Blogs are often underestimated in the world of business. You may think they’re a casual way for people to document their experiences and adventures, but they’re actually a great tool for promoting your brand and widening your audience.
Adding blog content to your website can give your business 126% more lead growth than non-blogging businesses. Plus, they’re easy to start – if your customer base is a ready-made readership.
Our handy guide walks you through the process of creating a business blog from scratch, from how to get people interested and how to track its performance. Read on to find out more.
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Why does your business need a blog?
Brand Business blogs are a great way to showcase your knowledge about topics and trends in the wider industry, while offering additional support and advice to potential customers.
If you run an online business, blog posts also give you the opportunity to get organic, keyword-rich content onto your site. This can help improve your Google search ranking and drive organic traffic, so that anyone who searches for a related topic or question is more likely to end up on your site.
Optimising your site for search engines is very important, so make sure you check out our e-commerce SEO guide for some tips.
You should aim to regularly update your blogs with new content and keep your posts relevant, to build trust and loyalty with search engines, as well as your customers.
Get people interested
Your blog should also be a way to generate interest in your business and kick start your customer’s buying journey. You want people to land on your blog, then to your store and hopefully make a purchase.
Try to make your blog posts personable and relatable. This will draw customers in and encourage them to purchase your products, sign up to your services or share their findings on social media. The more social shares your blog gets, the more incoming links your website has, and the more your Google ranking improves.
How to keep visitors on your blog
There are several things you can do to ensure people keep coming back to your business blog, including:
- Posting things that are genuinely useful e.g. – for example, if you’re a business selling hair accessories, post a tutorial on how to use them with different styles.
- Posting things that are relevant – not only does this help feed Google relevant important keywords, it also stops you potentially alienating readers. If you’re a friendly neighbourhood cake shop, for example, you should keep things like politics and social commentary off your blog.
- Blog regularly so you can keep people interested, – if your blog posts aren’t frequent or you don’t follow a consistent schedule, people will look elsewhere for content. Similarly, new readers may be instantly put off to see your latest post is several months old.
- Partner with other blogs – guest posts can help you connect digitally with other businesses or influencers. Where bloggers post, their readership will follow, so consider having monthly guest posts where you can widen your brand’s reach.
- Support the local area – acknowledge local businesses on your own blog and enjoy the benefits of mutually marketing one another. Linking to each other’s promotion is a great way to make the most of combined readership.
- Take an omnichannel tactics approach – use your blog to post fun updates about your brick-and-mortar store, exciting promotions and news on your upcoming stock. etc. Take Etsy’s blog, for example, where their updates can be anything from their latest popup market to current design trends, and where you can buy corresponding pieces on their online store.
How to start a business blog
Starting a blog is easy – you just need to find a platform that works for you and to get writing. With Square Online, you can have your ecommerce website and business blog all in one place for added convenience.
First, you’ll need to set up an online store and cater the design to your business needs, with options for restaurants, retail, services and more.
From here, you can then create a Stories page that will operate as your blog. It’s a free add-on that is simple to use – what more could you want?
Head to the Stories Overview section, where you’ll be able to customise the page, add new blog posts and edit existing ones. You can even change the page settings, so your blog can be accessed via social media.
How do I know if my blog is working?
Your blog isn’t going to be successful right away, so be prepared for a few months of updating before your efforts really start to pay off.
The best way to track your blog’s performance is with a Google Analytics account. Our partners over at Wix have a short and simple guide on how to get started.
Once you’re set up you can get all the insight into your blog’s performance, including the number of many new visitors, which pages they exited on, which they remained on the longest and which pages have the highest bounce rates (i.e., the ones least able to keep visitors reading).
Promoting Your Business Blog
Once your blog is up and running, it’s time to spread the word. You can use email marketing to share the latest blogposts with your existing customer base in a weekly or monthly newsletter.
But, when it comes to growing your audience, social media is essential. Find out how you can use each social media platform to promote your blog below.
Set up Instagram for your business for access to more than one billion users across the globe.
Add a link to your website on your account profile, so potential customers can easily access your blog and products. You can then use an omnichannel approach, creating Instagram stories or posts that support your latest blog articles.
Facebook for Business lets you engage with both current and potential customers in one place. Share your latest blog updates and use the insights tool to monitor how they perform with your target audience.
Facebook posts get 2.3 times more engagement when they include images, so try to add a visual feature when you share your latest blog update.
Twitter is your go-to for news, trends and important updates. Select a few hashtags that best relate to your blogpost, so you can join in the conversation and attract the right audience.
Make sure to interact with any responses you receive to build stronger customer relationships and increase overall awareness of your brand.
Pinterest is another image-based platform that lends itself to blog promotion, especially if you have used original images on your posts.
Create a Pin with one of your images and include a URL to the relevant blogpost. Readers and Pinterest users can then easily and quickly add the pin to their own inspiration boards and share it with their followers.
For more business-facing blogposts, LinkedIn is your best shot at reaching the right audience. Publish a couple of snippets on your post to pique the interest of potential clients, then attach a link to the full blog post where they can find out more.
Find out more about the benefits of social media for your business.
What if I don’t need a blog?
Blogging isn’t an easy undertaking; the most successful hobbyist bloggers who have hit the big time often have to make it their full-time job to maintain the level of quality they want to offer. We’re not saying devote your every working hour to your blog, but if you know you can’t spare the time (think a few hours a week to write and some time every day to see if it’s getting any engagement) then a business blog may not be the best choice for you.
Blogs can be powerful SEO tools, but they’re not the be all and end all of a successful online presence. If you think it’s enough for your business to have a lively Instagram account or a healthy following on Facebook and don’t think a blog is the right fit, that’s perfectly fine too.
Now you feel confident enough to create a business blog and understand the benefits it can bring to your brand. From demonstrating your company’s ethics and expertise to reassuring potential customers that you’re right for their needs – blogs are a powerful tool for any business. Start yours, boost your online presence and reach new customers.