Blogging Is Good Business – 8 Tips To Get It Right

You accepted a while back that social media needs to be an important part of the marketing mix. But resources are limited and maybe you find yourself asking “which social media tactics should I focus on?”

My own social journey (and years of procrastination) pushed me into starting this personal blog nearly a year ago. And with 93 posts, almost 500 comments, nearly 30,000 visitors and just over 47,000 page views later and I am convinced that blogging is one of the simplest and most effective forms of marketing.

Earlier this week I addressed the need to shift more of our marketing mix from interruption-based outbound tactics to customer-focused inbound marketing tactics. There were 3 data points on blogging that I thought were worthy of an entire post:
  • 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their blog
  • Company websites with a blog get 55% more visitors
  • Inbound marketing leads cost 62% less than outbound

So we can safely say that businesses who blog will see results from their efforts. But what about the time and expense involved?

MarketingSherpa just released their Social Marketing Benchmark survey and I absolutely love this chart they provided in the summary. (You can register for the report on the MarketingSherpa’s website.)

The chart shows that Blogging is considered to be the third most effective social tactic after blogger relations and SEO for social sites. But you can also see that it is right in the middle of the pack in terms of difficulty.

So you can hit the Tweet button or add social sharing options to our websites with relative ease but not as much effectiveness compared to other tactics. And while blogger relations and SEO are effective, they can be more challenging to execute.

Blogging falls right in the sweet spot of being effective and relatively easy to execute.

The B2B Marketing Insider Blogging Tips

After just a year, I am in no way an expert, but people have asked me what tips I can offer when starting a blog. Trust me, I have had some bomb articles and the inevitable writer’s block is something you need to really prepare for, but here is the advice I would offer the newbie blogger, for whatever it’s worth:

  1. Define your objectives. Whether they are business objectives, personal goals, for therapy (it is for me) or just for fun. It is important to understand and even define your goals for blogging. See mine here.
  2. Audience first. While I do find writing to be therapeutic, I write to share information, add some value, and present my point of view with my audience.
  3. Titles are more important than you think. I know this from testing email subject lines. I know this from writing great and terrible blog titles. Using keywords helps. Top N tips… are good. How to…can work. And sometimes you need to take a firm stand on a controversial issue to generate some discussion. See: Is This The End Of Social Media?
  4. Break it up. Lists make for easy reading. Whether they are numbered lists or bullet points. And photos or charts help to make an article easy to read and maybe more importantly, easy to scan.
  5. Watch your length. I try to stay within 300-700 words. More than that and you risk putting your audience to sleep.
  6. Respond to comments. I try to respond to every comment and thank every retweeter on Twitter and “liker” on Facebook.
  7. Promote your blog. A blog that falls in the woods with no one around makes no sound. There’s no reason to write it if people don’t see it.  I share each post 2-4 times on Twitter because not everyone is tuned in all the time. I share once on Linkedin, StumbleUpon, Digg and sometimes Facebook. You can ask others to share but I tend to hope my content is valuable enough that other want to share it. I also share other bloggers’ articles that I enjoy and try my best to comment as often as I can. I believe that you can create social equity with others as long as your focus is truly on helping them first.
  8. Analyze what works. Last but not least, use analytics and reporting to see what articles drive organic (SEO) traffic and what articles work for Twitter. Some articles generate lots of comments and some don’t. Play around and see what works for you. Better yet, ask your audience.

 

These are my thoughts but what do you think? Let me know in the comments below what works for you?

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Image Source: todaysblogreview

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

12 thoughts on “Blogging Is Good Business – 8 Tips To Get It Right

  1. I’m also a big believer in the power of blogging for B2B and B2C. I love your 8 blogging tips; they’re excellent starting points as well as “lighthouse” points so you can stay on course with your biz blogging.

    I think that the biggest reason why businesses give up blogging is that they don’t understand the method that they need to undertake to get to their defined goals. (And I also think that a lot of corporate blogging is done without *any* defined goals established.) You have to put thought into your blogging strategy and know what to expect. Research will turn up enough information that even a newcomer to blogging can start to develop their own plan of attack and execute it.

    Good post Michael!

    1. Hi Patrick,

      Thanks so much for your support and comment.

      And I think you are absolutely correct on the importance of objective setting. I talk here all the time about the importance of research, listening to customers and taking an approach that puts customer needs first. Youk could call it my mission to advocate for customers!

  2. Wow, lots to digest. Thanks for generously sharing this useful info. Especially appreciate the acknowledgment that for blogging, the goal may not be tens of thousands of fans but a few hundred solid ones.

  3. Well, I guess the good news is that it only took me less than a year to let the fact that you write a fantastic blog sink into my brain. The bad news is that I have a lot of back-reading to catch up on, now. Thank you for being such a professional creator of wisdom, Michael.

  4. I have been a late starter into blogging. started blogging using blogspot first and then have moved my blog to my own domain blog.xeniaconsulting.com. It is initial days yet, but it feels great to have so many people coming and commenting on the viewpoints you present. It also gives the customers a chance to form an opinion about my capabilities before we discuss serious business.
    Thanks for sharing Michael

    1. Atul, thank you for your comment and for stopping by. I am so happy to hear you jumped in with both feet and are enjoying the conversation. I agree that the interaction with readers is the most enjoyable aspect of blogging and is also wonderful inspiration for future posts especially when it provides different points of view.

  5. Michael – excellent tips and tangible results you can be proud of. I also share your motivation of writing in part for therapy…and I appreciate how you cover b2b marketing with such enthusiasm.

    I would add maybe an obvious #9… stay in balance, stay in the game!
    Please forgive me… it’s been 28 days since my last post… Finding the right balance between work and personal life, and owning the commitment are really fundamental.

    1. Thanks Bill, to be a little self-deprecating, I am such a literal dork sometimes 😉 and tend to keep things too serious. It all comes down to the objectives. I am inspired by and appreciate your approach. I think keeping things in balance and in perspective is important too.

  6. Michael – good solid post – these relatively basic tips are still what make pro bloggers the pros they are. Mastering the basics is a surefire way to create a foundation that will carry the marketing forward.
    It’s not easy to always focus on best practices each and every time a blog post (or tweet or LI post) goes out the door. A ‘map’ like you’ve provided can be a helpful reminder.
    We’ve posted 100+ posts for various clients and our now beginning to craft our own blog site. Even after so many posts, I find a post like yours refreshing – Thanks.

  7. I’ve always understood how important blogging is to online marketing. I am in the process of doing SEO for my company myself and I realize that blogging plays a huge role in SEO. I do appreciate the guidelines that you have provided for writing blogs. This will help me out tremendously since I have very little experience blogging.

  8. I have recently started blogging. I will seriously focus on all your points to improve my blog and hope you will check it out and advice me on it
    Thanks

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