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6 Awsome Blogging Benefits For Small Businesses In 2021 (+ Easy Guide)

Benefits of blogging

If you’ve ever typed in “blog” or “blogging for business” in Google, then you’ve might’ve seen countless pages about how to start a blog, make money blogging, how someone made millions with their blog, etc.

As a business owner, you may feel like it’s another time-wasting “best” marketing strategy being pitched by the multitude of online gurus.

Yet blogging seems to be working wonders for those getting it right, and their websites are ranking higher on Google than yours.

Having a small business blog will make your website a resource for your customers and other potential buyers, and this will drive traffic to your site as well as increase the visibility of your business online. You can also make additional income profiting off the traffic, which we will explain later.

Blogging also costs a lot less than traditional marketing strategies and delivers greater returns. According to research by Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times the amount of leads generated by traditional marketing and costs 62% less.

This begs the question – if blogging is so important, how do you create a successful blog? In this comprehensive guide, we will show you everything you need to know about starting a blog for your small business.

Blogging Will Drive Traffic To Your Business Website

One of the major benefits of starting a business blog is that blogging helps you rank on multiple Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) which expands your chances of getting discovered by potential buyers.

When you create a new blog post, you are adding another indexed page to your website, and this gives you another opportunity to show up on search engines and get discovered by searchers. According to Neil Patel, blogging creates 434% more indexed pages for websites and businesses that blog get 55% more web traffic than businesses that don’t bother to do so.

Also, when you consistently create blog posts, you can integrate relevant keywords into a range of articles and rank for the different keywords your prospects use while searching for the products and services you offer.

Blogging Will Help Establish You As An Authority In Your Niche

Providing a consistent flow of well-researched and SEO’d blog posts that solve the problems of your customers and answer their pressing questions will help you build trust with your readers as they will begin to see you as an expert.

When buyers see your business blog as a relevant source of high-quality content, they are more likely to be interested in engaging with your business. 

According to ContentPlus, 60% of potential buyers claim to develop a positive impression about a business after reading helpful content on their blog.

Blogging Helps You Generate Leads

Adding a call-to-action (CTA) to every blog post you publish is a good way to collect the emails to help grow your community. Over time when you’re consistently providing valuable content to your growing database, you will start to earn your community’s trust and respect. 

At this point, your community is ready to buy from you, so you can send one-time offers, affiliated promotions, and incentives to get them to convert into paying customers.

The process is simple; you write an impactful and relevant blog post that solves the reader’s problem and creates a positive impression on the reader. At the end of the blog post, you add a CTA to get the reader to fill their email into a form for a free incentive like an ebook, a free webinar, or a free trial of your product.

Blogging Helps Get Your Business Discovered On Social Media

The same way every article you publish on your business blog creates another opportunity for you to rank on search engines, every article you publish on your social accounts will further boost your chances of getting discovered by new customers on social media.

Every quality blog post you publish will get shared by loyal readers and has the potential to go viral. A viral blog post on social media will bring a lot of exposure to your business.

You Will Continue To Reap The Benefits Of Your Blog Posts For A Long Time

Traditional and digital ads will only last as long as you keep paying the host platform for ad placement, but a blog post will remain live and continue to attract traffic to your website for as long as your site remains active.

Your older blog posts will be responsible for the bulk of your web traffic, and articles published months or years ago will continue to generate sales for your business long after you hit the publish button.

Blogging Will Lead To An Increase In Sales

There’s a lot of noise on the internet nowadays with ads and constant social media posts. Meanwhile, your audience are indifferent to this form of marketing because it’s coming from an education standpoint. Engagement increases through content marketing because high value is provided well before asking for any kind of sale.

Also, blogging is a lot cheaper than paying for ads and it will generate three times more leads for your business. A study by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 61% of customers bought a product or paid for a service after reading a positive recommendation in a blog post.

As a small business owner interested in increasing online exposure for your small business, blogging is a must. Allocate the time and resources needed to establish and maintain a blog for your small business.

Why Do You Need A Content Strategy?

You are now aware of the benefits of blogging and the need to create blog posts regularly to ensure readers keep coming back to your website. 

However, one major issue keeps nagging at the back of your mind, how will you get started and maintain a consistent output of high-quality blog posts?

This is why you need a content strategy plan. A content strategy plan will help guide you to create your content, determine the types of content you will create, understand the audience you will target, and how you will attract that specific audience.

Blogging without a plan will not get you the results you need, and small business owners that take the time to develop a content strategy plan will reap all the benefits. 

Research shows that 60% of businesses that took the time to create a content strategy report seeing results in their content marketing efforts, while only 32% of businesses without a content strategy claim to be getting results.

To create your content strategy, there are a few questions you should ask yourself, and the answers to those questions will help shape your plan. The following are some questions you should answer:

Question 1: What Are The Goals Of Your Blogging Efforts?

You can’t have a plan without having end goals. It is your goals that will determine the type of content you will create, the audience that your content will target, and how you will measure the success of your content marketing efforts.

The central goal of every content strategy for a business blog is to create content that addresses the problems of your customers and educates them on how your products and services address those problems.

However, there are more measurable goals that will influence your content strategy, and the best way to measure your success in accomplishing these goals is to track your progress. Some of these goals are:

  • Increase business revenues

  • Increase site traffic

  • Increase number of email subscribers

  • Predetermine the number of social media shares for your pillar blog posts

  • Establish as an authority in your industry which will increase your public profile and make you a sought after figure at industry events

Question 2: Who Are Your Target Audience?

It’s important you know your audience in order to develop the right type of content that will grab their attention and turn into buying customers.

Many businesses have more than one type of customer, and each customer segment will require specific content that focuses on their peculiar needs. For example, a Dallas Based Moving Company can offer its services to both local residential movers and statewide movers.

That’s two different types of customers, and each of them will have questions relevant to their unique needs that your blog must answer.

The key to defining your target audience is to create a reader persona for each type of customer.

To create your reader personas, figure out the following:

  • What are the problems solved by your products and services?

  • What are the pain points that will drive a potential customer to seek information on the solutions offered by your business?

  • What other related information will they be interested in reading about?

  • Who will make the final decision to pay for your product and services, and who and what will influence that decision?

Your answers to these questions will help you create your reader personas and also help you determine the topics your customers will want to read on your blog.

Question 3: What Types Of Content Will You Create?

After you have figured out your target audience and the topics they will be interested in, the next step is to figure out the types of content that will resonate with your readers.

There are many types of content you can use on your blog, including conventional blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts.

The best content strategies use a mix of content types and it’s best to target each customer segment with the most suitable content types.

Question 4: Who Will Create And Maintain Your Content?

There are different strategies you can adopt to create content for your blog. You can choose to create your content yourself, hire writers to join your staff, or outsource content creation to a content marketing agency or freelancers.

Next, identify the resources and tools you will need to create your content. If you want to create podcasts or videos, you can check out free podcasts and video courses online to help you learn how to create them. Also, to create infographics, infographic makers like Piktochart and Canva are free and easy to use.

Question 5: How Often Will You Publish Content?

After you have figured out your target audience and the topics they will be interested in, the next step is to figure out the types of content that will resonate with your readers.

There are many types of content you can use on your blog, including conventional blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts.

There are a lot of successful blogs that publish content daily, which is an outdated SEO strategy that could be counter-productive in today’s SEO blogger landscape. 

This rigorous posting schedule may be too demanding for your needs and taxing on your resources. Quality over quantity wins today. Search engines have become smarter and require more relevant content.

A realistic posting schedule will be one that fits into your lifestyle and is robust enough to make it possible to achieve your goals for your blog.

You can start by posting two high-quality blog posts a week, and when you have successfully built a decent-sized audience, you can increase the number of blog posts you publish weekly if that’s a goal for you.

Whatever posting schedule you settle on, it is a good idea to create an editorial calendar. If you are publishing a few articles a month, you can use Google Calendar to outline topics, topic scopes, assigned writers, due dates, and publishing dates.

However, if you plan to publish lots of content regularly, then you can use a more robust tool like CoSchedule to create your editorial calendar and a task management app like Asana to manage the assignment of topics to your team of writers.

Coming up with a content strategy for your blog is no easy task, but by answering the questions outlined above, you will be able to create a content strategy that will provide you with the roadmap to lead you towards achieving your goals for your business blog.

How To Find Keywords To Target On Your Blog

Keywords are the heart of SEO. They are the words and phrases that searchers use to look for information on search engines, like Google.

Keyword research will help you discover the exact words and phrases that your customers are using to look for information. The keywords you discover will shape the topics of your blog content and your SEO optimization efforts.

To do keyword research successfully, here are the steps to take:

Step 1: Brainstorm A List Of Seed Keywords

Keyword research starts with coming up with a list of relevant seed keywords. Seed keywords are the most relevant words and phrases to your business. 

These are the words used in your industry and the terms that describe your products and services. To come up with a list of seed keywords, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What products and services do I sell?

  • What are the words and phrases commonly used in my industry?

  • What are the terms used by buyers in my industry?

Step 2: Understand The Importance Of Search Intent

A searcher uses a search engine to get information to be used to accomplish a specific objective. That objective could be to learn about something, to find a solution to a problem, or to buy something. That specific objective is called search intent.

When you understand the search intent behind a keyword, it’s easy to come up with content that provides the relevant information to help the searcher accomplish his objective.

There are three types of search intent and they are:

  1. Informational Search Intent: this is when the searcher is seeking information on a specific topic. At this stage, your potential customer is aware that he needs a solution to a problem and will use keywords that contain terms like “how”, “guide”, or “who” (for example, “how to start a small business blog”).
  2. Transactional Search Intent: this is when the searcher has found the ideal solution to the problem and is ready to make a purchase. At this stage, the search query will include terms that describe the product or services the searcher is looking to purchase. For example, “WordPress themes”, “Wix pricing”
  3. Navigational Search Intent: this is used when the searcher has decided on a specific product or service and is searching for the website of the business that provides that specific product or service. For example, “WordPress”, “Squarespace”.

Step 3: Find The Most Relevant Keywords Using Keyword Research Tools

There are few online tools both free and paid that you can use to find the most relevant keywords for your blog, and they are:

Google Keyword Planner

To use Google Keyword Planner, sign up for a Google Ads account. The tool is free and since it is owned by Google, you can be sure the keyword information is accurate.

Input your seed keywords and get a list of relevant keyword ideas along with information on the search volume and level of competition for each keyword.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool created by the world-famous SEO expert, Neil Patel. To get relevant keywords, just enter your seed keyword and you will get a ton of relevant keyword ideas and other useful information.

For each keyword, you will get search volume, SD (SEO difficulty – the level of competition), and CPC (Google Ad cost-per-click).

SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool

SEMrush offers a paid full-suite SEO tool, but it’s Keyword Magic Tool can be used for free. This tool is great for stealing relevant keywords from your competition.

To use this tool effectively, input the URL of the business blogs that you plan to compete with, and the tool will provide you with a list of all the keywords each blog is ranking for.

Step 4: Identify The Less Competitive But High Volume Keywords

If you are just starting your blog and you are not ranking for any keyword, it’s best to target relevant but low-competition keywords. If you choose a competitive keyword, you will find it difficult to rank high on Google for such a keyword.

A keyword is competitive because all the major blogs and websites in your niche are investing resources to try to rank for the same keyword. 

A low-competition keyword will give you a good chance of ranking on Google’s first page. As your website grows, and you become recognized as an authority in your niche, you can go after the more competitive keywords.

Picking a high search volume keyword is also important. A keyword that has good search volume is popular, and a popular keyword will drive traffic to your blog.

Each of the keyword research tools listed above will provide you with information on the search volume and SEO competition of each listed keyword.

Step 5: Select Your Keywords

You now have a list of low-competition and high-volume keywords relevant to your business, it’s time to pick the keywords you will use on your blog.

The keywords you choose must be relevant to the search objectives of your customers. If you plan to create topics that will answer the informational queries of your customers, then target the exact keywords your customers will use.

To do this, type in the keyword on Google, and examine the content of the web pages in the Google search results. If the content is similar to what you believe your customer is looking for, then add the keyword to your final list.

Use the same process if you are creating topics based on transactional and navigational keywords.

How To Craft Blog Topics With Your Keywords

The hardest thing about starting a business blog is to come up with topic ideas consistently. 

Readers visit your blog to find solutions to their problems, if you can’t maintain a consistent output of relevant content, those readers will desert your blog.

To generate topic ideas consistently, you need a system that helps you identify the type of information your readers are looking for and helps you create content that will be recognized as authoritative and relevant by search engines.

Keyword research will show you the words and phrases your readers are using to look for information, but how about search engines? How will you come up with topics that will make search engines recognize your blog as an authority in your niche?

Use Pillar Blog Posts To Anchor Your Blogging Strategy

A pillar blog post is based on a topic that covers a general concept. Such a topic will be based on a high volume keyword, and it will broadly address a specific problem for your customers.

The blog post must cover the topic broadly because it needs to be robust enough for you to tie in and link a range of other related articles to the pillar blog post. 

This will create a topic cluster that tells Google and other search engines that your pillar blog post is an authority on the topic. As you subsequently publish more related articles and link them to the pillar blog post, the blog post will rank higher and higher for that topic.

Research shows that search engines favor the topic cluster model and that the more interlinking you do for similar topic-based content, the higher the blog post at the center of that cluster will rank on search engines.

To identify ideal topics for your pillar blog posts, examine the products and services you offer, pick a specific product or service, and identify the exact problem it solves for your customers.

Then, use keyword research to discover the exact words and phrases your customers are using to find solutions to that specific problem. The keyword you discover will be the basis of the topic of your pillar blog post.

A good example is this guide. The topic of this blog is based on the keyword – “small business blogging”. The topic is broad, and the guide is over 5,000 words. 

To create a topic cluster around this guide, we will create articles on related topics like, “setting up a WordPress blog”, “how to market your blog posts”, and so on.

After coming up with the keyword for your pillar topic, the next thing is to identify the relevant keywords you will use for the cluster topics that will link to your pillar blog post.

Use Long-Tail Keywords To Develop Your Cluster Topics

After covering your pillar topic broadly in your pillar blog post, your cluster topics should focus on the specific related questions your readers are asking. Long Tail keywords will help you find these related questions.

Long Tail keywords are keyword phrases that comprise four words or more, and they tend to be very specific search queries.

These types of keywords make up the vast majority of searches on Google, and 70% of keywords used in daily searches are long-tail keywords.

To discover relevant long-tail keywords, just enter the keyword of your pillar topic into a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest and Keywordtool.io, and you will get hundreds of long-tail keyword suggestions.

There are other ways to discover long-tail keywords for your cluster topics and some of them are:

Google’s List Of Related Searches

Anytime you enter a query into the Google search engine, at the bottom of the page you will notice a section that contains a list of related searches to your query. That list comprises long-tail keywords.

Just type in your keyword and scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find your list of related long-tail keywords for your cluster topics.

Google’s People Also Ask Box

On every search result page, there is always a “People Also Ask” section. These are the questions searchers ask that are related to your topic.

Use Trending Topics To Inspire The Headlines Of Your Blog Posts

After putting a lot of effort into keyword research, it will be a shame to create a blog post around a topic that searchers are not interested in. To avoid this, it’s best to identify the topics that are trending in your niche for your keyword and use them to inspire your blog post topic.

A trending topic is a topic that is enjoying a surge in popularity on social media platforms and among searchers on the major search engines. These topics get lots of shares on social media and high search volumes on search engines.

There are a few tools that help you identify trending topics, and below are two of the best:

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a research tool that will help you discover trending topics based on the keyword or URL you type into the search box. You will get a list of trending topics for the keyword, along with the number of social media shares for each topic on all the major social platforms.

Ahrefs Content Explorer

Ahrefs Content Explorer is a premium research tool similar to Buzzsumo but it’s worth every penny. You will get a list of the top-performing blog posts for your keyword along with their publishing dates and the number of social shares they have garnered. 

You can also use the filter functionality to dive deeper to discover the websites that are linking to each of the blog posts. This will help you identify the websites you can reach out to and get authoritative backlinks for your blog.

Now that you have your list of topics to use as inspiration, the next thing is to craft catchy headlines for your blog posts. A magnetic headline is key to getting searchers to click on the link to your article.

Compile A List Of Relevant Keywords To Be Used To Further Optimize Your Blog Posts For SEO

Blog posts and website pages don’t just rank for topic-based keywords, they also rank for a series of semantically related keywords. These keywords are called LSI keywords. 

LSI keywords are words and phrases that frequently occur together with your target keyword, and they provide search engines with a more holistic understanding of the content of your blog post.

To find LSI keywords for each of your blog topics, you can use the LSIGraph keyword research tool. Just input the keyword of your blog topic and you will get a list of relevant LSI keywords you can integrate into your blog post.

You shouldn’t stuff your blog post with these keywords and instead try to integrate them naturally within the flow of your content.

It is also a good idea to use an SEO content editor like the SurferSEO content editor to write your blog posts. Just input your keyword and your blog post topic into the tool, and you will get a list of guidelines and relevant keywords to integrate into your article.

When you comply with each guideline or integrate the specified numbers of a particular keyword, they will turn green to let you know how well you are progressing.

Now that you have your blog topic and your list of relevant LSI keywords, it’s time to do your research, prepare your blog post outline, and adopt best practices in writing a high-quality blog post that will stand out. Also, don’t forget to edit your articles before publishing them on your blog.

Getting Backlinks To Boost Your Site’s Authority

A backlink is a hyperlink that links to your website from a different website.

Google values backlinks because it sees them as a vote of confidence from other websites. Backlinks tell Google that the content on your website is of good quality and that other websites believe your content will be useful to their readers.

However, Google only rates quality backlinks. Backlinks from authority sites with high Domain Authority (DA) will show Google you are recognized as an authority on the topic you want to rank for.

To get started building your backlinks, here are a few link building strategies you can adopt:

Start Guest Posting

To guest post means to contribute content to another website for free, and in exchange, you get a link back to your website.

Guest posting can be a highly effective link building method if you focus on contributing to websites with DA in your niche. To be successful with this strategy, there are a few steps you need to follow:

1. Identify popular blogs in your niche

You should already have a few blogs in your industry that you like to visit, and they can be a starting point. You can also use Google to find relevant blogs.

Type your Keyword and “write for us” into google

Check out each of these websites and note them down.

2. Sort out the websites with high domain authority

You are not just trying to get backlinks, you want links from websites that Google recognizes as authoritative sites in your niche.

It’s time to whittle down your list of websites to the few that will be worthy of your time and effort. You want to focus on websites with a high DA. In the beginning, websites with a DA above 50 should be a good starting point.

As you publish more content and grow your blog, reach out to websites with a higher DA.

Head over to the Moz Domain Authority Checker, and type in the URL of each website on your list. The tool will provide you with the DA of the website along with other useful information like the website’s top competitors and its top ranking keywords.

3. Identify the high DA websites that accept guest posts

Not all websites accept guest posts and many that accept have stringent requirements. Before you compile topics to pitch, do a site search to be sure.

To do this, do a Google search for the websites on your list with phrases like “Contribute” or “write for us”.

For example, “site:hubspot.com contribute’’.

4. Identify the top blog posts of each website and use them as inspiration for your pitch

You are more likely to get your guest posting pitch accepted if you pitch an idea based on a keyword the target website is already ranking for. To find the top blog posts of your target website, you will once again use your trusty Ubersuggest tool.

Type in the URL of the website into Ubersuggest, when you scroll down, you will find a “Top SEO Pages” column. Check out the articles listed in this column and pick anyone to serve as inspiration for the topic ideas you will pitch.

5. Reach out to the websites and pitch your topics

You have your topics, and you have reviewed the website’s guidelines for content contributors, it is time to reach out and pitch your topics.

If your pitch is accepted, ask for information on the type of backlink you will get. The type of link you want is Dofollow links. Some websites will only allow links to your site in your author bio, while some will allow you to integrate links to your site within the flow of the article.

Write Testimonials For Other Websites

Another way to get backlinks is by writing reviews for products and services of other businesses in your industry.

When you give a positive review, you are helping the company with social proof, and in exchange, the company is giving you an opportunity to include a link back to your website.

Join Quora And Provide Useful Answers To Relevant Questions

Quora is a very popular website where people ask questions and those questions are answered by other users of the platform. The platform is also free to use.

You can start by creating a Quora account, then type in your keywords to find questions that your prospective customers could be asking. When you find relevant questions, provide a detailed and relevant answer to the question and include a link back to your website.

Get Cited In A News Article

Getting cited in the news publications is another great way to build links to your website. You can reach out to local journalists using the Help A Reporter (HARO) platform, tell them about your areas of expertise and make enquiries about opportunities to get interviewed.

How To Promote Your Blog Posts

Writing quality content is essential to making your blog successful, and promoting your blog posts is just as important.

If you don’t promote your articles, all the effort you have put into each blog post may be wasted. There are many strategies you can use to promote your blog post, and you can adopt any combination of strategies that will work best for you. Some of these strategies are:

Optimize Your Blog Post For SEO

This is the strategy to adopt to ensure your articles rank on search engines. Organic search engine traffic alone can do wonders for your blog. 

According to Searchengineland, over 50% of website traffic is organic while just 10% is from social media platforms.

To optimize your blog post, focus on certain aspects of your blog page including the URL, headings and subheadings, your article’s meta description, and your images.

Your URL should include your keyword and it should be short, use HTML H1, H2, and H3 tags for your headings and subheadings, and craft a meta description that will pique the curiosity of the searcher to click the link to your blog post.

If you choose to build your blog with the WordPress CMS, then you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimize your blog posts. The plugin will help you craft the title, URL, and meta description of your blog post.

To optimize your images for SEO, compress your images to prevent heavy images file sizes from slowing down your website and add a description to the Alt text of your blog images.

Equip Your Blog For Social Sharing

When visitors read and like your content, make it easy for them to share your articles with their friends by adding social sharing buttons to your website.

You can find a variety of Social Share Button plugins in the WordPress plugin directory.

Publish Your Blog Posts On Your Social Accounts

Publishing on social media is a great way to attract more traffic to your website and engage with readers that like your content. Identify the preferred social platforms of your target audience and publish regularly.

It can be overwhelming to manage different social accounts, so the use of social management tools can help you automate and manage the process of posting to your social media accounts.

Build Your Email List And Provide Regular Content To Your Subscribers

Email marketing remains one of the best ways to build a community of loyal blog readers and drive traffic to your blog.

To build your list of email newsletter subscribers, start by sending emails to your contacts and ask them to share with their friends and colleagues.

It Is Time To Start Your Small Business Blog

Creating a successful business blog requires a ton of work and dedication, but the many benefits of small business blogging to the growth of your business mean your efforts will be rewarded. 

The knowledge you will need to create a blog for your small business is in this guide, and now it’s time for you to choose a blogging platform, do keyword research for your topics, and start writing.

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