Another business blogging basics post? Am I out of my mind? No, I am not.
But several solo business owners, content creators, businesses (all sizes), marketers, and even those that call themselves “content marketers”, “content strategists”, or “insert any fancy titles” seem to have lost their collective minds.
There’s a lot of information out there about blogging for business, blogging to win, how to succeed with blogging, blogging schedules, content marketing calendar, and so on.
That’s not where I’ll be going at all.
Here’s what I would like to say: There’s some kind of seemingly harmless (but it’s dangerous) propaganda that has been fed into your collective minds about:
- What blogging is…
- Number of words a blog post should have…
- What blogging should do for your business?
- How your approach business blogging or even
- The kind of things that you need to look for when you are hiring a blogger.
Recently, I wrote a linkedIn post on this. That serves as your TL;DR
Keyword research, Topic Clusters, and Blog Post Angles
There are several reasons why you do keyword research, pick topic clusters, and opt for a particular angle when writing blog posts for your business.
In a nutshell:
- Do Basic Keyword research: You want to know what keywords or keyphrases (relevant to your business) are being searched by users around the world.
- Pick Relevant Topic clusters (without the keyword phrases you choose above) to ensure that you have some depth in covering topics that relate to your busines.
- Choosing relevant Blog Post angles (and sometimes even creative) allows you to stand your own ground, make your point (in a way that’s unique to your brand) — even if this topic has been covered before (don’t kid yourself — most topics have been covered, unless something new comes up).
For the average business with small teams, solo business owners, content creators, and even full-time bloggers, you don’t have the time to do what SEO folks do — scraping links, using ScreamingFrog, and so on.
Use Google Keyword Planner, Google Auto suggest, Google “People also ask” or tools like Semrush. Period.
How to Choose Blog Post Headings
According to Copyblogger, almost 8 out of 10 people will read the headline. Only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
Those that do read the rest will probably scan (and not read as much as you think they do).
The question is this: How do you even make the headline show up? How do you get eyeballs on those headlines? That’s where the first point I made (above) kicks in.
However, when crafting headlines, don’t be so careless about them for the reason explained above, and:
Headlines play multiple roles: They first have to match the search intent (and hence show up on search first. Second, they have to appeal to a prospective reader and be good enough to be clicked when you share it on social media). Third, headlines must pave the path for them to read on.
So, when you craft headlines don’t be careless and add crappy words into headlines that don’t match search intent, add no value to the headlines, or harm any chances of making the headline appealing enough.
Here’s an example (No, it’s not the world’s best headline anyway. I am no Gary Halbert or Ogilvy)
Just write: “How to Write Headlines for Google Ads”
Why? It’s simple, it’s good enough, it matches intent. It doesn’t have too many extra words. The word “For” is there because that’s how people search.
“How to Write Headlines For Your Google Ads”, for instance.
I worked with several clients while providing blogging services — past, present, and I am sure more will come in the future — who write careless headlines like these with useless words like “Your”, “in”, “at”, “whatnot”.
Grammar is Not Important
Sorry grammar nerds, business blogging is not where you show your feathers.
Editors make a rallying call for the “importance of grammar” because they are editors: they want you to hire editors.
Grammarly makes a big fuss about getting “Grammar right” or “making an impression” with good grammar because Grammary wants you to subscribe to their paid plans.
Bloggers and freelance writers also fuss a lot about grammar (but I have no idea why — grammar is not their business. Unless, it’s a freelance editor blogging about grammar)
What really hurts is when marketers and entrepreneurs also dwell so much about grammar that they don’t see why blogging for business is even done in the first place?
Why blog for business?
- Use the content you create for generating traffic, establishing trust, working on your thought leadership, and staying convincing enough for people to take action. Which then…
- Allows you to generate leads (by using tools such as Leadpages pop-ups, Unbounce Pop-ups, OptinMonster, Drip/Sleeknote, and so on).
- Nurture leads with smart email marketing (using Drip, ConvertKit, MailChimp, and others) with smart email marketing sequences to get you real results: sales, revenue, and profits.
You are wasting time focusing so much on grammar, going through endless rounds of revisions, and even hiring the wrong kind of talent when you are looking for blogging services for business results.
This tweet will explain:
Follow Business Blogging Best Practices
If you just wanted to write your thoughts out, you wouldn’t have to worry much.
Blogging for business, however, has rules and best practices (no, you can’t do whatever the heck you like).
Blogging has a few best practices, just like there are best practices when it comes to almost everything — from fitness to personal finance.
Thankfully, best practices for blogging are easier to apply (on a consistent basis) than it is for managing personal finance.
The key, however, is to optimize your blogging for results
When you are writing blog posts, you do this:
- One blog post this week. Another blog post 3 weeks later? It’s not going to cut it for you. You need a blogging velocity — a cadence or a frequency that you can manage, allowing you to make a difference for your business.
- Blog post word length is an unnecessary distraction: Write just as long or short as you need to (doing the topic justice — what’s the headline promising? What do you deliver? Did you answer the question or do justice to the topic?
- Break up your blog post into clean and structured paragraphs, headings, and subheadings. Title takes h1. Subheadings take h2. Anything else takes h3, h4, and so on (just don’t over do it). Format your blog posts with care.
- Use bullet points if you have to (like I am doing now)
- Add images, if you can (or if you should).
- Add other media (like the LinkedIn post embed or the Tweet embed above). You can also add videos (see below) or create short videos with Dubb, Loom, or Hippovideo and embed these into blog posts.
- Add a call-to-action (see below).
Here’s how to format your blog posts:
Mandatory: Add a Call-to-action in your blog posts.
You aren’t here to show the world how smart, intelligent, intuitive, capable, or dashingly handsome (or beautiful) you are.
You are blogging to get results for your business.
Your blogging has a purpose: traffic X leads X sales = revenue (and hence profits).
I did a video called blogging for purpose earlier, watch it below.
To do this, you’d need to generate leads. The first basic step then is to add a call-to-action for your blog posts.
Really, what’s your problem in adding two lines telling the world what you want them to do?.
There are tools like OptinMonster, Divi’s Bloom, Unbounce, and Leadpages.
I’d say you don’t even need any of these. You could add effective CTA buttons (calls-to-action buttons) using no tools and just the Gutenberg block editor inside WordPress.
Don’t overcomplicate blogging. Pay attention to basics (and that’s hard work enough) and you’ll see results if you do it for long-enough.
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