Building Your Business Blog

Blog

A great business blog can serve as a major source of leads. Blog visitors who come for great content are often left impressed by a blog’s expertise if it produces quality content well beyond the self-promotional ilk. Blogging is a great way for businesses to show off their skillset and expertise, establishing niche-relevant authority and producing long-term results in regard to leads and industry prominence.

A practical way for you to see the result of a great business blog is to browse through some of the top examples. Each company blog embodies a recommended strategy (or several) that can help transform a typical business blog into a lead-generating machine.

Produce Content That Retains Leads

One of the great aspects of Whole Foods’ company blog is their “Daily Dish” feature, where a delicious recipe using ingredients in their store in their store is featured. Seasonal articles — like great New Year’s dishes — and regular articles like the weekly “What to Make This Week” help convince readers to come back for more on a weekly or daily basis.

When a business is able to capture an audience that returns consistently, it holds a great potential for long-term leads. Firmly retained leads can be extremely lucrative.

Synergize With Social Media Content

Quality social media content can also transform casual visitors into leads when done well. You should definitely update your business’ social media page with a link to a new blog post whenever one is published, complete with a catchy hook to get people clicking (such as “you may be surprised at number one on this list…”).

Place social media buttons prominently on your blog, so that interested visitors can easily click on them to follow you on social media and begin their path to becoming a solid lead. The Mary Kay blog is a fine example of this tactic.

Use Visual Content

While longform content certainly works great for some company blogs — especially the technical sort like IBM’s syndicated blog feed — other niches should rely on more immediately accessible content to hook visitors. Infographics are a great way to showcase your knowledge, while reinforcing a potential customer need for your services. The CJ Pony Parts blog does a great job of this in several of their posts. For one post, an infographic showing the best road trip destinations across the U.S. makes the piece both inviting and fun.

Use a Fitting and Easy-to-Navigate Design

Accessibility and aptness are the two aspects to consider when choosing a design for your business blog. For navigation, Dell uses a fluid landing page sorted into different categories, so their 5,000+ blog posts aren’t a pain to sift through. The forum-like design isn’t recommended for a smaller business blog with tens or hundreds of posts, but for a major corporation with thousands it can be an apt design choice.

Squarespace’s blog is a good example of stylistic aptness — the company promotes their service as an easy-to-use website creator, so a design that emphasizes minimalism, readability and a super-fast response time is a great way to showcase that a service works as advertised. Whether it’s the colorful kid-friendly tone of Disney’s blog, or Squarespace’s product-in-action approach, an apt blog design is another ingredient essential to a successful company blog.

Answer Commonly Asked Questions in Your Niche

All businesses reach a point in their blog creation process where they are at a loss for blog topics. One way to generate ideas is to look at what competitors are posting about and get inspiration from them. Another highly effective method is to remember questions posed to you from customers or anyone at all. Then, write an in-depth blog post answering the question. This is a great way to show off your expertise.

Zillow’s blog has content that uses this strategy exceedingly well. Articles like “Should You Write a Letter to the Seller?” will produce immediate click-throughs for anyone slightly interested in the topic, since the blog post’s topic is extremely clear. Providing valuable insight within your area of expertise will set you on the fast track to recognition as industry leader.

Maintain a Narrow Yet Interesting Focus

Gravitating too far from your topic can disinterest readers and turn your audience into a big mess of various interest points, which isn’t great for long-term leads. Instead, focus nearly exclusively on your niche — posting a food recipe on your auto parts store’s blog may sound fun, but it isn’t relevant at all. Ford’s blog focuses on cars, driving and not much else, allowing enthusiasts to dig into the interest they enjoy while reinforcing Ford’s knowledge of the industry.

These tips and exemplary company blogs are great places for business owners to look for inspiration on their own blog, which can bring in a massive amount of leads via quality content that keeps the above successes in mind.

This is a guest post by Holly Whitman. She is a writer and journalist based in the DC area. You can find more of her writing at Only Slightly Biased or on Twitter at @hollykwhitman.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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