Blogging is great for growing your brand awareness, connecting with potential customers, and ranking higher on search engines organically. So, why not start a blog in 2023?
If logistics are getting in the way, this post is for you.
Today, we'll cover:
- Why your startup should have a blog in 2023
- How to start a successful blog for your company in 5 steps
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Why Your Company Should Start a Blog in 2023
Starting a company blog in 2023 can seem like a lot of work. But, with the right approach, the results will be absolutely worth it.
Brands that blog get twice as much organic traffic as brands that don't. But you shouldn't just write for search engines. Blogging can help you to position your startup as a valuable source of information through high-quality content & thought leadership.
According to stats compiled by OptinMonster and ImpactPlus:
- Marketers that prioritize blogging are 3x more likely to see a positive marketing ROI
- SEO leads have an average close rate of 14.6% vs. 1% for non-SEO leads
- 77% of users still read blogs
In this section, we'll explore why you should start a company blog. Never created content before? We'll explain why a blog is a great asset to kick off your strategy. Already creating content? We'll dive into why a blog could be a great addition to your content mix.
While blog posts are more expensive than other types of content, they're not as costly as videos or eBooks. So, if you've never created long-form content before, it will be easier and cheaper to get started with posts.
Additionally, as you find your brand voice and most valuable content topics, finetuning, editing & re-optimizing your written content will be more cost-effective than revamping other types of content. Needless to say, in some cases, some content formats are impossible to revamp. For instance, you can re-create an old YouTube video, but not revamp it.
It's also worth mentioning that your website is the only platform your company truly controls. Social media sites change their algorithm, experience leadership changes, and go through challenges that have nothing to do with your company. So, while you may get your best leads from Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, those platforms aren't biased in your favor, you're just good at playing by their rules.
But your blog is different. Your blog is a platform that you fully control. And it's designed and run with your company's best interest in mind.
If you're still wondering whether blogging's right for you, check out our guide on the pros & cons of starting a company blog.
How to Start a Company Blog in 5 Steps
Ready to start a company blog? Not so fast! Business blogs that truly drive ROI aren't one-off efforts that only involve content creators. Company buy-in is key. Approaching the website as an asset for the entire company goes a long way.
Before starting your company blog, we recommend:
- Negotiating resource allocation
- Crafting your content strategy
- Planning your first content calendar
- Producing and launching your first content batch
- Establishing a process for ongoing optimization
Let's take a look at each step.
Stage 0: Negotiation
For stage 0, we’ll assume you’re a marketer and need budget approval to start producing blog posts. In that case, before anything else, you’ll need to get your stakeholder's buy-in.
Getting them on board with the decision to start a blog can seem like a daunting task. In most cases, that’s because relevant decision-makers aren't well-versed in inbound marketing. So, you’ll have to:
- Explain the benefits of having a company blog
- Estimate the potential ROI of starting a blog
- Share case studies and success stories (ideally, from your competitors)
Before investing time in blogging, make sure you know:
- What your content budget will be
- What expectations do stakeholders have
- How you'll source the talent
Ideally, your content team would consist of:
- A content strategist
- A writer
- An editor
- An SEO specialist
In some cases, this team will also include a graphic designer, who will produce graphs for your content.
Usually, working with an external content team has some pros over incorporating people into your internal team or assembling a group of freelancers. But, regardless of whether you'll hire in-house, reach out to a potential vendor, or create a freelance crew, these are key roles your team should include.
Let's explore each one.
The content strategist will lead content strategy and ideation. They'll also:
- Distribute the blogging ideas on the editorial calendar
- Set deadlines
- Keep track of the writing, editing, and publishing process
- Produce content templates and internal documentation
The content writer is obviously responsible for writing. But also for:
- Writing the content's metadata
- Researching article topics
- Finding interesting internal and external links to incorporate
Content editors are responsible for guaranteeing articles are typo-free and high-quality. Editors make sure the article’s well-written and structured. In some cases, they also write a brief of the article and select references for the writers.
Honestly, we recommend that your entire content team has at least some basic SEO knowledge. But, even if that's the case, you should have an SEO specialist that takes ownership of the blog's SEO strategy.
An SEO specialist will:
- Collaborate with the content strategists on content ideation and prioritization
- Help content editors to optimize the SEO content
- Keep track of SEO results & share insights with the content strategist
To assemble this team, you can use external or internal talent or a mix of both. This decision not only involves budget, but also a deep understanding of your company’s workflow and current team capabilities.
Interested in hiring an external team? Learn how to choose the best agency for your startup.
Pro tip: If you choose to work with an agency, you should still have a team member who serves as a point of contact and consultant for the content team. That way, they can produce content that complements and elevates your marketing strategy.
For the sake of simplicity, throughout this article, we'll assume you're working with an internal content team. We don't usually recommend it. However, that assumption will make it simpler to outline how to start a company blog.
Stage 1: Strategy
Everyone's on board, you've got the budget, and you've got the team. So, it’s time to move on to strategy. First of all, you need to understand why you’re blogging. Ask yourself:
- What are your blog’s goals?
- What KPIs would be useful to measure its success?
- What are your competitors doing?
- What unique value will you provide?
- How will your blog fit into a larger organic search strategy?
Let's explore each of these questions.
What are the goals of your startup's blog?
You shouldn't have a blog just for the sake of having one. Don't try to play catch-up with competitors. Instead, set goals that make sense to you.
You probably want your blog to help you generate organic leads & increase your brand awareness. But let’s take it a little further. Write a mission statement for your blog.
You won’t get very far if you only focus on wanting to be known and generating leads in a vague sense. In order to achieve those goals, your blog needs to provide something uniquely valuable to your audience. And building that value begins with a solid mission statement.
For instance, our blog’s mission is to help startup founders & marketers to take control of their website and turn it into an asset for long-term success. This mission statement:
- Complements our company’s mission statement
- Informs our content’s tone & focus
- Is user-centric
Here’s a structure you can use to write your own:
“Our blog’s mission is to help [target audience/ideal customer profile] to [overcome challenge] and [achieve goal]”.
For instance, here’s a mission statement we wrote for one of our partners’ blog:
“Our blog’s mission is to help new creators to learn the basics of podcast production and marketing and build a successful show.”
This partner in question runs a content creation tool for podcasters. So, their blog’s goal is compatible with their product’s goal.
Aside from SEO metrics, a mission statement can be a great filter when evaluating content ideas. Before starting to research and write a piece, ask yourself if it matches your blog’s mission.
Pro tip: A solid mission statement can also be a shortcut for achieving content-market fit.
What KPIs would be useful to measure your blog's success?
Not all metrics are created equal. Choose which KPIs will help you determine whether your content’s succeeding or falling short.
Generally, we recommend keeping track of:
- Best organic keywords
- Best organic pages
- Search clicks
- Organic conversions
- Time on page
- Social media engagement
Search impressions are also worth keeping an eye on. They’re usually an early indicator that you’re on the right track.
Want to learn more? Check out our guide to content KPIs.
What can you learn from your competitors?
Competitor intelligence is key. Not only when it comes to choosing which keywords to target, but also when detecting unaddressed needs, or common flaws.
Is all the content on your niche outdated, overly complicated, and irrelevant? Is it too superficial and inapplicable? That’s an opportunity!
What unique value will you provide?
In the age of AI content, posting generic how-tos is not enough. What will you bring to the table? The best content usually outperforms its competition by being:
- More concise/dense value-wise
- Full of unique insights and personality
- More informative and in-depth
What characterizes your brand? Is it technical and focused on precision? If so, make your content technical and precise. Is it beginner-friendly? Make your content accessible and entertaining.
How will your blog fit into a larger organic search strategy?
Probably, one of your goals is for your company’s website to rank higher in search engines organically. If so, you should also start envisioning how the platform will fit into a more comprehensive SEO plan for the entire website. Blogs work best when they’re not the only SEO-optimized URLs on your website.
With all this information in mind, you can start brainstorming content topics and clusters for future blog posts. There’s no need to organize them in a schedule, and they don’t have to be perfectly put together yet. In this first stage, what’s important is to start collecting ideas that are meaningful to your desired audience (and mission) and discard those that wouldn’t be relevant.
You can assign the ideation and brainstorming process to the editorial calendar manager, the writer, the editor, or to all of them together as a team.
Of course, that’s not a necessary step when working with an agency. Once you’ve agreed on the goals for the blog and gathered key insights, the team will take over and handle most of the process for you. If you’re working with the right agency, you’ll feel comfortable delegating. You’ll be a valuable collaborator, but you won’t feel that the process wouldn’t work without you.
Stage 2: Planning
Now it’s time to plan concrete steps that actually lead to launching your company blog.
Do you know where you’ll host your blog? We recommend you host your blog on a subdirectory on your website (https://example.com/blog). That way, your SEO efforts will directly benefit your root domain.
Setting up a blog can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months. This will depend on:
- Your website’s current stack and CMS
- Design and development priorities
- Whether you’ll need to outsource this work
Besides those technical decisions, you can plan how much content you should have ready pre-launch. And then, organize your team so they start planning and producing those articles.
Last but not least:
- Define the content creation, optimization & publishing workflow, and share it with the team members in charge.
- Set initial content production expectations, how much content will you lunch per month?
Stage 3: Launch
After all this work, it’s time to publish your first pieces and launch your blog. Don’t forget to announce it!
Don’t be shy and reach your first readers by:
- Sharing your blog’s URL on social media
- Segmenting leads and sending them personalized emails with the most relevant blog posts for them
- Selecting some useful blog posts for your current clients and inviting them to read them
Stage 4: Optimization
Once your blog’s running, don’t forget to keep an eye on its results.
This will help you to learn:
- What type of content is working best, so you can double down on those topics
- Whether your blogging strategy is giving the expected results or if it needs adjustment
We also recommend checking and optimizing your blog posts on an ongoing basis. Why? Keeping your content updated helps you to:
- Prevent content ROT
- Preserve your rankings
- Reflect brand or product changes across your website
No Blog? No Problem
Now you know what it takes to build a company blog. Or most of it.
Starting a blog can feel a bit overwhelming. And, if you’ve never done it before, it can take years, trial and error, and thousands of dollars to start seeing an impact. If you feel that it’s time to start blogging and you need a strategic partner to get it done, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve helped some of the most promising B2B startups to start and scale their content production. Want to join them? Let’s start your company blog together. Discover our content services or book a free consultation.