Starting a blog is a great first step towards attracting an audience to your business blog. Without a blog, it would be very difficult to rank for key terms related to your business. This is because Google search crawlers search for context based on criteria like keywords and links, and your blog is the perfect foundation for this. However, there are right and wrong ways to handle blog creation. To increase your chances of success, it’s important to follow best practices and expert blogging tips—which ultimately helps you avoid critical mistakes that could do more harm than good. Here’s what you need to know about starting a business blog:   

1) Don’t Forget About SEO 

It’s important to find a balance between writing for your reader and writing for SEO. Fortunately, there is definitely a way to achieve this balance, and many businesses do this successfully. If you’re on a lean budget, it’s very possible to learn the basics of SEO on your own. You’ll find that the foundation of your efforts start with your keyword research. If you have a budget to spare, give yourself time to let your blog build a bit before you turn to paid services. This will provide your agency with valuable metrics they can use to determine a plan that caters to your current results.  

2) Avoid Black Hat Tactics 

Speaking of SEO—avoid black hat SEO tactics at all costs. Many business owners use these tactics to get their business in front of Google, and find that they’re hit with harsh penalties. Not to mention, it creates a poor user experience. Black hat tactics include keyword stuffing (infusing your content with keywords you’re targeting), article spinning (using online tools to “spin” original content for your blog so that you don’t have to write anything yourself), and using “invisible text” (making text the same color as the background page to fool search engines without the reader seeing it).  

3) Don’t Be Salesy 

As a business, your goal is always to make money. Because of this, it might be tempting to push products and link services in your content. However, being too salesy is rarely ever a tactic that actually converts. If you want to prove valuable to your reader, create content that actually matters. Even if you aren’t converting them right away, you’re building trust with them as a valuable resource.  

4) Take a Look at Your Competition 

Having a thorough understanding of what your competition is publishing will help you with topic ideation, and will make it easier to identify what your target market is looking for without spending too much on market research. You’ll also gain a better understanding of their content techniques. It might be in your best interest to use competitor research tools like SEMRush to gather a list of the keywords they’re targeting, too.  

5) Use a Content Calendar 

Starting a blog is already difficult enough as it is. Part of the reason why continuing your efforts can be difficult is that idea generation isn’t always easy, which makes consistency an issue. If you really want to succeed, build trust, and generate leads, consistency is key. To aid you in those efforts, use a content calendar. A content calendar is a useful resource that provides you with a high-level overview of what’s happening with your blog. Not only do you plan what content is being published when, but with a digital calendar, you can assign writers and add resources to streamline the creation process.  

6) High Rankings Don’t Happen Overnight 

Your goal might be to rank in the top three, but this certainly doesn’t happen overnight—even when you’re working with an SEO agency. It takes time to build trust with search engines, and the more content you have as your blog grows, the more likely it is to be indexed. If you happen to find an agency that guarantees result, run in the other direction—Google explicitly states that no SEO can promise results, and its algorithms change around 500 times per year on average.  

7) Pay Attention to Your Analytics 

If you plan to make improvements to your blog over time, you need to be paying attention to your on-page and social analytics. What are people saying about your content across social channels? What blog posts are most popular? Knowing what’s working and what’s not can do wonders to your overall strategy. For example, you might find that blog posts with higher word counts tend to do better. Or that blog posts that include polls and quizzes have higher engagement rates. Whatever the case, always circle back to your data to make changes.  

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