When you add blogging to your online content marketing strategy, you’re making a considerable commitment of time and energy.
To realize the results, you set out to achieve with your small business blog, you’ll need to continuously add valuable content that the right people will actually want to read.
Because the return on your efforts won’t come overnight, you should know that you’re in it for long haul. So, to be effective and avoid burnout, you’ll need to develop a set of habits to support your goals:
Read, read, read (watch and listen)
One of the most important things you can do is get in the habit of reading blogs, articles and books. You’ll need to stay abreast of what’s going on in your industry as well as what kind of content your competitors are sharing.
Any good writer reads a lot. In addition to reading information directly relevant to your field, you should also read bloggers and others who write in a style that resonates with you.
Listening to audios and watching videos will not only provide you will information you can use, but they may also serve as models for communicating with your readers in a conversational tone.
The more you expose yourself to quality material, the more your writing will improve.
Effective small business bloggers develop a plan and stick with it. They establish both a broad vision and clear, measurable goals.
One sure way to fail is to enter into blogging without a plan for where you’re going. This doesn’t mean you won’t adjust as needed, but your plan will guide the way and help you stay on track.
Once you’ve established a big picture vision, create an editorial calendar to set a tentative schedule for yourself.
One surefire way to fail in your small business blog is to try to cover too much. Lacking focus, you’ll burn yourself out and have difficulty gaining a loyal readership.
Your niche should be based on your expertise. If you write about subjects you know well and matters related directly to your services, you’ll spend less time researching and double-checking your facts. You’ll be able to write with ease and confidence.
Additionally, when you write about a specific set of issues without straying too far from the course, readers will develop a sense that your blog is a useful and trusted resource.
Shoot for consistency
Consistency relates to the frequency of your blog posts, the coherence of your topics and the integrity of your style and voice.
The idea is to develop strong relationships with readers, and the best starting point for this is to establish an approach that readers learn to recognize and find familiar. Consistency builds trust, which is a prerequisite if you want your blog to be effective in the long term.
Anyone interested in content marketing is familiar with the debate over quality versus quantity. And though quality is paramount, the importance of quantity can’t be undervalued.
Effective small business bloggers post regularly – at least 2 to 3 times per week. Prepare to be prolific, because you’ll be writing a lot and writing often – both on your own blog and as a guest blogger on other blogs.
Measure and Analyze
Without testing and measuring, you’re really just shooting in the dark. It’s important that you frequently analyze your blog’s performance. Check out the number of hits it gets and trace pingbacks to see how often the link to each blog post is getting shared, and by whom.
By doing this, you’ll be able to asses which topics are most popular and which keywords are most effective. And the point of taking an analytical approach is that you’ll use the data to adjust, adapt and tweak as needed.
I’ve saved the best for last. The most important habit you can develop to be an effective small business blogger is diligence.
Because success won’t come over night, you have to be prepared to remain persistent and commit to a constant and earnest effort. If you’re someone who gives up easily when you lose interest in something, small business blogging might be for you. Find another method of getting your message across, or outsource the tasks you find most tedious.
Developing high-quality blog content that’s relevant and well-written is your number one priority. Developing habits that allow you to do this while avoiding burnout and building a loyal readership will make your small business blog worth the effort.
So, what are your thoughts on this? Do you already have the habits it will take to maintain an effective small business blog? If not, what steps are you going to take to develop those habits?