What should you blog about, anyway?
On all of the websites I develop, I include a blog. Why? A blog is a great way to add fresh, valuable content to your site on a regular basis — important for search engine optimization. It’s also a great way to add content that speaks to users at all stages of the buyer’s journey — important for lead generation. Companies that have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI on their marketing spend, and 82% of businesses that blog daily have acquired a customer through their blog.
Okay, so now that we’ve established that having a blog on your company website is beneficial, what should you blog about? And do you really have to blog every day?
Companies that have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI on their marketing spend.
Breakdown of your blog content
As noted above, your blog should target potential customers in every stage of the buyer’s journey:
These people are aware that they have some sort of problem or question for which they need a solution. They are just starting to look for information, so they may not be familiar with your products or services yet. So you don’t want to make your blog all about you and what you offer. For example, if you manage a cosmetic surgery practice, you might write a blog about “How to get rid of belly fat.” Someone who searches for this phrase on Google, or clicks on a link they see on Twitter, isn’t necessarily thinking about cosmetic surgery at this point. But you can attract them to your blog with content that is relevant to them at this point in their journey. Fifty percent of qualified leads are not yet ready to buy, so it makes sense to gear a lot of your content towards this stage of the buyer’s journey.
Make sure your blog contains actionable advice other than buying your products or services — today’s consumers know when they’re being sold to, and constantly pushing your business will have them clicking the back button faster than you when you’re looking at job listings and your boss walks up behind you.
You should then pair that blog content with an awareness-stage downloadable content offer, so that you can capture the person’s contact information and nurture them through the rest of the buyer’s journey.
People in the consideration stage are now considering possible solutions to their problems. For the person above, cosmetic surgery may be one of those options. But maybe they aren’t sure if they want a tummy tuck, or something less invasive like Smartlipo. So you could write a post for your blog titled “Minimally invasive options for a tighter tummy,” and include a CTA (call to action) for a downloadable comparison chart to nurture users further through the funnel.
The final stage in the buyer’s journey is the decision stage. These people have settled on a possible solution and are now deciding between products or service providers. This is the part where you get to talk about yourself. Because there are fewer people in this part of the funnel, only about 15% of your content should fall into this category. So while it’s tempting to write a lot of blogs about what you do and why you’re so great at it, don’t.
How often should you blog?
As far as blog frequency, that may depend on several factors, such as your industry, how much time you have to devote to your blog, or if you’re using an inbound marketing agency to help with your marketing strategy and content.
Most of my clients blog twice a week — some more, some less. You may need to play around a bit before you find what works for you. Keep an eye on your traffic in Google Analytics and see how your blog frequency affects the number of visits on your site. You may find that you get a lot more traffic when you’re posting twice a week, but that posting 3 times a week doesn’t give you much more of a lift. If posting to your blog 2 or 3 times a week doesn’t seem feasible, recruit other people in your company to share blogging duties, or hire someone to do it for you.
How to come up with blog topics
So how do you come up with all of that blog content? I use many different sources to help determine what might draw traffic to my clients’ websites. I say “might,” because you never really know what’s going to work and what doesn’t, and you may be surprised by which blogs end up being your most popular. The following are a few ways to generate some ideas for your blog:
- Look at Google Trends. This handy tool allows you to enter a keyword or phrase and see other related and trending topics for a specified geographic region and / or time frame.
- Look at your own Google Analytics to see what keywords or phrases are driving people to your site, and build more content around those topics.
- Follow influencers in your industry on Twitter, and see what they’re talking about.
- Listen to your customers. Frequently asked questions from your patients and customers can provide great direction for your blog.
- Write about news in your industry, and put your own spin or commentary on it.
- Subscribe to other blogs in your industry, and draw ideas from them. (Remember, no plagiarism!)
- Sign up for specific keywords on Google Alerts, and scan your notification emails every day for interesting articles.
- Post an occasional announcement about a new product or service, or write about ways that your business is involved in the local community.
Keep track of possible blog topics and links to resources in a spreadsheet, and soon you’ll have no shortage of topics to include in your blog!