Fact: it is obscenely easy to set up a business blog today and begin driving new, qualified traffic to your site soon.
Regular readers of HubSpot's blog are probably already experiencing the benefits of regular blogging, including harvesting the long tail of search traffic to drive incremental, high-quality leads to their site. If you're not already doing this, though, you can and you should be blogging for your business.
Start Blogging at 60mph
Recently, I took a cab across the Charles River from HubSpot toward downtown Boston to meet up with a few friends. I got into the cab and we had the following normal meet-and-greet conversation with the driver:
Driver (Raul): "What do you do?" Me: "Internet marketing, I guess you could call it."
Raul: "What does that mean?" Me: "I spend all day on the phone helping small businesses get found more often online."
Raul: "Really! I own a site. How can I get found more often online?"
Me: "If you don't have a blog, start one. Write 3 times a week using titles that you want to get found for."
Raul: "Can you set up a blog for me now?"
We turned onto the highway and Raul pulled a 3G iPad from the front seat. Imagine that.
10 minutes later in Boston's South End, Raul had a blog up, instructions for how to set up a blog on his own domain, and a first test blog post. From there we went on our separate ways; I hope Raul can use the few tips I gave him to drive new traffic for his airport service business, loganairportservices.com . For me though, this experience drove home just how dead simple it is to set up a blog for your business.
5 Steps to Starting a Successful Business Blog
1) Pick a blogging service . HubSpot, Wordpress, Blogger, Posterous, whatever - and start a blog. This will take no more than 5 minutes.
2) Host your blog on your main site . If you leave it on its original domain (i.e. mybusiness.wordpress.com), your domain won't be getting any of the SEO credit from your blogging efforts. Note that this change is typically a paid service, so be prepared to put some skin in the game. Contact your current developer, your cousin who's "good with computers", or do it yourself; just get your new blog set up on a subdomain or page of your main site.
3) Consider your ideal site visitors . They have a problem they want to solve that your business can help address. You probably write 20 emails a day about this problem. What would they search for in Google to solve that problem? Got it? That's your very first keyword.
4) Brainstorm keywords related to your business. Write them down! Concentrate on long tail keyword phrases 3-4 words long--if your business is in one specific geography, that's a great way to target your keyword phrases. You want to be choosing slightly more obscure keywords that are highly relevant to your business. More obscure = easier to rank for = easier to get to the front page of Google. Furthermore, obscure words will actually be more specific to your business and the types of products and services you provide. Both of these are key to driving quality traffic to your site.
5) Write your first blog post. Take note to un-salesify your language and try to educate the public for something related to your business. Remember that no one cares about your business until you can solve their problems. Keep all your posts educational, link to other resources online, and provide the very best value you can for your readership.
Keep going. The most important part of blogging for business is to do it regularly. Over time, this will generate new traffic to your site and get you found online. And if your blog is properly integrated for lead generation, you will start to generate new business relatively quickly.
In the case of Raul, he can use his iPad to write posts while waiting for his next fare. For you, maybe you can think up a post idea over a morning coffee, run or shower, scribble a few notes on the way to work, and devote a few minutes 3 times a week to blogging. Ultimately, making content creation a personal priority is the only way you'll accomplish your blogging goals. Take those 10 minutes to dream up your next post .
There's certainly an art to blogging, no doubt about it. But until you get started, you've got nothing but a mountain to climb. Get out there and start climbing--the reward is proven to be sweet.
Webinar: Blogging for Business
Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website?