Is Blogging a Dying Business? How Can You Survive and Thrive with Your Business Blog

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FEBRUARY 2017

It can be a nerve shattering experience. You read a headline that blogging is dying. If your company has invested in a business blog, that’s the last thing you want to hear. Bill Gates stated “Content Is King” back in 1996, and businesses have been following that mantra ever since. Information availability and interactive advertising were stressed even in the early days. Content is still a great way to convey information. Blogging is not disappearing, but evolving and taking on different forms.

 

The landscape is indeed changing. When someone yells out, “Blogging is Dead!” they are not entirely accurate; in fact, they’re not even close. You can very well survive and thrive when blogging for business. The efforts to do so should include philosophies such as:

  • Staying on top of trends, such as how readers consume information. Consider the social media sites, platforms, and media they use (such as messengers, email, videos, etc.)
  • Adapting the blog to a specific market or demographic of readers. A proprietary app is effective for drawing a reader base, especially on mobile devices, and with features such as SMS messages and push notifications.
  • Integrating more technologies with a blog, including multimedia content, videos, podcasts, e-books, and more. Newsletters, mailing lists, and new tech such as video streaming (i.e. Periscope) help to draw traffic.

A Thriving Business Blog Doesn’t Have to Take Up Much Time

Increased search traffic, leads, and inbound links are just some of the main goals of blogging. You team may be scratching heads if unhappy with the results of blogging efforts. Adding content sporadically, or content that which doesn’t have value, can hold things back. A thriving, up-to-date blog requires writing skills, but a few strategies can help overcome common pitfalls. What you need are strategies for producing high-quality blog content on a consistent basis.

When producing a business blog, there are three ways you can approach it.

Add a freelancer to your team: A skilled and reliable writer may be just the remedy to jump start your blog. Freelance writers dedicate their time to their trade. Plus, it’s not hard these days to look for writers with industry knowledge. Look for a trustworthy agency who can provide an ongoing writer.

It’s important to note that cost-savings doesn’t equal quality. Look through sites where freelance writers flock to see the typical rates. Some people will work for cheap, but bloggers who work with freelancers know, in this case, cheaper is not better. Also, develop a series of processes, systems, and guidelines for freelancers to follow when you bring them on board. A skilled, well-informed freelance writer can help your business blog survive and thrive beyond imagination.

Company employees produce the content: It may seem most practical to leverage the manpower you already have. With blogging, that’s not always the case. It’s easy to pick someone in the company who can create content. Everyone in the firm, however, is not an industry expert. Select individuals who are subject matter experts and not just marketing gurus. It can also work to have skilled writers and topical experts collaborate, so you get the best of both worlds. When employees contribute to a blog, it has several benefits, such as:

  • Employees get to share their knowledge and expertise.
  • Individuals get to boost their personal brand.
  • Quality content highlights the company, its brand, and expertise.
  • Posts are shared by employees on social media, increasing exposure.

Find a guest blogger to help your blog thrive: This is different than hiring a freelancer or employing your own staff to engage in blogging. Guest blogging enables you to find writers in a specific niche, and who understand your brand. It can also add the benefits of backlinks and exposure, especially if the poster is reputable. Be sure, however, to approve topics before they are posted. Another good tip with guest blogging is to include guest blogs in your general content rotation. A guest blogger can expand your base, but readers will want to know what your company has to say, so internal posts should be published regularly.

For your blog to be profitable however, that takes time. You must network, sell your product, and increase readership. The more content you put out there, the more potential there is, but first loyal fans are needed. Focus on your short-term goals, and things should fall into place for the long term.

Top Strategies to Ideating a Thriving Blog

Blogging is very much a thriving business when it provides the right information, in a format the target audience best understands. Don’t dwell on running out of ideas. Think of ways to explain the ones you have. Whether you’re an industrial manufacturer or recreational products company, the same processes are involved in coming up with blog content that relates to the audience. Your formula should involve these basic elements.

  • Compile great information: Each blog post should include industry statistics, videos, images, and other informative content. Readers can gather the information they need on your website and don’t need to leave and conduct research on others. All this info, of course, isn’t solely yours. Always give credit where it’s due. Link to original information sources and it will establish your business as a credible authority on the topic.
  • Be attentive to customer questions: This is more than being quick to respond. The jargon you use internally will easily confuse external customers. Instead, consult with sales and support personnel to review questions often asked by customers. Blog posts, using laymen’s terms, can answer each of these so you can reach out effectively.
  • Represent data graphically: Industry insights are almost always more interesting when presented in charts. Business decisions are made by looking at charts and graphs. Present information this way in a blog post, and readers can better understand the message you’re sending.
  • Integrate lists with content: Conjuring up a list is a great way to ideate a blog. Use best-of, how-to, and other concepts for ideas. These can be the framework for presenting issues and information with a fresh angle.
  • Provide opinions: Being opinionative and controversial can help when blogging for business, and can help draw readers. Choose the hot topic of the day. The post may be polarizing, but may draw more traffic and comments than by staying “safe”.
  • Be groundbreaking: Readers are more likely to visit your blog when there are new and relevant things. Write a post about an industry-related book, or even make a video review, pointing out its pros and cons. Readers will also be drawn to posts on news impacting your industry. Up-to-date posts are more valued by search engines, so can boost organic search traffic to your site.

Make a Great Instant First Impression

Tending to the needs of your target audience and having great strategies aren’t the only ways to have a thriving business blog. Nor is social media promotion. Readers need to have an instant first impression that keeps them fixated on your blog. That means paying attention to design as much as everything else. A visitor won’t continue reading, or proceed to buy anything, unless the design of your site is attractive. Part of your strategy should therefore be to hire a professional website designer. Invest in themes that are easy on the eye and search engine friendly.

An appealing design has no clutter. Business bloggers may be tempted to fill up every bit of space, but that’s not necessary; some white space can provide interesting visual contrasts. A font size from 14 to 16 pixels is most readable. Fonts are important too. The best ones for the Web are Verdana and Georgia.

Technology can be your friend; it can also be your foe. Don’t be drawn into the trap of plugins. Too many of them can overwhelm readers, and slow down the website. But do be mindful of that logo. You can cheaply integrate fonts and/or manually design a logo, but never use a mediocre design. A logo is a representation of your brand, and is as important on your site or packaging as it is on your blog.

Blogging for Business Is a Thriving Art

In 2017, blogging is taking different shapes and forms, but is very much alive. You don’t need to be an aerospace engineer to launch a successful blog. Any brand can be showcased by targeting the right audience, in a voice and manner most appropriate to them. Develop relevant ideas using key strategies, don’t skimp on design, and be persistent. A blog that is as informative as it is relevant can be a boon for your business, even though how information is delivered is quickly evolving.

 

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 19 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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