If you do not want to drive traffic to your website and position yourself as a leader in your space, stop reading. You don’t need to worry about starting a blog or creating thought leadership content. Good day, and good luck.
Good, you’re still reading. You DO want to drive traffic to your site and position your company as a leader in your space.
Building a consistent and intentional business blog with great content is the best way to boost organic and referral traffic. If you’re going to take the plunge, you might as well populate your blog with stellar thought leadership content to position yourself business as a leader.
Here’s how to start a business blog with stellar thought leadership content:
Get a Pulse on Thought Leaders in Your Industry
Whether you’re launching a new business or you’re a 20-year veteran, you need to get an idea of what’s hot and new and controversial in your industry. The best way to do this is to identify and browse industry publications, competitor and client/prospect blogs, Twitter and Linkedin feeds, and even podcasts. Figure out the voices that have a pulse on the industry and absorb their work.
Don’t wait to start writing until you’re an expert in your space. This learning and pulse-checking is a perpetual component of populating a business blog with compelling thought leadership content.
It’s important to keep research capabilities in mind if you’re hiring a writer or outsourcing your content work. The ability to absorb new industry lingo and trends is a skill not always associated with writing. But great writers and content services are experts at absorbing, understanding, and then articulating trends and arguments in a way that engages a targeted audience.
Figure Out What You Want to Say and How to Say It
Now that you have your finger on the pulse, it’s time to determine what you can write that differentiates your business and services from the pack.
You don’t want to go stirring up the pot simply to draw attention. The goal is that all your business blogs present a position statement that creates new or adds to existing conversations. Quality over quantity. Sustenance over sizzle.
For example, the position statement for this very blog your reading is the first line of the third paragraph:
Building a consistent and intentional business blog with great content is the best way to boost organic and referral traffic.
Approaching thought leadership content with something worth saying seems simple, but you’d be amazed how many businesses blog with wild abandon and zero direction. You can ensure you’re optimizing your messaging by starting every blog knowing what you want to say and how it slots into the overall industry conversation.
This approach will naturally add you as a leading voice in the space and simultaneously maximize the quality of your business blogs ensuring each piece has a main message that the blog supports.
In terms of “how to say it”, you need to find your voice as a brand and stick with it throughout your business blogging journey. Are you snarky? Do you crack jokes? Do each of your blogs have key data points referenced? These are questions that can help you determine your voice.
Along with finding your voice, the best thing you can do to improve how you say things – to boost the quality of your content – is to read. Read blog content across the web and note what you like and why. You can compile these into a list of best practices for creating content for your particular brand.
Don’t Stop Your Business Blogging, Do Start Optimizing
The most important technical component of a successful business blog is implementing search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. These are tweaks you make to content that maximize the potential for it ranking highly on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords and phrases that are relevant to your target audiences.
For example, this article is targeting the keyword phrases “how to start a business blog” and “thought leadership content”. Both these terms are highly relevant to you, our reader, and our SEO tools show that they have a relatively high average monthly search volume. Volumes vary across platforms, but our tool indicates that people search “how to start a business blog” 190 times per month. This isn’t a ton of search volume, but it’s highly targeted and the search intent (starting a blogging program for your business) corresponds to a key service we offer.
We actually use keyword search volume and SEO best practices as the foundation on which we build content. It’s the first step of our content plan. We’ll collect a list of targeted keyword phrases that have a decent search volume and use these as the starting point for our blogs.
There’s a ton more to discuss around SEO, and we’ll put together a more in-depth piece soon. As it applies to learning how to start a business blog, the point is that you’re doing a ton of work to create stellar thought leadership content, so you owe it to yourself to optimize it for terms that you know your audience is searching. SEO maximizes the reach of your content.
Develop a Content Plan with Keywords and Key Statements
You’re absorbing industry trends and content, finding your voice and improving your writing style, and discovering high-volume keywords with search intent that map to your audiences and your services. At this point, after a few blogs, it’s critical that you sit down and plan a strategy for your content.
Your plan should incorporate primary and secondary keyword targets, audience segments, due dates, authors, and position statements for each piece. This oversight is essential for building a forward-thinking blogging program that engages various audience segments and builds a robust keyword universe for your site.
Proper planning empowers you to use the productive hub and spoke content creation approaches. The idea with this discipline is to create a thorough research report or in-depth ebook and then break that larger piece into smaller, more honed assets that target separate keywords and take a separate, more focused position. The approaches maximize the time and resources put into your content.
You want all your content to tell a sensical, consistent narrative about your industry, client needs, and your company’s solutions and services. Each piece of content needs to say something. And all your content should incorporate SEO best practices such as keyword targets, interlinking, and more. Content planning ensures your business blog hits these marks.
Be Intentional: Blogging for the Sake of Blogging is a Waste of Time
There is most definitely an art and science to launching a successful business blog and consistently creating compelling thought leadership content. It takes dedication, intentionality, and humbleness to ask for help. But once you get it rolling, it’s a low-risk and low-cost way to exponentially drive quality leads to your site.
Starting a business blog is not worth it if you’re just going to publish some half-put-together thoughts every other month. It may seem overwhelming. It is overwhelming. But it can be mastered and capitalized on.
Let’s connect if you’re ready to commit (or recommit) to a business blog program that’s built with engaging thought leadership content. We’re here to position you and your business as a leader in your space.