Of course your consulting business should have a website. It helps connect you with potential clients, improves your professional branding, and allows you to take advantage of inbound marketing. But what about a blog? Should consulting businesses have blogs?
Absolutely. And here’s why.
Why You Need a Blog
An up-to-date, engaging blog establishes you as an expert in your field. And as consultants, you rely on your expert status for your livelihood. You can spend as many words as you want explaining your theories, your research, your interests, and the many things you’ve learned along the way.
In addition, every time you publish a blog post, you add to the richness of your website. Each strategically targeted keyword bumps you up in the search engine rankings and helps potential clients to find you.
A successful blog also gives you an easy way to ramp up your social media marketing. When you publish a blog post, you can post links to it from your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts. These links will help to funnel even more traffic back to your business website.
A Blogging Blueprint
If you’re convinced that you do in fact need a blog for your consulting business, then the next thing you need to do is create a blogging blueprint. Without a plan, you could end up with a dead-end blog, the kind that hasn’t seen new material in six months and gives people the impression that there’s not actually anything going on at your consulting business (although the truth is that there’s so much going on that you simply haven’t thought about the blog lately).
A solid blueprint not only gets your blog up and running, but it also creates a plan for its ongoing success. Here are some elements of a solid blueprint:
1. Choose an Easy-to-Use Program
The easier it is to post to your blog, the more likely it is that you’ll keep up with it. If there will be more than one person posting to your blog, you’ll want to make sure that it’s easily accessible to everyone who will be working on it.
2. Create an Editorial Calendar
One of the hardest parts of business blogging is continually coming up with new topics to write about. Business blogs have a fairly narrow scope, and you may feel that there’s just not that much to say about what you do.
That’s why it’s important to use an editorial calendar. Decide how frequently you want to post, and then create a schedule. Your editorial calendar can help you to time posts with seasonal topics or special events, and it can help you to stay on track. If you have multiple people publishing posts, use your editorial calendar to assign different topics to different people. Include important keywords to be used in each post. Google Sheets works well for creating editorial calendars because of the sharing feature.
3. Provide Relevant, Useful Information
If every post on your blog reads like an advertisement, you won’t gain a loyal readership. If, however, each post provides usable, helpful information to people in your industry, readers will keep coming back for more.
How do you know what people would like to read about? See what kinds of conversations are happening on social media about the topics you cover. Ask for comments to your posts, and use ideas from those comments in your future posts. You can also conduct keyword research to see what keywords are currently getting the most traffic and identify any ranking opportunities for your own articles.
4. Mix Up Your Format
While templates can be useful and efficient, your blog will be more interesting if you mix up your format. If you usually write long-form articles, try writing a few short posts, producing an infographic, or shooting a short video. Graphics, images, and new formats all add interest and make your blog more appealing.
5. Create a Simple Way to Promote What You Write
Not many people will find your blog posts unless you include sharing as a part of your blogging blueprint. The simplest and possibly most effective method is to share your posts on social media. Include a link to your blog in your email signature, and encourage people to click through. When you share links to social media, make sure you have an eye-catching image to accompany the link.Setting up your blog doesn’t take much time, but following through with consistent posting can be difficult. Think of your blogging as a marathon, not a sprint. With each new post you publish, you’ll reach new people and further establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Happy blogging!