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Small Business Blogging

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Recently I wrote about the latest trends in blogging that make your blog more appealing to your readers (Stay Abreast of Small Business Blogging Trends to Cultivate More Readers). Although it’s important to please your reader, it’s equally important to make sure your blogging efforts net results…especially when you want to make certain your blog achieves (or exceeds) benchmarks.

My favorite inbound marketing resource, Hubspot, shared the targets their 13,500+ clients are reaping. It goes like this: companies that blog 15x or more per month get 5x more traffic than those who don’t blog. Businesses that increase the number of blog posts from 3-5x per month to 6-8x per month, double their leads. When the TOTAL number of blogs on a site grows from 20 to 50, traffic increases by 45%; spike the TOTAL blog posts past 100 and you’ll see a 59% upturn in traffic.

Small Business Blogging: Tech Talk

What makes an effective blog—and by effective I mean a blog that produces results. These are the 10 elements I include to make sure resources dedicated to blogging aren’t wasted.

1) Keyword/Keyword Phrases

  • Particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a web page (i.e., business coach, business coaching, or strategic business coach)
  • Typed into search by internet users to find what they are looking for (i.e., how can I benefit from strategic business coaching)
  • See Google Keyword Planner for keywords/keyword phrases for your business

2) Author/Blog Writer

  • Identifies the appropriate author, especially when several authors contribute to a blog

3) Topic/Category

  • Broad grouping of topics that make it easier for the reader to find multiple articles on the blog related to their interest (i.e., small business coaching, strategic coaching, benefits of business coaching)
  • Tool for organizing blog posts (i.e., content marketing)

4) Publish Date

  • Date when blog article is to be published (i.e., goes live on the website)
  • Assists with managing the publishing schedule

5) Subject/Title

  • Also referred to as “Headline”
  • Keep under 70 characters to avoid title being truncated in search results

6) Key Points

  • For research, planning, and writing your blog only (internal use only)
  • The most important points or messages to include in your blog

7) Body

  • Content of the blog consisting of 400–600 words
    • External link: hyperlink(s) that points at another domain/website outside of your website or blog; used when referring the reader to further information, referencing a resource article or site, or validating stats
    • Internal link: hyperlink(s) that point the reader to another article, blog, or page on your website or blog; used when referring the reader to further information, keep reader on website longer, build credibility
    • Use no more than two hyperlinks per paragraph (internal or external)
    • Use internal links to reference other blog pages and/or service pages on your website
    • Call-to-action: instruction to the reader to provoke a response; usually a verb such as “call now” or “find out more” or “tell us what you think”

8) Image

  • Picture capturing the essence of the blog content
  • Image Resources:,,
  • Alt Tag/Text: alternative text for an image on your blog; provides further information that assists with search; generally keyword/keyphrase used as alt tag/text
  • Example: small_business_coaching_results

9) Meta Description

  • Description of your blog article for search engines
  • Limited to 140 characters, including spaces
  • Includes keyword/keyphrase
  • Example: 

10) Social Media Message

  • Text to be used to post on social media platforms to promote blog article, increase website visits, and attract potential clients
  • Include keyword/keyphrase
  • Limit to 100 characters, including spaces, to allow for link to blog article
  • Example: Are you curious if you’re a match for #business #coaching? Surprisingly, not every entrepreneur is. (100 characters with spaces)

Small Business Blogging: The Results

It’s one thing to discuss the technical aspects of a blog but what matters most is the result.

During my first 30-day blogging challenge I put the technical aspects of blogging to the test. These are the results achieved:

  • Website visits increased 101%
  • Unique visits climbed by 86%
  • Number of page visits went from 2.11 to 4.48
  • Time spent on the site rose from 2:16 to 3:08
  • Bounce rate dropped 8%
  • Returning visitors increase 7%
  • Blog subscribers increased 27%
  • Number of leads generated increased 150%

To piggyback on these results, I continued my blogging efforts throughout the year creating an average of 12 blogs per month. (Don’t panic. October 2014 was a big fat zero.)

The second 30-day blogging challenge created an additional bump in results.

  • Website sessions increased 41%
  • Unique users increased 29%
  • Page views increase 43%
  • Average Session duration increased 42%
  • Bounce rate dropped 3%

And, wait for it…

  • Number of leads increased by 92.5%

In a nutshell, small business blogging produces results—when you meet the needs of your reader and the business!

There’s still time to launch your blogging adventure and snag results like this for your business. Check out Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Small Business Blogging Success.

It’s no secret that I’m a voracious reader. And, to avoid looking obsolete and irrelevant, most of my reading is keeping up with best practices and trends…one of which is blogging for small business.

Recently, I came across new blogging trends. Knowing what I like—and don’t like—when reading blogs, I was intrigued.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my excitement was mixed with intimidation and trepidation. Not being a formally trained writer/blogger, I questioned my ability to integrate the up-to-date views.

Would you still love me tomorrow, I wondered? It was then I realized—we’re friends and you would tell me, in no uncertain terms, if the latest intelligence worked or wrecked my blog.

Why Blogging Succeeds for Small Business

More and more consumers turn to the web for information. In fact, today’s consumers are more sophisticated in their buying approach. With 329 million people reading blogs, 97% conduct research online for products and services before they buy.

First of all, over 70% of buyers prefer to get to know a business through (blogs) articles rather than ads. That’s a shocker (unless you’re the consumer). Typically, 57% of a purchase decision is made before a client ever speaks to a business. That’s Why We Love Small Business Blogging.

In fact, businesses who write just 3-4 blog posts per month get 20 more monthly lead submissions, 800 more monthly site visits, 60 more Twitter followers, and 50 more Facebook Like’s than those who only write 2 blog posts per month.

What Lurks Inside the Mind of a Blog Reader

We already know that blogging is good for business. All the same, do we know what influences a reader to pause long enough to read your blog and take action? The latest trends reveal some intriguing insights into the mind of your readers.

Readers love blogs that include these points:

1) Headlines matter (i.e., the enticement)

2) Once upon a time (i.e., the hook)

  • Opening your blog with a story leads to 300% more readers.
  • Use a personal anecdote or moment of transparency.

3) Less words—more pictures (i.e., the mind’s eye)

  • Readers remember photos 6x easier than text.
  • An image at the top right/left of a blog makes it easier to comprehend.
  • Image strategies: use an average of one visual image for every 350 words.

4) Words, words, and more words (i.e., the scan ability)

  • Readers read only 28% of the words in a blog post.
  • Writing strategies:
    • Write short paragraphs of 2-4 sentences per paragraph
    • Write short sentences
    • Use words/language commonly used by your readers
    • Use subheader(s)
    • Use lists and bullets
    • Average blogs are 400-600 words; some are 1500-1600 words

5) It’s a wrap (i.e., the big finish)

  • Add a call-to-action (CTA) that requires action such as “call” or “join” or “tell us what you think” or “contribute your thoughts”.

Interesting information, isn’t it? Blog readers have spoken. They’ve shared their wants, needs, and desires with us. Now lets see if they’ll take action. 😀

So, how did I do? In the true spirit of “following the rules,” contribute your thoughts below. What works—or doesn’t work—when you’re reading blogs?

Running a small business is a tough job. Not only do you need to keep your eye on every aspect of your business, you also need to develop a wide breadth of knowledge in areas covered by multiple specialists in larger organizations. Is it any wonder entrepreneurs struggle to maintain their small business blog with regular insightful content?

One of the best tools to keep you on top of your blogging game is an editorial calendar. It helps grow your small business blog, improve the effectiveness of your articles, maintain a consistent schedule of new material, and—most importantly—attracts and retains clients.

What is an editorial calendar?

We’re so glad you asked. Simply put, an editorial calendar is a bird’s eye view of your plan for blogging.

An editorial calendar isn’t just a list of blog ideas, however. An effective editorial calendar contains the following:

  • Submission date
  • Blog title/topic
  • Target keywords or keyphrases
  • Key points to cover in your blog article
  • Offer or call to action (CTA)
  • Links to additional blogs or information
  • Image/Video URLs
  • Post URL
  • Details for external blog submissions
  • Responsible individual

In fact, the more information your editorial calendar contains, the more valuable it is as a lead generation tool.

How does an editorial calendar expand my small business?

Good question! For entrepreneurs, an editorial calendar seems like a huge amount of extra work (aka headache). Don’t let that stop you. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Plus, you don’t want to miss the many benefits an editorial calendar provides to all aspects of your business, such as:

  • Providing a place to store article ideas
  • Ensuring a plan is in place when you’re ready to hit “start”
  • Holding you accountable to a consistent schedule of updates (We already know regular blogging drives traffic to your website.)
  • Helping you visualize your blogging strategy
  • Keeping focused on content that meets the needs of your buyer persona
  • Building trust and credibility with your reader
  • Generating leads
  • Acquiring new clients without having to endure excruciatingly painful networking events

As if that’s not enough to convince you to use an editorial calendar, as your small business blogging efforts grow, it provides another benefit—it makes sharing your blog articles and driving even more traffic to your website, incredible easy. You have everything another writer needs to post your blog content to their website.

Not only is the editorial calendar a great tool that improves your blogging efforts, it’s the tool every small business owner wants in their arsenal to grow their business.

Ready to get your blog on? Gather your free copy of an editorial calendar today.

The data is conclusive. Blogging rules! With 329 million people reading blogs at any given time, studies show that 70% of readers would rather learn about your product or service through blogs rather than ads. (Corporate Executive Board). Let’s face it…329 million people can’t be wrong.

Don’t Just Blog…Blog for Results

We already know that blogging is an effective tool for driving traffic to your website, generating leads, and acquiring clients. In fact, Hubspot, my favorite marketing software, tells us that those “who write just three to four blog posts per month get 20 more monthly lead submissions, 800 more monthly site visits, 60 more Twitter followers, and 50 more Facebook likes than customers who only write two blog posts per month.” We like those odds.

What makes those numbers work, of course, is an effective blogging strategy. In a recently published article written for Zane Benefits, Small Business Tip: A Step-by-Step Guide to an Effective Blogging Strategy for Results, I’ve laid out the elements required that make a blog purr.

  1. Desired outcome: Don’t blog just to be blogging. Decide, in advance, what you want to achieve with your blog. Be purposeful with a clear goal.
  2. Buyer Persona: A clearly defined buyer persona definitely improves your blogging payoff as it distinctly characterizes your reader.
  3. Keywords: Did you know Google receives over four million search queries per minute? Yikes! With keywords relevant to your buyer personas search probe, the odds of your blog being found at the top of the informational heap are much greater.
  4. Resources: Blogs don’t write themselves. It takes resources beyond a blogging platform, such as time and talent. Know your needs ahead of time to make sure your blogging strategy succeeds.
  5. Frequency: Is six enough? Is ten too many? Companies who increase blogging from three to five times per month to six to eight times per month double their leads. That’s a good fact to keep in mind.
  6. Distribution: If you blog, will they come? Not without a plan for where, when, and how often to distribute your content to various platforms.
  7. Metrics: Metrics matter. Without measuring the outcomes of your efforts—and using the data to improve your results—what’s the point? Decide what is most important to measure, track, and analyze to reach your goals.

Blogging truly is one of the most powerful marketing tools in any small business arsenal…especially when built upon an efficient blogging strategy.

The full article can be accessed at Zane Benefits.

Are you ready for results like this from your blogging efforts? Let’s chat!

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” That’s a philosophical question that’s been asked in seriousness – and jest – throughout the ages. A similar question related to your blog might sound like this…“If a blog is published and no one is around to read it, does it make an impact?”

I think we all know the answer.

 Don’t Keep Your Small Business Blog a Secret
Everyone knows the many benefits of small business blogging. (If you’re not certain, you can read about it here.) Despite that, it can be difficult to know what to do after you hit “publish.”
There are many reasons people are reluctant to share their valuable content. Some of the more common arguments that we hear are:

  • Lack of belief in the value of the information
  • Fear of failure
  • Concern over what others may think
  • Anxiousness over stirring up controversy

By far, the most widespread cause of sharing reluctance is the uncertainty of what to do after you hit “publish” (besides sit back and admire your work). This is where a content delivery system fits in.
Spread the Word About Your Small Business Blog
Your business is unlike any other. It has its distinctive mission, vision, values, and strategies that are unique to you. That’s why a content delivery system developed exclusively for you and your small business is vital.
With that in mind, consider your responses when creating your organizations content delivery system:

1. List the current platforms available for distribution. Don’t panic. You likely will not use all of them to distribute your content (like you are currently doing).  However, you don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Be sure to include your social media platforms, guest blog sites, newsletter articles, slide share, webinars, etc.
2. Identify the resources you have available. Two things that every content delivery system needs to succeed are time and talent. (Click to Tweet) Whether it is your time, or that of others (i.e. staff or strategic service providers), consider the amount of time available to delivery your content once it’s published. Next, think through the talent that is accessible to distribute your content with an approach that produces results.
3. Give each platform a score. Using a simple 1-100 system, rate the effectiveness of the distribution platforms available. For instance, a platform that is more likely to reach your buyer persona, or those already producing results, may net a higher score. The scoring system, although it may seem unnecessary, adds an element of objectivity to the development of your content delivery system. It makes it much easier to say “no” when you really need to, especially in light of the volume of time and talent to be had.
4. Allocate your resources. Based on the amount of time and talent documented, allocate your resources throughout your top scoring platforms. Don’t worry about trying to stretch your assets across all available platforms. When sharing content, it’s better to focus on what is working rather than spread your resources thinly and dilute your efforts…and results. (Click to Tweet)

Be brave. Be bold. Don’t keep your small business blog a secret any longer! Develop a content delivery system that gives you the confidence of clarity and focus of what to do after you hit “publish.”

Do tell! What’s your content delivery secret? 

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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