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While a blog is a great place to talk about your business and build valuable search engine authority, it can also help you gain a loyal following of customers and admirers that will help you see steady growth for a long time to come.
A blog builds trust with customers, allowing people to better connect with your business. That does not come overnight, and may not come at all, but there's a formula for successful blogging that can help you tackle this new, powerful type of marketing.
One example of a business that embraces blogging and content marketing is Moz (formerly SEOMoz). The software company has no sales staff, puts an extreme emphasis on content and community, and provides truly in-depth industry reports for free. Through all of that, they've built a huge following and have been able to consistently grow Moz as a business because of it.
Sure, Moz has always been a unique company, but there's nothing stopping your business from following in their footsteps.
Want in on their secret formula? Keep reading.
Be Honest and Helpful
When a lot of businesses start blogging, they seem to think that means they need to literally blog about their business. The problem there? Nobody cares about what's going on with your business unless you're one of the world's largest companies or you give them good reason to care. I don't say that to be mean, but it's an absolute truth.
So how do you get people to care about your business? Be selfless.
Give out information like candy on Halloween. But instead of giving out crap from an assorted bag like all of the other houses, give out full-size candy. I bet you'd remember who gave you that and immediately forget about the crap givers, right?
It's the same way with content. We visit sites like Moz, QuickSprout, Buffer, and CopyBlogger because we can count on their content being honest and helpful. In case you weren't following the analogy, those sites give out full-size candy.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
If you're going to blog, you need to do it regularly. If you let your audience know when you'll have new content (whether directly or indirectly), there's a greater chance that they'll become return visitors.
The only thing you have to do is hold up your end of the bargain and more and more readers will return each time you create new content.
And you don't have to post every single day to be successful, but you do need to deliver great content. When creating your posting schedule, think of how long you need to craft those great posts so you don't feel rushed or overworked.
Create Regular Features/Columns
An easy way to start your blog off on the right foot is to create regular features or columns to encourage readers to come back for similar stories. Moz's Whiteboard Friday is a great example of this, and provides Moz with tons of consistent traffic, links (like the one here), and general buzz about their digital marketing knowledge.
Think of a way you could implement a regular feature into your blog while providing entertainment for your readers. You can always change it up as you and your business evolve; the key is to get started!
Be Extremely Active on Social Media
On both your personal and business accounts, it's important to be extremely active when you're trying to grow your blog's audience. Follow and connect with influential bloggers, be a cool source for industry news, and give people a reason to follow your business.
It's also important to note that you can buy exposure on social media to help throw these efforts into overdrive. With ads that can target only the type of consumer you want to attract, allocating some of your online ad spend to social media is an extremely effective method to grow your business's blog.
The goal for your business's blog is to attract people that will allow you to market to them. By providing them with something of value for their clicks and time, they'll give you permission to be a business without running for the hills.
Written by Mark Frost, Director of Content at Wikimotive