When you first start a business blog, every hurdle can feel like an uphill climb. In the early stages, it’s important to remember even the longest and most challenging journeys have a starting point.
Are you on a mission to build a successful business blog? Follow this checklist, and you’ll be one step closer to increasing your organic traffic.
Blogging Basics to Consider
1. Buy Your Blog
The first thing you need to learn is that you will need your own website domain and hosting. Free blogs, like WordPress.com, won’t bring any visitors to your site from search engines and, therefore, are not really worth your time.
Why? If you are serious about blogging and giving your users valuable content, you should give your website a unique name and pay to host it yourself. Google aims only to point searchers to trustworthy sources, and that starts with a self-hosted domain.
2. Provide Value, Solve Problems
Yes, a business blog is a great resource to attract and generate new leads. But your blog will likely fail if you only care about the bottom line. One of the first rules of a successful content strategy is to focus on solving your audience’s problems.
When it comes to blogging SEO, keep Google’s mission statement in mind. Google seeks to provide users with relevant, valuable content. If your business blog works to solve the problems people are searching for, it’s highly likely your content will rank on Google.
3. Cast a Wide Net of Content
These days, content means much more than a weekly blog post. Vary the formats of content you publish to include video, visual infographics, or even a podcast!
Not everyone loves reading, so only publishing written content closes your blog off to a vast potential audience.
4. Build Backlinks Naturally
OK, so what’s a backlink? A backlink occurs when another website links to yours from their content, which sends traffic your way.
The way you acquire backlinks for your site is incredibly important. Never purchase a backlink. Period. The best way to build backlinks is by producing quality content.
When you regularly publish great content, over time you can reach out to other industry leaders for guest posting opportunities and build relationships in your niche.
5. Install a Sitemap
Sitemap installation might be the most straightforward step on this checklist. Installing a Google Sitemap plugin that provides a full roadmap to your website is a quick, easy win for your blog’s SEO.
A plugin will periodically update your sitemap and submit it to Google on your behalf, which shows you are proactive in telling web crawlers where to find everything.
The better Google can index your blog, the better your chances are to rank highly sitewide.
Have more questions about starting a business blog? Drop us a line or leave a comment below!
Editor’s Note: This post was initially published in March 2016 and has been updated for clarity and accuracy.