Running a successful business is hard work.
There is so much that goes into it, from business planning and financial statements to creating a marketing budget and joining the latest social media platform. Now I’m expected to have a blog?! What will I even blog about? How often should I blog? Will anyone read the dang thing?
Blogs can often fall by the wayside, simply because other tasks are deemed more important. However, when a blog is done well it can be a vital piece of your business’ marketing mix.
We rounded up 5 of our favourite business blogs, and we’re going to tell you exactly why we dig them deep.
The Mama Coach is a team of Registered Nurses who are committed to making motherhood easier. Founded in Calgary, AB, the company provides an excellent example of a business who is blogging for business in all the right ways.
It goes without saying that consistency is key when it comes to writing a blog, as it takes time to build an audience of engaged readers. Imagine you’ve written a post every week for a month, building your readership each week, only to stop cold the next month. Your readers are left waiting for more, and if you’re not going to give it to them they will find it elsewhere. The Mama Coach blog is killing it with regular, varied, expertise-laden posts, typically publishing a blog article 10-12 times per month. Yes, that’s about 3 posts every week.
Okay, but how? Well, founder Carrie Bruno leans on her team of expert Mama Coaches who all contribute posts throughout the month. The result is a unique, enriching and authentic online resource for moms all over the world who keep coming back because they know the content will be there.
X Warrior delivers a lifetime experience that supports race registrants and prospects alike as they train towards this one-of-a-kind, world-class obstacle course race.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘content is king,’ but without unique voices, a great mix of post types and articles that offer real value to the reader, the simple act of frequent (boring) posting won’t get you anywhere near the throne.
A blog is the perfect platform for all that laden insight, expertise, ideas, inspiration and industry knowledge you have to share. Readers crave content that is diverse, entertaining and constantly changing.
It would be pretty lame to post (and read) the same type of blog post week in and week out, and X Warrior Challenge’s blog varies their content well with a great mix of educational, community and promotional type posts. They also keep the posts short and to-the-point, which is a plus given that the typical reader spends less than 40 seconds making their way through an online article.
Keep it tight and bright, and bring the value.
The Virgin Group aspires to change business for good.
As expected, the Virgin blog is BIG and SHINY, and they have so. much. content.
It’s easy to look at a blog like this and feel discouraged as a small business owner. With a small team, or no team at all, it’s next to impossible to compete with such a well-rounded publishing pedestal. But fear not, because you don’t have to. Your well-honed customers are likely a lot smaller, more personable and more engaged than Virgin’s, and thus, they want to hear from you on your terms, not through the lens of a global giant.
But that’s not to say we can’t examine what Virgin’s doing well and borrow some of their best practices.
First of all, they anchor their content in a revolving monthly theme, meaning all or most of that month’s blog posts have a broader topic to fall into. This is a great way to organize your content, both for your own sake and for the ease of your readers.
Second, Virgin posts about everything. Not just content directly related to their businesses, but timely, trending topics, news, pop culture and beyond, making them a genuinely topical news outlet.
Finally, the company does a bang-up job of sliding in promotional material as value-adding editorial content, which is a great way to get pertinent business information out to their audience without slapping them in the face with an ad. It’s the best of both worlds – low-cost marketing for them and easy, enjoyable posts for their readers.
Founded in 2012 by childhood pals Ethan Song and Hicham Ratnani, Frank and Oak started with a simple goal of helping men dress better and more affordably.
Five years, nearly eighty thousand Oxford shirts sold and a growing women’s line later, they remain committed to the little things (the important things) they have built their solid, global reputation on.
As one of their key marketing platforms, the Frank and Oak blog is outstanding. Branded as its own entity and laid out like a beautiful online magazine, The Handbook features stories and advice on good living, good dressing, and all things entertaining to its precise audience of customers and prospects.
The Handbook has three simple, easily appreciated content pillars: People, Style and Culture. They have taken the ‘sales’ completely out of it and built a publishing platform around the lifestyle, people and aspirations associated with their brand. Which in and of itself is both a genius investment of time and resources, and modern content marketing at its finest.
Show people an attainable, aspirational lifestyle that’s perfectly aligned with your brand, and they will seek both out with bells on.
Quite simply, Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods.
Most of us have heard of Etsy, and the majority of us likely think of it as a place to buy cool and unique handmade items. But to those of us really in the know, the Etsy Journal is a stellar hub of creativity, inspiration and commerce, and our final example of a seriously effective business blog.
The Etsy Journal’s posts are informative, fun and inspirational, just as you’d expect. What they do extremely well, however, is ‘Shop Features’. By showcasing Etsy shops (i.e. user storefronts) big and small in every other post, they are celebrating their community and utilizing beautiful, eye-catching resources they already have, resulting in a spectacularly bottomless supply of content. A bonus benefit of featuring another business or person on your own blog? The likelihood of them sharing your post about their products to their community, followers and fans – also known as offsite linking, which the Google loves as much as The Facebook – is also very high. One post, scalable reach. How great is that?
On the whole, the time, energy, strategy and skills that effective blogging demands can indeed suck the wind out of your sails. But it can also earn you infinite returns in the form of your own original content to point people towards in your social posts, help extensively grow your SEO and online presence as a whole, and authentically position you as a go-to expert in your field.
Think about the resources, topics, themes and categories you have at your fingertips or in your fold, decide how much time you can realistically devote to your blog each week or month, and identify the goals you’d like to achieve. Continue to look to the best of the best and take what tips and inspirations you can, applying them to your own published posts big or small.