Most entrepreneurs disregard the idea of blogging, considering it a waste of time. As an entrepreneur, you might have other priorities and tasks at hand. Maintaining a blog may not guarantee immediate results. It is also true that it takes away time you could have otherwise spent developing your product or services or interacting with your team, clients or investors. So why should you blog? Well, it has its advantages. For starters, recent marketing research has found that companies who blog receive 97 per cent more links to their websites than those who don’t. Additionally, B2B marketeers who use blogs receive 67 per cent more leads than those who don’t. Are you still doubtful? Then take a look at these 21 other numbers.
Blogging is a great way to connect with your clients and other entrepreneurs. It can be the first step towards building your brand. By sharing your experiences, writing motivational posts and giving tips drawn from your own journey, you build a personal connection with your reader that lays the foundation for a long-lasting relationship. Although blogging is not rocket science, it takes some effort to be focussed and maintain consistency. Unfortunately, not all of us may be gifted writers. Still, you may not want to entrust the responsibility of your own story and vision to be shared to your audience through a different voice. So how can you ensure that you consistently create meaningful content that gets read and converted into actual, measurable results for your business?
Here are a few tips for entrepreneurs who are new to the blogging bandwagon:
This is one of the mistakes usually made by newbie bloggers. There is always the fear of being judged for sounding too naive or being too mundane. So they put in extra effort to use big words and sound more intelligent. But you don’t need to sound smart. Readers love easy-to-read blogs that are written in a conversational tone. Don’t throw around jargon and buzzwords in an effort to sound professional. Remember that simplicity is the mother of clarity. Even famous writers like Ernest Hemingway have asked fellow writers to “cut out the ornamentation.” “Write about what you know; write the best story and write it as straight as you can,” he advised.
As an entrepreneur, you already know why it is important to have a business plan. The same applies to your blog as well. Planning out your monthly posts and maintaining your editorial calendar will keep you on track and be consistent. You do not need fancy content management software to maintain a calendar. Use Word, Excel or Google Sheets to keep track of topics to blog on and when to post them. Two blog posts a week is a good number to start with. If you cannot come up with ideas for many posts, use a blog topic generator to help you out.
The most important thing about your blog is the content you post on it. There is no alternative to compelling content. You need not be a trained content writer to write in an engaging manner. Do not serve your audience recycled listicles or already- available perspectives on a topic. Your blog is your platform to air your opinions. Be original. You may write on topics that have already been written about, but remember to include your own take on it. Tell your own stories and spread your own ideas. Entrepreneur and author Peter Guber explains how to ‘tell stories to win’: capture your audience’s attention, motivate them by being authentic, build your story around what they can gain from it and, thus, change passive listeners to active participants. Also, do not forget to post images and videos on your blog. It has been found that blog articles with images get 94 per cent more views than those without images.
While you might generally prefer to write your blog yourself, there is no hard and fast rule that all content on your blog should be written by you. Many successful bloggers invite posts from industry leaders, satisfied clients or even employees to blog for them from time to time. In fact, studies show that almost 63 per cent of individuals perceive blogs with multiple authors to be more credible. It gives your audience a chance to read diverse viewpoints written in different voices. Many famous sites like The New York Times, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post and even YourStory use guest contributions to reach out to a wider audience and increase readership.
Call(s)-to-action, or CTA, is the new buzzword in digital marketing circles. They generally appear at the end of blog posts and indicate what the reader should do next. It is common to see bloggers ask readers to share their stories in the comments section after a post. You may have also seen links to enrol for newsletters which promise similar content. Making your CTA enticing enough for the reader to click on it and making them do what you want them to do entirely depend on your creativity.
For instance, after a post that explains why your product/service stands out among those of your competitors, you could offer a free trial for your reader. Digital marketeer and blogger Neil Patel says, “If you want your customers to take action, you’ve got to assist them and remove all possible outcomes.” Do not jump in and ask them to buy your product right after your first post on it. Instead, offer them a free trial and you stand the chance of increasing conversions into actual sales and increased revenue by about 25 per cent. Take a look at the different ways you can include CTAs in your post here.
Blogging can take up some of your time, but do not forget that it is the simplest platform to connect with your clients and talk about your business, your industry and yourself directly. So leverage this tool in the best possible manner, get inspired by entrepreneurs who have used it to their benefit and emulate their example to increase your website traffic, create a strong customer base and ultimately drive sales and increase revenues.