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Top 10 Blogging Trends for Small Business

When it comes to DIY marketing most small businesses turn to blogging. And with good reason. Your company?s blog is a place to share valuable information with your customers, generate qualified leads and build your brand.

Blogging trends are always changing in response to consumer preferences and updates to search engine algorithms. Be ready to incorporate these blogging trends for 2016

1. Post Regularly

This is still an area where many businesses fall short. You must post fresh content at regular intervals. Your readers expect it.

Set up an editorial calendar with your content creation team. This way you will always have a steady stream of blog posts in the works and you can supply your readers with the content they crave.

 

2. Write Longer Posts

The days of 400 word blog posts are over. Today the average blog post hovers around the 900 word mark. As blogging trends go you need to pay attention to this one. And for good reason.

Search engines and consumers are demanding more in-depth blog posts and you must provide them with this type of content. Aim for blog posts in the 1,500 words range. Provide your readers with valuable content and they will be more likely to share.

 

3. Focus on Social Media Relatioships

Social media has become the foundation of DIY marketing efforts over the last few years and that trend will continue in 2016. Social media drives traffic and allows you to engage with your customers on a real time basis. This year it’s ENGAGEMENT is what matters most. ?With so many scheduling and automation tools, engagement is getting more attention.

Use social media management software like Buffer to make the process easier for your company. You should treat it social media as an extension of your customer service department. ?Buffer is a great blending of automation and manual.

4. Images

Current blogging trends are moving away from text-heavy posts. Add images and infographics to your blog posts to give your readers a more full experience.

You can create graphics by using free resources like Canva,?Buffer’s Pablo and ?Unsplash. To create infographics use Piktochart.

5. Become a Contributor

Guest blogging are still valuable. Avoid one-off guest blogging posts and work toward building ongoing relationships with blogs and sites you read regularly. ?It’s all about becoming part of a community.

6. Invest in Paid Traffic

There is a quote among digital marketers that goes something like this

You don’t have a traffic problem — you have an offer problem. You can buy all the traffic that you’ll ever want or need.

Going forward, more companies will pay to drive traffic to their website. Facebook has a paid advertising that is second to none. It allows you to fine tune your target audience and get your message in front of those consumers who are truly interested in what you have to say.

The key to getting the most out of your paid traffic is to have a killer offer.

If you’re feeling stuck with that — go over these 5 Messaging Questions — that will help you outline your offer.

 

7. Feature endorsements prominently

Word of mouth is still a powerful marketing tool. Set up a section on your website that highlights customer reviews. Use positive reviews from Yelp or similar sites, emails that you have received or comments left on blog posts.

 

8. Upgrade Your Lead Magnets to Build Email Lists

No matter what industry you are in you should be building an email list. ?In the past you could get by with newsletters and tips. ?But those are old and stale and since no one wants more garbage in their email, you’re going to have to up your game.

Create a killer downloadable piece of content that will get your audience salivating to get their hands on it. ?The basic strategy is that your free email download should be some of your BEST content. ?Don’t be stingy with it. ?Be generous with your expertise and the value you give to your web site visitors.

 

9. Engage, Engage, Engage and When You're Done, Engage Some More

Use your blog articles as jumping off points to increase engagement with your customers. Ask questions and seek input from your readers. Respond to comments that are left, both positive and negative.

10. Targeted Calls to Action

You are in business to make money so you need to have strong calls to action (CTA?s) included in each blog post. Tell your reader what you want them to do next. Is it to call your office or store? Download a free report? Or request a trial? This is the bare minimum.

The trend right now is to created targeted calls to action. ?In other words, calls to action that match the blog post visitors to your website are reading. ?I’m using Thrive Themes on this blog and this allows me to created specific lead generation calls to action that will show up on certain pages, posts or categories. ?This increases the likelihood that visitors will opt into your mailing list.

Embrace these ten blogging trends and you will be on your way to building your brand and making more sales in the coming year.

 

About the Author Ivana Taylor

Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com. She ranked #21 out of 30,000 influential people on the Internet in Fast Company. Ivana is also one of D&B Top SMB Influencers. She is the book editor for Small Business Trends, a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum and has appeared on MSNBC.

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