Your business blog is a failure.
You get your team publish something there once in a while but you still have hard time justifying the cost of maintaining it.
But you keep updating it because all your competitors have blogs.
Many company blogs are like this: Business owners start them because everyone else does but you are not sure what to do with it.
What gives? Is there something wrong with your content?
No, not really. You just haven’t brought your blog to the next level. Doing so requires hard work, and a new perspective.
What Constitutes A Successful Blog?
The first thing you need to do is define success, as it means to your business. What would it take for you to feel as though you reached a new and exciting milestone? Why do you have a business blog? More traffic? More natural citations? More brand mentions online? All of that?
Whatever the case, having a clearly defined set of goals will provide a more precise direction to work towards.
Further reading: The Key to Social Media ROI
Learning To Connect With Your Audience
The single most important thing you can do, no matter what your goal, is to make a connection with your audience of a deeper level. That requires understanding what is important to them, why, and how you can address those issues in a meaningful way.
As an example, we will use this post. Readers are wondering how they can improve the performance of their blog and bring it to the next level. That is a common and serious issue that they face, and one that I can empathize with. As part of that empathy, I genuinely want to give some answers that may help.
Engagement is more than just having a discussion. It is learning about and knowing your audience, and what they need from you, then providing what they need, so that they keep coming back, and bringing others with them.
Featured tools: Here are some awesome tool that let you easily discover questions your readers are asking. All you need is to answer those questions on your website to drive readers in naturally.
Expand The Type Of Content You Provide
Blog posts are great, but they don’t attract everyone. Sometimes getting more views and interaction is as simple as delving into new types of content.
You could host an AMA style interview with someone in the industry, or write up a multi-expert post that addresses a common problem. Maybe making a simple video or podcast would be more beneficial to those visiting your blog. Or you could create some nice visuals, or a Slideshare presentation.
Featured tools: Here are quite a few tools that allow you to create multi-media content easily.
Give them something new, something exciting and easily shareable.
Start Building Relationships
Some of the most valuable resources at your disposal are not actual tools, or data, or even the people who read your blog. They are other bloggers, influential ones with a reader base that is loyal and expansive, and maybe a decent social following.
Featured tool: Tomoson is one of the best platforms to find bloggers who are actively looking for new partnerships. It’s also one of the safest ones giving bloggers all the flexibility they need.
Invite Niche Influencers to Your Blog
Interview a niche influencer, invite him / her to do an expert column, reach out to him / her and ask to provide an expert quote on a topic you are covering…
There are many ways to feature an industry expert on your blog and in most cases that influencer will at least share your article with their micro-community and in some cases he / she will become your passionate brand ambassador!
First Site Guide is a fabulous example of that done right: They invited best-known industry experts to participate in their guide which resulted in better trust signals and lots of shares:
Featured tool: MyBlogU is a free expert allowing businesses to connect to niche writers and experts easily. Just create a test expert interview project to see how it works:
Ask Your Readers What They Want
Your readers are your next best resource, and a fount of information. While learning to essentially read their minds is a part of your job, it can be a lot more direct and useful to just ask them. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Create a form for your website that asks for feedback, what they would like to see, or issues they are facing (which could make for great posts in the future).
- Send your subscriber list an email asking them for feedback, which hopefully a fair number will open and check out. This unfortunately limits your scope, because not everyone who reads you regularly will be a subscriber.
- Ask on social media for feedback, or start asking leading questions that can help you build content later.
Featured tool: The newest tool that seems to work great for having a quick talk with your reader is Qeryz. It allows you to create quick surveys and it gives a ton of options of how and here to display them letting you customize the message based on the content funnel.
It’s very easy to set up too!
Ask Yourself, “Would I Share This?”
Finally, you have the last test: yourself. So often, we will write something because we just need the content, and we are trying our best to make it engaging. Maybe it succeeds, maybe it falls flat. The best barometer in that case if yourself.
Take a look at the headline… would you click on that if you saw it? What about the content, would it help you? Does it hold your attention? What could you do to make it better? If you are honest, you will be able to vastly improve every post.
You have to take your business blog to the next level, and you have to know how to do it. The good news is that it isn’t nearly as difficult as you fear. It just takes some honesty, concern for your readers, and observation.