenting insight about the current state of your industry as well as helping them through potential problems in areas your company has expertise. This will build trust in your company as an authority in your field.
Here is a list of five best practices we’ve compiled to help point you in the right direction when putting together a blog to successfully cultivate relationships with your current and prospective customers.
1. Stay professional. Although you want your business’s blog to have a personal touch in order to appeal to your target audience, you don’t want to make it too informal. News about your company, indulgent personal opinions, office anecdotes or jabs at the competition are examples of things to definitely steer clear of.
2. Keep it up to date. Once you commit to posting a blog on your company’s website, whether it’s daily or even monthly, regular activity is a must. Letting your blog go dormant can be costly in three ways. First, it could damage your company’s reputation. Displaying old content on your blog makes your company look shabby and disorganized. Second, if your most recent blog is considerably outdated, visitors might assume your company has gone out of business. The third way your business can suffer from an inactive blog revolves around the fact that it takes time for results to materialize when blogging. If you don’t keep at it, those results won’t ever come.
3. Remember to cite your sources. It’s really simple: If you’re using statistics or specific information from somewhere else, cite your source. You can do this by providing a link to the site from which you collected the information or citing your source at the end of your post. You can even state your source in your post’s body. Failing to cite information that obviously comes from another source is irresponsible and illegal.
4. Encourage interaction. A major reason for blogging is to cultivate relationships. One clear way to build relationships with your target audience is to interact with them. This is where the comments section of your blog comes in. Be sure to frequently invite your readers to leave a comment. You can even ask for opinions or stories reflecting your readers’ experiences pertaining to a particular post’s topic. Because this interaction has to go both ways, respond to these comments right away. If you receive negative comments, fight the urge to delete. It is important that your audience feels as though they are able to speak their mind.
5. Avoid pitching to your audience. The goal with blogging is to engage. That rarely happens when someone is pushing a product or service. Instead of being just another chance to give another sales pitch, blogging gives you the opportunity to reach people on a more personal level. The information provided on your blog must be valuable to your target audience.
Can you think of other helpful tips for writing an engaging business blog? Please leave a comment below!