How to successfully run a business blog – 7 tips for beginners Author Aleksandra Skalska Read bio The past few years have seen blogging become a kind of phenomenon that is now a must-have in any marketing strategy. And while it may seem that social media is slowly replacing it, the numbers say otherwise – blogging is still doing very well.Data collected by WordPress.com (one of the most popular content management systems) shows that over 409 million people browse up to 20 billion pages each month. Also every month, users create approximately 70 million new posts and write 77 million comments. So, if you’re not blogging for your business yet, these numbers should give you a clear signal that you should start doing it now!By ignoring content marketing in your marketing strategy, you lose the opportunity to reach a large audience and transform them into potential customers. And it doesn’t matter whether you work in the e-commerce industry, sell services or are an information base – content marketing will work in any case.Like any marketing tool, blogs are most effective when properly managed. Find out what the benefits of blogging are and how to do it effectively.Company blog – effective brand promotion and moreBlogging is now becoming an integral part of running a business. And no wonder – after all, our lives have become dependent on the Internet. Don’t know what to make for dinner? Google will quickly find you the right recipe. Clogged sink? Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to fix it. The possibilities offered by search engines are invaluable when we need help quickly or when we are simply looking for information on a topic that interests us.This is where corporate blogs come in handy. By publishing useful content on your blog, you will answer your audience’s questions, increasing the chance that the user who reads your article will become your client over time. However, there are more benefits to this form of marketing. Content plays a vital role in building relationships with your audience. Interesting and well-optimized content also positively affects the visibility of the entire website, increases traffic and sales, and at the same time allows you to build an image of an expert in a given industry.What are the benefits of running a company blog?Increased website trafficIncreased website position in search results and increased number of organic entriesEstablishing and developing relationships with potential and current customersStrengthening the image of an expert in your industry and building trust toward your brandSupport in acquiring leads The only question is: how to plan and create content that will achieve these goals?Running a company blog step by stepThe Internet is bursting at the seams with excess content because today everyone blogs – both private individuals and different sized companies. With such a huge bundle of information, it is becoming more and more difficult to find and create unique and valuable articles that will land the first positions in search engines.Here are 7 tips that will help you start your adventure by running a company blog and make it an effective marketing tool.Step 1: Alone or with an agency?If you think that running a corporate blog costs nothing, then you are wrong. It is an activity that consumes not so much money, but mostly time. So if you don’t have too much time on your hands, you should think about outsourcing content writing. It is a particularly good idea when, apart from time, you don’t have sufficient knowledge (e.g. about SEO, optimization, and copywriting), appropriate tools and you’re hoping for faster results. The employed agency will comprehensively take care of your business, taking the burden of preparing a content strategy, selecting appropriate content, and its subsequent promotion off your shoulders.In a situation where your company doesn’t have the budget for hiring an agency, you can start running a blog yourself. However, it will require much more work, and you also have to take into account additional costs in the form of, for example, subscribing to the necessary tools and paying copywriters or graphic designers.When is it worth outsourcing an agency to run your blog?You don’t have enough time to write blog posts.You do not know how to properly optimize content for SEO – so that it gets high positions in search results.You cannot define your target group or you do not know how to create articles for them.You don’t know how to conduct keyword research correctly.You are not familiar with effective ways to promote your content.Step 2: Set a goal for your company blogBlogging is not an art for the sake of art. It is an activity that aims to achieve specific goals and bring tangible results. Therefore, before you start any work in this area, think about what exactly you want to achieve with your content. Your company’s industry, its current situation, and its possibilities will also be important.Examples of goals for a company blog Online-store:A higher position in Google search results along with the increase in the number of subpages ranking for keywords;Supported sales, including, for example, increased traffic from the blog to the store, increased conversion, increased basket value;Increased brand awareness in the form of a higher number of brand or product queries. B2B business:Increased credibility and trust among contractors through expert articles;Increase in organic traffic;Generating more leads, e.g. by requiring an e-mail address when downloading your e-book, as well as inquiries;Building brand awareness by linking to your articles from other industry portals / blogs. Services:Increased interaction and building relationships with the audience by increasing the number of interactions on the website (comments, ratings);Becoming an expert by sharing knowledge about your industry and services;Appearing in search results for local keywords.Step 3: Choosing your target audienceA blog is supposed to support your business, but remember that you should run it with your audience in mind. Articles that will be published on it are supposed to be a base of knowledge from the industry in which you work. Therefore, before you even start writing, you need to know exactly who will be reading your posts.Think about the age of the recipients of your brand or product, what topics they are interested in, what language they use, what they look for on the Internet, what they do in their free time, etc. The more characteristics you find to describe your target audience, the easier it will be for you to pick the right topics for your posts and plan your publication schedule.When looking for such information, you can also refer to the report from Google Analytics. You will find out how old the users who visit your website are, what their gender is, where they come from, etc. You can also see what interests they have and what devices they use most often – the distinction between mobile and desktop will allow you to better refine the visual side of your blog (e.g. how content and graphics are displayed on it).On the basis of all this data, you can also create your own personas – ideal readers for whom you will write your texts.How to create a persona?The target audience gives you an idea of your message’s audience, creating a fairly general idea about them. Personas, in turn, are the epitome of all characteristics that clearly indicate who you are writing for.When creating one, you can use criteria such as age, gender, education, profession, place of residence, personality traits, marital status, interests, forms of spending free time, favorite brands, and social media. You don’t have to take into account all the factors – choose those that are relevant to the product or service you offer.Example of a persona for e-commerce selling plantsName: AliceAge: 26 Job: Graphic designerLives in: CracowMotto: live for the moment and surround yourself with beautyCharacter traits: crazy, sociable, honestValues: honesty, love, familyInterests: art, vegetarianism, cats and dogs, natureFree time: yoga, meeting friends, reading books, cooking, travellingOnline: Spends a lot of time on social media, usually looks for vegetarian recipes and how to take care of her plants – she has a lot of them and forgets what to do with which one.Shopping habits: When shopping she looks at the product’s quality and what it looks like. She likes a simple, modern design and thorough descriptions – she doesn’t like to be uninformed. She does impulse-buy on occasionStep 4: Selecting topics and keywordsOnce you know who you’re writing for, it’s time to think about what your audience will actually want to read. The easiest way to find topics for articles is by researching and analyzing keywords. It will not only help you find out what people are looking for on the Internet, but also what words to use to make your posts appear higher in search results. This, in turn, will increase the chance of new recipients and potential customers finding your website.The necessary tools will help you find keywords. At first, it’s worth using the completely free ones. Once you have mastered the art of searching for keywords, it’s worth moving on to paid and more advanced programs (like Senuto). Not only will you have access to more detailed data, but you will also be able to use many other additional functions.Free keyword research toolsGoogle Keyword Planner – a tool from the Google Ads panel. To run it, all you need is an account with Google;Google Trends – a tool that can not only help you find valuable keywords, but also check their popularity over time.Ubersuggest – a free tool created by marketing guru Neil Patel.Answer The Public – a platform that for any given query presents a list of possible keyword combinations and questions entered into the Google search engine (limited number of free daily queries). Results for term “renovation” in Answer The PublicWhen choosing keywords for your blog, it’s worth referring back to a checklist. First and foremost, make sure you pay attention to:customer intent – what information is expected to be found by typing a given phrase or query into the search engine. Should it be, for example, a “black sofa”, it means that the individual in question is looking for a store to buy a black sofa. If, however, our individual searches for “black sofa what furniture”, it means that he or she needs information on how to combine colors in interiors. When writing a blog, focus on the latter type of query.a monthly number of searches (search volume) – a number that shows how many times a month people enter a given phrase into the search engine. Thanks to this, you will learn what is worth writing about and what isn’t of interest to anyone.trends – the time when a given phrase is the most popular, i.e. most often entered in the search engine. This will tell you when it is best to publish a text on a given topic. View of keyword database in Senuto RememberA blog is not a place for advertising. Avoid pushy promotion of your services or products in your articles. Focus on providing reliable information and advice so that your blog brings real value to the user. Step 5: Article writing and SEOFound your topic? It’s time to consider who will actually write the articles – you, someone from the marketing department, or maybe an experienced copywriter? When making your decision, keep in mind that the quality of the content you post on your blog is of the utmost importance. It not only influences whether someone actually reads your publications, but also influences the image and perception of the entire brand. Sloppy and chaotic articles containing a number of errors do not inspire trust and effectively deter users. That is why it is so important to maintain the logical structure of the text, its high substantive value, as well as care for the language style, punctuation and spelling. Don’t forget to keep an eye on it.When writing an article for a company blog, it is also worth sticking to certain rules. As a rule of thumb, your content should be:Comprehensive – make sure your article fully covers the topic. Don’t leave your reader feeling partially informed;Unique – do not copy content from other websites, focus on originality;Reliable – avoid waffle. Make your posts as substantive and correct as possible – before you tackle a topic, conduct thorough research to find out everything about it.If you want the world to read your written content, don’t forget to optimize it for SEO. Thanks to this, you will give your articles a chance to rank high in Google, thereby increasing the probability someone will click on your link in the search results.5 steps of article optimization for SEOHTML header hierarchy – the use of headings and subheadings not only improves the readability of the text, but also has a positive effect on positioning. Your header hierarchy should be used in accordance with the principle that H1 is the main title of the article, H2 are the headings of subsequent paragraphs, among which, in turn, we can distinguish H3, H4 and further.Keywords – should be found primarily in the title, headings and subheadings. It is also worth placing them in the rest of the content, but try to make them look natural. Artificial and excessive stuffing of phrases within the text is highly undesirable.Internal and external links – if possible, it is worth adding redirects in your content to other subpages in the domain, e.g. specific products, categories or other articles. Not only will you keep the recipient on your website a little longer, but you will also signal to the Google bots that your content is inherently consistent. Also pay attention to the anchor text, i.e. phrases or words under which you will insert a link. It is important that they clearly state what is hidden under it.URL address – it should contain keywords, be relatively short and readable.Meta title and meta description – these are the elements that the user sees in the search results. Make sure that they are not too long (otherwise Google will cut them automatically) and encourage clicking. You can check the correct length and appearance using dedicated tools, such as Portent’s SERP Preview Tool. Step 6: Adding photos and graphicsWriting on your company blog is not everything. The last step in working on the article is taking care of its visual side. Adding graphics and photos will not only add variety to a boring wall of text, but also give you the opportunity to sneak even more data and promote your brand. You can insert an infographic with interesting research into your post or supplement it with photos of your products or projects.When inserting photos into an article, be sure to add ALT descriptions to them. In a situation where the browser is unable to load it, it will display this text, conveying what is there. This is also helpful for screen reading tools for the visually impaired who rely on reading what is in the image. Moreover, ALT TEXT enables search engine crawlers to index and rate your site better.Article excerpt from blog of interior design brand VOX Where can I get graphics and photos?Primarily, you can look for them among free (e.g. Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels) or paid (e.g. Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Depositphotos) stock images. If you use Canva in your daily activities, you can get access to their own photo database by purchasing the Pro version.However, if you are someone who emphasizes a unique appearance, you may want to commission a professional graphic designer to prepare visual materials. If you want to highlight your products or projects in blog texts, you can also order a dedicated photo session.Step 7: Promoting content from your company blogYou can expect people to find your company blog from a search engine, or even to be such dedicated customers that they check for new posts every day. The reality, however, shows that blog content requires additional efforts to be noticed.First of all, do not forget to inform me about the new article in your newsletter, as well as on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin). A good practice that will not only promote the blog but also have a positive impact on its positioning, is link building – getting links from other websites. One tried-and-true method is guest posting. Look for portals or other blogs related to your industry and suggest writing a unique and expert article. Such cooperation is usually free and is based on barter exchange – your collaborator gets free, but high-quality text and you have the option of linking to your website, e.g. in a short bio.Have you created an interesting article or report that is comprehensive, stands out from the crowd, and has unique data? Try generating media coverage. Find journalists who could potentially be interested in your topic and send them an email with a short press release. Don’t forget to attach the necessary files, photos, or infographics!