With business blogging on the rise and generating more leads for B2B companies compared to those that don't blog, you might want to focus on your blog for more SEO benefits and long-term ROI for your business. However, it's not all that simple.
It is true: a stellar blog can boost your sales. But it is also true that 53% of marketers consider blogging a #1 priority of their campaigns. More than that, 65% of marketers have increased their use of blogging this year... (Source)
To cut a long story short, competitors never sleep. To overtake them, your business blog needs to be exceptional. It is not enough to write interesting articles, post them several times a week, and share updates on social media. Everyone does this.
Not very inspiring, huh?
Why then do some business blogs stand out, get noticed, and start generating more conversion than traditional marketing efforts? What makes them rock? And what can you do to get into the top league with your blog and make it one-of-a-kind in your niche? Keep reading to find out.
Blogging is time and energy-consuming, and that is why most marketers delegate content creation to remote writers. If you hire freelancers to write posts for your business blog, I have bad news for you:
Your blog will never sparkle.
The problem is, no one knows your product or service better than you. They may be great writers, but freelancers are still not competent enough to create a comprehensive, in-depth content for your niche.
What can you do?
- Engage in-house employees. Working in your niche, they know it inside out and can provide you with interesting data or facts from behind-the-scenes of the niche. Even if the copywriting is not absolutely perfect, such content outshines wishy-washy, samey texts found in most blogs.
- Publish articles from experts only. Guest blogging is a great way to generate content for your business blog but, as with freelancers, be careful when choosing guest writers. If you want to make your blog one-of-a-kind, accept posts from niche experts only.
A notable example is the SEMrush blog. They post pieces from industry experts and marketing practitioners, and you won't find any mediocre articles there - they are meticulous about every author (yeah, I know it firsthand); and that is why their blog is in the top league today.
Comprehensive Content Only
Sorry, but great content doesn’t work anymore. Exclusive does.
According to Dr. Carmen Simon, people forget 90% of what you share with them. In today’s world of information overflow and content shock, when every Tom, Dick, and Harry has a blog and believes they might be helpful to others, we all need content that is actually useful.
For your blog to be exceptional in the niche, you need to generate posts which are in-depth, data-driven, and actionable. To win the audience, your blog should teach, solve problems, and give something no one else has. So, no rewrites, no poor paraphrasing of competitors, no generic articles, and no topics other than those related to your niche.
A great example is Neil Patel's blog. His research-based long reads on topical issues, written with an authoritative opinion, and presenting valuable knowledge to the audience, are what makes Neil stand out.
Show, Don't Tell
Your comprehensive content attracts visitors and drives traffic to your business website. But what makes people stick around, read rather than scan, and finally convert?
Use the techniques of content creation to hook the audience and hold their attention.
For your business blog to stand out, forget about writing baseline descriptions and widely known copybook maxims. Instead, show them how to solve their pain points. Make good use of visual storytelling, which enables readers to experience your content through feelings, actions, and visuals.
Okay, stories first.
We retain 70% of information through stories and only 10% from data. Remember those page-turner books you couldn't stop reading? They grabbed you because you felt the story truly happened. It evoked an emotional response from you and a connection with the book’s characters and author. The same works for brands: consider storytelling techniques when writing your blog posts, and your audience will resonate with them.
You don't need to be Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway to craft stories. Just define these key moments:
- What is the problem you are solving?
- What was the insight that inspired you to start?
- What do you do to fix the problem?
- What is your mission?
In her blog, Henneke Duistermaat best described the process of connecting all four moments to eyebrow-raising stories.
And the brilliant proof of this technique's efficiency is Jon Morrow's post "How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World." It became the most shareable post at ProBlogger and touched the hearts of more than five million people.
Another one from the same author is "On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas," published at Copyblogger. Once you have read these two, you'll definitely remember Jon and want to check his Smart Blogger.
The powerful language Jon uses in his stories makes his blog posts show, not just tell. Employ the right language in your content, and you will spark emotions, attract the audience, engage, and therefore guide them through the customer funnel up to a conversion.
Make your blog content sparkle with visuals.
You already know that people are 90% visual beings and that blog articles with images get 94% more views. But the visual asset that is exploding right now and will make up to 80% of all online traffic by 2021 is... video!
To stand out, it is time to start a blog on YouTube or, at least, embed video content into your text posts. The first tactic will help to get more traffic (I bet you know that 55% of all Google search results contain videos), and the second one will give your blog a dwell time boost.
The lead to follow is Brian Dean's Backlinko: as well as his YouTube channel he also embeds videos into his blog posts.
Quality over quantity!
Your one-of-a-kind blog needs to be readable. Together with exclusive and relevant information, you need to think about the format and design of your blog posts. For instance, did you know that SEMrush pays a great deal of attention to the cover images they use in blog posts? They all come from one designer, they are all are exclusive to the blog, and visitors love them!
Bear in mind that stellar smaller blogs don't post content on a daily basis. More doesn't mean better. Plus, if you generate high-quality and — what is important — relevant information, it is physically impossible to do that every day. Don't sacrifice quality for quantity. Turning back to Backlinko: Brian doesn't publish articles often, but they all are top-notch and evergreen for readers to check over and over again.
And what does he do once the content gets old and outdated? Right, he updates old blog posts for even more page views and shares.
The numbers have it: 76% of a blog's monthly views come from old posts. So, choose the articles which still generate traffic, make sure the topic is relevant, and update them for even better results.
Attention to distribution!
No matter how awesome your blog is, no one will know about its content if you don't work on its distribution and promotion. Remember the 80/20 rule? Apply it to your blog: spend 20% of the time on content creation, and let 80% of the time go to content promotion.
To ease the process, create content people would love to cite and share. For that, write articles containing unique data in your niche. Nothing attracts journalists and bloggers more than numbers and facts, so they will share this information, backlinking to your content.
Help Google rank your content on the first page of the search results, so people find and read it. Consider Rank Brain - Google's algorithm that measures dwell time and CTR of your content, ranking it accordingly. For that, you need to write blog articles that keep visitors on the page:
- Publish long posts (2,000+ words);
- Make sure they are comprehensive, in-depth, and full of relevant data;
- Add videos and interactive content to boost dwell time;
- Concentrate on both content and context of your blog posts (target keywords still matter, but they are not the only ranking factor; LSI or related keywords are what rules today, as well).
What are LSI / related keywords?
LSI keywords are terms associated with your topic. Once Google sees them, it gets a signal about the particular page relevance and awesomeness. How can you find these words?
Use tools like LSIGraph, Soolve, or our time-honored SEMrush for that. Just enter a website in the search box, choose Organic Research --> Positions, & simply consider the words coming up as possible core keywords:
Alternatively, just put your target keyword in Google search and check the searches related section to determine related keywords matching your topic:
For your one-of-a-kind content distribution, consider communication channels: social networks, relevant forums, Q&A communities, corresponding websites — they are many, but it doesn't mean you need them ALL. Choose those working best for your brand.
And don't forget about personalities!
One-of-a-kind blogs can't be faceless: Tim Soulo behind Ahrefs, Jon Morrow behind Smart Blogger, Larry Kim behind WordStream, Rand Fishkin behind Moz — make sure your business blog has a hero. Or, create a mascot: characters like Taco behind Trello or Freddie behind MailChimp make people smile and want to read the content.
To Sum Up
Get creative. Choose quality over quantity. Generate exclusive, up-to-date content that is relevant to your niche. Think of people, not mere traffic — and you'll reach a larger audience, loyal followers, and sincere advocates for your brand.