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15 Things Serious Bloggers Do

So you’re ready to get serious about blogging for business? I don’t blame you not one bit because blogging is serious business.

You’ve probably heard about all the benefits of blogging for business, but you you’re still on the fence.

I can tell you first hand from experience that blogging is in fact a very effective marketing and tool for small businesses – if you are consistent with it and blog with a purpose.

How Blogging for Business Works

Picture this:

Gina is a solopreneur that has recently launched a new website to market her new bakery shop online to local Seattle customers.

She is bootstrapping her business and does not have a large marketing budget, but wants to get the message out about her new company.

Gina decides to write a blog post that covers “10 Tips for Creating Cake Frosting in Under 10 minutes”.

A user performs a search on google for cake frosting tips, finds Gina’s blog post, checks out her website, then decides to contact her after reading more about her services.

That my friends is an example of how blogging can work for your business.

Using this same example, let’s take things a step further.

Gina decides to start a Twitter account.  She then searches for specific hashtags and keywords related to her niche.

Next, Gina starts to find and follow people on Twitter that she wants to target that are local to the Seattle area and are interested in baking and etc.,

Gina works diligently to build up a targeted following on Twitter for the next several weeks.

She then decides to Tweet out the blog post that she has written to her followers on Twitter.  A fan see’s the post, likes it, shares it, then visits her website + contacts her about her services.

This is yet another example of the power of blogging (more specifically) combined with content marketing can work for your business.

What is Blogging for Business? 

Blogging is the act of writing content, then publishing that content to your blog regularly.

A better definition of blogging is:

“The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently – Source

The key to running a successful business blog is to blog with a specific purpose + target market in mind, write great content on a consistent basis and plan out all of your blogging activities.

How to Get Serious About Blogging for Business

If you are ready to get serious about blogging for business, I’ve rounded up a list of 15 practical ways that you can do so + they are as follows:

1. Do research to find topics that your audience cares about…

Believe me, this is without a doubt one of the first things that you need to do before you start blogging.

Before you start adding content to your blog, you will first need to understand the needs of your audience – as in “what challenges they are having” so that you can structure your content around those issues.

2.  Create an editorial calendar

If you want to publish content to your blog consistently, creating an editorial calendar will make it easier for you.

Editorial Calendar Template Example

Editorial Calendar Template Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An editorial calendar is a document that you can use to manage, track and record your blogging efforts. Evernote and Google Docs are a few tools that you can use to create content calendars.

3.  Plan out your content in advance

Serious bloggers make it a point to plan out their blogging activities well in advance.

I can tell you from experience + years of blogging that trying to create content on the fly is veryyyy difficult.

You don’t have time to organize your content, brainstorm blog topics, make the necessary corrections to your content, schedule out your blog posts, and most importantly create a content marketing strategy.

Getting your blogging activities organized will save you a lot of time because you will already have a set plan in place that you can follow and …more time to create killer content for your readers.

4.  Set a blogging schedule and stick to it

A blogging schedule is simply setting a firm day of the week (or a few days) of the week that you will write + publish content to your blog.

Setting a blogging schedule is easily one of THE secrets to successful blogging.

As an example, my current blogging schedule for this site is that I write my posts on Sundays then schedule them for release on Mondays — every week.

Setting a blogging schedule will also help you to stay consistent in your blogging efforts, because “Consistency” is KEY for winning the blogging race.

5.  Invest in a professional theme for your blog

I’ve touched on this in a previous post featuring 10 steps to a powerful small business web presence.

In that post I stressed the importance of investing in a professional theme for your website + blog, because…as you are judged in person, you are judged online.

Themeforest.net Blog Theme

Themeforest.net Blog Theme

Fortunately, sites like Themeforest, Template Monster and Creative Market all have great themes that you can buy to give your blog a professional appearance.

6.  Use a self-hosted blog for your business

I know, I know… money is tight and you’re bootstrapping your small business.  Because of this, free platforms seem like the logical choice.

I’m here to tell you that this is probably not the best move that you can make for your business here’s why:

Your blog content is not really yours, the domain name will be difficult to remember and the platform — does not really belong to you.

At any time, the owner of the free blogging platform can decide to disable your blog leaving your content inaccessible and you out of luck.

These are just a few of the reasons that if you’re serious about blogging for your business, it’s best to use a self-hosted blog.

7.  Start an email newsletter

One of the first things that you should do when you decide to start blogging for business is to start an email newsletter — like right away!

Starting an email newsletter will give you the chance to start building a list of leads + prospects that you can communicate with on a regular basis, build relationships with and offer your services to.

YourChicGeek Newsletter

8.  Optimize all of your blog posts for the search engines

Optimizing your blog posts for the search engines is essential.  Doing this will give your content a better chance of ranking in the search engines and helps drive traffic to your blog organically.

Blog post optimization involves: performing keyword research to find the right words to use in your content, using those keywords throughout your blog post, adding the proper title tags to your content, adding keywords to the graphics that you use.

9.  Look for guest posting opportunities to authoritative sites in your niche

Blogging on more authoritative + larger sites in your industry allows you to connect with new readers and get your brand in front of a larger audience.

10.  Post content from your blog to social media (regularly)

Marketing your blog posts to social media channels is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog and increase readership.

In regards to posting your blog content on social networks, it’s best to find one social network to start with, build up a following of targeted readers there, promote your content often, then move on to other networks.

11.  Write share worthy content

By now you may have heard that “content is KING”.  Well….it’s because it is.

These days, you can get away with writing “me too” content for your blog. Your content needs to stand out.

Some characteristics of share worthy blog posts include:  your posts are well researched, have compelling + attention grabbing titles and most importantly offers massive value to your readers.

12.  Create a social automation schedule

As with planning out content in advance, using social media automation tools like Buffer + Hootsuite to pre-schedule and publish content in advance to your social networks is beneficial.

Using social automation tools make it easier to establish a more consistent posting schedule to your social networks and will save you a ton of time as well.

13.  Comment on other blogs in your niche (regularly)

So I’m gonna be honest here, I shied away from blog commenting for years, until I realized how important it is for building relationships with other bloggers/entrepreneurs, and getting your brand out on the web.

The thing is… is that you cannot expect to build your brand + business via the web alone.  Networking online is just as important as networking offline.

So take it as a lesson learned from me and take advantage of every opportunity that you can to start building relationships online by adding well thought out comments to blogs that have the types of readers that you want to attract to your own blog.

14.   Brand Your blog with a distinct look and feel!

When I launched this blog earlier this year, I was super serious about branding.  In Canva Superstar this is something that I talk about a lot more in depth because branding your blog is serious business.

There are a lottt of folks out there online these days so it really is important to get attractive and consistent branding in place to help your business stand out.

A few things that you can do to brand your blog include: choosing a color palette that fits well with your brand personality, choosing fonts for your blog, and also creating a branded blog image template.  Use this video tutorial to create a branded blog image template.

I personally use Canva for a lot of my branding because its FREE and super easy to use.
15.  Add a call to action to all of your blog posts

What is a call to action?  It is simply a statement that tells your reader what you would like for them to do next.

Honestly, I think this  (along with your titles) is one of the most important elements of an effective blog post.

These can include calls to actions for:   downloading a free guide, requesting a free business consultation, visiting your services page, or sharing your blog post on social media.

 

Blogging for Business Checklist

A Quick Recap and Overview of These 15 Steps

1. Perform research to find the right content for your blog + audience
2. Create an editorial calendar
3. Plan out your content in advance
4. Set a blogging schedule
5. Invest in a professional theme for your blog
6. Use a self-hosted blog for your business
7. Start an email newsletter
8. Optimize all of your blog posts for the search engines
9. Look for guest posting opportunities to authoritative sites in your niche
10. Post content from your blog to social media (regularly)
11. Write share worthy content
12. Create a social automation schedule
13. Comment on other blogs in your niche (regularly)
14. Brand your blog so that it stands out from everyone else!
15. Add a call to action to all of your blog posts

Are You Ready to Use the Web To Grow Your Business?

If you are struggling to figure out how to make the web work for your business, I have two options for you:

1. Grab a Copy of my Blogging for Business Toolkit + Planner to learn how to use blogging for lead generation – or –

2. Use my Start up Like a CHAMP — a comprehensive guide + workbook that you can follow to set your small business up online from scratch.
Have any feedback that you want to leave?

I would love to hear from you.  Let’s get the conversation going by adding your comments below.

P.S.  If you liked this post, I would love for you to share it with your peeps on social media.  Appreciate ya!

FAB FREEBIE:  Ready to get serious about blogging for your business? Grab my FREE downloadable 15 point recommended action plan!

Blogging for Business Recommened Action Plan

Ready to start blogging for business? Grab my FREE 15 step Blogging for Biz Action Plan


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Kim
 

Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching small biz's how to create a web presence for growth + impact. Kim has created several online courses that help small businesses grow and flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your online marketing goals.

  • Hi Kim,

    Excellent advice! I would add that many bloggers stay way to broad and don’t say much that is meaningful.

    As you know, I believe that GREAT blog articles are ones that are written for one person, with one problem/need/desire with one solution. The great blogs are those that are relevant to their audiences and capture the WOW! factor.

    It’s always my goal that around 20% of my audience in every article either comments, emails or says to me something along the lines of “How did you know…?” in some form or fashion.

    Great post Kim and kudos to your friend in Seattle! Sounds like she is really figuring this out.

    Have a Happy New Year!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Heyy there Don! Thank you sooo much for dropping by to comment on this article. I won’t like to you, it is a tad bit challenging for me to write for one specific type of person in my blog posts….but through your coaching and mentorship, I am getting a lot better at it. 🙂

      Take care and again, thanks for your feedback.

  • Heyy there Don! Thank you sooo much for dropping by to comment on this article. I won’t like to you, it is a tad bit challenging for me to write for one specific type of person in my blog posts….but through your coaching and mentorship, I am getting a lot better at it. 🙂

    Take care and again, thanks for your feedback.

  • Awesome post, tons of great advice, resource and value. I hope a lot of small businesses gets to find this post Kim. Love the bonus content you’ve added as well.

    • Fabzzzzz! Heyyy there bud. Thanks so much for commenting. Glad that you liked the post and I truly hope that this is a resource that small businesses will find a lot of value in reading. The most important thing though is to take ACTION. Reading is great..but implementation is AWESOMER 🙂

      P.S. I know that isnt a real word…but oh well…

  • Nilesh

    Hey Kim, super blog from you. 5 stars! perhaps you can also add a list of tools for newbies to use? Keep sharing 🙂

    • Heyy there Nilesh! Thanks so much for stopping by. I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. Yes, absolutely, I can create a list of blogging tools for newbies to use. Stay Tuned!

  • Hey Kim,

    I agree with Don, excellent advice.

    What a perfect example of just how beneficial your blog can be for your business. To me it’s the most important piece to building your audience.

    I have to admit I never did #2 or 3 Kim. I know, I was one of those that flew by the seat of my pants and waited until the weekend to write my post and I never knew ahead of time what my topic was. I sit down in one sitting though and crank it out. Once I get my idea the rest just seems to flow.

    I don’t recommend that though, anything can happen so it’s best to plan ahead which I’m doing more of this year.

    Thank you for this great advice and I’m off to share it now.

    You enjoy your week and excited to chat with you later.

    ~Adrienne

    • Woo Hooo! The “Engagement Superstar” herself likes the post. (High fiveesss to Kimmy). To your point regarding points #2 and 3, yes indeedy… flying by the seats of your pants to try to crank out content is not a good thing.

      Blogging (as with any business activity) requires consistency and planning — especially if you want to be successful at it.

      Thanks so much for sharing this one. I Really appreciate you and am so very glad that we met.

      Your course really was an eye opener for me and has challenged me to become a better online networker and has challenged me to really start putting myself out there on the blogosphere. 🙂

  • Great tips! But your Tweetable message is too many characters to Tweet. My suggestion? Modify it to the message I just Tweeted out.

    • Hello there Lorraine! Thank you soo much for commenting. Sooooo sorry about the Tweetable message my dear. Gonna fixer up ASAP :-).

      Make it a great day!

  • Gina set up a blog for your business.
    Gina set up Twitter for her blog.
    Gina is smart.
    Be like Gina.

    Sorry, Kim, I could not help it when you used Gina as a solopreneur example. LOL.

    This is such a useful post & I love each of your points. 2 areas where I definitely have to do better in is when it comes to editorial calendars – I sort of kind of have one unofficially – and guest posting. Freelancing takes up a lot of my free time so coming up with guest posts has been a challenge but I wrote it down as one of my growth strategies this year so I have to work it out.

    Quick question : what are you using for the sign up form beneath your post ? I love the clean and simple look.

    Thanks ! Enjoy the rest of your day.

    • Heyyy there my blogging Twin! Thank you sooo much for stopping by to comment on the post. Glad that it helps! >> Ginaaaaa…. (from Martin) is who I thought of… no im kidding. Somehow the name just came to me when I was writing this blog post 🙂

      As far as the sign up box goes, I am using Thrive Content Builder (its listed on my tools page as a resource + affiliate link is included) to create all of my landing pages, optin boxes and etc for the site. It is by far one of the BEST tech investments I have made thus far for this site.

      What I love about it is that you only pay one time to buy the plugin ($$67 for a single site and
      $97 for a multi-site)..But believe me.it is totally worth the investment 🙂

      Let me know if you have any additional questions about it.

      • Oh yeah, I have heard about Thrive Themes. It is actually on my list of tools to get this year. i will have to remember to use your affiliate link when I finally am ready to purchase it.

        Thanks so much.

        • Wooo Hooo! Youre gonna absolutely love the plugin. Trust me…It is super awesome. Thank you for your support. 🙂 Wishing you a great week!

  • Mark Newsome

    Another excellent post Kim!

    And a really complete check list on “must take” steps.

    I definitely like it as a nice cheat sheet (lead magnet) giveaway! Or a free bonus
    giveaway, maybe in exchange a customer or client giving you a video testimonial
    or something.

    And 15 of your proven suggestions, will help any blogger off center and well
    on their way.

    It’s too bad, early on, I didn’t get exposed to this type of proven advice back then!

    Because if I had, I would have saved a ton of time and avoided even more initial frustration!LOL!

    Thanks so much for being so forth coming, with what does & doesn’t work!

    • Well hello there Mark! Glad that you like the post my friend. LOL at your comment on being frustrated (in the initial phases) of blogging. Dude… was sooo there! It can be frustrating for folks just starting out. That is definitely what prompted me to write this post. 🙂

      Cheers and make it a great week :-).

  • Enstine Muki

    I love the example of Gina 😉
    SMEs can really do well blogging. Once they have a blog, it will be easy to pull in traffic from Search engines, get listed in local directories and be found, etc.

    The issue is most entrepreneurs don’t know where to start. Something it’s going to cost them a lot of money. Your post however has covered every point and answered many questions.

    The next thing now is to promote this post and get it read by many.

    Thanks for the value in it 😉

    • Heyyyy there Enstine! I am sooo sorry I am late on replying to ya bud. Yes you are right blogging is an excellent way to get more exposure + brand awareness for a business.

      As you stated, most small businesses dont know where to start so it becomes very overwhelming for them.

      I am planning to do a post really soon that covers promo ideas and etc. Thanks for stopping by to comment my friend. Have a great day!

  • Awesome post! Has a really good flow to it too.

    I think there’s business owners that want to blog but either have trouble finding a good content creator or they just don’t have the time to write.

    Sometimes, I still find myself taking a week to finish one blog post for my business.

    Thank you for the tips!

    -Kevin

    • Heyyy there Kevin! Sooo confession time >> I take a week to write blog content too. And yes, you are right, if you don’t have the time to write then hiring a content creator might be the next best thing to do.

      The only thing about hiring someone else to write for you is that it detracts from your own writing voice. 🙂 Thanks again for commenting though!

  • Yesenia Ortega

    Hi Kim!

    Thanks for writing this well thought out article. The checklist is really handy. I love writing and feel that I’m good at it as once I have a topic the words just flow but making the time has always been the tricky part for me so I’ll defintely be implementing a schedule.

    Looking forward to more articles from you!

    • Hey there Yesenia! Thanks so much for dropping by to check out the post. Glad that you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Shared! Thanks for the great points to keep in mind. I struggle with consistency, but hoping to catch up one day. Lot’s of work, but lot’s of fun as well 🙂

  • Hi Kim,

    You know I’m big on #13. I even wrote the eBook on it 😉 Commenting on blogs rocks, and it’s easy too. Really easy. In 5-10 minutes you can read a post, share valuable thoughts, build a lasting friendship, strengthen bonds, gain blog traffic, boost brand awareness, and all for free. No brainer strategy for both newbie and veteran bloggers to establish their blog as a business.

    Super post.

    Ryan

    • Hiya Ryan! Lordy I am super late responding to this post (so sorry about that)…but you are 100% correct about blog commenting. It is a really powerful strategy for building relationships and etc for seasoned and newbie bloggers. As always, I appreciate you dropping by and sharing your wisdom here. 🙂