business blogging guidlines

Business Blog Guidelines: How do you know your post is good?

by Haris Krijestorac on October 20, 2011

Companies that want to get started with business blogging often face similar challenges. They often have people with subject matter expertise that are qualified to write about the necessary topics. However, business blogging is about more than just writing good content. While this is a prerequisite, authoritative content alone will not serve the real marketing purposes of business blogging.

To help guide those trying to get better at business blogging, I’ve put together a few questions bloggers and marketers can ask themselves when evaluating a blog post or idea.

If you are a business blogger, I suggest you print out or save this list for reference when writing your posts. If you are in marketing or managing a team of business bloggers, maybe you can also share this list with them. Lastly, if you think there are any points missing from my list I would appreciate it if you shared in the comments!

Do I know who my target audience and business prospects are?

Before writing something, you need to know who you are writing for. Your target audience will at the very least include your prospects. To determine who your audience is, ask these questions:
What kind of a company do they work for?
What is their role and position?
Who influences their decisions?
In general, what motivates them?
How do they consume content? How are they most likely consuming the content you are feeding them?
How do they dress?
What kind of car do they drive?
What demographic do they typically fall under?
What is their family structure? Are they married? How many kids do they have?
What computer do they use?

The more clear of a picture you can paint in your head of who is reading, the better you can tailor your writing to them.

Is this content relevant or interesting to our target audience?

Now that you know your target audience well, tailor your content to them. One common mistake is trying too much to appeal to competing blogs or news sources. The primary audience of your business blog should indeed be your prospects. If you can reach them directly, why not just do it? In the pre-Internet days of marketing you needed middlemen, so I can see why this is a habit.

Would the target audience be compelled to share this content?

Your content will become more popular by several orders of magnitude if it is share-worthy. Make sure your audience can share the content in the way they want to share, be it via Twitter, Facebook, email, or even print. If your audience doesn’t share articles directly, would they at least be compelled to share the ideas presented in the article, credited or otherwise?

Is your content presented in a way that pulls readers down the buying funnel?

So you’ve captured the attention of someone who is hopefully a member of your target audience. But what do you actually want them to do next? B2B companies might want to convert this attention into a prospect or lead for their database. B2C companies might want a direct purchase. You might want the person to become a fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. You might want them to sign up for your newsletter. Having no purpose is not an excuse.¬†Whatever you decide your purpose is, offer the reader an opportunity to answer to that purpose. Do so in a way that is also visually enticing.

Does the information implant a concrete takeaway in the reader’s mind?

A good business blog post does more than just present information. It gives the reader something they can change or do right now. It may not be something they can take immediate action on. However, it should at least convince them to take on a new mindset or approach that they can apply whenever it becomes handy. They will thank you in their heads, and you’ll gain thought leadership.

Is my overall blogging strategy based on keyword and topic research?

Often, companies blog just about trends, upcoming events, or whatever pops into their head at that time. This might give them some brief traction, but blog posts should also be long-term assets. Think about what will draw in organic traffic over time, not just now. Blog about topics that are important to your audience now, and will remain important for the forseeable future. Blog about topics that will help you gain a following and organic traffic over the long haul. Use keyword research as inspiration for content ideas.

What other questions might you ask? Again, I hope you share in the comments :).

photo credit: stickystarfish

This post originated on Marketing Information Systems, a blog by Haris Krijestorac.

To continue learning how to better align technology, people, and processes for marketing success, subscribe to this blog and follow me on twitter.

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