How to start a successful business blog
Blogging is a great way to start up – or add to – a small business. If you’ve ever thought of starting your own business blog, this article will walk you through everything from niches and names to monetizing and more!
How to Start a Business Blog
1) Finding your Niche
So you’ve chosen to start a business blog. This is a great first step but to find your ideal audience, you need to niche down.
But what exactly does that mean?
You need to get specific. Who or what types of readers are you hoping to attract? Are you targeting small, home businesses? Are you after powerful, corporate leaders? Or perhaps somewhere in between?
The point of a blog is to attract readers and make money from them by solving a problem. What problem can you solve and for whom? This will help you identify the niche you and your blog will be best suited for.
As you show up on your blog day after day – or week after week – to share your knowledge and insights with your specific business niche, your readers will learn to trust you. You’ll become resource of information to them, and over time, they’ll respond by asking for your opinion.
The good blogger that you are, you’ll answer their questions. Over time, all those questions can lead to a course or a book or a speaking engagement or to providing a one-on-one service for your clients.
Now, before you decide on a niche, check first to see if there’s a need for what you are trained to provide. Search around for other blogs on the topics and audience types you’re interested in reaching and see what they’re doing.
Some niches have plenty of room for new bloggers and that’s great! Chances are you will do well if you work hard, show up consistently, and interact with your audience. Remember, fulfill your customer’s needs.
Maybe the niche you’re looking at is well populated. Starting a blog in a popular niches isn’t necessarily a lost cause. After all, you have a unique spin on business concepts that no one else does.
Think about it. Your experiences thus far in life combined with your education and your experiences all go into creating your unique voice. A voice that the business blogging world can benefit from.
Here are some example niches from the business blogging world:
- business technology.
- business efficiency.
- world and international business.
- small business.
- social media marketing.
- business psychology.
2) Think of a unique blog name and create your website
Now comes the fun part, creating your blog name. We suggest a name that’s short, sweet, and relevant to your audience. Some names for a keyword blog could be: Time Management Pros or The Brand King, or if you’re still stuck, try using our blog name generator for some inspiration.
Once you have a blog name in mind, it’s time to get your website set up. Don’t worry, this is much easier than it sounds and can be easily done in less than an hour! Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
3) Get the essentials
One of the best ways to share your new blog and gain new readers is to have social media accounts that are specifically for your blog. This is one of the best ways to begin advertising because it’s free!
There are many social media platforms you can choose from but don’t think you have to start them all at the beginning. We suggest choosing one or two that you feel comfortable with and start there. Over time, you can choose to add more platforms to extend your reach.
The most popular social media platforms are probably the ones you are familiar with. They include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Most of these platforms rely on images to capture your audiences attention. We suggest investing in a quality camera or take time to learn tips and tricks to take better pictures with whatever camera you already own.
Learning to edit your photos with free online programs such as PicMonkey will also be a great way to increase the sharability of your posts. A beautiful picture is worth just as much – and sometimes more – than a well crafted blog piece.
Many bloggers invest in an inexpensive circular camera ring to easily increase the quality of their pictures and/or videos. A smartphone/camera holder can help for taking videos. And if you decide to produce podcasts, we recommend investing in a quality microphone.
What content do business bloggers create?
There are a variety of content types that you can create for your blog. You can write articles, share infographics, and create and share videos for your audience. A lot of business bloggers today also have podcasts.
Most content today is based on the opinions and experiences of those who have worked in the business world for several years. Many business bloggers also provide tutorials and how-to guides to help their audiences build up their businesses.
Email newsletters are one of the top ways to keep in touch with your reader. You can use your email letter to let your audience know what they’ve missed and make them aware of any services or products you have coming up.
Whether you choose to use written articles or videos or podcasts to share your content, what you’re sharing needs to be easily digestible and useful for your reader. Avoid putting out boring content that will put your readers to sleep. Capture their attention, dazzle them with your knowledge, and end with a useful call to action that will leave them looking forward to your next post.
Create engaging and relevant content
If writing your first blog post has you all nervous, relax! Start with a general introduction to your blog and and tell us a little bit about yourself. Then tell us exactly who you’re making this blog for and what services you plan on providing. Most importantly, be excited!!
If you’re not sure what to write for your next few blog posts, here are ideas for posts that will attract readers:
- The Beginner’s Guide to (your business blog niche)
- # Best Tips to (fix a common problem your reader has)
- The Best (products) to help you (common problem in your niche)
- A How To Post (help your readers by making their lives easier)
- List Posts
- Before & After posts (how your business has helped someone)
- Product or book review (relevant to your niche)
For more help on writing for your business blog, check out this article by The Writing Cooperative.
There are many ways to get more inspiration for what to write on. You can see what other bloggers are writing about and approach the same topic based on your experience.
Only your blog post is going to be longer, have better pictures, and more information. They have 21 tips for making a happy customer? You’re going have 31 tips!
You can also look for questions people have about your niche by visiting other bloggers and reading the comments below their posts. You can also check out relevant books on Amazon and check the reviews for potential questions you can answer and turn your answer into a blog post.
After you write your post, go through it and divide up. Add subheadings and break your paragraphs up into one to three sentence chunks.
It definitely makes it easier to read.
Especially for those people who will access your blog on their smartphones.
How to grow your traffic
The most important thing to remember when growing an audience is to show up consistently.
If you’ve got that down, focus on providing quality content that is useful to your readers. Make your blog posts easy to read and add in high quality pictures. Be active on social media and share your blog posts without being spammy.
Next, make a way to capture your reader’s emails. Find a free email builder that will help you gather email addresses and help you send out mass updates to your subscribers.
What about reaching out to other bloggers? These bloggers might be in your niche or they may not. You can share each other’s posts but the main thing is to network with a like-minded blogger. You can also crosspost or guest post for other bloggers if they’re open to the idea.
Facebook has blogging groups you can join. Each group has different guidelines but usually you can share your latest blog post once a week under a designated post.
Add social share buttons to your website. You should include the most common social media platforms like Facebook. Pinterest is also a great platform to use so make sure your images are pin-worthy.
Ultimately, your goal is to keep your readers coming back each week to see what you’ve been doing. You can increase the likelihood of their return by listening to them and helping them in any way you can. When reader’s feel listened to, they will respect you and tell their friends and colleagues about you.
How to make money with your Business Blog
One of the first ways you can make money with a brand new blog is to sign up for affiliate marketing programs. Amazon probably has the most well known affiliate program but there are others. To see if your favourite online store has an affiliate program, Google the name of the online website you can naturally reference to in your blog and add “affiliate program.”
Beware of having too many ads on your blog. Stay classy so you don’t scare away your audience.
After you’ve been building your blog for several months, you may have people asking you for help. Maybe you’ll be able to create a product or offer a service that you can charge for. Make sure that your product is of high quality and useful and that your services are valuable and professional.
Over time, you may find yourself becoming a top rated blogger in your niche. You may be able to do sponsored posts for companies who want you to promote their products on your site. Or perhaps you’ll have the opportunity to try out new products at no charge and give feedback.
You know you’ve hit the blogging jackpot if you receive invitations to events and your expenses are reduced or even covered! There’s no harm in dreaming!
Top #3 Business Bloggers
I would be surprised if you hadn’t heard of Gary V. The Vaynerchuk family immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1978. His first major success occurred in the 1990s when he put his father’s wine and liquor business on the internet. The business exploded.
One of the first ways Gary V. started producing daily content was via YouTube with a daily video related to his father’s wine business. He has since then started his own business blog, written books, started a podcast, and gone on to be an extremely influential icon in modern day business.
Gary V. is active on many platforms. As listed on his website, you can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Medium, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, as well as his podcast.
It would be difficult to say what Gary V.’s most popular type of content would be. He’s just that popular because of his personality or rather, his brand.
Mike Michalowicz graduated from Virginia Tech with two degrees: one in finance and a second in management science. He has started and sold two successful companies and was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year while still with his first start up.
Michalowicz is the author of six books about business. He is a well known business educator and writer who has appeared on numerous television shows and in many written business publications. He is also available as a speaker for business events and has appeared around the country including TedX Fulton Street.
In addition to his six books and blog, Mike also has a podcast called, ‘The Profit First.”
You can find Mike on Google+, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
#3 Darren Hardy
Darren Hardy is a speaker and author of three books, including the best known, “The Compound Effect.” Darren started his first business when he was 18 years old. He was also a publisher for Success Magazine, a business publication which promotes personal and professional development.
Darren’s website features a popular free daily email/video mentorship called “Better Everyday.” He talks a lot about mindset and attitude and how they have a huge impact on achieving your business and personal goals. He calls himself a “Success Mentor.”
You can find Darren Hardy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. Although he doesn’t have his own podcast, he is a frequent guest on other business related podcasts.