Posted: Thu 18th Nov 2021
Rin Hamburgh is the founder of award-winning copywriting agency Rin Hamburgh & Co. Today she’s looking at the world of blogging through a start-up lens, covering everything from how to come up with great ideas to how to actually get people reading your blog.
To find out more about the different types of blogging support available – including the best free options – download the RH&Co guide on how to choose the right blogging service.
You can also connect with Rin today for further support and advice.
It may have been around for more than 20 years, but blogging is still a relentlessly popular tool with marketers all over the world. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of content marketers used blogging as part of their strategy in 2020.
Of course, the majority of those content marketers most likely work in established businesses or agencies. They probably have complex marketing strategies, big teams and matching budgets.
So, what about start-ups? How can founders and their fledgling teams harness the power of blogging to help them get their businesses off the ground?
The benefits of blogging for your start-up
First, let’s look at potential benefits. Because there will be a degree of effort involved, and if you’re not convinced it’s worth it, you’ll give up before you see results.
The benefits of blogging for any business are huge and varied. From driving traffic to your website to adding genuine value for your customers and clients in order to build loyalty – blog content is powerful all along the buyer journey.
If your business is built on some kind of expertise, a blog can showcase that expertise and help you build and refine your position as a thought leader.
And when it comes to SEO, there are numerous benefits. Blogs are rich in keywords, for example, plus they give Google more indexed pages to crawl, and boost your opportunities for outbound and inbound links.
Creating your blogging strategy
When it comes to creating your blog strategy, the first thing you need to think about is your audience. Although it needs to produce results for your business, if you think business first, you’ll miss the point. Content marketing is all about adding value for your customers and clients.
Hopefully you have customer or client personas even if they’re not formally written down. Think about the challenges your customers are facing, or the ambitions they’re trying to achieve. What will they find interesting? What do they want to know about you, your products or services, or your industry?
Once you’re clear on this, you can see where their interests overlap with your business goals. Remember, those goals shouldn’t simply be about winning more leads. Blogging is about getting your reader to take one more step along the buyer journey rather than rushing them to the finish line.
Coming up with engaging ideas
Ideas are everywhere, if you know what you’re looking for. A good place to start is with your customers or clients themselves. What questions do you get asked again and again? What objections do you meet regularly during sales calls?
Keep an eye on the news, especially relevant industry news, and also on what your competitors are doing. Although it’s never a good idea to steal ideas wholesale, there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from what others are doing and putting your unique spin on the subject.
Once you’ve got your general topics together, start to think about how you can split and focus each one down to get to more specific titles. For example, if you’re a nutritional start-up aimed at families with young children, you might want to write about ‘healthy eating for kids’. That’s a topic but it’s not strong enough for a blog title.
Here are some titles you might want to use instead:
The dos and don’ts of getting your pre-schooler to eat more healthily
What psychologists know about getting kids to eat their veg
Five simple and delicious breakfast recipes your little ones won’t know are healthy
By being specific, you not only create much more engaging titles but you give yourself a lot more to write about over time rather than covering everything in one post and then running out of ideas.
How to structure your posts to get the best results
Once you have your title, you’re ready to get started. The first thing to do is to create an outline.
You want to use the intro to give your post context, reassuring your reader that they’re in the right place and giving them a taste of what they can expect. Play up the benefit of reading to the end – why should they give you their time?
Next, set out your key points in a logical order that flows from one to the next. Remember that a great big wall of text is likely to put your reader off, so keep sentences and paragraphs as short as you can. Divide the main body copy up with subheadings and even images if you can.
Finally, you want to sum up with a conclusion – and don’t forget to add a call to action (CTA). This shouldn’t always be about driving leads (for example, ‘get in touch’, ‘book a demo’ or ‘buy now’).
If your blog post is more of a top of funnel awareness raising piece, it might be more appropriate to guide your reader to another related post or encourage them to sign up for your newsletter.
How to get people reading your blog
Of course, there’s no point going to all this effort if no-one is going to read your blog, which is what will happen if you don’t think through your strategy for attracting readers.
There are three main ways to get people to read your blog.
Sharing it across social media. Make sure you’re doing this not just once but as often as you can. You can share a blog post in different ways so that it keeps feeling fresh for your audience, and you can also repurpose your blog across a range of formats.
Focusing on SEO is another way to get more traffic to your blog. This requires you to have done your research so you know what words and phrases you want to rank for. You’ll need to understand the competition out there, so consider using a tool like Frase to see how likely your content is to perform well.
Finally, you can proactively share your blogs with people. This could be in a one-to-many setting such as through your newsletter, or you can use it as a way to reach out to new contacts, reconnect with old ones or even as part of the sales process (for example, when following up on quotes sent).
Blogging does take a commitment of time, energy and often budget, but the results can be brilliant. Just remember that when it comes to content marketing, consistency is key.
It might take a little while for the results to show – usually at least six months and sometimes as many as 18 – but when they do appear, you’ll see that it was worth the effort.