If you have a small business that you are determined to grow and achieve success, you probably already have a blog on your website. Blogs provide numerous benefits to small businesses on the web, including driving traffic to your company website, enhancing search engine results, sharing your expertise based on experience and training, promote your products and/or services,
developing relationships with potential customers, and strengthening connections with existing customers.
Once you have your blog set up and an editorial calendar in place, it might feel like a bit of a chore to maintain it, but because the Internet landscape is always changing, you must resist that feeling of procrastination. The truth is that there is always something you can do to improve the commitment to your blog. Keep up an attitude of continuous refinement as you continue to polish your blog and you will soon see great results from all your efforts. Here are 7 tips to improve your blog:
1. Organize your posts using categories or tags.
If you’ve never had a blog before and this is your big step in blog writing, you may not have used categories or tags to organize your posts. Categories and tags help your audience find related content. For example, a florist might use the category “seasonal flowers” and use that topic to discuss what flowers are in season each month and how the use of seasonal flowers can save money. If a customer enters the florist’s website via a search engine results page (SERP), but finds himself in the wrong season, he can use the tag or category system to quickly find the correct information. However, if your blog posts are only organized chronologically, the same customer might return to the SERP and find a different florist. The great news is that you can go back and add tags or place old posts in categories to help future visitors to your website.
2. Make it easy for your audience to share blog posts.
While it might be easy for you to copy a domain name and paste it into an email message window, think about those who are not so comfortable in a browser window or think about how many clicks and keystrokes it actually takes to accomplish that endeavor. Make it easy for your audience to share your content by using badges and sharing tools on each of your posts. There are many widgets that you or your webmaster can use to automate the installation of these features. You’ll see many advantages with this system as your audience shares your content via social media and helps you to build your audience organically.
3. Implement cross-linking.
If your bounce rate is high, part of the problem might be that your content behaves more like an iceberg in the Mid-Atlantic instead of an important piece of information in a tightly linked network full of compatible material. When you link to additional relevant pages on your website within your text, you help your audience dig deeper into your content and get to know your brand better. Resist the temptation to go overboard with the linking. Instead, link carefully to supplementary or related information. For example, a blog focused on the topic of dieting with posts about improving diet or dieting challenges could use a text link within a blog post to link to similar posts that addresses complementary topics. In this way you signal to your audience that your website has more information available on your topic and you invite them to visit it.
4. Add a subscribe button.
You may not have a newsletter yet, but you can still help your audience stay in touch. Many content management systems offer code that you can put on your website that will allow visitors to subscribe to updates from your blog and will then email them a copy of your blog post with a link to the blog page every time you dispatch a new post. There are two powerful advantages you gain in this scenario. One is that you consistently stay connected to your audience and remind them of your business. After all, almost everyone checks their email many times in a day versus visiting a particular website daily, so having you in their inbox heightens the chance they’ll return to your blog or site. Second, your audience can read at their leisure and if you’ve included crosslinks, they may even click on over to your website and read some more of your work. Win-win.
5. Change up your posting frequency.
If you’ve been blogging for a while and you find yourself ready to expand your efforts, consider posting more often. While once a week or once every few weeks may have served your initial goals when you started blogging, your audience might be ready to hear from you more often. In this way you’ll increase your output and the volume of your writing within a shorter time frame. On the other hand, if you’ve built up an admirable catalogue of evergreen content, it may be time to slow your posting cycle and focus more on other aspects of your business.
6. Improve your other skills.
Developing strong content can require many skills in addition to writing. Just as a block of text conveys information, so too do photos, infographics, video, or audio and your blog can benefit from having more than just static text on your posts. If your photo quality has always had room for improvement, you can divert effort into improving your skills behind the lens or even in photo editing software. If your blog depends on using infographics to convey complex information, take a local class or a webinar to help you refine your technique.
7. Look for other ways to upgrade your content.
If your writing has improved dramatically, you may want to dig into your archives and go back to edit old posts for grammar and clarity. You can also update images, check for link rot and fix broken links, refine your tag or category pages that wrangle all your related content onto single pages, and just ensure that all the pages on your website look appealing, attractive, and offer significant content to assist your audience in learning all about your brand or your company. Your long term efforts to stay current and connected convey to your audience that you are committed to your company. The most important thing is to persist in achieving your dream. Most overnight success is the result of diligent, dedicated effort, so keep writing, posting, and planning.