Business blogging is picking up steam. New research from HubSpot shows that 65% of the businesses surveyed published a business blog, up from 48% two years ago.
But many business blogs are fairly lonely places. I’ve already written about business blog neglect in this blog. But even companies that are publishing regularly aren’t always leveraging their blogs to the best effect. For maximum impact, you have to make link your blog to the rest of the world to gain traffic, links, and relevance. Here are five easy strategies.
1. Build in calls to action. I talked with someone recently who was surprised that people weren’t clicking through to his company’s website from his blog. But a quick look at the blog found no explicit calls to action – nothing to entice someone to click through. Make it easy for readers to take action.
It’s not enough to have your website menus across the top – people may not scroll back up and find them after reading a blog. Offer explicit links to product pages, customers stories, trial offers – whatever might be particularly relevant to the blog posting. A call to action including signing up for a newsletter, or even leaving a comment. Make it easy and convenient for the reader to take action if so inspired.
2. Link to your old blog postings. If you’ve been doing this for a while, chances are that there’s great content buried in your blog. Once it scrolls off the bottom, people don’t see it any more. If you haven’t surfaced that content already to other places in your website, then go ahead and link into it. (Notice how smoothly I did that in the second paragraph of this entry.)
3. Read other blogs and link to them as appropriate. Your blog should have links outside your own business. When you put a link to another blog in your own, it will often appear as a ‘trackback’ on the destination blog. But make sure the links are relevant, and from sources you trust – they reflect on your own brand, too.
4. Connect with partners and customers. Invite a partner to write a guest post. Link to a partner blog that’s relevant. Spotlight a customer, in a more informal way than the traditional customer story. (But make sure you get approval.) The larger the ecosystem of your blog, the more traffic and goodwill you generate with customers and partners.
5. Take it offline, too. Make sure your blog is integrated in your other efforts. Hosting a webinar? Post the Q and A on your blog. Going to a conference? Give people a link to the blog, and then write about the conference there. Put the blog in your email signature, and tweet about it.
I’m sure there are other great ideas – leave your own thoughts by clicking on the Comment link below, or typing in the “Leave a reply” box. (See how suavely I included the call to action?)