Are you wondering how to start blogging for your business? Writing a company blog post isn’t quite like writing a journal, but you can still write with personality and help your customers to relate to what you do.
Our previous article covered the why blogging is important for businesses. In this article, we’ll show you how to write a business blog post so that it has the biggest impact on your digital marketing objectives.
How Do I Create a Successful Business Blog?
The key to creating a successful blog is quality content. There’s no substitute for high quality articles that answer your customers’ questions. And if you target well-chosen keywords, you should find blogging for your business yields good return on investment.
That said, actually writing a business blog post can be challenging. So let’s break it down into sections and look at each one in detail.
How to Write a Business Blog Post
We’re going to run through the 6 stages of creating a blog post, from content ideation right through to polishing up the completed blog post.
Let’s start out by generating some ideas for business blogs.
1. What Should I Write About on My Company Blog?
You’re ready to write, and you’re staring at the flashing cursor on the screen.
You might be thinking, “what do I actually write about in a business blog?”.
Finding suitable topics can seem daunting when you’re first starting out. But when you’re blogging for your company, you actually have a lot of freedom.
Think of your blog as a conversation. If you were talking to a client or a customer, a colleague or a competitor about your business or your industry, what sort of things would you most want to talk about?
Even more importantly: what questions would they ask?
This should let you focus your thoughts on the subjects that you are most relevant to your business.
You’ll want your audience to interested and engaged in the conversation you’re starting. A business blog therefore needs to be more than just a place to dump random ideas, or things you want to get off your chest.
Here are a couple of points to help during topic brainstorming:
- What does your customer want to know? If you were a potential customer of your company, what would you want to read about? What would you find interesting and engaging? Would the topic in question be pitched at the right level, i.e. neither too simplistic nor too technical and dense?
- How can I help the customer? Most people who read business blogs don’t have the time to read something that is merely interesting. They want something that gives them a solution to a problem. This is where you can unlock value and hook readers into your business blog. Focus on practical, insightful advice on topics directly related to the services and products your company provides, or where your general expertise can offer a solution.
When brainstorming, keep your audience in mind. Sometimes it feels easier to write for your peers, which is a trap that we see many small businesses fall into. Try and avoid niche topics and think broad to begin with.
Aim to Write Evergreen Content When Blogging as a Business
To get the best ROI from your business blogs, try to avoid (or minimise) topics that are time-sensitive. Instead, aim to create evergreen content so that it’s relevant and useful in the medium to long term.
- One big reason is to aid search engine optimisation. Search engine algorithms trawl webpage content for timestamps, and anything that is deemed out of date might be pushed down the rankings.
- Also, think about long term relevance. How many people are going to read a news story a month or two after the event?
Evergreen content therefore tends to be general rather than specific, focusing on topics, issues or advice in broad terms rather than addressing specific incidents.
Of course, sometimes you will want to use your blog to push out good news stories about great things your company is doing. Equally, in the interests of being relevant, you may well want to respond to current events or trends.
This’s fine – you don’t need to eliminate time-specific references from your blogs completely. But you can minimise them in 2 ways:
- If you want to promote a successful project you have completed, simply leave out times and dates and focus on the positive outcomes and feedback. This makes it an evergreen case study or testimonial rather than a time-sensitive news story.
- If you do feel you have to include time references, push them well down the copy, or run the blog alongside a press release.
After a while, dated articles can drag on your rankings.It’s good practice to regularly audit your content and revise (or delete) anything that is clearly out of date.
Generating Ideas: AI and GPT-3
AI tools based on technologies like GPT-3 are just starting to creep into the mainstream. While GPT-3 can’t yet create articles at the same standard as a high-quality writer, it can sometimes generate outlines to push past the initial writer’s block.
There are various tools available at relatively low cost, like:
- Nichesss: Basic interface, but unlimited GPT-3 usage for a lifetime fee of $59.
- Writesonic: 40 generation credits per month for $59 lifetime fee.
- Copysmith: 25 monthly credits for $59 lifetime fee.
- Conversion.ai: High usage allowance for $49/mo.
- Copy.ai: Unlimited credits for $35/mo.
- Headlime: Beautiful and versatile AI tool with tons of toys from $59/mo.
Automated content is not a magic solution to every copywriting problem, but it can kickstart the writing process if you’re struggling to come up with a basic foundation for your post.
2. How Long Should a Business Blog Post Be?
Word count is one of the most hotly debated topics when blogging as a business.
If you want the chapter and verse on all the different arguments involved, you might find our article on ideal blog post length useful.
To sum up what is quite a complex subject:
- Look at competing articles. Use them as a guide. If you answer your visitor’s question to the same or higher standard, your blog post is probably the right length.
- Long posts include more natural long-tail keywords and variations. That can help both readers and search engines to find what they’re looking for.
- Don’t pick a random target. It can be just as damaging to stretch out a concise topic to something waffly as it is not doing a more heavyweight subject justice.
If you’re looking for some hard statistics, read on.
Long Posts Perform Better in Search Results
Analysis of top-ranking web pages (not just blogs) shows that the word count of the top two pages in search results is consistently higher than the pages positions three to 10, averaging out at just under 2,500 words. Moreover, the average word count per page declines steadily as you go down the search results.
HubSpot analysed its top 50 most widely read posts. Two-thirds had a word count of over 1,500 words, with an average across the top 50 of 2,330 words.
Long Posts Are More Interesting for Readers
You’ll want to keep people on your site for as long as possible and avoid them ‘bouncing’ back to the search results.
Medium carried out an analysis of ‘linger time’ on articles, which is the amount of time someone spends on a page. This study found the optimum was around seven minutes per post, which translates to around 1,600 words.
Search Engines Prefer Long Posts
Google is getting better at getting answers from passages instead of entire pages. So if you have a longer post on your business site, there are going to be more opportunities for your page to rank because the intent and meaning is clearer.
Short Posts Can Be Inefficient
Many small businesses publish blog posts that are around 500-700 words in length. Sometimes, this is enough to cover the topic. But try not to have a hard limit.
If you recognise that a topic needs more detail, post longer articles less frequently to improve the efficiency of your content marketing efforts.
Long Posts Can Be Harder to Navigate
If you’re going to write a really long article for your business blog, you need to consider your headings and in-page navigation. Make it easy for your reader to find what they need.
This comes back to the importance of a low bounce rate: people won’t bother spending 10 or 15-minutes trying to find the information they need.
3. What Tools Should I Use When Writing a Blog For a Company?
No tool can write a business blog post for you, so we’d caution against relying on GPT-3 at this point.
However, even the best writers need help with content optimisation. And if you’re outsourcing to a business blogger, you may need tools to optimise their content when it comes back.
There are a lot of content optimisation tools on the market. They can all be helpful for finding topic gaps. Some are very expensive, so the main things to be aware of are:
- You still need to start with a good quality article: AI can be helpful to find prompts and ideas, but it can’t (yet) write about your business as authoritatively as you can. A poor article that’s over-optimised won’t tell your reader what they need to know, which is more important than the exact words it has in the text.
- You still need to use appropriate keywords: If you’re just starting your blog, you should be using long-tail keywords that are very specific to your niche. As a very rough guide, we’d recommend 4 or 5-word phrases when you’re starting out: this will make optimisation effective and efficient.
- Using too many tools can slow you down: It can be tempting to invest in lots of AI tools in the hope that you’ll ‘double up’ on your efforts. But layering tools with similar functions can slow the writing process to a crawl. You’ll different suggestions from different tools and end up chasing your tail.
If you do want to try out a tool to help with the writing process, here are our recommendations.
Content Optimisation Tools
Here’s a quick roundup of the tools to consider when optimising your business blog posts.
- Labrika: Labrika is a budget SEO suite with a basic on-page SEO checker. It pulls in the content of a published page and makes basic topic and LSI keyword suggestions. It can also scan for over-optimised content and adult language. Labrika isn’t perfect, but the lifetime deal on AppSumo is worth a look if you’re on a tight budget.
- Frase: Frase helps you to research and optimise business blog posts as you write them. It’s perfect if you outsource to business bloggers because you can also create content briefs to share and track the progress from writing through to publishing. If you want help with writing and optimisation in 1 package, check out the monthly pricing here.
- MarketMuse: We recommend MarketMuse for optimising published content; the writing tools are lacking basic features (for example, you can’t save what you type). The cost of the monthly plans might be out of reach, but you can buy a smaller version of MarketMuse on AppSumo.
- Ink Pro: Ink will scan your business blogs for grammar mistakes and measure topic coverage against other results. Topic suggestions can be scattergun, so some care and common sense are needed. But the advantage of this tool is that that it’s a desktop program rather than browser-based. Check out the free and paid version here.
4. How to Write a Headline For a Business Blog Post
Before anyone even gets to those crucial opening paragraphs, they also need convincing to open the article in the first place. This is why a strong headline matters, something that at once sums up the content and grabs the reader’s attention.
Here are some tips for writing a great headline:
- Use emotive language: A headline is one place you should be encouraged to get creative with words.
- Include numbers: It’s thought that the human brain latches on to numbers more easily than words when it is scanning text, which explains why listicle-type blogs are so common.
- Provide a solution or benefit: People are more likely to invest their time in reading a blog if they can see immediately what value it will have, whether that’s informed insight or expert practical advice. This is why so many blog headlines start with how or why – it makes the solution offered clear from the start.
- Address the reader: It’s good practice to use the second person in your blog, i.e. to write as if you are talking directly to the reader as a friend. If you can, start this off in your headline, using the words you or your to present solutions for your problems or your business.
- Keywords: It’s good practice to try to include at least one of your cornerstone keywords in your headline. After all, this headline will be indexed for and appear in search results. If you can get any long-tail search terms into your headline, all the better.
- Ask a question: Following on from this, using your headline to ask a question which your content then answers is a fantastic fallback option for any blog. It ticks three boxes in one: it addresses the reader, it suggests the solution to come, and it works great for SEO.
Struggling to find a good headline? Here are a couple of tools that can help you.
- Headline Studio: If you’re having trouble coming up with headlines, you could try analysing your choice of words in Headline Studio. It helps you to choose better words and structure them effectively, and it compares your title against competing results for your keyword. Headline Studio is a little pricey, but you can get 3 free Premium credits before buying.
- Rank Math: This WordPress SEO plugin has a basic headline analyser. It’ll score the words and phrasing, but it won’t compare your headline to other competing results.
5. How to Write the Content For Your Post
Now you’re into the ‘meat’ of the post. Whether you’re writing a technical blog or something aimed at other businesses, there are ways to elevate even dry topics into a piece of content that’s easy to read.
Writing the Intro
Remember that stat about half of visits to a web page lasting 15 seconds or less? That’s how long you have to convince your blog readers to stick around and read the entire piece.
So the golden rule in your blog post intro is to get straight to the point. Let your readers know:
- What your blog is about
- What you’re going to cover
- What problems it’ll solve.
If the headline is the shop window, the intro is the store display. Lay it out clearly and concisely, then move on.
Writing the Content
The rest of your post should speak directly to the title to ensure that it matches the search intent. Here are some tips to help.
Adopt a Tone True to Your Brand
Whenever we read something, whether it’s a blog, a news article, a business report or a novel, we have certain expectations.
These ‘genre conventions’ are a measure of familiarity and go a long way to explaining how engaged readers are by a piece of writing.
Take the popularity of ‘whodunnit’ crime novels. One of the reasons why they sell in their millions is because they stick to a tried and tested formula that readers are comfortable with.
With business blog posts, this is tricky. If we had to define the genre conventions of blogging, we would probably use words like informal, lighthearted, personal. These reflect the fact that blogging started as a kind of shared digital diary writing.
For a business blog:
- There’s nothing wrong with using humour and personal perspective to bring articles to life. But when your personal view becomes the sole focus, it can clash with the brand identity you want to convey.
- Again, think of your blog as a kind of conversation with your audience. This should help you find the right tone for your brand. How would you speak to a customer face to face?
- It’s OK to be informal, warm and personable. But you also want to come across as professional and sincere. And you want them to believe that you know your subject well enough to solve their problems.
Make it Easy to Read
Research carried out by the Nielsen Norman Group has taught us that people’s reading behaviour is quite different when text is on a screen compared to paper.
People tend to read faster from a screen. The reason they read faster is that people often don’t ‘read’ in the sense of carefully digesting everything word by word. Instead, eye-tracking studies tell us that we have a habit of ‘scanning’ text on a screen quickly, looking around for the most prominent and important bits of information to piece together what we need to take from the text.
So writing to make our online content easily readable doesn’t just need to cater for speedy reading. It needs to cater to this roving eye behaviour as well.
The best way to do that is to break text up into lots of short, concise chunks with plenty of white space around each one to help the eye scan the screen:
- Use short paragraphs: Try to have more than three or four lines of text per paragraph with whitespace in between.
- Segment sections into sections using subheadings: Subheading help people to scan a text quickly to find something they want to read in more detail, and Google algorithms also use headings to categorise the information contained on a page. The more helpful and relevant your subheadings are, the better it’ll be understood.
- Break up the page: Use images, graphics, diagrams, pull quotations – anything relevant that makes it interesting to look at.
- Use lists: Rather than just having a long vertical series of paragraphs, list things out as much as possible.
Writing the Conclusion
When writing a conclusion to a business blog, it’s tempting just to reiterate the intro section. Instead of going over old ground, make the conclusion earn its place on the page.
You could use your conclusion to:
- Link to another relevant article
- Restate your call to action
- Remind your customer what your business does and why it’s relevant to them.
Always avoid fluffy conclusions that don’t tell the reader anything new. The end of the post is still a valuable part of the page: anyone who got that far is very invested. Don’t lose the opportunity to give them something else to read.
6. How to Edit a Business Blog Post
Before hitting ‘Publish’ on your new business post, take some time to read it back for errors. Many writers use screen reading software to read their own work automatically.
If you don’t have screen reading software, simply come back to it the next day and read the piece aloud to yourself when you’ve had a break. Re-reading your own content with a fresh pair of eyes is one of the best ways to test its readability.
What is Readability?
Readability is measured in different ways, but it’s typically a score or a grade for simplicity and clarity. It’s one of the factors used by algorithms to rank search results. So from an SEO perspective, readability matters.
Also, most people find it harder to process and understand what they read in a blog compared to paper, possibly because we tend to read faster from a screen.
As a business blog writer, one thing you don’t want to do is make your content too wordy. Even if you’re writing technical blog posts at a high level, you don’t need to make your blog sound like a textbook.
There are online tools to measure readability. For example, Hemingway is a great, free tool that can pick out the passive voice and score any content you paste in.
We’ve seen suggestions that the ‘ideal’ readability score for any piece of text published online is the equivalent of an average 11-year-old’s reading ability. You don’t necessarily have to hit that target, but at the same time, it’s not a good idea to lose the substance of what you are writing behind clever use of language.
Spelling and Grammar
We really can’t overestimate how important it is to get the basics of your writing right. It might sound like the kind of advice you thought you’d left behind in school, but there are two big reasons why this matters now:
- Brand perception: Your blog is one of many touchpoints that serve as the face of your brand. People will make judgements based on their first impressions.
- Search engine rankings: Bing is very clear that it does demote pages if spelling and grammar are not up to scratch. And although we don’t know the 200+ ranking factors Google uses, it does measure indicators of user experience. So if lots of your readers are clicking away in protest at shoddy writing, low linger time and high bounce rate will affect your SEO.
If spelling and grammar have always been things that fill you with mild dread, there is no shortage of digital tools to help you out these days. Every word processing app comes with a built-in spell checker, but these tools go one step further:
Every piece of content should contain internal and external links. This part isn’t too complicated. Just remember not to always link to pages with fixed keywords or phrases.
Be sure to:
- Link to your own articles where it makes sense. Giving other pages a boost is one of the key benefits of blogging for your business.
- Link to other sites where it’s relevant and useful to the reader. Just avoid linking to other websites (particularly competitors) with the same words you want to rank for.
Internal Linking Tools
If you need a hand with placing your links, you can try using a tool to assist:
- Ahrefs: Use its Link Opportunities report to find linking opportunities that you might have missed.
- Link Whisper: This WordPress plugin takes your SEO keywords and finds content that might be worth linking to. Sometimes the placement is off, but Link Whisper is still helpful for quickly finding opportunities for links across large sites.
- MarketMuse: Scan content on your domain for link opportunities. This tool isn’t as good as Link Whisper (and you can’t change the domain once you’ve set it), but it’s worth using if you already have a MarketMuse account.
Adding a Call to Action
The end goal of your content marketing strategy is to make more money. And your blog posts should be driving traffic to the parts of your site where customers tend to convert.
Before finishing up your business blog post, always add at least one call to action. It’s a time-honoured marketing tactic that signposts people to relevant products or services.
Ideally, you’ll want to create a unique CTA for every business post you write, but the most important thing is to include one in whatever way is easiest:
- Add a prominent link in your text
- Use the WordPress block editor to make a CTA button
- Use a page builder like Elementor to make a CTA button template – this makes it easy to reuse and adapt your CTA
- Use a WordPress plugin to add CTAs automatically
- Add CTA popups using a service like WiserNotify
You can also make money by adding affiliate marketing links like the ones in this article. If you do this, make sure there’s a statement somewhere on your site to explain why you’re using them. It’s perfectly fine to want to get some passive income from your posts as long as you don’t try to hide it.
In Our Next Post: How to Keep Your Business Blog Going
Over time, blogging for your business could be challenging as new tasks and clients start to take up more of your time. Our next post will cover some of the things you can do to keep your blogging efforts sustained over a longer period.
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Need some help with blogging for your business? Red Robot has been writing blogs for businesses since 2010. Get in touch with our team to find out how our business blogging service can help you increase traffic and leads.