What This Guide Will Give You: This step by step guide will give you the best tips, tools, and resources to write a great business blog post using WordPress.
Important Facts: Most posts don’t get found. Most posts that get found don’t get clicked. Most posts that get clicked don’t get read. And most posts that get read don’t get shared or create subscribers. The 1% of businesses that write great posts – they do get found, clicked, read, shared, and subscribers. And that last word ‘subscribers’ that’s a very powerful thing to your business. That’s how you should measure the success of your business blogging. Rankings, visits, and even shares don’t mean anything if they don’t lead to followers, fans, and subscribers.
Why not measure success by buyers?
If your business blogging goal is to convert readers to buyers, you’re doing it wrong. Nobody wants to read (or share) self-promoting blog posts. People ignore self-promotion and advertising more than ever. The key is to give your intended audience SOMETHING TRULY VALUABLE EVERY TIME. Fail at this and you’ll be ignored, succeed and you’ll make fans. And when your fans need your product/service they’ll come straight to you.
Contents of This Guide:
- Define Your Target Audience
- The Prerequisite To Blogging Success: Connect and Engage With Your Target Audience (and Key Influencers)
- How To Choose The Hands Down Best Possible Topic
- The B2C vs. The B2B Blog Post Types
Write ToSpeak To Your Target Audience
- The Trick To Quickly Creating An Optimized Title Tag/Permalink
- How To Create A Description Tag Better Than The Rest
- Your Main Heading and Intro Better Do This
- How To Create An Outline/Layout Better Than The Rest
- Conclude By Asking For Engagement… You’ve Earned it!
- Add Images
- Publish, View, and Share
#1 The Benefit of An Ultra Defined Audience
The smaller, more specific, and more defined your target audience, the better. You CANNOT overdo this! Trying to be everything to everyone is the quickest path to blogging failure.
You want to be the biggest fish in a small pond, even if it’s a very small pond.
Quick Tip: A super focused target audience allows you to boost your posts (make it a sponsored post) on different social media networks for just a few dollars. This allows you to get your content in front of your target 100 people many times instead of millions of people just once.
#2 The Prerequisite To Blogging Success: Connect and Engage With Your Target Audience (and Key Influencers)
Karma is a very real thing for bloggers. If you read, like, and share others content, then others will read, like and share yours. Before you begin sharing the awesome blog posts you’ve written – spend several weeks connecting with your target audience and read, like and share their awesome content.
Smart Tip: Focus connecting with and engaging with key influencers in your industry. The reward of having an influencer share your content is MUCH greater than any random share (and much greater than boosting a post). Be smart and do the following:
- Identify Key Influencers
- Connect With Key Influencers On Social Media or Subscribe To Their Blog/Newsletter
- Read Everything They Publish
- If You Like What They Wrote – Like It on Social Media
- If You Can Add An Insightful Comment – Do It
- If It’s of Value To Your Connections – Share It
Be persistent and don’t give up. It will take time, but you’ll begin to get noticed by smaller influencers and eventually biggers ones. With time, this can pay off MUCH more than engaging with non-influencers.
#3 Choose A Topic That Has Undeniable Value
Recreational bloggers can write about whatever they’d like. Business bloggers should be more strategic about topics. The best priorities for topics are: First, topics that benefit existing customers/clients. Second, topics that benefit your target audience. Last, topics that can feature industry influencers.
Here’s a list of effective topics. Prioritized from most to least important.
- Build high-value cornerstone content for your buyers/clients
- Answer a question a buyer/client has
- Share a case study about a buyer/client
- Share original and intriguing research that will help your buyers/clients
- Update a reference post that needs to be kept up to date for your buyers/clients
- Write a post that will supplement an existing post
- Update a previously popular post
- Write a roundup featuring posts from industry influencers
- Interview one or several influencers
- Review a product/service of an industry influencer
#4 The Best Post Types For B2C and B2B Businesses
Not all types of blog posts work equally as well for B2C and B2b businesses. Likewise, not all emotional reactions are appropriate for both audiences. Here’s the breakdown of the types of posts and emotional reactions that generally work best for B2C and B2B.
Best Types of Posts (Types of Posts B2B Should Usually Focus on Are Marked With An*)
- Comprehensive Guides*
- Short How To Guides*
- Regularly Updated References*
- Case Studies*
- Original Research and Data*
- Predictions (Not Evergreen)
- News (Not Evergreen)
- Press Release (Not Evergreen)
Quick Tip: Make time work for you, not against you! If you create content that is evergreen your library of shareable branded content will grow over time. On the other hand, if you create a lot of content that is not evergreen (news posts, predictions and press releases) your library of content is always slowly evaporating.
Best Types of Emotional Reactions (Reactions B2B Should Usually Focus on Are Marked With An*)
Tip: To give your post the best chance of being shared and going viral the reaction must be strong. E.g. incredibly helpful, incredibly shocking, incredibly intriguing etc.
Write To Speak To Your Target Audience
Public speaking can be intimidating but makes losing sight of your audience very hard.
Business bloggers, on the other hand, can sometimes (even easily) lose sight of or even be unaware of who their audience is. To write a great business blog post you need to know EXACTLY who you’re writing to. And you should write as if you’re talking to them.
Tip: Personally I find it very easy to lose sight of my audience when blogging. However, when I prepare a presentation for a specific audience, it’s VERY HARD to create a presentation that isn’t perfectly directed to them. For this reason, I recommend you actually prepare a presentation directed to a specific individual or group of individuals (not a specific type of person/people but a person/people you actually know). I recommend you try jotting down your presentation on pen and paper and then convert the presentation to a blog post.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. – Elmore Leonard
#6 The Trick To Quickly Creating An Optimized Title Tag (& Permalink)
Do you want to put a bunch of work into an awesome post that gets shared on social media and then is lost forever?
Neither do I.
Two things are required to get inbound search traffic to your post. First, your post needs to rank near the top of the search results. Second, your title needs to be the best title on the page. Your title is the most important words you will write by far. It’s also the trickiest because you have to balance three things in a title:
Search Engine Optimization: Search engines rankings will be impacted by your title tag more than any other part of your post. Your title must be optimized for search. A title like “The Unknown Step By Step Formula For Writing Great Posts” sounds nice but isn’t optimized for search because people don’t tend to search for unknown step by step formulas.
Click Through Rate Optimization: Not only is the title the most important part of your search engine optimization, it’s also by far what determines whether your post gets clicked on or not.
Title Length: Writing a search optimized title tag isn’t tough. Writing a title tag that’s optimized for both search engines and click through rate is much tougher. To add to the conundrum, you’ve got to keep your title to less than 60 characters to ensure the entire title shows up in the search results.
So, what’s the solution?
The Quickest Way To Write A Title That’s Optimized For Both Search and Clicks
I know you don’t want to waste TOO MUCH TIME brainstorming and trying to come up with titles that fit the above criteria. Here’s what you can do. Open up a window in Google and start typing in the topic you want your post to be optimized for. You’ll notice Google begins to give search suggestions after a few characters. This is called Google Suggest. Keep trying several searches and see what Google suggests. What you’re looking for is a long specific suggestion. This is called a long tail search. When you’ve found a suggested search that is both long and specific you’ve found your title. Here’s why:
- Suggested searches get more traffic than phrases that don’t pop up as suggestions.
- Long specific searches are much easier to rank well for. How many posts are written about “How to write a blog post”? Tons. How many posts are written about “How to write an amazing first WordPress post”? Much fewer.
- Titles that are very specific HAVE MUCH HIGHER CLICK THROUGH RATES than general titles. People who search “how to grow a dwarf avocado tree inside your home” are very likely to click on a post with that very title.
I wanted to title this page “The Unkown Formula For Writing A Post That Gets Clicked and Shared”. I thought it was catchy and would get a higher click through rate on social media. DO NOT THINK LIKE I DID. You’re a business blogger. You’re not in the click-bait business. You want inbound search traffic. Lucky for me I decided to jump on Google and punch in several combos. I knew right when I had my title.
“How To Write A Great Business Blog Post”
And 39 characters.
Tip: Use your title tag or an abbreviated form of it for your permalink!
#7 Your Main Heading and Intro Better Do This
Readers will give you one chance to hook them with a good heading. Fail at this and the reader is gone. So your heading needs to hook the reader and convince them to read at least one more line – your intro. Introductions are your chance to reinforce the value and benefits of your post. Quickly point out the promised value of your post in the intro. Then use the body to provide that value.
#8 The Problem With Most Blog Outlines, Headings, and Content
The real problem with outlines, headings and content is that they don’t engage the reader. If it’s not engaging, it does not get read (or liked, shared etc.).
What to do about it?
- Create outlines for your posts that are broken up into small bite-sized subsections.
- Write headings for your subsections that are engaging and keep the readers interest.
- Keep your paragraphs, sentences and even words short and sweet.
#9 The Conclusion Is Your Chance For Engagement – Don’t Waste It
The conclusion is your opportunity to add a call to action. Depending on your goals there are several things you may invite your reader to do:
- Comment and add their thoughts
- Read a related post
- Share it with others
- Follow you or your company
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Try your product or service
#7 How To Quickly Pick A Description Tag Better Than The Rest
#11 Add Images (With Title Attributes and Alt Text)
Data shows that posts with images and visuals outperform posts that don’t. I have a long ways to go with images but have found Kevan Lee’s post of 23 tools and resources for social media images helpful.
Quick Tip: I like to be able to use the images I create for both blogging and social media. To do this you want to be sure to make your original image wide enough for your blog (880 px in my case) and at a width x height ratio that matches your target social network (2 x 1 works perfectly for LinkedIn and Google+, and nearly perfect for Facebook). This means my images are made at an original size of 880 x 440 and can quickly be used on the blog, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.
#12 Double Check Your Permalink, Then Publish and Share (and Share Again)
I’ve made the mistake of publishing (and even sharing) posts with the wrong permalink. Double check your permalink before posting, it’s the one thing you don’t want to ever need to edit after publishing!
Share your post on your company social media profiles. Then, if applicable to your personal audience, like and share your company update on your personal social media profiles.
Quick Tip: You only want to send your post to your subscribers once, but social media is a different story. The great majority of your social media followers won’t see your post if it’s shared only once. Try sharing it once when you publish, again later that evening and then once more on the weekend. This will allow you to get impressions from a variety of followers.
The Rules Are Always Changing
The rules of blogging success are always changing, but that just adds to the fun, right? We’ll be updating this as we test the latest practices of the best business bloggers. And we’d love for you to connect with us so we can hear about your blogging success!