Disclaimer: A hardcore WordPress user writes this B2B blogging rules compilation. If you are using WordPress CMS, you’ll relate everything. If not, there may be statements that you will find foreign. However, B2B blogging rules are universal and are noted down here for everyone, irrespective of what CMS you are using. So let’s get started now.
Since inception, WordPress has become a powerful platform for blogging on the earth. It is not complicated when it comes to updating the blog. It is highly flexible enough to accommodate a lot of things.
Even so, all this does not matter if your website is not up to par. This guide is to help newbies learn more about building an excellent blog. This is the kind of blog that attracts readers and retains them, one that creates a reliable and robust community. A splendid content calls for unique blog posts. It also requires the blog owner to join a conversation with professionalism. You need to be catchy and enjoyable. Some B2B blogging rules go unsaid.
B2B Blogging Rules to Follow
Other than some rules, there are a few behind-the-scenes tricks that apply. These tricks will enable you to create an outstanding blog. First, you should have an answer to why you are doing it. This guide will make you realize how effortless it is to build a fantastic blog from scratch. If you have a running blog, you can use the guide to retool it.
1. You Cannot start without a plan
The goals that you set will significantly influence the way you perceive your blog. If your blog wants to inspire debates and discussions about critical topics, keep the comments wide open.
Establish your goals
Focus on building your readers community and learn how to start conversations. If it is a business blog, focus on demonstrating your expertise. Build brand trust and loyalty. The comments may not be necessary or appropriate for such a blog. Below are a few questions that you can ask yourself.
- Do I want a blog that will help me sell my products and services because they are my source of income?
- Will I monetize my blog by offering third-party products and services?
- Is this blog for fun, for personal fulfillment, or to raise awareness about things I care about?
- Do I want to be a thought leader?
- Am I going to share personal experiences on my blog?
- Do I wish to create a full-scale online magazine about a particular topic or some topics?
When you focus on your goals, you will build a functional blog. However, a blog for personal fulfillment or sharing personal experiences will not look, feel, and have the same tone as a high-level corporate blog. A corporate blog has to appeal business executives and prompt them to make financial moves. Have a clear and precise vision. From there, hook everything you have on it.
Define your niche
Blogs should have a specific focus. Therefore, pick a particular topic. If you want to tackle diverse issues, you have to ensure that they relate to each other. For instance, you can select a different theme of fitness and health. This will give you the go-ahead to write about anything that relates to this. You can write about children’s health, women health, men’s health, fitness routines, diets, and so on. You can also opt to narrow down on one topic. After all, it is your choice. What cannot fly is writing about health and fitness today, and writing about the stock market tomorrow. Blogs can have subtopics. Even so, the subtopics also need to be relatable in line with the purpose of the blog. Of course, it is imperative that they should make sense.
When blogging was starting in the world, their treatment was like that of diaries. A person would write about whatever was in their mind. As time went by, they evolved to become like magazines. When you stick to the target, your readers will always know what to expect. The expectation and anticipation help in engaging them because they will not face disappointments.
The design matters a lot. The design of your blog needs to:
- Have high organization for easy navigation
- Be highly attractive and professional
- Reflect on your goals and niche
- Be respectful to your readers. Do not bombard them with ads and pop-ups
- Be highly responsive. Some so many people read blogs on their mobile devices.
Therefore, ensure that you use WordPress themes that are easy to install and use. No one wants you to be a genius in graphic design to create a well-designed blog. Think about how you want tour readers’ experience to be at every step, and you will know what works and what does not.
2. Be as real as you can
No one visits a blog to read what they read everywhere else. Your blog will not survive the competition if the content is not unique. Always give your readers something new to look forward to every time. The best way to do is to be “you.”
For every blog post that you write, add a personal touch to it. Never blog about a topic that you do not know. They will hinder you from incorporating own experiences and opinions.
However, this is doesn’t mean that you should stop learning new things. Create opportunities to ensure you learn something new. Every time you learn, share the insights you have with your readers. Stir up your curiosity and use it. What you find out is what you give your readers.
When writing blog posts, remember that we have information and we have insight. They are two different things. Your readers can get information from any other blog. But what they need is insight. The insight that your experience brings to the table is what makes your blog outstanding. Your readers do not know what you know, do not walk where you walk, do not see what you see, and do not do what you do. Therefore, trust your voice and experiences for the success of your blog.
I am not trying to tell you to be the center of attraction for the blog. Some bloggers interviews other people and they write excellent articles as seen in magazines. By doing so, you are giving your reader a unique and new insight into different matters.
There are bloggers that higher host writers when the workload becomes too much. Outsourcing is not wrong. However, you have to ensure that the ghostwriter is an expert like you. If not, communicate with the writer on the phone and establish a connection. Talk to them about your expectations and the topics they will be writing. If not, the ghostwriter will deliver content that lacks a personal touch. The content may be informative, relevant, and unique but it will not have your spark. Your readers will feel the difference even if they may not put their finger on what is amiss.
Do not lie
Since you are working online, you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. For this reason, many people are skeptical about claims that they read on the internet.
If you are not your authentic self, you can get some traffic but not a following. People can perceive the unreal. Therefore, stick to being a person full of integrity. By doing so, you will build a community of people who trust you and what you say.
Here is where you can start:
- Own up to your mistakes. If you publish some information and find out that it was incorrect, let your readers know about the error. You can also update the information and make it crystal clear the mistake you made. Because you take responsibility for the blunders, you will get more respect. The readers will appreciate the openness. Do not go for the shortcut where you delete the post and forget about it.
- When writing product reviews, be open and honest about your experience. You may be a lucky person and get a free sample of a product. While reviewing it, do not feel that you awe anyone positive reviews if there are none. Be honest and offer constructive criticism. Do not overpraise a product that you will never buy. You will make your readers to purchase the product.
Honesty comes with some legal obligations. For instance, if you are an affiliate marketer and you get a specific commission whenever someone buys a product that you review, advertise, or speak about, you must disclose this relationship to FTC.
Ensure that the readers get your best
You do not have to be a genius to create an excellent blog. But you have to be professional all the way. Eliminate the following issues.
- Grammar and spelling mistakes. When your posts are full of such blunders, your readers will down your professionalism and literacy. They will not trust you.
- Readability problems. Let your blog post be easy to read, entertaining, and highly organized. Break the content into headings and subheadings.
- Your links. Do not give your readers links that are bad or do not work. These links will frustrate them
- The images you use. Do not publish images that are broken or not aligned. Fix these issues first.
Always proofread your content before you publish it. You can use Microsoft Word to check for grammar errors. There are also numerous free tools to check the grammar and spellings; you can use them. They include Freegrammercheck and Grammarly to mention a few.
Polish your blog post. Read it out loud so that you know how it sounds. Do not worry if it is not a masterpiece. Ensure that it is the best you can do for the day.
3. You belong to a Community
When you build a community, you will set your blog apart from the rest of the websites we have. Nothing compares to the power to communicate with readers. Even so, handle this power with care. With a community, your blog will be strengthened and will have greater success. But do not stop there. Network with other blogging communities and get better exposure.
Communicate with your readers rightly
When they leave your comments, reply to them immediately. These comments create a link between you and the readers. By the comments, you can see how lively the community is, and you can measure the success of your blog.
When you build relationships, you can rest easy knowing that your readers will come back again. It is also an effective way to move your readers to share the blog post. By replying to comments, you are telling the readers that you not only want to talk to them but to engage them as well.
A commenter may leave behind a useful and in-depth response. Take some time to study such comments and continue the conversation. If the comment is brief, thank the reader and appreciate them for reading and commenting.
There are also readers who will reach out to you via email or your contact form. Respond to them as soon as possible. Answer their questions. There are times when these questions spark up your creative power, and you get an idea of what to do next.
Responding to critics
You will be very naïve to think that all comments will favor you. The internet is full of troll. The only thing these trolls are good at is giving you a hard time. These are out to frustrate you. On the other hand, some people will offer constructive criticism.
From the word go, condition your mind to be ready to receive criticism from the start. It will help. Read this article on how to handle critic. Prepare yourself so that nothing gets you off guard.
As a blogger, you can also consider setting up a mailing list. It will help you to stay in touch with your readers. However, ensure that you do not spam them. If you spam them, they will lose the trust they have on you. They may take extreme measures such as unsubscribing from your services, and this may hurt your reputation. To use the mailing list efficiently, use it to alert the readers of new blog posts. Numerous WordPress plugins will help facilitate this. They are free and will inform readers whenever there is a fresh post.
There are two primary ways you can ensure there is excellent reader engagement. First, you can write posts that invite the reader to converse with you. You can include statements such as:
- Do you have an experience like this?
- What is your thought about this?
- How did you get through this?
Also, you can write your post conversationally. For example, if there are any arguments concerning any topic, write and make your stand very clear. Be respectful and professional to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes. Do not use profanity or hurl insults at anyone who disagrees with you.
For every point you may, have concrete evidence to back it up. As people go through the post, they will want to join in the conversation. They may either support your points or oppose them. Welcome and embraces all kinds of responses. Make the discussion lively, informative, and valuable.
The second way is by installing a great commenting system. A system that is good:
- Will not require your users to register another account. There are so many places that need users to register for accounts, and they have. They are tired of registering for accounts now and then.
- Makes commenting extremely easy for the user. It also makes the receiving of notifications a smooth process
- Allows the moderation of comments. It makes it a possibility to remove users that are hurling insults and are out of control
- Makes it possible to integrate social media to drive traffic
Thank your readers for sharing
A blog can exist, but without readers, it is nothing. You will get most of your readers from organic search traffic. Even so, depending on this method alone will not suffice. Most of your dedicated and passionate readers will know about your blog only after some shares it. A reader can share in on their blogs r social media channels.
As the blog owner, what you have to do is always to be aware when some shares your blog. Always strive to identify them. You can locate them in two ways.
Through “pingbacks” in the comments: Anytime a person links to your content; a “pingback” will appear. You will have all the required information about the link. Follow the link, and it will take you to the blogger responsible. Once you find them, thank them for their efforts and time. You can be one step ahead and talk about them and their kind gesture on your next article.
The second way is by being alert on social media. When a person shares your post, they will mention or tag you on social media. When you check your social media channels, you will get a notification. Use this to thank the reader for sharing your content on social media.
These methods for finding shares are effective. However, you will not find all the shares using these methods. For all that you will discover, that the person for sharing. The person will know that you care and appreciate their efforts.
When you show them that you appreciate them, they will always be willing to share. Gratitude is not about being nice or making someone who helps you feel good. It is a reassurance that you genuinely appreciate their help. Acknowledging the person encourages ‘pro-social’ behavior. Thanking the individuals also makes you feel good. So, why not?
For you to get shares, your content must be striking. This is why you must invest your all in the post always. There are some skills you will improve on as time goes by. However, purpose to give your best at all times. This will compel your readers to share them all the time.
When we speak about good content, remember that ‘good’ is a relative term. Therefore, it may not guarantee you any shares. You need a concrete plan to get more shares. You are lucky that the best strategy is the easiest.
Never underestimate the power of ‘share for share.’ You can call it the law of ‘reciprocation.’ Share content from other people, and they will share your content. Identify bloggers who have the same passion as you. You can quickly get them in your community. Therefore, locate them and join their conversations. Listen to their thoughts and meditate on it. If you have concerns or contributions or something to argue out, do it politely. Make relevant and informative contributions. Above everything else, always link your source of inspiration to your articles. Do this, and no one will ignore you; not even the influencers.
Be a pleasant guest
There is no difference between visiting a website that belongs to a friend and visiting a friend’s house. As a guest, you have two opportunities. You can either be there to comment which is like a dinner invitation or to a guest blog which is like a sleepover.
Let us talk about commenting first. Never spam your friend’s websites. This takes the form of a person saying on some else’s blog to advertise their website. This behavior is rude and the worst way you can promote your website. No site is a billboard for you to dump your adverts there.
There is nothing wrong with a slight nudge in your direction whenever it has relevancy. But always ensure that every comment you make can stand on its own. Add value to the post or subject at hand. Have your focus on encouraging the conversation to keep going on. And remember, if there is nothing helpful and constructive to say, keep moving.
Let us also look at guest blogging. First, start with familiarizing yourself with the rules of guest blogging. Some sites accept guest posts. Even so, the host blogger has to put rules and regulations to make things clear
The second thing is to choose high-quality and relevant sites for you to post. Find a high-quality and related site, and you will reach the top of the food chain a lot faster. 100 low-quality websites will not add value to you. Let wisdom guide you in using your time, efforts, and creativity. Here are a few guest blogging tips that will help you.
4. Understand the Copyright
All your content may be 100% original, and you still get into trouble with copyright laws. The problem comes in because of improper attributing of sources and the images one uses.
Use links to attribute sources
At times, you’ll need to quote a reference while writing a blog post. This is one way of sharing content. Even so, if you do it wrong, you will be in trouble. Use links to attribute sources. When you do so, you will comply with copyright laws. Adding links will also help your harvest the fruits of sharing content.
Choose the sites that you link to your sources carefully. Do not connect poor websites. Your website will associate with the links you choose. Therefore, if you want to maintain the quality of your site, use high-quality links.
Sometimes you can use a part of some else’s work and site it appropriately. However, you may not use pictures, blog posts, and other works of art with copyrights for commercial gain. You will need the written permission from the person behind the creation. If you sell t-shirts, prints, e-books, and other publications without a license, you will face charges for copyright infringement. Altering the piece before using it will not save you.
If you doubt anything, ask the writer or artist if it is okay for you to link back to their work. A lot of creators will be joyful to allow a person to re-post their work with proper attributions. There are those that will give you the go-ahead to use their work in your posts. If you do not ask, you may get a severe reputation form bloggers and face serious legal problems.
Some writers and artists release their works under Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons opens their works to a wide range of use by the public under chosen rules. Even so, never work with the assumption that work has Creative Commons licenses. You should have proof of this. also, research the licenses that are there so that you can use a work of art ‘safely.’
Image copyright and permission
Just like words, images can also have copy protection. Do not pick and use any image you get from the internet. Image licenses can be very tricky and complicated. For you to be safe, purchase a stock photo account. It can be Adobe Stock, Dreamstime, StockPhotoSecrets or Photodune. Once you have the account ready, buy credits. You will be using the credits to buy the images and get their license for use. Remember, commercial licenses do not come cheap.
Public domains also have images. Even so, locating a specific image can be a challenge. You may end up choosing an image that is not in the public domain. The last option you have is taking your photos. It will save you some money and the hassle of dealing with websites.
In blogging, quality and professionalism are virtues that you must have. Everything becomes smooth with time. Stay your mind on the goal. Create high-quality sites that will make people proud to associate with it. Do this, and it will work like a magic trick.