In today’s digital world, blogging is a powerful tool businesses should be leveraging to connect with their audience and showcase their extensive knowledge as a subject-matter expert. It offers endless opportunities to cultivate a loyal following, promote your services or product and disseminate news and information.
Before you dive head-first into starting a blog, there are two important things to understand: WHO is your audience and WHAT is the goal of your blog. If your audience is young, stay-at-homes moms with children under the age of 5, your tone and voice will be different than if your audience is middle-aged business executives with decision-making power. The same concept applies to your goal. Do you want to establish yourself as an authority, give your brand a voice or drive traffic to your website through SEO keywords? Each of these goals will drive your strategy differently.
Once you have clearly defined your audience(s) and your goal(s), the next step is hammering out carefully crafted content. Blog formats and topics change depending on your industry, so try some different variations to see what works best.
Need some standard blog ideas to get you started? Consider writing a how-to piece, offering commentary on hot topics and trends, answering questions, sharing stories, posting general updates or hosting a guest blogger. I recommend scheduling time to sit down and write several of your blogs at once. This will help you keep from getting behind and causing gaps in your content strategy.
After you have decided on a few ideas for your blog, your next step should be to develop a consistent schedule for delivery. Don’t forget to implement a strong promotional strategy for your blogs by cross-sharing your content on social media, your website and e-newsletter. And remember to ask your friends, family and loyal clients to share your content, too!
Finally, remember to always include a solid call to action that motivates or asks your reader to take a specific action, whether that is to visit your business, call for an appointment, check out your website or sign up for your mailing list. It’s also a good idea to utilize custom, trackable links when you cross-post your blog content so you can monitor any action taken from those links. That way you can see what’s working and what’s not in your strategy and adjust as necessary.
Consistency is key with blogging, and it definitely requires a time commitment to keep up with blogging. But if you’re blogging strategically with your audience and your goals clearly defined from the beginning, that commitment will pay off and help you achieve those goals.
Chloé Gee works as Director of Timelines at T&S Online Marketing, a digital marketing firm in the Oklahoma City metro area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in strategic communications with a minor in leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Gee joined the International Association of Business Communicators Central Oklahoma chapter in the fall of 2015 and volunteered to serve on the board of directors shortly after becoming a member. She has previously served as VP of Finance for the chapter, and is currently serving as both Bronze Quill Chair and President-Elect.
In her free time she enjoys photography, traveling, experiencing all forms of art, relaxing with family and going on adventures with her yellow lab, Khaleesi.