If you thought I’d run out of easily implementable business blogging tips – nope, here’s a whole new set. Just as the headline promises. So, let’s jump right in:
1. Retell news stories from a business angle
News is everywhere. There are always stories about the economy, the environment or the world of entertainment. But can you use any of these stories in your blogging? Absolutely. Simply give them a business angle. How does the news item affect your industry, or even your business? How can your business help others who are affected by the news story? Get creative!
2. Odd numbers work better in headlines
It’s an odd thing, but odd numbers work better than even numbers. One theory is that it suggests your list content has been dictated by the information available, making in more authentic than even numbered lists. Another says that a number that is not easily divisible comes across as stronger. Whatever the reason, for our purposes simply know – it works. You’ve seen 7 tips or 5 ways to do stuff, but nobody talks about the 8 ways or the 4 tips. When we get to double digits, however, things change. Once we get to 10, we like even numbers, too. We also like 12 (or multiples thereof). It’s just one of those things.
3. Keep your headline promise
Talking about numbers, if you promise 5 tips or 10 steps to do anything, give the exact number. You can get away with giving an extra one or two by calling them “bonus” tips or similar. But otherwise stick to you promise. People will check and pick you up on it in the comments or on social media.
4. Need more content? Ask people in person
The best place to ask people is at networking events. You’ve just introduced yourself and told them what you do, so why not ask them what type of questions they’d like an answer to. Or you could use your 60 seconds (if you’re in BNI or a similar networking organisation) to quickly hand out a few blank bits of paper and ask people to write questions they’d like an answer to.
5. Use your FAQs for blog posts
Talking about questions: you might already have a section on your website entitled “Frequently Asked Questions”. These mostly give quick, one-paragraph answers but how about creating a blog post for each. You can go into detail, create value and relevant, valuable content for your website.
6. Use blogging to create valuable content
And on the subject of blogging, valuable content needs to get out into the world so that you get traffic back to your website. Google will eventually kick in, but why not jump-start your traffic by sharing your posts on Social Media? A set of blogging tips wouldn’t be complete without mentioning different online sharing platforms and by mentioning them, you create the perfect symbiosis between blogging and which ever Social Media channels you use. While they provide the traffic for your blog and the rest of your website, blogging provides the content for Social Media.
7. Make the first paragraph the most interesting
Your first paragraph, also called “the lead”, is the most important part of any blog post you create, after your headline of course! A boring introduction might mean people will quickly abandon you and your website to move on to something they hope will be more interesting.
You can use anecdotes, interesting facts and figures or intriguing questions to keep interest. The rest of your article can then go into details and explanations.
8. Engage with new audiences by placing comments on other blogs
Leaving interesting and engaging content on other blogs, whether they are from people in your industry or otherwise, can widen your audience. Comments usually have one link that you can specify, so point them back to your blog. However, you must make sure that your comment is relevant and adds some value – otherwise no-one is going to check you out.
9. Use pop-up forms for automated list-building
You already have them on your website, why not invite them to join your email list. Make sure you give them a good reason, not just “sign up to my email list”. Nobody wants yet another email, but people may be drawn in by the offer of regular tips and advice about a subject they’re interested in.
10. Add a mini survey to your sidebar to get fresh content ideas
Another way to find more content ideas is to let people fill in a survey in your sidebar. Again, make it engaging. Maybe you are thinking of adding a new topic to your repertoire, suggest a few topics and see which one gets the most votes.
11. Repurpose your blog articles for social media
We already talked about sharing your blog posts on social media in tip number 6. This goes one step further. You can break up your blog posts into bite-size chunks and share them one bit at a time. There’s some great software out there to do this for you. I work with one particular package called Digital Splash. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.
12. Rewrite your article slightly and repost them on LinkedIn’s article platform
People often ask me whether they should blog or write on LinkedIn – do both! Just make sure you either rewrite the article or, even better, write a short intro on LinkedIn. When you get to the juicy bit, send them over to your website with a link to read the rest. After all, we want the traffic to come to our website, right?
Over to you
That’s it for this week’s set of 12 tips. I have lots more to share so watch this space, there will be more in the future.
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