Every month, Google receives over 100 million searches asking the question, “What is a blog?” A small business blog is one of the most important tools for marketing your business. Want to learn a few creative ways to use your blog for business growth? Read on. Plus, I’m also including a free editorial calendar template to help you post with a purpose.
A recent article from Hubspot explains how blogs have become the new ad unit, and they are one of the most valuable ways to advertise your business. (Read 13 of the most important benefits of a blog.) Hubspot shows us what a valuable asset your blog can be, so let’s look at how to use your blog to its full advantage.
Begin by using an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is a strategic way to tie content together, and integrate marketing and business goals with the blog strategy. Editorial calendars give us a ‘big picture’ perspective of the month, or quarter, or year. They are a tactical tool to help integrate content with important business developments like upcoming events, product launches, expert interviews, and company news. They allow for multiple users, help foster collaboration with your team, provide a tracking mechanism, and serve as a workroom for story-building. (For more on aligning your business goals with your blog strategy read Strategic Communication Planning with a Corporate Editorial Calendar).
Get started with myMarketing Cafe’s editorial calendar template.
Our authors use a simple excel spreadsheet to manage the blog editorial calendar. I’m including a free template with this blog, and instructions for using it, along with real world examples. There are several more complex calendar platforms available, but I’m partial to a simple, easy-to-use system. To help with content development, we rely on various sources: questions we receive from the myMarketing Cafe community, internet searches for trending topics, latest big news, and upcoming events. And, as I mentioned earlier, we also use our blog to support business goals and key developments.
You’re invited to steal all our secrets with our new comprehensive Guide To Successful Small Business Blogging.
Enhance your blog posts with strategic keyword integration.
Once you develop your content supported by inbound and outbound links, it’s important to integrate keywords into your blog. I use the Google Key Word Tool, to help me identify the most searched keywords associated with the topic I am covering. For example, when I searched for keywords relating to a blog editorial calendar, I found the phrase “What is a blog?” This phrase had low competition and over 124 million global searches per month. Score! Using the keyword tool helps you strengthen your blog with content people need and want. (Learn more about the using long tail keywords here.)
Research strategies to write the perfect blog post.
You know that content is key and your editorial calendar will help you develop relevant and valuable content. At the cafe, our blog strategy calls for us to include links, photos, videos, slideshows, and templates whenever possible. Rich and robust content is shared more frequently and is more valuable to your followers. (For help, read Gini Dietrich’s recent post on Spin Sucks, featuring 9 tips to write a great blog post.)
Write content for people, tweak for robots.
It’s not enough to simply write what you believe your audience wants to hear. It’s the most important aspect, but editing your content for search engines is important to your business. When optimizing your posts there is a check list to follow, it brings the attention of search engines to your headline, URL, meta description, images, and content.
Want to help your content appear at the top of search engines? Download our SEO excerpt. It walks your through easy steps to fully optimize your post without sacrificing content.
Later this month, I will share about opt-in video strategies, and a dirty little secret to help you grow your business. Don’t miss out. Click here to join our growing community of small business owners.