What Makes a Successful Business Blog?  8 Common Traits Found

What Makes a Successful Business Blog? 8 Common Traits Found

When you know what makes a successful business blog, you can then do what it takes

When you know what makes a successful business blog, you can then do what it takes

Most blogs are unique in their own way.

What Makes a Successful Business Blog?

What makes us want to visit one, and then want to come back again, over and over, to see what's new there?

I'm going to talk about 8 common traits of blogs that succeed, even though they differ substantially in focus and content.

I'd like to suggest that it's not a coincidence that these 8 common traits are found in successful blogs.   I suggest there's something here that we each need to recognize and consider implementing…using them may increase the success of our online businesses, don't you think?  They're worth exploring at any rate, I think.

So, I'm going to go one by one through these 8 common traits that may very well be what makes a successful business blog.

1. One Call-to-Action for Each Post

The Call-To-Action or CTA is where we tell our readers what we want them to do…go to a link, give a comment, buy something….We need sales to be successful in our online businesses.  The CTA asks for the sale.

BUT Balance is a requirement to implement strategies that are what makes a successful business blog.  Balance has three aspects:

  • You need to have one, and you also need to make sure that's not most of what's there…don't plaster your CTA all over the place!.
  • Use only one CTA per post.  If you have more than one, your reader is going to be confused as to what to do.  It's likely he won't end up taking any action at all if you have more than one.  Th only result you're likely to get is muddying your message if you put in more than just one.
  • Always have one CTA…it can be to follow a link to get a free product or information.  It can be encouraging purchase of a physical or digital product.

You're writing your blog and each individual post to help your reader with something that's going to benefit him…it's not just words for words sake.  You write because you have solutions that will help your readers with specific needs…it's part of your job as an internet marketer to encourage him to get ahold of you solution.  Work on having effective CTA's so you get the results you're looking for.

2.  Use Excerpts With Read More…

Most blog posts, whether 300 words or 3000, require your reader to do some scrolling to get all your content.  Keep in mind, you've got paragraphs, images, different sizes of your fonts.

An excerpt is a brief preview of what you're going to be saying in the whole post.  Most readers search through for posts they want to read more, using the headings and excerpts they find in their searches.

That will be your meta description for the search engines…but even on your front page, you can have headings and excerpts to help your reader choose which of your posts he's interested in.

3. Use Social Media Buttons for Sharing

It's great to have the ones you use at the bottom or side of your post.

Here again, balance is needed…too many SM buttons can overwhelm your reader and detract from your content. If you have too many, he is more likely to skip any sharing of your post..No matter how much he liked your content! You want to make his experience great, not like work!

Pick only the major ones to use.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest are the biggest and the ones that are trending.  Stick with the top ones, and your posts will look cleaner and more inviting, too.

 4. Use a Search Option in Your Sidebar

Make finding your posts and your content easy for your readers.  Use of tags help them to find posts on topics they're interested in.  They put the word or phrase in the search box on your blog, and your posts with that content come up for him.

If you have your Squirrly briefcase from your keyword searches, and you've picked your keyword (longtail keyword) from the list, so use the rest as tags…

5. High Visual Appeal

This is another area that calls for balance…I guess having an internet business really is a balancing act, isn't it?

Noone is going to be drawn to read a big block of words.  You need visual appeal for your readers.

Using pictures is common on the internet… be smart about it!  Use pictures that are relevant to your content and add to or emphasize a point you're making.

Other ways to have attractive visuals is with different font sizes, a few colors or bold lettering.  I suggest not switching fonts or doing it only rarely.  You'll risk having a post that's a mishmash and your reader will get lost or turned off…you'll lose delivery of your message, and your CTA.

6. Make Your Headline Stand Out

The headline needs to tell what's coming, or create some curiosity.  Use visual enhancements to make it stand out…larger typeface, colors, bold.

It's what your reader is going to see.  Very often a reader will first look at the Title, and then the excerpt if drawn.  If he opens the post to read it, he'll often scan down to see some of what you have to say, hitting the highlights.  Your Headlines are the highlights.  If there's more interest, then he'll go back and read what you have to say.

You've probably done that, and can relate.

Knowing what makes a successful business blog comes from paying attention to what other successful bloggers do, finding the common traits a lot of them use, and then incorporating them into your blog.

7. Make It Fast

People online want fast results.  They aren't willing to wait around for your post to load.  If you're having speed issues, solve that right away!  There are many plugins and other tools to help you keep track of your site speed and to make it faster.  Find and use them!

Readers who aren't willing to wait around for a slow site will be off to your competitors not waiting around.  Slow sites can lose you business!

8. Keep Your Sidebars Clean

People sometimes load up their sidebars with every shiny plugin they come across…take a look at yours.  Keep it clean.  Use only those that truly enhance your site and get rid of the others.

Please let me know what ideas you learned here, to make your blog a business success.

Annie

 

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Published by Annie Collyer

Annie is a mom of four, a business owner and blogger. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, where they are both active volunteers in their community school district. She writes about designing our lives with proven design thinking principles. Join her in creating the life we each want.

  • Veronica says:

    I appreciate your post on the 8 common traits that be included in our blogs, Annie.

    Even for the most experienced blogger, its always a good rule of thumb to check yourself periodically, to make sure that you haven’t overlooked any of the key elements to make your blog stand out.

    I especially like what you mentioned about including a Call To Action; I have visited sites where they had multiple CTA’s that just seemed to be overkill.

    Its all about enhancing our blogs to make them reader-friendly.

    Thanks for providing these guidelines, Annie.

    Veronica

    • You’re most welcome, Veronica. I agree with what you are saying…so many products reviewed,so many calls to action…they just leave the reader confused and forced to inaction. I’m so glad you found this helpful. Thank you for visiting!
      Annie

  • ariel says:

    Hello Annie, great article. I so did like the way you broke down all the tips so that we could all master them. For me, I am not one to like over stimulus..so it is reassuring to know that having only one CTA makes a huge difference in our readers comfort.
    As always your site is a delight to come to browse and learn.
    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    • Hi Ariel, I so agree with you…when there are reviews of 10 products, that’s great, but a number one recommendation and why helps me more than a whole bunch of points about a lot of them…I just shut down on any response. It’s overload, isn’t it?
      Thanks for visiting and commenting! A pleasure to hear from you again!
      Annie

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Annie,

    Currently, I am revisiting some of my old posts which are still relevant as of now. These old posts were written during my first few months of creating my site and surely need to be updated. Your tips will surely help. I will have to look into the CTA, visuals and headlines.

    Many thanks for sharing.
    Sharon

    • Hi Sharon, I have done that so many times…everytime I learn something that I can apply to improve my posts, I go back. The great news is that the activity is good for improved SEO as well as readability…have you tried Squirrly yet? It’s an amazing tool for effective posts> Take a look…it’s a free plug in at the beginning level (which works really well!)
      Annie

  • All 8 points here are necessary for a successful blog. The CTA is extremely necessary since without the reader taking action all else is secondary. No matter how good the post may be without the reader taking the action you desire your results will be minimal as far as business success goes.

    • I so agree with you, Craig. The CTA is our responsibility…when we write a post, it’s to give a solution for a problem our reader has…we need to ask them to take action so they can solve the problem that led them to us!
      Thanks for visiting and sharing!
      Annie

  • John says:

    Annie,
    Many times we loose direction of our sites when producing content. This is a great checklist for new and old content. Having guidelines when publishing will improve the chances of people reading and reacting to our content.
    I am working on some old content and I will use these 8 steps for helping me reach my audience.
    John

  • Tara says:

    Hi Annie, this list of tips of tips is great! I am still looking into a Call to action, we have a subtle one to opt-in to the email subscription in the sidebar. Our homepage currently displays the most recent post, I am debating with Shawn on if we should change that up. But I think we have otherwise made the list. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Tara, Thanks for sharing and I’m so glad to help! Subtle is good…most get turned off with high pressure sales techniques. I suggest putting one CTA in each post, even if it’s to a freebie link that will give help on our subject. Good to get folks to take an action that’s good for them!
      Annie

  • Wayne says:

    Thank you, Annie, a lot of good information here, very helpful. Probably be very helpful, especially for someone like me who does not have a good memory, to print this out and keep it handy while you are writing a post.
    It sounds as if this Squirrly Plugin is a handy tool to have, going to check into it. Thanks again for the info!

  • Orion says:

    Excellent recommendations Annie, enjoyed reading your post about posting!
    You are right on the spot with each point here.
    And I liked your opening “design” with the big M – it makes it look really professional.
    Can you advise what would e a good way to speed up your up-time on your blog? On point No. 7 you mention make it fast. What are the tools you’d recommend to check my site’s speed and what hinders its speed?
    Thanks in advance.
    Orion

  • Michelle says:

    Hello Annie,
    Great article and ALL your points are SPOT ON!! Thanks for sharing and reminding us all how to be the best and ensure that we stand out from among the rest.
    Thnx
    Michelle

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    My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t believe simply how much time I had spent
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