B2B Blogging Basics
Look, just between us, we both know you haven’t got time to write blogs.
At least not regularly.
You might have a killer idea to share, some diamond-grade advice, or simply putting voice to righteous indignation about industry events.
In an ideal world you’d turn to the professionals (hint, hint), but while we’re always happy to be on hand when you need a bit of help, you might still want to try it yourself from time to time. With that in mind, we’ve got a few useful tips we’ve picked up from our years in the word mines.
#1 Don’t blog for the sake of blogging
Content for content’s sake is just words that didn’t need to be written and which no one needs to read. Make sure you’re only sitting down to write when you have something to say. Thinking you need to constantly feed the endless churn of content dilutes whatever you’re putting it out into the world.
You can read endless statistics about the ideal length of a piece, the optimal posting time, the frequency of posting. You’ll see a million different guides telling you a million different strategies to generate the most views of your blogs. Anyone telling you “X number of words Y times a month” is the definitive platonic ideal of a blog is peddling a nostrum. They’d happily sell you a bridge if they thought they’d get away with it.
At the end of the day, the most important thing that gets your blog read — and gets it shared — is whether it’s good. Writing words for the sake of writing is a sure-fire way to get a bad blog.
#2 Real problems and real answers
Do you know what burning questions your audience has? What real-life issues are troubling them? What are their genuine problems where you have a genuine solution?
If you know what’s on their mind, then you know what they may be searching for online. Yes, it can also be an approach that will boost your SEO, but SEO is not who’s spending money of the goods or services you sell. It’s people. And the thing that will put you into people’s minds is if you’re helpful. SEO gets them in the door, being empathetic and helpful is what makes them stay and have a look around.
It may be as simple as talking to your existing customers as a starting point. They came to you for a reason — what were they struggling with?
#3 Wordcount — words count
As I touched upon in #1, the length of a blog piece shouldn’t be the starting point or some sort of goal. While some studies do show that longer pieces do better, that’s not down to the quantity of words. A longer piece that’s useful will likely do better because it’s more in-depth and there’s more value for the reader. Padding to hit a pre-determined target just adds nothing.
You make someone a lovely cup of tea. You make it just how they like it and you put it in their favourite mug. That’s a nice amount of tea and they’ll be happy to drink it. Well done you. You might well even tempt them into having a biscuit. They may even tell other people how good you are at making tea. But if you pour that same tea into a cup twice the size and top it up with hot water, you can presume they’re probably not going to want to drink that now. Even though that original tea that they wanted is still in there somewhere.
Form should follow function. If you have a lot to say, you can say a lot. You can justify a well-researched and in-depth blog going past 1,500 words. But 3–400 words that’s useful and helpful is also fine.
And remember to let people know they can come to you if they need to know more.
#4 What is the sound of one brand yapping?
How easy is it to spot one of your blogs when it’s bobbing around in a sea of content? If your competitors are all much of a muchness and so are you, what’s going to make people listen to you over them?
What makes your brand sound like your brand? What unique ways do you use language? Think about your voice and tone (which are different things, but that’s for another day…).
I’m not saying you need to be linguistically flashy and all word-of-the-day-calendar to be unique. You just need to sound like…you. Some people will equate a very reserved and dry style of writing with “being professional”. But unless you’re incredibly formal as a person, why would you be writing in an overly mannered and formal way? It won’t come across as authentic.
Are your pieces all from the company or do you have named authors? Having a real name tied to a blog can afford you a bit more leeway to put some actual personality into your pieces. It can help to let people know that there’s an actual human behind the thoughts — a particularly valuable thing in the age of AI-driven content churn.
And the end of the day it’s important to be yourself (or find a ghost blogger who understands how to sound like the version of yourself that you imagine in your head).
#5 Start as you mean to go on
And obviously, I’m ending this list by talking about beginnings. When a piece is shared, you get a title and a short preview to get people’s attention. You need to let people know what to expect and hook them from the start. We don’t need to read backstory about how a thought struck you as you were on the way to the gym/waiting in line for coffee/receiving an OBE. It’s probably not relevant and gets in the way.
Anyway, over to you. Get your useful and interesting thoughts out there when you can. But if you still don’t have the time then let us turn your ideas into whatever number of words make sense.