Starting a business blog is one of the best things you can do for your company. Blogging drives traffic to your website, promotes your products and services, and builds trust with your audience. And these are only some of the benefits of business blogging.
This can feel like a gargantuan task though when you’re already incredibly busy. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to create a blog; the hard part is creating quality content and growing your audience.
In this step-by-step guide, we will take you through our top tips to create and maintain a company blog. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to improve your blog, this guide is intended to provide tips and best practices that will set you up for successful content generation.
9 Steps to Creating A Business Blog
1. Find Your Niche
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose what your blog is going to focus on. You probably already have some idea of the topic or topics you want to cover because it likely relates to your company’s product, service, or industry, and this is an arena in which you’re an expert.
This is a good place to start, but you’ll need to offer something unique if you want to stand out. Growthbadger.com estimates that there are more than 600 million blogs in the world in 2022, with 31 million active bloggers posting at least once a month in the United States alone. This is massive competition, but it doesn’t mean you can’t establish yourself as an expert. You just have to get creative.
Start by thinking about your product’s or service’s unique selling point. Is there a way you can recreate this on your blog? For example, if you run tours about the hidden gems of your town or city, you could create content about little-known tourist spots.
You can also research your competition. What are they doing well? Are there any gaps in their content that you can fill? And you should also create buyer personas. What are your customers’ struggles and successes?
If you can identify a way to be unique, it’ll be much easier to grow your audience, as no one else has that content. This is, of course, much easier said than done, but it’s worth spending some time on.
2. Choose Your Platform
Once you’ve formed the basis of your blog, you’ll need to choose a platform to host it. You might be able to incorporate your blog into your existing website, or there are plenty of websites out there that can help you create a new site.
The most popular blogging sites are WordPress.org/WordPress.com (depending on whether you want a turnkey or self-hosting solution), Blogger, and Wix. These are by no means the only platforms, though, so you should do some research on which one will best suit your needs. Most platforms will allow you to link back to your company website so that your customers can find everything on one site.
3. Pick a Blog Name and Domain
Before you can launch your blog, you’ll need to create a blog name. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of blogging because it’s ultimately how your customers will find you, so it’s worth taking some time to consider.
You want your blog name to reflect your company name and give the reader some idea about the type of content they can expect from it. For instance, a UK office cleaning company, Spotless, just launched a blog series, Spotless Spotlight, where it interviews key team members about working with the company.
If you’ve decided to host your blog on a separate platform, you’ll also need to buy a domain name. This should match your blog name as closely as possible, preferably being exactly the same. However, you may run into problems if this domain name is already taken, so while coming up with ideas, you should also research domain names.
4. Design Your Blog
Now that you have a blog platform, name, and domain, you’ll need to design the page to appeal to your customers. It’s a good idea to use similar colors and motifs as your company website so that it’s clear to your customers that this blog is linked to your company and not a random third party.
Each platform has different themes and artwork that you can use to create an engaging blog, but you can also create your own template. Take some time to design your blog to be both visually pleasing and easy to use since the design will be the first impression your customers have, and you don’t want them to be put off because they can’t navigate the site.
5. Generate Ideas and Create an Editorial Calendar
Now, it’s time to create content. You’ll need to spend some time generating ideas and coming up with a content plan. Hopefully, you’re filled with ideas for your new blog, so you have plenty to work with. If not, don’t worry too much; there are plenty of places you can look for blog ideas, such as social media and your competitors.
Once you have some ideas jotted down, you should organize your content into an order that makes the most sense for your company. A content calendar is perfect for this, and it will help you to accelerate your content production. There are websites and apps you can use, or you can go low-tech and write it out on paper (this is less useful if you have a large content team because it’s harder to share and edit).
6. Write Your Posts
Now, you can start writing. This may be the more challenging part, especially if you’re not used to creating content, but try not to get bogged down with making it perfect at this stage (that’s what the next stage is for). Just get everything you want to say down on paper (even if it’s just in bullet points), and then you can rework it into a more concise or logical form. If you’re feeling stuck, starting with a clear outline of your blog post is a good idea.
Nobody’s, even professional writers’, first draft is great (sometimes it’s not even good), so don’t worry if you feel that the writing is jerky or not the way you want it to be. If you need help with writing blog posts, check out our article on that topic here.
7. Proofread and Edit Your Work
A vital and inescapable part of written content creation is editing and proofreading. It’s essential to your reputation that your work is free from spelling and grammatical mistakes because it builds trust with customers. So, creating a consistent proofreading and editing process is a must.
This sounds more complicated than it actually is. Your main goal is to create a process that’s repeatable and thorough. The best way to do this is to create a style guide that your content creators can follow while writing so that their content has similar tones and formatting.
You could task one person, someone with editing experience, to oversee the content creation process and check the work for consistency and errors. If this sounds too challenging for you to implement, you can use an editing agency (like us!) to proofread your blog posts before you publish them and ensure your content is error-free.
8. Promote Your Blog
Once you’ve written and published your first post, you’ll need to get it in front of as many people as possible. If you’ve been in business for a while, you will already have a built-in audience that you can target using your company website and a mailing list if you have one. People who use your products will likely be interested in your blog if it provides them with more value than the product or service alone.
But if you’re a new business starting out, you’ll need to build an audience (which you’ll need to do to sell your product or service anyway). The good news is that you can use your blog to promote your product or service in ways that customers won’t find too salesy if you do it right.
Of course, you can’t underestimate the power of social media. According to Neal Shaffer, nearly 40% of people aged 18–34 have bought a product from social media, and 71% of customers who had a positive social media experience with a brand will recommend it to their contacts. Social media is too good of an opportunity for a business to miss.
9. Use Your Analytics
Once you’ve posted several articles, you’ll be able to see patterns in how your content is being received by your audience. Certain types of content will perform better than others, and this can change somewhat frequently, so you’ll want to look for trends rather than at individual posts. You can then use these trends to inform which type of content you should make more or less of and which topics your audience enjoys.
While blogs are a fantastic way to attract new customers to a business, creating and maintaining them can be a challenging process, especially for busy companies. But this shouldn’t put you off. This guide has defined nine steps to create and maintain a company blog:
- Find your niche.
- Choose your platform.
- Pick a blog name and domain.
- Design your blog.
- Create an editorial calendar.
- Write your posts.
- Proofread your work.
- Promote your blog.
- Use your analytics.
Following these steps will set your company blog up for success.
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It’s essential for your content to be error-free because mistakes could cost you your reputation. So why not let a fully managed team of expert editors check your work to make sure it’s the best it can be?
We’ve worked with more than 1,000 global businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to award-winning start-ups, to improve and level up their content. When you’re ready to see what we can do for your business, schedule a call with our team.