Your company can build more than brand awareness with blogging. Blogging can grow your relationships with your customers, while gradually establishing your business as a source of quality information.
Hubspot estimates companies that publish more than 16 blog posts each month generate 4.5 times more leads than those who publish up to four posts each month.
Meanwhile, a Demand Gen Report claims 47 percent of B2B buyers read up to five blog posts or content pieces before talking with a salesperson.
With these results, why do many company blogs become neglected?
Maybe because blogging’s value is often discounted too soon, or because blog posts are not getting enough initial traffic, leads, or conversions. Doubts understandably set in when it’s difficult to prove outcomes. Throw in limited internal resources — and a lack of bandwidth to consistently think of and write blog posts — and you can see why blogs wither away.
They don’t have to though.
Here’s some steps you can take to improve your company’s blog, while working with content that you’ve already produced.
1. Re-work existing blog posts
Firstly, take a deep look at your blog to get an idea of the work you need to do to refresh it. If you’ve published posts regularly before, this should be easier.
Evaluate your company blog for timelessness and audience focus.
Timelessness is important in any blog content. This is why blog entries more than six months old should be reevaluated. As much as possible, you want your blog posts to serve as resources that are useful over a long period. That means one customer should be able to read your post in February and another in November: with both people coming away with equally valuable information.
When revising previous posts, consider updating in-line CTAs, CTA buttons, lead generation forms, checklists, templates, PDFs, and other content assets.
Relevance and readability matter too. As our attention spans shorten, it has become essential to have content that is designed for our distracted age. Compelling subject matter and the right copy and SEO formatting can make this achievable — but not guaranteed!
Ask yourself throughout this process, “is this content helping the audience?” And then purge pieces that fail this test.
2. Tighten and test your blog’s headlines
Keep in mind that we all read differently too.
Harvard researcher Nir Grinberg recently identified five types of readers during a study of people’s online reading habits. According to Grinberg, you either scan, read, long-read, shallow-read, or idle.
Whichever readers your customers are, a catchy headline is integral to getting them to read your posts. So update and test different blog headlines by:
- using odd numbers, as studies show odd-number list headlines can get more clicks
- keeping character counts to about 80, depending on your content management system
- using brackets to generate curiosity and give extra reasons for readers to click.
Tweaking headlines can support broader efforts to rank posts higher in Google searches too.
3. Only include links that add value
Where else can you add value to existing blog content? Your links.
Internal links are a smart and deliberate means of underlining your blog’s credibility and improving your company’s reputation as a subject matter expert.
In creating internal links, the link text or anchor text must be descriptive to give users a clear idea on the information that the link will direct them to. Your anchor text should include keywords your readers use when searching for the topic your business blog is based on.
But use internal links sparingly.
If you’re peppering content with links purely to promote your products or services — not to add value for readers — you’re devaluing the post.
Which leads us to this: no blog is an island. No blog post has all the answers. In making your blog posts obsessively focused on helping your customers, you will have to send them away from your website.
So think of external links as a way to connect your readers to other educational and informative resources. It shows empathy for your customers, a little bit of brand humility, and that you’re about helping them out above all else.