For B2B companies, having a company blog is a no-brainer. In fact, featuring a blog as an essential part of your website gives you a 434% better chance of being ranked highly on search engines. Blogging, while exciting at first, can become daunting. Often, it feels nearly impossible to come up with yet another topic for your company blog. We know your time is valuable, so you need to make the most of out of the time you spend creating content for your business. To help, we’ve put together this list of 5 essential tools to help you start blogging like a boss.
1. Buyer Personas
Believe it or not, your blog is not about you. Your blog should be a collection of information your customers, and potential buyers find interesting and useful, bringing them back to read more, and eventually becoming loyal followers. Creating buyer personas for your ideal customers establishes a solid foundation for a successful B2B blog. Segmenting your customers into different groups and putting them on paper helps you to get to know them better and allows you to understand what is important to them. Buyer personas are an essential tool for bloggers because they drive you to create content that speaks to your audience. Understanding their pain points allows you to explain how the products or services you offer can help them. But just creating content that interests them isn’t enough. Personas also help you get your content seen by your audiences. Are they active on LinkedIn? Do they read your monthly newsletter? Are they using Twitter to search for information? Knowing where your audience seeks information online allows you to publish content in places you know they will find it.
2. Content Editorial Calendar
Research shows that companies that B2B blogs that publish content four times a week generate almost 3.5 times the traffic than companies posting less frequently. If you’re just starting out, this may seem like an unrealistic target, but with the help of a well thought out content editorial calendar, you can get there. This great organizational blog tool can either be laid out on a spreadsheet or an actual calendar, whatever works best for you. In either case, it helps you plan out your publishing schedule and content 2-3 months out and keeps you on track. A content calendar makes it easy because you don’t have to stress about what you’re going to write about that day, and it helps you be more strategic about your posts by looking at the big picture. To make writing a breeze, be sure to draft out the following for each post as you build out your calendar:
- Working Title
Content editorial calendars only work when you keep up with them. Try to set aside time each week to update your calendar, write a couple of posts, and schedule them to be posted in advance. Remember, quality is more important than quantity. Consistency is key, so start with a realistic frequency that you can keep up with and build from there.
3. Blog Idea Generators
As you start to create blog content ideas and fill in your editorial content calendar, blog idea generators can help fill in the gaps. All you need to use HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator is a few nouns associated with your topic, and the tool will give you enough blog topics for a week. You can also get ideas by visiting sites like BuzzSumo to see what titles are popular and what content is being frequently shared. Joining social media communities is another great way to see what topics are trending in your industry. Lastly, check out what your competitors are writing about!
4. SEO Keyword Tools
You can spend endless amounts of time creating the perfect blog, but if no one finds it, you might just be wasting your time. Optimizing your content around popular keywords, so your blog post will come up in search engine results is an essential step in the blogging process. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keyword tools can help. Google Keyword Planner gives you valuable information about the search volume, how many people are searching for your keywords. Consider using long tail keywords specific to what your buyer personas are searching for. You can also search a term ex. “video conferencing” in Google and scroll down to the bottom to read “relevant searches” to get ideas. Ubersuggestis another great free tool that gives you the most common matching phrases for your keywords. You’ll want to use your keywords in the title of your blog, the meta description, in the alt text of your images, and of course throughout your post.
5. Free Stock Photo Sites
The perfect image for your blog post is the cherry on top. Pictures and infographics can enhance your blog, draw your audience in and keep your reader interested. Free stock photo sites like Unsplash and Picjumbo have hundreds of images for you to choose from and best of all you don’t have to worry about copyright issues. If you want to get extra fancy by customizing your image, sites like Canva make editing and adding text a cinch. Consider spicing up your content with an infographic, Infogr.am allows you to create basic infographics for free.
Blogging doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Utilizing these resources available to you will not only make your life easier, but it will also help you develop a kickass blog that your buyer personas will come back to time and time again. Incorporate these five essential tools, and you’ll be blogging like a boss in no time.