Blogging has become a mainstay of marketing and getting more blog readers is something that every small business owner would like to accomplish. The median is a powerful one, and it has demonstrable effectiveness.
Currently, more than a third of US companies use blogging as a means of marketing, taking advantage of the fact that sites with blogs get 55 percent more visitors than sites which do not have blogs.
In fact, more than half of internet users read blogs at least once per month, spending 3 times as many minutes on blogs and social media than reading email. This is why 57 percent of companies actively blogging have gotten new customers from that source and 69 percent of businesses report their lead generation comes from the same medium.
Those figures become even more impressive when large corporations are taken out of the equation and only small businesses remain. Research has found that small businesses that blog get 126 percent more lead growth than companies that are not blogging. To increase exposure, however, just posting content isn’t enough. Businesses must understand what blogging is and how to do it right.
Understanding the Medium
As many people know, the term “blog” is a contraction of the word “weblog”, which began about 1994. In its earliest forms, these were mostly personal digital diary entries, then by 1997, it began to morph into common interest and news. Now, there are in excess of 156 million blogs on the internet and niche publications make up a significant share.
No matter what you are going to be writing about, it’s important that the end-user finds value in it. Some of the most popular sites on the internet have generic information that everyone already knows, but they spin it in a way that people find interesting and then share with their friends. –Zac Johnson, writing on Search Engine Journal
Sharing was and still is the primary purpose behind blogging. Though the median essentially began as a way to share one’s personal life, it quickly spread, becoming a platform for opinion, research, breaking news, and for business to consumer and business to business outreach. It’s now the cornerstone of content marketing, the practice of creating original content and sharing it over several properties.
Being very inexpensive, big corporations have leveraged blogging and social media, which in large part, are types of blogs. Small businesses also blog because of the low cost and the ability to inform consumers about various topics. Indeed, it’s a great way to reach an increasingly wider audience and a way to get consumer recommendations via social shares.
Getting More Blog Readers
Though it seems as something anyone can do, blogging is a bit more difficult than stringing sentences together–it is mostly art, but there is a dose of science that goes with it. This is why some small businesses who have taken-up blogging don’t see any or little results. To get a return on investment, there are certain elements blog posts should have, without them, it won’t work. Here’s what you need to do when blogging:
- Narrow your focus. Posts which are too broad don’t impress readers because there’s no there there. When an idea strikes, write it down immediately, then devise a title that entices readers and deliver on that title, focusing on the central idea or theme. Make each sentence count and relevant to the point you’re making or what you’re explaining.
- Properly use keywords. The state of SEO or search engine optimization is changing drastically. Keyword density long ago died, and now, data on keyphrases are becoming less available (an ongoing effort by Google to get to “keyword not provide” 100 percent). Keep keywords to a minimum because the search engines don’t want content written for them, they want it written for people.
- Include useful data. Words are very powerful and articles which cite facts are credible and authoritative. In the first three paragraphs of this post, there are six facts. You don’t have to include as many, as few as two or three will work; but these are necessary because it tells readers you are in the know and can prove it.
- Link on and off site. Links are still very important because that’s how the internet works–a “web” of interconnected information. When you write a new article, be sure to link to one authoritative source, and interlink to other pages and posts on your site–no post should be an island unto itself.
- Give a unique perspective. Anything which separates your article from similar ones will do the trick. Think about the topic or point and develop a fresh perspective about it. For instance, if there is a trend or statistic you’re relating or using, give the readers a different spin on it.
When it’s all boiled down, blogging is far more than just writing an article for the sake of publishing something to keep your site populated with fresh content. That content must serve a specific purpose in order to be useful to your business and interesting to readers.