Starting a blog is such an exciting venture!
You are full of ideas, have big ambitions for your content, and aim to have a huge audience in just a few weeks.
We hate to rain on your parade, but when you are just starting out, thinking too much about the numbers can be premature and lead to disappointment.
Your focus ought to be on creating a blog that attracts visitors by the force of its quality. (Remember, quality will take you anywhere in today’s world.) There are no gimmicks or short-cuts that can accomplish this. While silly content, personal reflections and humorous videos have their place in the larger content creation scheme, you need clarity about the path you want to take.
That’s your starting point with a blog – what do you want to be known for? What kind of readership do you aim to attract and how to you propose to help them?
Here are a few steps that have worked for us. They may take time to show results, but are well worth sticking with if you want to create a business blog that makes a difference.
Allocate enough time to research
Research is what will make your content stand out.
Superficial advice that merely skims the surface tends to exasperate readers because they have seen it before. If you want people to take time out of their busy schedules to read your articles, you need to ensure that your content is valuable.
Research can be a differentiating factor for your company blog. For one, it helps provide original content creation ideas, and second, it lends credibility to the articles.
Research, however, needs to be interpreted correctly. One also needs to be careful with the inferences drawn. Too many figures and statistics can make content appear dull, so it needs to be ensured that data is used to support an argument.
Research your audience, too – Research isn’t just about looking at industry trends. It is also about understanding your readership to create content that meets their needs and appeals to their aspirations.
All this research can be a time-consuming process. Your content writers should be given the required time for it, and that brings us to my next point.
Focus on quality rather than quantity
Quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive. However, for new businesses with smaller teams and limited resources that can often be the case. HubSpot or Search Engine Journal can publish high-quality content multiple times a week, sometimes even each day, since they have the mechanisms for it in place, but startups cannot do that and nor do they need to do so.
In my experience, readers don’t care if you publish once or twice a week, as long as you provide useful and engaging content. They will easily wait for a week to receive the blog update email. In fact, that is what you should aim for – making readers look forward to the weekly content update!
So, if you had to choose between quality and quantity, I’d suggest go with the former. Create quality content and promote it strategically.
The rise in the number of blog posts you publish each week or month should happen organically and never at the cost of its usefulness.
Respond to industry developments
This is one of the best ways of getting your blog noticed and respected.
Google pushed out a new Panda update? People would want to know more about it. They will likely type in “latest Google update” or “panda update” in their search bars to find more information on the topic.
The highest slots would still be taken up by the big name content creators in the industry. We are looking at Search Engine Journal, Moz, Kissmetrics, and the like.
However, you can get noticed too, if you interpret the news in the different way or provide a new perspective. Have your best technical writer explain what new technology trends and updates could mean for them. Don’t have anyone to write this for you? Do it yourself! Business owners need to be tech-savvy, well-read and willing to play a number of roles.
Create evergreen content
Evergreen content is that which literally never gets old. It will always find a use, and hence an audience. It does not depend on trends since it addresses fundamentals. This can take the form of a guide, ebook or whitepaper – any resource that provides detailed insights into chosen topics.
Here are some examples:
- The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
- The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging
- Link Building: The Definitive Guide
- The Beginners Guide to Online Marketing
- Ultimate Guide to Mobile Social Media
Due to the high-quality nature of these guides, they continue to draw visitors even years after they were originally created.
By addressing a topic in-depth and in detail, you, too, can offer solid advice and keep attracting newer audiences. As more and more businesses understand the importance of digital marketing and embrace this space, you can rest assured the basic business- and Web-related topics will be revisited again and again.
Focus on what you do best and create a few ultimate or beginner’s guides out of it. Tap into your experience, expertise, and translate it into actionable advice for the readers. You might have to, however, update the guides from time to time depending on the topic.
Do one thing extremely well
There must be something you/your business excel at, better than anyone else in your industry.
Whether it’s closing deals, designing websites, understanding the complexities of SEO or delivering excellent customer service.
Even as individuals, we have our specialties. Each one of us is known for something or the other in our close circles of friends and family.
Businesses are the same. What is the one thing you want to be known for, above everything else? What is the one thing you are already very good at? How do your clients describe you?
For us, it’s delivering excellent service, every single time. That is what I am passionate about – helping small businesses achieve their goals. That is the main focus of our blog.
Similarly, figure out that one gift of yours, and share it freely with your audience. So much so that yours becomes their go-to blog for advice pertaining to that particular topic.
It’s all about the impact
It’s not about the length, and it’s not about the number of blog posts, it’s about the impact you make.
Blogs take time to grow and evolve to a point where they attract hundreds of visitors each week. Even the best of content needs proactive promotion to reach the right people in big numbers.
The first step always though is to produce content that is worthy of promotion. When you focus on quality, share your expertise generously and write from the heart about the issues you know your client base is facing, you are bound to create a blog that offers tremendous value to its readers. That would be a blog you can be proud of!