Last week, Neil Patel talked about the prolific blogger and marketer, Seth Godin, on his blog. Arguably the most popular blogger in the world and one of the most successful, Neil takes a look at how Seth has been so successful at blogging and talks about 10 different lessons any blogger can learn from him.
Whilst each and every one of them is beneficial, there are three that particularly stand out when it comes to business blogging – three which can help with the initial and continued success of any business blogging strategy and which are strongly recommended to be fully understood before a strategy is started to be developed and implemented.
Blog, Prune, Experiment, Repeat
As beneficial as implementing a business blogging strategy can be, it requires a considerable amount of time and resources, both at the initial development stage and during its on-going maintenance. Under the on-going maintenance umbrella, one point we discuss with clients regularly is the need to reevaluate your blog’s content.
Whilst business blog posts should, generally speaking, be the happy medium between a social, informal e-mail conversation and a formal report or white paper, this isn’t always the most suitable voice, whether that’s understood from the outset or discovered once the blog has started to become established.
As Neil points out “the conventional method [of creating blog post content] is to analyze the trends, see what your competitors are doing, develop hybrid ideas…” – but Seth doesn’t do any of that.
He writes what he believes his readers want to read and bases his future blog posts on the success of his past ones. If something seems to work, he’ll try it again, tweaking it a little in an attempt to improve it. If it doesn’t, he’ll amend it slightly and try it once more. If something works, it works and he can run with it. If it doesn’t, it goes in the bin.
Although as a business there needs to be an element of analysing trends and competitors when it comes to blogging, Seth’s processes show that the most important thing you can do is listen to your customers and act on how they respond.
Use your blog as a proving round
In Neil’s blog post, he explains that he – and Seth – use their blogs to discuss, in short, potential ideas they have. If there appears to be a positive reaction, they can develop the idea further. If the reaction is negative, they know the idea needs more thought before presenting it again.
Whilst this point may not seem instantly beneficial or one that is able to be learnt from, it shows perfectly one thing – a properly developed and maintained business blog can attract an audience that is loyal, willing and eager to see what you’re going to say next and happy to communicate with you directly.
Providing you with a highly targeted audience to which you can promote your products and services to, a business blog also gives you the ability to test products before they reach market by providing an online focus group of readers who are willing to offer their thoughts on your latest product.
Blogging is all about communication and you should never underestimate what your readers have to say.
Make blog posts, not money
One of the most common misconceptions about various online resources is that by implementing them, you’re going to increase your turnover instantly and considerably.
Take search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media as examples. There’s no doubt that by utilising them properly you’ll be able to see an increase in website traffic and a positive impact on brand awareness – and sales will likely increase – but it’s important to understand you must focus on the basic principles and primary focuses and not expect miracles.
SEO is all about ensuring your website is well-placed within the search engines for your chosen keywords, helping to increase the level of organic traffic to your website, generally resulting in an increased level of targeted traffic which converts at a better rate.
Similarly, social media interaction focuses on having a social presence whereby your customers feel comfortable communicating with you in a less formal arena, which can help to drive a positive company image and increase the awareness of your brand, both helping to increase sales.
And when it comes to blogging, it’s exactly the same.
A properly developed and implemented business blogging strategy can impact positively on SEO, social media integration, brand awareness and therefore product sales and customer conversions – but it must always be remembered that a business blog should be used first and foremost as a way to communicate with your customers. Keep this at the forefront of the blogging strategy and you’ll see success across the board. Focus on one of the by-products primarily and only give a passing thought to customer communication, however and you’ll find it difficult to see any widespread success through your blog.
The benefits of blogging have been increasing in both number and popularity for several years and today, any organisation can truly benefit from implementing a business blogging strategy. Whilst there is a substantial number of by-products to benefit from through blogging, it’s the most basic principles that need to always be adhered to and understood – provide your audience with what they want, listen to what they’re saying and focus first and foremost on pleasing them.
And by basing your strategy around these points, you’ll be able to see just how beneficial business blogging can be.