How to Make a Company Blog That Turns Readers Into Customers

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Everyone is a blogger these days. While it was unimaginable two decades ago that your local hardware store would post something on a regular basis, today it’s impossible to believe that wouldn’t be the case. How else would you know how to reinstall those loose cabinets?

Creating a blog is easy. Free and paid templates abound. The setup is done in a few minutes. However, this is just the beginning. Everything on your blog, from layout, fonts and colors to image choices and topic choices, should be carefully chosen to best support your brand and drive readership and conversions. So where do you start?

See also: Here’s the trick to writing blog posts people actually want to read

Why does your business need a blog?

First, set a clear set of goals for your blog. Creating a blog just because it feels like it is not enough. Blogging can benefit businesses in a number of ways, and your goals may include:

  • Improve SEO

  • Bring customers to your website

  • produce leads

  • Cultivate interest and authority

  • Test new ideas

  • Building long-term loyalty

  • Creation of multi-use content

More than one of these goals may apply to you, or you can name others that are specific to your business. Narrow down your goals to a realistic set, and then select topics that specifically support those goals.

For example, a company in the legal services industry is less likely to aim for a direct conversion from a blog than one that sells a specific specific product. Therefore, a law firm’s blogging strategy might aim to increase traffic, increase authority, provide useful information to those who research lawyers, and encourage long-term growth rather than engaging in direct prospecting.

What information should you provide?

Again, the answer to this question depends heavily on your industry and goals. In general, however, your posts should either solve a common problem your customers have, or offer original insights into your field—or both.

REI Co-op’s blog, Uncommon Path, is a great example of how the choice of topics can support a brand’s personality and mission while providing information useful to a wide range of potential customers. Topics such as national park accessibility and the best places to stargaze mix with product reviews and recommendations, offering visitors a way to find adventure and, of course, the gear to use in the process.

While your company may not have the resources of a behemoth like REI, your team can put their heads together to create topic inspiration lists like:

  • Common problems of your customers

  • Frequently asked questions from your customers

  • Information not directly related to a product that would interest audience segments

  • products you can check

  • People in your industry who you can interview

Remember, with the exception of breaking business news, your blog is about your customers, not you. Plan a realistic topic schedule ahead of time and stick to it. If you can only post a few times a month, make those posts count. Quantity is not always the strategy for success.

If you have relevant lead generation tools like ebooks or resource downloads, include calls to action in your posts to maximize effectiveness.

Also See: 6 Blogging Essentials That Will Keep Viewers Coming Back

Do you publish your blog?

Posting regularly will help grow your inventory of indexed pages and help build internal links, both of which provide an SEO boost. However, to get the most out of the time you invest in your blog, you need to get your posts out there.

Leveraging social media can help you maximize any content while getting a promotional boost. Blog content can be repurposed into videos or chopped up into short infographics to share on social accounts. LinkedIn offers a good platform for B2B companies to share links to current articles. A sentence or series of blog posts could also be packaged into an email newsletter or used to create an e-book download, both of which are lead generation search engines.

Always follow best practices when publishing posts. Spamming and comment hijacking are annoying and potentially damaging to your reputation.

Does design affect conversion and readership?

You have formulated your goals, developed high-quality topic lists and agreed on the posting frequency. How should you present all this information to the world?

A blog’s design can impact readership and lead generation. Blog navigation should be straightforward and visitors should find articles easy to read. Confusing and cluttered layouts or hard-to-read texts won’t deliver repeat readers or loyal customers. Pay attention to the following layout elements:

1. Fonts: Research on the most readable fonts is mixed, and there is no hard and fast rule about the best fonts for headings or body copy. In April, the Nielsen Norman Group released the results of a 2022 study on typeface readability, confirming this. Aside from its main finding that there is no single right answer to the best fonts online, it found:

  • On average, people read their fastest font 35% faster than their slowest.

  • Fonts that performed best with older readers (over 35 in this study) differed from those that performed best with younger readers. If your designers are under 35 and your target audience is over 35, what is good for one may not be best for another and vice versa.

  • People aren’t good at picking their easiest-to-read fonts. On average, subjects read their fastest font 14% faster than their preferred font.

Don’t panic, however, there are still best practices for readability, including:

  • Set a minimum font size of 18 points.

  • Pay attention to the space between the lines of text.

  • Set up a text hierarchy between headings, subheadings, and body text.

  • Use consistent link colors and hover effects.

2. Segmentation: Here I am referring to content segmentation rather than audience segmentation. On average, a visitor reads about a quarter of the text on a given page. Visitors scan, and your job is to make scanning easier. You can do this by:

  • Limit paragraphs to one to three sentences

  • Breaking up copy with headlines

  • Using bulleted lists and pictures to support the main points

3. Image selection: Image selection is important for several reasons. Consistent, high-quality images support your brand’s personality and culture, and can even attract potential customers to your aesthetic. Businesses that use imagery consistently will maintain a style that is recognizable in any environment.

Creating a mood board is a good way to ensure that graphics are used consistently. A mood board is a collection of items, including but not limited to photos, that represent your brand’s style. You can also consider making a list of things that are specifically not allowed when choosing blog photos. Once you’ve chosen images for your posts, always remember to optimize them for web use so they don’t slow down your page load times.

See also: 5 ways to grow your business through blogging

When you’ve decided it’s time for your business to start blogging, make an effort to maintain a blog that strengthens and supports your brand. A small investment of time can yield outsized results.

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