Top 10 Tips for Growing Your Brand’s… Your company blog has the flexibility to have its own voice and acts as an area to share opinions and thoughts on industry news, to inform others on specific subjects, helping to build authority with your readers. While keeping within the guidelines of your business, it really can add a deeper element for what you stand for and the interests of the company as a whole; you want that relationship to grow and develop. When it comes to the ocean of content out there, particularly when social media channels are constantly churning out tweets and posts with endless links, it can be hard for your blog to stand out. What makes a successful blog? What makes it gather attention and generate a loyal readership? How can yours shout out above the rest? We thought we would share our top 10 tips for helping to grow your brand’s blog, whatever the sphere or industry: 1) Know who your audience is Without an interested and engaged audience, your blog is worthless. Taking the time to identify and understand who your readers are is, therefore, crucial when it comes to producing and sharing it. What do they want to read about? What interests them? What challenges will they want advice for? By creating content that resonates with your audience and sharing it via the right channels is the best way to reach them and is more likely to grab their attention. 2) Define your blog ‘USP’ focus Establish what you want your blog to do and provide, a ‘USP’ (unique selling point), so to speak. Why should people read your blog? What can they get out of it? Once you know your audience, it is easier to decide what to write about, that will be of interest and relevant to them. Guides, How-Tos, and Top 5 posts can be popular depending on the industry, which show off credibility and the expertise of your company. 3) Have a content plan in place We find it best to have a content plan in place which works hand in hand with our social media sharing and activity. Look ahead to the approaching months and be aware of any days of relevance, whether industry specific or national days, so you have content prepared and can jump on the talking points. Keep in mind that while having a content schedule in place helps to ensure fresh content on your company blog, be prepared to be flexible and reactive; jump on to breaking news stories to help gain competitive advantage. 4) Evergreen content archive Content which doesn’t have an ‘expiry date’ helps to drive traffic over a longer period of time thanks to its longevity value. These type of posts tend to be more in-depth guides, tips or ‘how to’ pointers which can be viewed and shared months down the line, without necessarily going ‘out of date’. Having a mix of this content has greater SEO benefits and offers variety when mixed in with more time-sensitive news posts. 5) Avoid selling People expect to go to a blog and read informative content that is of interest to them – not another opportunity for the company to hard-sell them something. While you might like to add a sales element at the end of the post with a call to action for the reader to do something, keep it discreet; nobody wants a sales pitch pushed to them. 6) Quality over quantity Be aware that you don’t have to publish post after post for the sake of it; as with a lot of things in life, quality over quantity is key. Devoting time to a few unique, original and informative pieces of content per month is more valuable for your audience than posting more lower quality ones. Time and resource will dictate the allowances for this in some way, but it will pay off over over a period of time. 7) Keep consistent Try to remain consistent when it comes to the regularity of publishing and sharing blog content on your company website and through social media channels. Although the frequency of new posts won’t be the same every month, at least your audience will come to expect new content (or at least older posts be ‘brought back to life’) on a regular basis. That will keep them coming back for more! 8) Choose graphics and images wisely For your blog to be successful, consider the choice of imagery, photos and graphics. If possible, create your own unique graphics to accompany posts on your company blog, which helps to add value for your reader; they want to see something new, something different that hasn’t necessarily been done before. More important, stay away from overly cheesy stock photography! 9) Share your content in relevant places Social media is obviously one of the numero uno as a means of sharing content online. However, we can go further afield; seek out forums, communities on Google+ or Twitter Chats where people are likely to be discussing industry related topics. What questions are people asking? Provide blog posts which answer these kind of questions and add unique value to the issues being talked about, then share within these areas. Don’t post links to your content all over the place and spam people; be selective and make sure you are being helpful, not just focused on metrics and driving traffic. 10) Build relationships Last but certainly not least, approach your blog as an extension of your presence on social media; another channel which allows relationships to be developed over time which sees regularly readers keep coming back to read your posts. If you are looking for other people or companies to collaborate with and share links, be willing to share their content as well as your own – this mutual love may then be re-paid! We hope this list offers you the comprehensive points required for a successful company blog – if you have any more tips or advice to give, please tweet us @TheMediaOctopus or comment below!