How to start a professional blog 2021?
Creating a professional blog does not necessarily require creating a complete and dedicated site. On the WordPress CMS for example, a page dedicated to your professional blog may be sufficient. No need to redo everything (unless you want to, but it’s a whole different project).
If you don’t have a website yet, the first step is to get a domain name that matches your business name. Then you create the site with a dedicated page or you create a site dedicated to the promotion of your know-how.
Why create a professional blog? To talk about your job and position yourself as a specialist.
Table of Contents
- What is a professional blog?
- Why create a professional blog?
Things to know before starting a professional blog?
- 1. The Reflection – Preparation
- 2. Creation
- 3. Diffusion on your site, social networks
- 4. Setting up a newsletter
- 5. Align sales and marketing
- 6. Set up a content marketing strategy
- 7. The importance of establishing an editorial calendar
What is a professional blog?
A professional blog can be a site dedicated to a subject, a theme, or a page on your website, dedicated to what you want to say on a recurring basis. In terms of format, it allows many articles to be published, unlike a standard website page.
For each article, you will define a subject, a visual, a title and one or more keywords. You integrate videos or infographics.
A professional blog is the opportunity to speak out about your profession.
Who better than you to talk about your know-how?
Your website represents your business online and allows you to be visible. In the same way that you will see your customers to present them your new products, you must bring your site to life. You know your customers and know how to talk to them: do the same with those who do not yet know you, go and meet them.
Why create a professional blog?
There are many advantages to running a professional blog
- Demonstrate and promote your expertise,
- Provide content on your business,
- Engage in contact with your customers, prospects,
- Maintain the link by communicating on your latest articles through newsletters
- Gain new subscribers,
- Generate traffic to your website,
- Be aware of new developments in your market thanks to the monitoring that you are going to set up
- Create an image of specialist in your sector.
Creating a professional blog allows you to show that you know your business and your market, that you are aware of developments and innovations. In short, that you are up to date. You don’t need to be a speaker for that. You already have the speech and the arguments. What you are missing is a methodology to put them forward by writing them for the web. It can be learned, it takes work, time and resources, but it’s a nice unifying project for your team.
Your customers are sensitive to novelty: be up to date and show that you have mastered new uses.
Keeping your blog pro will update your site by bringing it news, in the form of information, content, or event. This is important:
Google bots prioritize sites that contain changes. When they are on your site, it is indexed and appears in search results. Thus, the more you bring new features to your site, the more it is seen, and goes up in SEO.
In terms of visibility and notoriety, this is a considerable asset: your prospects will seek information online by typing in keywords. But these correspond to your profession. The more they are integrated into your site, the more likely you are to appear in the search results. And who says Business Prospect, or notoriety depending on what you are looking for.
We have seen why to start a pro blog, now we will talk about the means.
Things to know before starting a professional blog?
1. The Reflection – Preparation
In this first step, it is a question of defining what will be the added value of a professional blog in your strategy . Who we are talking to, who are your personas (target customers) and how to reach them.
You then establish an editorial charter. This will define the drafting rules, the tone, the format, who writes, how often, and who publishes (with you internally or via a service provider).
In the continuity, you establish the subjects that you wish to approach. These can be:
- The origin of the company, its positioning, its evolution,
- Why you chose to speak via a pro blog,
- What are the topics and events to know about your market,
- It is also an opportunity to highlight the manager, a specialist, a new employee,
- Everything about your expertise.
Ideally, write a list of article titles. Then make sure you have one or two written up ahead of time.
Don’t have any ideas at the moment? Take a tour of your employees, they most likely have things to say:
- salespeople know the sector and prospects to attract
- production knows how to provide the appropriate service / product
- the sales administration masters the follow-up after the sale etc.
- the leader knows the competitors, the market, he also has a story to tell.
Your company has a history, a life, we are going to talk about it, there will be plenty of topics. Defining the content of a professional blog is a team effort.
Keeping a professional blog can seem overwhelming. It is true that you have to be regular, but your job may not require weekly articles: 1 per month or per quarter are quite possible. What is important in your strategy is to be consistent and have things to say.
This done, you will create an editorial calendar containing the subjects and dates of publication, key moments of the company, an anniversary date, the launch of a product, participation in a trade fair, etc.
This first step is essential: it must reflect the DNA of your company.
Then comes the creation of the pro blog. If your site is on WordPress you can add a specific page for the blog. It will be titled as you wish: blog, news, actualities etc.
If you don’t have a site, now is the time to look for a wordpress theme you like and allow you to customize it. It is recommended to take a paid theme, free themes are more vulnerable to attacks. As far as I’m concerned, I tested 3 free themes before choosing the one that suited me the best, then I took the paid version.
Make sure it is suitable for mobiles and tablets (responsive design)
- Spend some time getting started with your solution: how to create an article, insert an image, install the right extensions.
- At the same time, take a look at the royalty-free image sites, to have a few under your belt. Pexel, Pixabay, Unsplash are rich in resources.
- Learn the basics of writing on the web: minimum article size 300 words, order of titles H1 / H2 .., how to place keywords, what visuals to use to illustrate. Check Your Blog / Page Size With Seo Tools.
- Use tools to help you choose your keywords: sometimes those we think of are not those sought by Internet users. Google Trends, or Answer the public are valuable aids.
3. Diffusion on your site, social networks
Your articles are published or about to be published, now it’s time to communicate on them. For this you have three options.
- Link your website directly to social media, so that when you post a new post, it will also be posted on company account pages.
- Use a multi-network distribution platform. You can thus program several communications in parallel, delayed, multiple times. Buffer, Hootsuite, crowdfire or swello do it very well.
- Set up an emailing solution to send your articles in a newsletter.
In order to see the scope, create an excel table in which you will indicate your KPIs (metrics) for each article, number of views, read, share, like, open rate, click rate. This will allow you to have a perspective on your publications and those that are the most successful.
4. Setting up a newsletter
Choose the subjects on which you want to communicate with customers, prospects and partners: your latest articles, a trade show, the organization of an event.
- Decide to send it to your entire customer-prospect base or segment it according to the subject.
- Create your design based on your own graphic charter or choose a theme.
- Send then watch the tracking numbers. This will also give you a good indication of which topics have generated the most interest among your subscribers.
In parallel, analyse the visits to your website with google analytics :
- how many new visitors have come to my site?
- How much by the newsletter, and how much by social networks?
- And where do they come from geographically?
- How old are they, what articles have they read?
You tell yourself that it’s not for you, that it’s not your job, that it’s complicated … it’s understandable. I am asking you a question: who other than you can best talk about your company? You are a specialist in your activity, say it, show it.
Your job is your expertise: promote it on the company’s blog.
5. Align sales and marketing
Commerce and Marketing are closely linked. In order to optimize the sales of the company, it is necessary to define a common strategy. This will establish objectives allowing progress in the same direction. Getting teams to work together, identifying needs, writing relevant content, these are the new things for successful companies. Setting up a content marketing strategy is the assurance of a coherent approach.
How to do ? By communicating to begin with. Marketing is in a good position to write relevant content tailored to your market. However, salespeople are in contact with your prospects and customers, they know the field.
6. Set up a content marketing strategy
Place all of the company’s players around the table in order to have the same vision of its strategy and its challenges. What is the company’s image, what is its added value, how does it respond to your customers’ issues?
Define together the approach and the discourse, the user journey on your website to support your visitors.
Is your business the prettiest, your products the best, and you want the whole world to know about it, not just your family and friends? Content marketing is for you! This is any information to share about your company, your products (the best in the world), and your market. It is not complicated to set up, however it can be expected. It’s called Content Marketing.
The more you communicate, the more visible you are, and your notoriety increases.
Your customers are like you: they go looking for information online. Make it accessible, understandable and consistent to facilitate the act of purchase.
One of the most important lessons to stress is that content cultivates a relationship between a salesperson and a prospect as it is the conduit for establishing trust and rapport with them.
“Sales professionals should be directly connected to their buyers in ways that Marketing is not,” says Koka Sexton, the global industry principal at Hootsuite.
“When research shows that over 60 percent of buyers went with the vendor who had the best content the need for salespeople to understand content marketing and how it supports the active sales cycle is one of the most important things for them to wrap their heads around.”
Define an editorial line:
This is our guideline, the common thread of our communication. We find there: our objectives ( why do marketing content ), to whom we are addressing, in what format, how often, what tone we use, what we say, or not,… In short how we position ourselves, and who will define us on the web.
Take the time to think about your market
Who are your clients ?? Where are they ? Or are they surfing?
Then, we will define what seems to us best to correspond to us in terms of format according to our type of client.
- Individuals (B2C), the choice is vast: you can take photos, put videos on Youtube, blog articles, news on the website, Liker info on FB, twitter. Generally the formats are short and the distribution frequent. We can also mix content according to our objective: more notoriety, attract new customers, or retain those who are already there.
- Professionals (BtoB): here again the choice is vast but companies do not look at all media. The ideal is to target one, two or three professional social networks corresponding to that of your ideal buyer (buyer persona) to distribute your content. Notoriety is important and the image to be conveyed can be that of the “Specialist”.
What format to adopt?
- current formats by bouncing off information from your sector of activity (Newsjacking), videos, live
- longer formats with real in-depth articles, organizing webinars, or writing white papers.
- By alternating between the two.
Whatever the media and formats chosen, take care of your visuals, and work on your titles to arouse interest. Be specific , find catchy titles, find the right tone.
Distribute your Content
As in any strategy, planning is anticipating .
List the themes / sections on which you want to communicate, define color codes and enter them in an online calendar (you will find a template to download). It’s graphic, visual and easy to edit. Plan more or less long publication frequencies depending on the format and your type of customer.
Depending on the desired audience, and the objective of conquering or building loyalty, you can opt for paid media (infomercials, interview, etc.), media that belong to you ( your website, your blog, a newsletter), or typical social network sites to distribute and generate a little buzz. ?
7. The importance of establishing an editorial calendar
Why establish an editorial calendar
In a content marketing strategy, you should plan an editorial calendar so that you don’t forget anything. Objectives, content, support, distribution, dates, everything will be synthesized. This allows you to have a global vision of what is done and what remains to be done.
Setting up an editorial calendar allows you to manage key elements of your content strategy over time.
The structure of your content
What is or what are the formats that you have defined: written articles, infographics, photos, videos? What are you going to tell your community and your prospects? From your market, from you, from them, from industry events?
Each subject can be the subject of a specific format. For example, you may be more comfortable writing, or filming, talking podcast mode. This should be on your editorial calendar.
Frequency of publication
What will your media be: website, blog, newsletter, social networks? Not all of them require the same activity.
Social networks require permanent publication. Also, if you only write one or two articles or testimonials per month, set up a watch in order to have information to share.
On a website, just like a postcast, the importance is regularity. By indicating in your calendar your publication dates, the key dates of your company (anniversary, product launch, etc.), and those of your market (regional, national events), you give yourself a framework.
This defines your actions over time, in line with your content strategy.
Republishing your old articles
Talk about yourself on your site, write an article on the occasion of an event that you have organized or in which you have participated. The following year, at the approach of the same event, “bring out” your news on this subject, and make a little noise on the subject. Your editorial calendar gives you past and upcoming dates.
The editorial calendar allows you to define with a global vision: everything you are going to communicate about, why, when, how. While keeping your goals and audience in mind.
What tools use for an editorial calendar?
- A spreadsheet if you are alone
- A spreadsheet in a drive to work on several Google Sheet type
- A Trello-like project management tool
- Google Calendar is also an interesting and free option.
- Team up and Calendy are also famous.
You are also advised To read second part of this resource in detail here on Creating A Business Blog: How To Do It Right??