5 Key Things to Know about Starting a New Company Blog
5 KEY THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT STARTING A NEW COMPANY BLOG
“Blogging isn’t about publishing as much as you can. It’s about publishing as smart as you can” — Jon Morrow
To a reader, a blog can be like an oasis. It is a drink of fresh water in the middle of a barren landscape. Blogs provide information, entertainment, solace, and encouragement. A good blog connects with readers. A great blog inspires them.
In the corporate world, blogs are a highly useful tool that engages consumers with companies and firmly establishes brands in people’s minds. A great company blog provides value while enabling corporations to connect with their customers on a deep level.
For companies that do not currently have a blog, the time has come to start one. The question is: How can a company start a new blog?
Stay tuned as we discuss the key elements needed for a new company blog to hit the ground running.
5 Key Things to Know about Starting a New Company Blog
1. Choosing Where to Host the Blog
Deciding where to host a blog is arguably the biggest factor to consider. According to digital marketing consultancy Hubspot, there are three main elements to consider when choosing a company blog host.
- Fast loading times. Users ought to access content as fast as possible. Thus, a hosting service must have robust capabilities to ensure fast loading times. This feature is extremely important when blogs generate significant user traffic.
- Reliable security measures. A blog host needs to have appropriate security measures to ensure the blog and users’ safety. Please note that safety refers to user safety, as well. The last thing a company needs is to have a data breach on its blog.
- Uptime. A reliable blog host must ensure 99% uptime. This guarantee ensures that the company blog is available 24/7. Particularly, uptime is crucial when blogs cater to international audiences in different time zones.
Based on these criteria, companies looking to start a new blog have two options: launch their blog on a third-party blogging service or host it on their main site.
Both options have their merits, so it is worth exploring them in detail.
These sites offer a mix of free and paid subscription plans.
Small businesses or companies on a shoestring budget should consider using a free or basic subscription third-party blogging service.
These sites offer many of the capabilities needed to produce professional-looking blog posts.
Moreover, these blogging sites do not generally require coding or web development experience.
On the other hand, hosting a blog on a company site is preferable for large businesses and established corporations.
Often, large corporations have professionally crafted sites.
It is, therefore, possible to take an existing website and outfit it with blogging capabilities. Sites built on a WordPress platform typically come with blogging capabilities built in.
In some instances, companies may choose to revamp their website altogether. This renewal process can include the development of a new company blog.
Companies looking to implement a new blog may consider giving their websites a facelift while they are at it.
2. Understanding the Target Audience
Company blogs largely depend on the brand and its target customers. As such, understanding the company’s core customers facilitates identifying the blog’s target audience.
For instance, a company specializing in youthful brands would do well to focus its blog on topics relevant to a younger audience.
In contrast, a brand centered on an older demographic would benefit from presenting topics relevant to older individuals.
As digital marketing expert Neil Patel points out, “Your target audience is who you target with your marketing efforts.”
Indeed, a company blog is a marketing tool. When used effectively, it helps reach the intended audience. In turn, the target audience becomes the target customer.
In the end, the company wins by reaching the individuals that consume its products and services.
Patel recommends crafting a specific persona that adequately depicts the target audience. To achieve this, the following criteria ought to make up the persona:
- Educational background
- Social status
- Purchasing powers
- Consumption habits
For instance, a company targeting a younger demographic might craft a persona such as: men, aged 25 to 35 living in a busy metropolitan area, earning an average salary of $60,000 to $75,000, physically active, looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle and interested in consuming dietary supplements.
From this persona, it is possible to identify that a company blog plans to focus on fashion, health, supplements, and lifestyle. Consequently, blog posts should revolve around young men attempting to look their best through a healthy and active lifestyle.
Understanding the target audience is a critical step in ensuring a company blog’s success.
3. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Blogs are highly useful marketing tools. They allow existing customers to find valuable information on the topics related to the company and brand they consume.
However, blogs can also become effective tools in attracting new customers.
Using blogs allows newcomers to discover what the company and brand have to offer.
Consequently, new visitors can discover the unique value proposition the brand has to offer.
The challenge, though, is facilitating how newcomers come upon this value proposition.
An effective technique is using relevant keywords embedded in the blog’s text.
Relevant keywords refer to the words and terms users would utilize to search for information related to a specific topic.
For instance, an individual interested in learning more about life insurance would type “life insurance” into a search engine such as Google. Google then displays a list of the most relevant search results. These results largely depend on the text’s prevalence of the keyword(s).
Additionally, keywords may include the geographical location in which the business operates. A user searching for “life insurance” in “New York” would come across a number of companies offering this product. Therefore, insurance companies in New York would do well to include these relevant keywords in their blog posts.
The use of keywords in blog posts and other website content gets the term “search engine optimization” or SEO. SEO is a common tactic used to boost a site’s ranking in search results. As such, careful planning of blog content facilitates the implementation of SEO strategies.
There is one caveat: Content creators need to ensure blog posts are coherent and logical while optimizing content for SEO purposes. Overuse of keywords, or keyword stuffing, can make texts incoherent or useless to readers. Thus, ensuring worthwhile and relevant content while developing a solid SEO strategy goes a long way toward building a solid presence on the web.
SEO and content marketing specialist Duane Forrester had this to say about effective SEO practices: “On a broad scale, I see SEO becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics.”
Forrester’s insight sheds light on how SEO is quickly becoming a common practice among online marketers. Therefore, companies must take advantage of this strategy. The best way to do so is through a valuable and insightful blog.
4. Producing Useful and Relevant Content
On the surface, producing content seems straightforward. Content creators sit down and write.
However, producing content is not quite so simple. Producing quality content requires a combination of skill and experience.
Unfortunately, for most companies, having qualified writers on their team may become quite a challenge.
On the whole, producing content is not merely about marketing copy. It is about producing content relevant to users’ needs.
For example, a food products company may start a cooking blog to showcase its products. Please note that rehashing recipes from old cookbooks will not deliver the value customers seek.
Therefore, producing quality content demands that companies and brands use their unique value proposition to display the value readers can discover. Also, content creators must ensure they avoid making an overt sales pitch. While there is nothing wrong with plugging products, making a sales pitch the sole purpose of a blog post may turn off readers altogether.
The key element to keep in mind is to provide actionable information readers can use to solve a pain point. After all, why would anyone take the time to read a blog post?
Of course, some blogs are popular due to their entertainment value. Nevertheless, business blogs generally strive to provide readers with valuable insights.
Consequently, helping readers solve pain points becomes a truly compelling reason to consume a company’s blog.
Marketing guru Seth Godin once remarked, “I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing.” Indeed, understanding the reader greatly facilitates attracting more users and ultimately positioning a brand in readers’ minds.
5. Hiring a Professional Writer
There are times when companies lack qualified writers on their staff.
At times, companies task inexperienced staff members with producing content.
Other times, executives and entrepreneurs take on the challenge of producing blog posts. However, they soon find that inexperienced and busy executives cannot keep up with the demands of consistent blogging.
How can companies maintain a consistent blogging regimen?
Hiring a professional writer, often a ghostwriter, can help companies keep up with the rigors of regular blogging.
A professional writer has the experience, qualifications, and know-how needed to produce quality content. Additionally, professional writers generally have specialized backgrounds. Companies must, therefore, ensure their chosen writer has the appropriate background to deliver top-notch content.
What must companies consider when hiring a professional writer?
There are five key traits companies must consider when hiring a professional writer:
- A professional and academic background that fits the content and target audience.
- A “voice” that matches the blog’s theme and tone.
- Writing experience in similar situations or topics.
- Willingness to accept change and constructive criticism.
- A professional attitude and disposition to sign the appropriate paperwork.
Please bear in mind that there are “inexpensive” writers out there. However, please note that a less expensive option does not always come with the guarantee and assurances companies need.
It is important for companies to check out a professional writer’s references and track record before committing to their services.
It is a good rule of thumb to review applications thoroughly. Then, interviewing prospective writers provides decision-makers with objective criteria they can use to make an informed decision. The five key traits listed above can help companies create an evaluation checklist.
Some companies opt to hire a writing agency. Writing agencies host several writers on staff.
This diversification of talent allows companies to expand their blog’s scope while ensuring they work with qualified writers. Consequently, hiring a writing agency can greatly enhance the blog’s overall marketing reach.
A common belief is that hiring a professional writer or writing agency is costly. However, this assumption quickly falls by the wayside when considering most companies’ marketing budgets.
Virtually any company can make room in their marketing budgets for consistent blogging.
Please remember that blogging regularly does not mean posting new content every minute. Companies may commit to blogging daily, weekly, or even monthly.
Ultimately, the frequency does not truly matter. What matters is ensuring that content consistently reaches readers.
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The Last Word
Most folks believe that predominantly visual marketing tactics tend to overshadow blogging.
However, this assumption is flawed since visually based content serves one purpose while text-based content serves another.
There is an important place for text-based content regardless of a company’s turn of business.
Everything from auto mechanics to fashion brands can find value in utilizing blogs to deliver content. The challenge, though, is to focus content on the target audience. Otherwise, well-written content will not have the intended impact.
Great blogs deliver value by solving a pain point. Solving pain points depends on the target audience.
Naturally, content must effectively address readers’ needs to produce the desired outcomes.
Additionally, having a qualified writer, whether in-house or externally, ensures that blog posts accomplish their mission.
Ultimately, brands position themselves while enabling companies to continue growing as they reach their target customers.
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