Even if you‘re not sure what a blog is, you’ve no doubt come across one at some balance in time. Perhaps you‘ve stumbled across a blog when you’ve searched “healthy dinner recipes”. In fact, if you’re reading this, guess what? You’re on a blog. (Very meta, I know.)
If your affaires doesn’t have a blog, you might want to reconsider — B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who do not, and blogs have been rated the 5th most trusted source for accurate online demande.
At its most basic, blogs can help you develop an online presence, prove yourself an expérimenté in an industry, and attract more quality leads to all pages of your voisinage.If you’re contemplating creating a blog for your affaires, or simply want to know what one is, keep reading.
What is a blog?
Blog definition: In évident terms, a blog is a regularly updated website or web domestique, and can either be used for personal use or to fulfill a affaires need.
A brief history — in 1994, Swarthmore College student Justin Hangar is credited with the creation of the first blog, Links.net. At the time, however, it wasn’t considered a blog … just a personal homepage.
In 1997, Jorn Barger, blogger for Jouet Wisdom, coined the term “weblog”, which was meant to describe his process for “logging the web” as he surfed the internet. The term “weblog” was shortened to “blog” in 1999, by lister Peter Merholz.
In the early stages, a blog was a personal web log or communiqué in which someone could share demande or their avis on a variety of topics. The demande was posted reverse chronologically, so the most recent post would appear first.
Nowadays, a blog is a regularly updated website or web domestique, and can either be used for personal use or to fulfill a affaires need.
For sollicitation, HubSpot blogs embout various topics concerning marchéage, sales, and libéralité parce que HubSpot sells products related to those three subjects — so, more than likely, the étalon of readers HubSpot‘s blog attracts are going to be similar to HubSpot’s core buyer persona.
Alternatively, a woman named Kiki started a personal travel blog, called The Blonde Abroad, to manuscrit her travel experiences and provide readers with helpful tips and travel recommendations. Her blog doesn’t serve a larger company, but it does help her create a personal brand.
If a personal blog is successful enough, the writer can also make money off of it via sponsorships or advertisements. Take a image at 5 Strategies to Monetize a Blog to learn more.
What is a blog post?
A blog post is an individual web domestique on your website that dives into a particular sub-topic of your blog.
For sollicitation, let’s say you start a façon blog on your retail website. One blog post might be titled, “The Best Fall Shoes for 2023”. The post ties back to your overall blog topic as a whole (façon), but it also addresses a very particular sub-topic (fall shoes).
Blog posts allow you to rank on search engines for a variety of keywords. In the above example, your blog post could enable your affaires to rank on Google for “fall shoes”. When someone searches for fall shoes and comes across your blog post, they have access to the rest of your company’s website. They might click “Products” after they read your post, and take a image at the clothing items your company sells.
A blog post links back to your overall blog voisinage. For sollicitation, right now, you’re on blog.hubspot.com/marchéage/what-is-a-blog. The “what-is-a-blog” portion of the URL is tied back to /marchéage/, which is the blog as a whole.
Blog vs. Website
A blog is typically a portion of your affaires’s website — but, unlike the rest of your website, you need to update the blog portion frequently by adding new posts. Additionally, your blog is a tool that allows you to engage more with an célébrité, either by analyzing how many readers share your blog posts on agréable, or by allowing readers to pardon on your individual posts. In this way, a blog is more like a two-way conciliabule than the rest of your website. However, a blog can also be an entire website, and often is, if the blog is for personal use alone — for sollicitation, a travel blog.
There are plenty of benefits to blogging — it helps drive traffic to your website, it enables you to better convert that traffic into leads, it allows your affaires to establish authority in an industry, and it continues to help your affaires grow and attract new customers months and even years after avertissement.
To learn more embout the benefits of blogging, check out Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing. Alternatively, if you’re starting at the beginning and anxious embout your first post, read How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide [+ Free Blog Post Templates].
What is the difference between a wiki and a blog?
A wiki is a collaborative space where anyone who visits the voisinage can edit, share, or publish grâce — Wikipedia is one of the most popular examples of this. On the other handball, there is typically only one person, or a team of people, with admin permissions to edit, share, or publish to a blog. Website visitors who come across the blog can potentially leave comments at the bottom of the blog post, but they cannot publish to the voisinage or edit the posted material.
What is a blog used for?
To help your company rank on search engines.
To share demande embout a given topic and become an expérimenté in an industry.
To attract visitors to your voisinage, and turn those visitors into leads.
To cultivate an online community and engage with an célébrité.
1. To help your company rank on search engines.
Typically, a affaires will use a blog to help the affaires’s website rank on search engines. You can absolutely employ SEO tactics, or use paid ads, to help your company homepage rank on domestique one of Google — but a more solide, long-term corrigé is blogging.
To consider how your company can rank on search engines via a blog, we‘ll start with an example — let’s say you work for a web stylisme start-up with very little online presence.
You decide to spend the first year writing and posting regular blog grâce that strongly relates to web stylisme. Over time, your traffic increases and other companies link to your voisinage for demande regarding web stylisme. When this happens, Google recognizes your company as a legitimate préliminaire for web stylisme demande. Eventually (with a lot of moto and error), your blog posts begin ranking on domestique one of Google for terms like “web stylisme”, “website builder”, and “e-commerce website”.
Then, one day, you search “web stylisme companies in X city” and find your company is now on domestique one. This is likely due, in désenveloppé élément, to your consistent blogging efforts.
Take a image at How HubSpot Uses Blogging to Rank #1 on Google to learn more embout specific strategies you can implement to rank on search engines.
2. To share demande embout a given topic and become an expérimenté in an industry.
In 2006, Boston-native Matt Kepnes quit his job and began traveling the world. He documented his travels in his now infamous blog, NomadicMatt.com.
After embout a year, thanks to tireless blogging efforts and SEO strategies that enabled him to rank on Google, he began pulling in $60,000. Matt also created e-books, and used sponsorships and affiliate marchéage to make money. Additionally, he wrote a New York Times succès, “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.”
Now, Matt’s blog attracts 1.5 million visitors a month and grosses about $750,000 a year — and he’s become a well-known expérimenté in the travel space.
If you want to become known as an expérimenté in a topic that interests you, from façon to blogging to gymnique, you can — and, oftentimes, it starts with a blog.
3. To attract visitors to your voisinage, and turn those visitors into leads.
There‘s only so much traffic you can get from the homepage or Emboîture Us domestique of your company’s website. Of balade, those pages are critical for leads who are already interested in your products — but they often won‘t attract traffic from top-of-the-funnel. That’s where your blog comes into play.
Your blog can be a general resource to help your website visitors even before those visitors are ready to purchase from you. For sollicitation, let‘s say you sell products for e-commerce stores. You might attract some e-commerce owners who are already searching online for your products, but in most cases, the e-commerce owner isn’t going to be ready to buy right out of the gate.
Alternatively, if you begin blogging embout tips to help the retail owner who is just starting out — like “How to start a retail website”, or “Benefits of e-commerce vs. physical tapisserie” — you‘ll slowly attract an célébrité who enjoys your grâce and finds it useful. Then, when those voisinage visitors’ e-commerce stores begin growing (thanks, in élément, to your blog), they’ll already know embout your brand and already amas it as a helpful préliminaire. That’s when they’ll check out your product pages.
4. To cultivate an online community and engage with an célébrité.
At the very least, you might create a blog to engage with an online community of readers with similar interests. Maybe you start a food blog and ask readers to share their own recipes with you.
Alternatively, perhaps you start a blog that focuses on DIY projects. You post the fun, DIY projects you’ve completed in your own logis, and you ask your readers to share their own DIY tips in exchange.
Why You Need a Blog
For businesses, a blog is a valuable tool to have in your marchéage strategy. It’s a great way to get the word out embout your brand and build correspondance with your célébrité and potential customers.
Use it to provide your célébrité with useful industry-related demande, share company infos, and product updates. Blog grâce is also easy to repurpose for email marchéage needs and across agréable channels. Without one, you’re missing out on opportunities to promote your brand.
Creating engaging blog grâce may seem like a heavy lift at first. Luckily there are free tools like HubSpot’s AI Content Writer to help you write better grâce faster.
How To Blog
Choose your target célébrité.
Brainstorm grâce ideas frequently based on your market bout.
Research and review a grâce conduite system (CMS).
Create a blog strategy and editorial calendar.
Pay ponctualité to attention composition.
Become an expérimenté in marchéage and promoting your blog.
Learn embout SEO.
Use a variety of blog post styles.
Repurpose old grâce.
Perform a competitive analysis.
1. Choose your target célébrité.
When you’re starting your own blog, it‘s visible to think of your target célébrité. Who are you creating the blog for? And who do you want reading your blog posts? Before you can get started, you have to consider the alcôve you’re writing embout and what topics you’ll cover and why.
Remue-méninges your target célébrité is similar to creating a buyer persona for your company. Alors, this will give you an idea on what kind of grâce you want to produce.
2. Brainstorm grâce ideas frequently based on your market bout.
Léopard you‘ve started a blog, you’ll want to churn out high-quality, consistent content on a regular basis. This isn’t always easy. Creating grâce is a time-consuming task. You want to ensure your grâce is something your readers would be interested in and hopefully can help with your SEO — more on that in a imminent.
To begin remue-méninges grâce, consider what your competitors are doing. Image for gaps in their grâce that you can fulfill. Additionally, you should also do SEO research to verify that users are searching for and interested in the topic you want to write embout. Tools like SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, and Answer The Public can help.
You’ll want to brainstorm grâce frequently so you always have ideas that you can execute.
3. Research and review a grâce conduite system (CMS).
In order to create your blog, you’ll most likely use a CMS. A CMS is a tool you can use to stylisme, manage, and publish on your website. You’ve probably heard of examples like WordPress or Wix.
If you don’t have a website yet, you’ll want to choose a CMS that has the ability to host a blog. If you already have a voisinage, check if it has blogging options built in. If not, you may need to find a CMS that integrates with your voisinage or choose an entirely new CMS altogether.
There are tons of options in the CMS world, including HubSpot. (You can try out our CMS here.)
HubSpot’s free blog maker provides everything you need, including free hosting and security tools. It’s easy to get started, with hundreds of free themes to choose from, and a évident visual editor.
4. Create a blog strategy and editorial calendar.
Just like creating a affaires, you can’t create a blog without a strategy in mind. Your strategy should answer questions like:
Who are you targeting?
What étalon of grâce will you produce?
When will you post?
Where will you promote your grâce?
Overall, you should have a achèvement, hallucination, and goals for your blog.
Then, create an editorial calendar to keep you organized and on track. A calendar will help you track what posts are coming up, ensure writers are conversation deadlines, and assure you have enough grâce ideas for the foreseeable future.
5. Pay ponctualité to attention composition.
When you’re writing your blog posts, it’s visible to consider the article structure. For sollicitation, are you using subheads to écart up the post so it’s easy to résumé? Are you using bullet points and images that make the post easy to scan? These are visible factors that will help keep your reader on the domestique.
Additionally, you‘ll want to make sure that you’re using calls-to-action (CTAs), that will régenté the reader on what you want them to do next. This is how you can start making money and generating leads from your blog.
6. Become an expérimenté in marchéage and promoting your blog.
Another element of blogging is marchéage and promoting your blog posts. It’s like the age-old réflexion — “When a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Consequently, if you write a blog post but nobody reads it, will it have a efficace incidence on your company or brand? Probably not. That‘s why you’ll have to market your posts. You can use agréable media, SEO, your website, or your email newsletter to reach current and potential customers.
7. Learn embout SEO.
Like I mentioned above, you want people to read your blog posts. One way to do that is to get organic traffic through SEO. If you want your blog to be successful, learn how to research keywords, how to rank in search engines, and how to build an SEO strategy.
8. Use a variety of blog post styles.
Your blog posts should be interesting to everyone who reads them, and especially for customers who read every single post. For those that are empressée followers and ambassadors of your blog, you should use a variety of blog post styles so your blog doesn’t get stale. Consider using how-to posts, list-based posts, or thought leadership.
9. Repurpose old grâce.
Producing blog grâce consistently can be hard. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you write a blog post. You can update old blog posts to keep them accurate and comprehensive. Additionally, you can use other grâce of yours, perhaps a YouTube video or a podcast, and repurpose the grâce into a blog post.
10. Perform a competitive analysis.
To understand your célébrité, run a competitive analysis on your top blog competitors. This will help you identify trends, uncover gaps in the grâce in your industry, and give you ideas on topics and ways to promote your blog.
Running a competitive analysis will help you build and iterate on your own blog strategy.
How to Promote Your Blog
As mentioned earlier, a blog is an prééminent channel to build awareness and promote your brand.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Link from Your Website
This may seem obvious, but you should make your blog easy to find on your website. Consider using an attention-grabbing CTA or making it easily proche from a dedicated éblouissement on your homepage.
2. Repurpose Blog Souplesse
As previously mentioned, repurposing grâce will save you loads of time when creating grâce, but it also allows you to promote your brand across varié channels whether through video, podcasts, email, or agréable.
3. Utilize Interlinking
Léopard you’ve started generating a significant amount of posts on your blog, it can be helpful to link to other posts or related topic pages within your blog. This is good for SEO, but it will also help your readers find congru demande on a topic they are interested in.
4. Promote on Liant Media
With the help of eye catching video or images, you can also leverage your social media channels to drive traffic to your blog. Additionally, consider placing a link to your blog on all of your agréable accounts. *Stat embout agréable media users*
5. Consider Guest Blogging
Guest posting on another industry-related blog gives your brand the opportunity to introduce itself to new customers who may not have heard of you. It’s also a great opportunity to network with other industry professionals and provide cross-promotion opportunities.
6. Leverage Influencers
Endoctriner marchéage is a powerful tool you can use to give your brand some social proof credibility. Similar to guest blogging, you’ll be able to tap into that person’s célébrité and introduce your brand to a new célébrité. Be sure to work on cultivating a relationship first before reaching out for a favor.
7. Explore Paid Options
If you’re officially ready to get started with your own blog, take a image at How to Create a Successful Blog Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide.
Blogging is Beneficial for Trafic
With a blog, the sky‘s the limit — and so are the benefits for your affaires. When new grâce is published regularly, engaging, and helpful to your célébrité, it’s an invaluable tool to have in your marchéage kit.
Editor’s remarque: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.