Regardless of the products or services you sell, your goal likely boils down to one objective: solving customers’ problems. Since this single goal unites nearly all businesses, many companies have turned their business blogs into publishing powerhouses.
Take QuickSprout, for example. It’s a company that sells a software program that helps brands maximize their marketing efforts. However, in addition to selling this product, the company also has developed a well-trafficked blog that publishes new information daily. Some of the articles exceed 10,000 words, and none of them includes a heavy-handed sales pitch.
Why should businesses become publishers?
Today, when consumers fire up Google and type in search queries, they’re typically looking for answers to questions. At the top of the sales funnel, they don’t yet know what product or service they want to buy. Instead, they’re educating themselves.
When businesses can tap searchers at the top of the sales funnel, they can create brand loyalty and boost conversions down the road. The consumer can find information as well as products or services in the same place.
Let’s say you’re shopping for a blender. First, you want to know what type of blender you need. You might type something like this into Google: “best blenders for smoothies.”
Look at the other side of the coin. If you’re an e-commerce company that sells blenders, you could create a blog post titled “How to Choose a Blender for the Best Smoothies.” The consumer who searches for related terms will find your blog post—and your products, as well.
Instead of giving a sales pitch, you’re educating the consumer. This information can help shoppers remember your brand in the future.
What differentiates a business blog From a publisher?
You might have a typical business blog now. Maybe you publish announcements about events you’re attending, products you’re launching, and similar content.
However, you could turn your blog into a publisher by expanding the types of content you post. Some of the best options might include the following:
- How-tos: Walk the reader through the steps required to reach a goal or solve a problem.
- Listicles: Using the blender example, you could write a post on the top 12 features to look for in a blender or even the six best blenders on the market.
- Video: Engage viewers visually with well-produced videos that demonstrate how to solve a problem or reach an objective.
- Infographics: Turn lots of hard data into an easy-to-scan visual image that readers will share within their communities.
- Opinion: Take a hard stance on a controversial issue. Write a well-reasoned editorial piece for your blog.
Instead of writing blog posts that try to sell customers your product or service, you provide useful, actionable, or entertaining content that gets shared through email, social media, and other channels.
Visit the GoPro blog, for example. You won’t find many promotional articles in its timeline. Instead, you’ll see visually stunning content—often based on user-generated media—that sucks in the reader and encourages engagement. Since GoPro sells camera equipment, it primarily uses video and still images to anchor its content.
How can you turn your business blog into a publisher?
Now that you understand the difference between a regular blog and a publisher, how do you bridge the gap?
Choose a CMS
First, you’ll need a publishing platform. Consider a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that enables you to publish different types of content, such as text, video, and images.
You’ll also need to customize the blog design. Make it as inviting and reader-friendly as possible. Working with a professional designer can help you achieve the unique look you need and ensure that it aligns with your existing brand.
Create an editorial calendar
Start writing down content ideas, and slot them into dates so you know when they will go live. My content ideas from competitors as well as from businesses in other industries. What types of content do they publish? Which pieces do you love (and which do you hate)? The answers to these questions can inform the future publishing strategy for your business.
Try to prepare a list of content ideas that will stretch across at least 30 days. That way, you’ll build toward a specific goal.
You might want to start with a niche topic. For instance, if you sell blenders, you could write a series of content on recipes for blenders. Tie them all together with a content curation post that links out to all the articles you’ve published on the topic.
You can choose your posting frequency, but once you decide, stick with it. For instance, don’t publish five new articles one week, then only one new piece the next week. You want your readers to know when to expect new content. Otherwise, they might not come back.
You also want to make sure that your content is both timely and relevant. While you can plan content weeks or months in advance, don’t hesitate to jump on a topic that might garner more attention for your brand. Scan the latest news headlines for current events, and pay attention to social media.
You can’t run a one-person newsroom. If you try, you won’t have any time to devote to other tasks.
Consider hiring professionals for copywriting, image sourcing, and other tasks. That way, you can keep posting useful or entertaining content while still promoting your products or services through other channels.
You can also venture into social media. Consider assigning one member of your team to this task. He or she can post links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other channels. Additionally, your social media expert can post original content on those platforms to continue to engage users.
These days, brands can become publishers overnight. If you want to get more attention from your target audience, publishing high-quality content can boost conversions and sales quickly. Follow the above tips to transform your business blog into its own publishing entity.