Blogging has become an essential component of many companies’ content marketing strategies, providing a platform to showcase their expertise and engage with their target audience. However, launching a successful branded blog can be a daunting task, especially for companies new to the world of content creation.
Many members of Forbes Agency Council have helped clients launch company blogs and some have even launched their own blogs. In doing so, they’ve learned some key strategies for success. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to improve an existing blog, the insights 15 members share below can help you achieve your blogging goals and drive meaningful results for your business.
1. Have A Clear Focus
When starting a blog, make sure you have a clear focus on what you want to write about. Verify that the topics you plan to discuss are relevant to search queries on Google. There is very little value for businesses to write blog articles about topics that won’t get organic traffic, or provide supporting content to service or product pages on the website. – David Wurst, WebCitz, LLC
2. Plan Content In Advance
Outline your content schedule for at least six months and update it regularly. Most companies lose steam after they realize how much work and effort is required. By planning ahead and anticipating workloads, you can accomplish a lot more with ease. – Ilissa Miller, IMiller Public Relations
3. Don’t Do It To Chase SEO
Don’t start a blog to chase SEO; you’ll never do it as quickly or effectively as the content houses that churn out mediocre content overseas. Instead, stick to what you’re great at—write content you are proud of, about subject matters you’re a master of, and try to impart wisdom or teach people something, then share it everywhere (via email, on social media and so forth). People pay for lessons learned with attention. – Dan Kahn, Kahn Media, Inc.
4. Create A Long-Term Strategy
A blog is an outstanding tool if set up correctly. Once you decide to start a blog, create a long-term strategy that serves you on many different topics. Consider the blog as a tool for SEO, PR and more, and implement this into your content strategy and plan. Then, with consistency and patience, you will have a successful blog that sets you apart from competitors. – Merag Shahzad, Ampathy Media GmbH
5. Focus On Consistency
When launching a blog, it’s important to focus on consistency as well as quality. It’s fine to start out with big ambitions—but will you be able to sustain these over the long term, or will your blog die after a few months of effort? Start with a six-month strategy so that you have the runway to make sure you can get your blog off the ground and achieve meaningful results. – Kathryn Strachan, CopyHouse
6. Align Articles With Company Beliefs
Along with improving your website’s SEO value, blog content can strengthen your brand promise and reputation. Craft the articles to include stories and takeaways that support your company’s beliefs and standards. With each post, you’ll reinforce the intangible benefits of working with your team. – Scott Greggory, MadAveGroup
7. Create Relevant, Valuable Content
The content must be good. Edelman and LinkedIn did a 2021 study showing that the pandemic increased B2B thought leadership content, but less than half of it was considered valuable. Be in the good half. Make the content relevant so that when you share it, people appreciate receiving it and are likely to forward it to other people. It’s a simple strategy that’s been lost in the race to just “get it done.” – Christine Wetzler, Pietryla PR & Marketing
8. Be Authentic
Authenticity is key. You have to be authentic to yourself and your audience. If you sound like a press article, there will be little to no engagement. Feel free to use emojis, use slang terms and express your creativity in your own voice. This is your digital real estate to speak to your customers, so do just that—speak to them as authentically as you can. – Krishan Arora, The Arora Project
9. Choose Topics Of Value
Have a solid content plan and a roadmap of engaging topics that you know your community will value. We also advise our clients to have a minimum of five to seven blog posts ready to go, so that when they launch their blog, they already have a library of content to work from. We’re also seeing an uptick in embedding videos or GIFs in blogs—those will make your brand pop and come to life. – Leigh-Anne Anderson, Anderson-PR
10. Prioritize Promotion And Quality
If you build it, “they” won’t necessarily come. Make sure you have a super tight plan for promoting the blog, targeting it to the audience you need to reach. Don’t scrimp on content writers. Make sure the people creating your blog truly understand the reader and the industry. – Nancy A Shenker, theONswitch
11. Leverage Visuals To Stand Out
Invest in creating high-quality, engaging and visually appealing content that sets your blog apart from others in your industry. Use images, videos, infographics and other multimedia elements to help bring your stories to life and make them more shareable. Additionally, prioritize SEO best practices to ensure that your blog is easily discoverable by search engines and your target audience. – Stefan Pollack, The Pollack Group
12. Focus On Your Audience’s Needs
Remember that your blog is about your audience—their needs, wants and challenges. Keep the focus on your customers and prospects and provide them with practical solutions, and your blog will find a stronger following. Especially in B2B markets, my advice is to make your blog a place where people can go to find the answers they need to everyday business challenges. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
13. Establish Brand Guidelines
Strong brands are congruent with their branding. Brand congruence can only be achieved with clear brand guidelines that define the style, mission and voice of the brand. Good blog content that follows a brand’s voice results in a strong consistent representation of the brand in the public domain. – Andy Etemadi, EYEMAGINE
14. Answer Customers’ Questions
We advise clients to think of all the questions their customers would ask them, and then answer those questions with blog posts. You want your blog to show up in search engines, so if you post content that answers customer questions in advance, they will find you and learn more about you. Including keywords and search terms will help Google and other search engines to send your ideal customers your way. – Nancy Marshall, Marshall Communications
15. Consider Your Industry
In my industry (SEO and content for personal injury law firms), I advise against doing a blog. For years, the legal industry was pushed toward blogging; the blog folder took more of Google’s crawl budget, as opposed to using the bottom-of-the-funnel transactional pages needed to rank and get cases. If I do recommend it, like the rest of my colleagues, I advise creating on-brand content. – Alex Valencia, We Do Web