You may hear a lot of different voices telling you that blogging is good for your business…
To put it in simple terms, blogging is a great way to organically attract users to your website.
When you organically attract users, this means that users naturally stumble upon your website, rather than learning about your business through paid advertising.
The easiest way to organically attract users is by creating content with words and phrases that match commonly searched terms — keywords — that relate to your industry.
For example, let’s say we run a home appliance repair company in Cambridge. If we create a blog post on our website titled “Common Causes of a Broken Washing Machine,” and sprinkle the blog post with phrases such as “washing machine repair in Cambridge” or “Cambridge appliance services,” then our company website is going to pop up when people in Cambridge use the internet to search for someone who fixes washing machines.
See what we did there?
We created a blog post at essentially zero cost, and yet we were able to broadcast a very specific message to people who need our exact services.
To help you achieve free exposure for your business, we’ve put together this free 30-day action plan to help you start and maintain a successful company blog.
So are you ready to dive in?
Day 1 – Research your competitors
Before we start actually writing blog posts, it’s a good idea to gather some data about your competitors. Visit the websites of comparable companies in your industry, and see whether or not they have blogs.
If they do…
What kind of content do they post?
How long are their posts?
How often do they post?
What would you do differently?
From whose perspective are the posts written?
Day 2 – Establish your style
Now that you have a sense of how your competitors use their blogs, it’s time to determine how you want to blog.
What kind of tone do you want to use in your writing? Friendly and informal? Or more factual, like a reporter?
How long do you want your average blog post to be?
Who do you think will read your blog posts?
What kind of style would appeal to them?
Day 3 – Decide who will write your blogs
Next, decide who will be responsible for writing your blog posts. Do you have enough time to handle this task on your own, or should you consider hiring a content writer? Regardless of who is actually writing your blog content, you may also want to consider author credit. Will all your posts be credited to the head of your company? Or, is there another person who would be better suited as the face of
Day 4 – Add a blog to your website
You’ve done all the prep work, so it’s time to actually create a blog section on your company website. This should be a fairly straightforward process, as most websites (in WordPress, Squarespace, etc.) are pre-built with the capacity for a blog. However, if you have a custom designed website, just ask your web developer to help you with this task.
Day 5 – Plan your posting schedule
If you’re going to spend time and effort crafting quality content for your blog, you definitely want to make sure your work reaches as many people as possible. Rather than instantly publishing every completed post, it is better to schedule your blog content. To help with optimising your blog schedule, TrackMaven has published this graph.
As you can see, Mondays and weekends have the least competition and the highest shares per post. However, if you don’t have the ability to publish blog content on the weekend, then Thursdays have a comparable share per post number to Monday.
Additionally, TrackMaven published the best times of day to publish in this graph.According to this data, there is a daily “sweet spot” at noon, and again between 3:00PM and 4:00PM.
We recommend that small businesses publish blog content between 1 and 4 times per week. If you follow this action plan over the course of 30 days, we will have you posting 2 – 3 times per week. Don’t worry – if you can’t maintain this pace, then simply adapt our plan to your business as necessary.
Day 6 – Create your first post
Today’s the big day — your first official blog post!
Here is a title for you to use: “Announcing the [your company name] Blog”
Simply use this first post to communicate your reason for starting a blog, and the type of content that your audience can expect in the future. Think of this as a teaser for everything that you will deliver in the next 24 days of this action plan — try to build a sense of excitement and suspense to keep your readers wanting more.
Before you publish this mini post (aim for 300 words maximum), run your text through a spelling and grammar check. We recommend Grammarly, which you can download as a standalone app or an extension for Microsoft Office. Always use a spelling and grammar editor before publishing material to your company site.
Lastly, remember to time your publication of this post based on the graphs we showed yesterday!
Day 7 – Answer frequently asked questions
Before clients commit to hiring or purchasing from your company, what information do they want to know? Jot down a list of frequently asked questions, and answer them all in a draft for your second blog post. Use the standard Q&A format, so customers can easily scan your post for the info they need.
Today, you are only responsible for writing a rough draft. Tomorrow, we will worry about editing and publishing!
Day 8 – Edit and publish
Pull out the rough draft you wrote yesterday — about frequently asked questions — and read it again with fresh eyes.
Imagine someone stumbling across this page on the internet, with zero prior experience in your industry.
…Would your words make sense to this person?
…Do any sections need more information?
…Could any sections be tightened up?
After you finish polishing your words, it’s time to consider the visual component of this piece. Add at least one relevant image to this blog post. You can select a free stock image from a site such as Pexels or Pixabay, or you can take a photo in your workplace.
Lastly, schedule your post to publish based on the info we provided on Day 5.
Day 9 – Discuss a current industry trend
Are there any new practices, methods, or beliefs that are shaping the current state of your industry? Think about it — there probably are! This trend could be spurned by the interests of clients, or it could be influenced by a general consensus among experts. Once you have thought of a relevant topic, write a draft for your next blog post. This can be a straightforward explanation of the trend, an investigation into the reasons why the trend is occurring, or your professional opinion about the trend. Save your draft — we will edit and publish tomorrow!
Day 10 – Edit and publish
Pull out the rough draft you wrote yesterday — about a current industry trend — and read it thoroughly. If possible, have someone else (preferably someone with less experience in your industry) read your writing and ask for feedback.
…Could they understand the trend you were discussing?
…Did they have any questions after they finished reading?
After you finish polishing your words, remember to add at least one photo to your blog post, whether this be a stock image or photo that you personally took.
Lastly – schedule your post to publish based on the info we provided on Day 5.
Day 11 – Promote a post from this week on social media
Today we’re going to promote your blog on social media. After all, a blog is nothing without an engaged audience! Pick your favourite post from the past week, and publish a 2-3 sentence teaser with a link to the full post.
For example… “Whew! We finally put together a list of all the questions people ask before hiring us. Check out our answers here: [link]”
“Today, it seems like EVERYONE is [current industry trend]. Want to know what we think about this trend? [link]”
We recommend you promote your blog on social media at least once a week. This will lead to more engagement with your posts!
Day 12 – Write a tutorial
What is a simple task in your industry that you can teach in a blog post? Ideally, choose a task that you can break down into 10 steps or less. Provide detailed instructions for each step, and include photos if possible. At the end of the post, remind your readers that they can also hire your business to perform this task for them! Include your contact information or a direct contact form.
Do not publish this post yet — we will edit it tomorrow!
Day 13 – Edit and publish
Print a copy of the tutorial draft you wrote yesterday, and give it to someone who has never performed this task before (this can even be your spouse or one of your kids!).
Can they accomplish this task based on your instructions? If not, where did they “get lost”? Do they have any feedback for clarifying your words or photos?
Edit your instructions and photos necessary, and publish your tutorial based on the data we provided in Day 5.
Day 14 – Discuss a rookie mistake
What is a common mistake that people make when they first step into your industry? This could be…
A client error, like a young buyer who overpays for their first car.
A professional error, like a new startup that miscalculates their budget.
A mistake that you personally made when you were first starting your business.
Use your post to identify and offer solutions to this common rookie error. Write an initial draft, and save it for editing tomorrow.
Day 15 – Edit and publish
Present your draft from yesterday to someone else in your company.
Does he or she agree with your assessment of this “rookie mistake”? Are there any sections or ideas that he or she would explain differently?
Edit your text based on your colleague or employee’s feedback, and add at least one photo to this post before publishing.
…Remember to plan the day and time of publication!
Day 16 – Research keywords
Today, we’re going to take a step back and see what kind of information the average consumer wants to know about your industry. We will do this by researching keywords and frequently asked questions online. If you have a Google Ads account, then you have access to their Keyword Planner tool. If not, you can easily find a free keyword tool online.
Research terms related to your business, and write down the most common phrases. You can also type keywords into Google and write down the People
Also Ask questions associated with specific keywords.
This helps you determine the things that your followers probably want to know about your business.
Day 17 – Use keywords to create a new post
Now, we’re going to take the keyword research you compiled on Day 16 and use this to generate a new blog post.
What were the commonly searched phrases and frequently asked questions associated with your industry? What do people want to know about your line of work?
If you gathered a lot of material during your research, try to focus this blog post on two or three associated questions or keyword phrases. Packing too much information into your blog post can result in an unfocused, confusing piece. When you’re done writing…
…Save your draft for publication tomorrow!
Day 18 – Edit and publish
Pull out the rough draft you wrote yesterday — based on keyword research — and read it again with fresh eyes. Imagine someone stumbling across this page on the internet, with zero prior experience in your industry.
Would your words make sense to this person?
Does your post answer the core questions posed by the keywords?
Do any sections need more or less information?
After you finish polishing your words, remember to add at least one photo to this post. Publish your keyword-related blog post at a scheduled day and time, based on the data we gave you back on Day 5.
Day 19 – Address a common industry myth
Today, you’re going to debunk a common assumption that people carry about your industry. This myth can be a belief that your competitors share, or it can be a belief that clients have about your industry before they decide to work with you. Remember, backup your claims with facts, sources, or infographics! Once you have completed a rough draft, set it aside for editing and publication tomorrow.
Day 20 – Edit and publish
Present your draft from yesterday to a colleague in your industry (or an employee).
Does he or she agree with your assessment of this industry myth?
Are there any sections or ideas that he or she would explain differently?
Edit your text based on your colleague or employee’s feedback, and add at least one photo to this post before publishing. Remember to consider the day and time of publication!
Day 21 – Create a video to complement one post
Today, you’re going to up your blogging game by adding a visual, video component to one of your posts. This video can be added to any of the blog posts we have made so far. For example…
Add a video to walk readers through your tutorial post. Narrate your responses to the FAQs.
Simply shoot the raw footage for your video today. We will worry about editing tomorrow.
Day 22 – Edit your video
Upload your video file into an editing software. There are many different kinds of free video editing software available, including iMovie, OpenShot, and VSDC. Then…
Cut out any awkward pauses or silences in your footage, and add different segments together using transitions.
Titles and text — especially text atop a monochromatic background — is another creative way to transition between different segments of footage. Once you’ve finished editing your video, attach it to your original blog post and publish it on social media.
Day 23 – Explain how your work relates to a seemingly unrelated subject
Today’s prompt required a tad more creativity than most of our other suggested topics. You’re going to write a post that draws an unlikely parallel between your business and a seemingly opposite topic.
Write about how being a dentist relates to playing a musical instrument.
Explain why you approach your mechanic shop like a chef cooking a
Explore how interior design is similar to solving a Rubik’s cube.
This post could be… a comparison you’ve already considered in the process of running your business.
today could lead you to explore connections you’ve never thought of before!
Write a rough draft, and put it aside for editing tomorrow.
Day 24 – Edit and publish
Present your draft from yesterday to a colleague in your industry (or an employee).
Can he or she follow your metaphor?
Are there any “loopholes” in your comparison?
Does he or she have any suggestions for an even clearer parallel to your industry?
Edit your text based on your colleague or employee’s feedback, and add at least one photo to this post before publishing. (Remember to consider the day and time of publication!)
Day 25 – Ask your social media followers for a blog topic
Head to one of your social media channels — whether this be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram — and ask your followers what they would like you to talk about in a future blog post. Tell them to leave their suggestions, questions, and feedback in the comments of your post. Alternatively, you could ask your followers to vote on a new topic using the poll feature in Facebook or Twitter. Turn on your notifications, and react to all comments with either a like or reply. Keep a list of all the suggestions you receive (or follow the voting count for your poll).
Day 26 – Share a client success story
Walk your readers through a journey that one of your clients has experienced with your company. Provide details about how your product or service has improved this client’s life — and back your claims with photos, videos, or quotes from your client.
This post can be relatively short, because you mainly want to rely on direct feedback or testimonials from your client. Simply run your text through a spelling and grammar check, and publish it today at a strategic time.
Day 27 – Create your social media-inspired post
Go back to the list of suggestions you compiled after asking your followers for blog suggestions on Day 25… Pick your favourite idea from the list (or the winner of your poll), and write a draft for a new blog post.
Day 28 – Edit and publish
Read through your social media-inspired post, and imagine that you are one of your social media followers.
Would your words make sense to them?
What other questions might they have while reading this post?
Could this post benefit from more or less information in any area?
Edit your work from your social media follower’s perspective, and add at least one photo to the post. After publishing, share this post on social media. Tag and thank the followers who inspired this post…
Day 29 – Analyze your results
Now that you’ve written a good assortment of blog posts, it’s time to analyse your results. Use Google Analytics or a similar tool to analyse your website traffic, and determine which of your blog posts attracted the most visitors.
Consider the following questions…
How does your website rank in Google when you search keywords related to your industry?
If you enabled comments, did any posts receive a significant amount of feedback?
Did you notice a spike in client communication or purchases on any particular day?
Do you think this coincided with the publication of any particular blog posts?
Day 30 – Draft a content calendar for the next 30 days
Now that you have 30 days’ worth of experience operating your blog, it’s time to draft a plan for the next 30 days. Here are some final tips for you to keep in mind:
Reuse blog topic ideas that have worked for you in the past, but approach the body of the post from a new angle.
Promote your blog on social media — you can even install an integration that automatically links to new posts on your company channels.
Update your keyword research every month or so, and try to integrate popular phrases into your blog posts to boost your website’s ranking in Google.
Remember to have fun!
Blogs allow you to creatively express yourself and share unknown aspects of your company with your clients and readers. Look at this as an opportunity to experiment with a new communication tool, rather than a box on your to-do list.