Small Business Guide to B2B Blogging

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By CKMAdmin

Small Business Guide to B2B Blogging

Blogging is a powerful B2B content marketing tool. But many B2B content marketers aren’t getting anything close to its effectiveness. So they conclude that blogging doesn’t work, or at least that it doesn’t work for their business.

In fact, you could be reaping massively higher traffic, leads, and sales with a well-constructed blogging strategy. By the end of this guide, you’ll know why blogging works and how to create, implement and measure a blogging strategy that will work for you.

First, though…

Why Blog at All?

Blogging regularly can lead to more traffic, leads, and sales. It’s one of the most effective content marketing methods out there. And it’s a perfect fit for B2B, so much so that in 2022, 91% of B2B businesses favoured blogging as a content marketing method.

The effects can be radical. In case you haven’t seen this graphic, here’s what happens when you blog well and regularly:

The bigger your business, the more effective blogging is as a tool for inbound traffic generation.

So if you’re a company with more than 201 employees and you’d like to see a significant spike in traffic, blogging is clearly valuable.

More traffic should mean more leads. Done right, B2B blogging is a lead gen machine. Companies that blog can generate up to 67% more leads.

Inbound leads are worth more than other kinds; they cost 60% less than outbound leads, so businesses, on average, save $14 per customer acquired by inbound, and they’re up to 10 times more likely to convert.

Blogging establishes your brand as a thought leader to the audience you want – business influencers and decision-makers.

Blogging is the ideal way to target multiple keywords or search topics, generate naturally relevant links, and continually add fresh content to your site. (Ranking factors? We got”’ em.) For a search engine, a blog post is a page on your site, so if you blog to address search intent by your target personas, you should have a page that’s more likely to be served to searchers, which will make the site as a whole more likely to be served to them, too.

Blogs are a natural way to create relevant, high-quality backlinks, the kind that Google and, yes, other search engines look kindly on. The two effects go hand in hand; on average, websites that incorporate a blog have 435% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.

All this goes toward getting a site with a great blog found by the right people. No matter how great your website is, it can only work on the traffic you generate, and a blog is an excellent way to generate highly relevant traffic.

Who cares about blog posts?

Executives regard blog posts as helpful in evaluating business decisions and opportunities and understanding their businesses better. 75% use your content to research business ideas; 24% are interested in more discursive content that discusses new business problems or analyses industry trends.

Executives prefer textual content over video or audio, with 71% finding blog posts (articles) helpful in making a business decision.

More decision-makers than influencers read blog posts when they are evaluating tech purchases.

That means blog posts aren’t just a great way to get traffic or generate leads. They’re a powerful lead conversion tool, too.

If you want to influence buyers and provide the content they want, a blog should be a central part of your B2B marketing strategy, from awareness to post-purchase and repeat orders.

The Trouble with Blogging

Blogging sounds excellent so far. Let’s get started, right?

That’s what a lot of people think. All those images, infographics, and stats seem to hold out the promise of 400% more this and 95% more than – all theirs if they just blog regularly. That means a whole lot of marketers don’t think further than:

Blog = traffic = money

So they give it a shot for a while. When it doesn’t work like they think it should (or at all), they conclude that blogging is a waste of time or irrelevant for their customers and quit.

Every B2B blog would be prolific and profitable if it was that simple.

But, in fact, many B2B blogs don’t produce enough content to reap the full benefits of blogging. 60% of B2B marketers struggle to create appropriate, engaging content.

Only 38% of bloggers publish content weekly or more frequently. Even posting several times a month is enough to see significant changes, but it’s well below peak effectiveness.

And frequency isn’t the only problem. Most blog posts generate little traffic. HubSpot, which operates one of the most prolific blogs, says it gets most of its traffic from just 30 posts (out of around 500). ShareBloc’s David Cheng says his business sees a similar pattern.

And when blog posts generate shares and links, there are more problems. Shares and links aren’t normally distributed along a bell curve; they disproportionately go to the highly successful. Most blog posts effectively get no shares or links.

And shares and links don’t correlate, suggesting that when readers do link or share, they do so for very different reasons and don’t usually do both.

Conversions are more important than shares or links; shares and links might help generate more customers tomorrow, but conversion is generating a customer today.

David Cheng looked at ShareBloc’s blog and found that “11 of our blog posts had the most call-to-action click-throughs, with one post blowing away the competition.”

The challenge, then, is to get into the top 10% of blog posts. That means being original, tightly focused on your buyer persona and their pain points, and valuable enough that in three years, people will still go digging through your archives to find the answer to a specific question they care about.

It also means producing a fair amount of content that doesn’t make the near-impossible grade; this is like “going viral” was five years ago. You can’t guarantee anyone’s post will do it, and a solid post’s benefits can arrive years after it goes up.

That being said, it’s possible to move the dials so that a given post will perform better and your blogging efforts will be more effective overall. But we won’t get there by cranking out identikit content three or four times a week.


Compelling blog posts – posts that offer real value to your target buyers and generate interested, relevant traffic that can easily be converted – rely on strategy. CopyBlogger’s Demian Farnsworth defines content marketing strategy as:

“A content marketing strategy is a plan for building an audience by publishing, maintaining, and spreading frequent and consistent content that educates, entertains, or inspires to turn strangers into fans and fans into customers.”

By now, I’ve hopefully convinced you that blogging should be at the core of your B2B content marketing strategy. So, what does a solid blogging strategy look like without getting into the long grass on broader content marketing strategy questions?


You know what your blog is for. It can be for more than one thing. You can build whole content funnels on your blog alone, supporting every stage from awareness to post-purchase, and that makes sense for some businesses. Others might want to put a definitive focus on lead generation, a common choice.

Whichever angle you approach it from, be sure about what you want your blog to achieve; you can’t measure success if you don’t know what it looks like. It’s best to condense this to a single statement that can be measured. “Our blog is there to generate leads” ticks all those boxes.


Customer personas allow you to ensure you’re talking to the right people in the right way. Accurate buyer personas should give you a reasonably clear idea of what your buyers are looking for, which is another source of guidance for posts to write.

Creating buyer personas is often a question of guesswork and chance – like the world’s most boring game of Dungeons and Dragons. Many of these characters are almost random and give little insight into your customers.

It doesn’t have to be that way. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. Here are some reliable sources of customer information that can be used to build personas:

From your customers:

  • Surveys. Done right, customer surveys can be an excellent source of customer insights.
  • Interviews. Calling customers and asking them questions like “What made you decide to buy from us?” gives you information you won’t get any other way.
  • Customer data. Group customers by deal value, purchase cycle length and lead source. Figure out how you acquired the highest-paying customers in the shortest time and from where.

From other people’s customers:

  • Q and A forums, especially Quora. Other people’s customers and awareness-stage leads are on these forums talking about what they want and their pain points. Many forums are searchable and free.
  • Data about other people’s content. Tools like BuzzSumo will track social shares of other people’s content. Ahrefs will follow the performance of specific posts on other people’s blogs. List your best and closest competitors and audit their blogs. What can you copy or compete against? Are there weaknesses you can capitalise on? QuickSprout, Moz’s Open Site Explorer, and SEMRush’s Competitor Research tool will help here.
  • Social media. Especially if you’ve already identified people who will build your personas in other ways, you can use social media to get more contextual data about them to flesh out your personas.

Customer personas shouldn’t really contain anything that you don’t have some data to back up. The more fleshed-out, the better. The primary purpose of personas from a blogging point of view is so you can obey David Ogilvy’s injunction to write for one person, so the persona should feel accurate enough to help you do that. (Single Grain has a solid guide to personas here.)

Planned and Measured

Figure out how much content you can realistically produce. Remember, there’s little profit in churning out sub-par posts to hit some arbitrary number. Most marketers will take one to two hours to write a 500-word post.

And most of those posts will hardly be read. Err on the side of quality.

Ensure you don’t write without knowing who you’re writing for and what you want them to get out of it. Ensure you also know what to get from it and how to measure it. Finally, leave some lead time; don’t plan to write posts the day before you plan to publish them!


Blogs need to be optimised for both search and conversions. Remember, your blog can be a powerful lead conversion tool and a lead generator.

Start with a short list of primary keywords about your industry or offering. From this “seed list,” you can build a more complex keyword list as you progress. Popular search terms comprise only about 30% of searches; the remainder, and the majority of strongly interested traffic, will come from long-tail searches.

Keyword research seems to be moving toward irrelevance, as Google is increasingly moving into natural language search – searching by phrase rather than keyword.

Google now lets you simply ask questions in natural language. It then uses machine learning to return results that match what you’re looking for, not the exact search terms you used to find it.

There are better ways to win in this environment than building a massive list of similar keywords. Dr Peter J. Meyers at Moz analysed 10,000 keywords (page one results only) and found that “only 57% of results had the search phrase in both the title and snippet.”

In other words, search terms and keywords aren’t getting you found the way they once did.

It’s important to understand that this isn’t “query translation.” Google isn’t translating incorrect or inaccurate search terms into accurate ones. Instead, it understands relevance and correlation.

Dr Meyers again: “If I search for ‘scarf,’ I can get back matches on both ‘scarf’ and ‘scarves’ (even in the same result)… Google does not translate ‘scarf’ –> ‘scarves’ and returns matches on the new term. Google is applying a powerful relevance engine that recognises these matches in real-time.”

TL;DR: Google will treat equivalent concepts as the same for search purposes. So it’s vital to figure out what your users are searching for in terms of what they hope to find.

But that doesn’t mean keyword research is useless or keywording is dead. (It’s about as dead as SEO, email, or content marketing.)

Rand Fishkin warns that pursuing either a keyword-based or a topic-based approach to your blog’s SEO could result in missed opportunities. Topic-based methods risk missing out on precision targeting and losing rank to better-keyworded content that addresses the same topic. But keyword-based strategies that ignore advances in Google’s algorithms can attract penalties and miss out on strategic insights. Fishkin recommends a more ingenious hybrid, fusing both approaches.

When optimising your blog posts for conversions, ensure your CTAs relate to the post’s subject or the intended reader’s search intent. Try building end-of-post CTAs based on keywords; allocate the CTA to a relevant offer, then rebuild the CTA itself so that the keyword is included in it.

Creating a blogging strategy sounds time-consuming and complex, like a lot of work. It is. But it’s also an ample opportunity because few folks do it well. Many marketers don’t even have a blogging or content strategy (though 53% of the most effective marketers use a documented content strategy).

Those who do often make one big mistake: not addressing what their audience wants.

The mismatch between what an audience wants and what marketers provide is serious. As Demian Farnsworth said, audiences want to be educated, entertained (yes, even serious business people), and inspired. But marketers?

This is a problem. All the research in the world won’t overcome it if you can’t put yourself in your audience’s shoes and remember that they don’t want to read about you or your business, directly at least. Every part of assembling a blog post or strategy should reflect this elementary fact, or your results will be disappointing at best.


What else can we add to a blogging strategy to better serve audiences and get the edge over the competition?


There are a lot of excellent guides on this tactic, including the original one from Backlinko’s Brian Dean. So we won’t go into too much detail here.

Skyscraping consists of identifying competitor content that’s doing really well, then essentially writing the same post, but better, as in longer, more informative, more in-depth, or better written and better produced.

Then you can work to have your content rank instead of theirs and steal their place on top of the podium. To do it, you’ll need to:

  • Hunt down opportunities. Use keyword tools like AhrefsGoogle Alerts and Keyword Planner, or BuzzSumo.
  • Hunt down distribution opportunities. Look at who distributed the original content, including backlink sources. If they linked to that, they’d probably link to yours.
  • Do it better. The aim here isn’t incremental improvement; don’t try to be the tallest building in the world by 2.35 inches. Your content should be way, way better!
  • Promote your new content. Use the usual methods – social, outreach, and email.
  • Update. Follow up on your content and improve it periodically to keep it current and ensure it’s still the best.

Broken Link Replacement

Content links to other content. We do it for editorial reasons, to supply data sources and expert voices; basically, to show that we didn’t just makeup something. And we do it for SEO reasons, to build links. When people move their content around on their sites, some links lead to 404 pages.

That’s an opportunity for savvy bloggers. Find broken links in your space, and you can offer your content as a source. You will get backlinks, shooting your content up the rankings and funnelling traffic from linking sites. And they get a reliable resource instead of a 404 page.

“Keyword” + inurl: links


“Keyword” + inurl:resources

  • Check out the destinations of those dead links using Wayback Machine. Drop the URL for the dead link into Wayback and see what that content looked like when it was up. The answer is probably not hot if it’s a few years old.
  • Create way, way better content. Look at it as if you’re skyscraping!
  • Reach out to everyone who linked to the old content, and offer them your new one.

Your Best Posts

Your own best posts can generate more of the results you’re after. You can find old posts that caused a lot of traffic and optimise them for conversions. Meanwhile, high-converting posts can be optimised for traffic to pull in higher numbers. Eventually, your best posts will show great numbers on both sides.

  • Start by finding a list of all your blog posts. Get them from an XML sitemap (search within it for “blog”, and you’ll see posts highlighted) or pull them down from Google Analytics by looking under Behavior>Overview>Full Report. Change the “show rows” to 5,000, the maximum (that’s big enough for your site), and export as a CSV.
  • Hunt for posts that generate a lot of conversion activity.
    • Identify high-converting posts through Goal Conversion in Google Analytics. (See the section on GA further down if you don’t have that set up.)
    • Check out ways to increase their traffic. Can you add images or improve things like keywording? Don’t republish under a new URL; keep the old one for its authority, rank, and links.
  • Look again, this time to find high-traffic, low-conversion posts.
    • In Google Analytics, identify posts that pull in high traffic but don’t convert.
    • Try redesigning the centre and improving things like CTA placement and copy. Check that the information in the post is accurate and up to date. If you have a high bounce on a high-traffic page, that’s a sign that it’s not worthwhile. Figure out why that is and fix it!

Q&A Sites

When you’re working to second-guess search intent and trying to serve it, you can easily forget that there are places where people will just give you that information, together with the numbers that will tell you if it’s worth your time. The best choice is probably Quora; it’s the least spammy, most educated, and adult of the general-purpose Q&A sites. Reddit can work, too.

  • Create a Quora account.
  • Search open questions for keywords related to your space.
  • Identify questions with many followers so you’re not wasting time answering!
  • Write a post answering the question in full.
  • Briefly answer the Quora question, and link to your full blog post for a more in-depth answer.

Creating Individual Posts

Finally, we get to the part where you actually write something! Here’s where to start:

Figure out what the post is about.

Some people start with the conclusion and then work backwards through the body to the intro. Others write a “thesis” – a few lines that condense what the post’s about. Some people start with the opening.

Headlines and Outlines

One good way to figure out what the post is about is to write the headline. The headline is 80% of the value of the post. That’s a familiar truism derived from ad legend David Ogilvy.

On average, five times as many people read the headline as the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. -David Ogilvy

But it’s a truism because it’s true. Great headlines sell the post, so people click through, eager to learn more.

Often your headline will already be defined by your blogging strategy. But you still have to firm it up and figure out the angle.

Headlines can be crafted with help from keyword tools to ensure that the post gets found in search by the right people, and there are even tools out there that will help you write a headline.

There are “tools” inside your own head, as well, that will assemble your headlines out of parts of the ones you’ve seen that you like. Or you could use template-oriented and example-oriented tools like this infographic from HubSpot:

All these are valuable, and they can all lead you astray. After all, how many more ultimate guides do you think the B2B world needs? It’s in danger of becoming our equivalent of “9 Things You Never Knew About {Celebrity}… Number 7 will bore shock you!” Be wary of over-promising, and be equally wary of adding another breathless, hype-filled headline to everyone’s search results, Twitter and LinkedIn feed, and inboxes.

Great headlines answer a likely search query (not necessarily word for word, though even now, it helps). Great headlines also present the value of the post. After that, it’s about matching tone with your audience, which will differ from industry to industry.

Don’t think you have to have the headline perfect before you write word one of the post. It’s better to have a rough headline, even if it’s just a five or six-word post description with no effort to be catchy or appealing, then circle back around and polish it up. Perfectionism stops you from getting anything done.

Outline it when your headline is reasonably solid, and you know what the post is about. Even if you reject the outline later, an outline gives you a framework, so you’re not just looking at an intimidating blank page. Also, it reminds you of the points you intend to cover so you don’t end up with an unbalanced post.

Writing the Body Of Your Post

Working from your outline, create your post by simply saying what you mean to communicate as clearly as possible. The simpler and more straightforward, the better. If you can say it in English instead of jargon, do it, except where it clutters up the page. For instance, a reference to ROI in a post like this is OK; everyone likely to read it knows what I mean. But as soon as you step outside your audience’s familiar territory, minimise jargon and technical language.

People who are fresh out of education sometimes blog in a kind of mock-professorial “therefore, one must…” style, struggling to get out from under the expectations of school or college. The flip side is that many blog posts are written artificially casually (one copywriter I know calls this her “hey, you guys!” voice).

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Some of the best B2B bloggers out there write almost deadpan. Their grammar could be better. It doesn’t matter. People read them because they have something handy to say, and their posts are easy to understand. You can’t beat it.

If you’re not confident in your English, use Grammarly. The basic version is free, and it’ll catch 99% of the stuff in your post that’s ambiguous or just plain wrong. If you’re lost in a sentence and don’t know whether you need a whom or a who, a which or a that, just rewrite it; if you get lost, think about what the reader will do (click away, most likely). If that happens to you often, try Hemingway, which helps shorten and clarify your writing.

Don’t forget: structure is there to produce a good post in a reasonable time frame. It’s not an immutable law. Any rule can be broken, even the rules of your process that guide you if the results are promising. So if you usually start one way, and you’ve been typing and deleting the exact three words for twenty minutes, try a different approach. Nothing’s set in stone.

If you’re writing a post that won’t come together, it makes good sense to walk away. Return in a day or two, and what was insurmountable becomes easy. That’s one more reason to give yourself lots of time to write.


When you run a post, obviously, you want to tick all the SEO best practice boxes, which means obvious things like no keyword stuffing, a meta description that shows up and makes sense, and image names that help instead of stuff like “cdcd5778342.jpg,” which is neither helpful nor ornamental.

H2 and H3 tagging, layout issues, and basic editing can all be done when you put the post into your CMS. The best choice is to create a checklist in Sheets or equivalent and run through it.

But you also want to actually get something out of the deal; a blog is there to generate traffic, leads, and revenue. So it makes as much sense to tick the CRO best practice boxes as the SEO ones.

CRO’s best practice for a blog post includes using multiple CTAs, preferably including both primary and secondary CTAs. It would be cool if everyone read down to the bottom of the post and then pulled the trigger on your primary CTA. But it won’t happen. Make sure CTAs are relevant to the search intent of the reader!

Finally, what about length?

There’s a stat originating with Neil Patel that gets passed around. It’s about posts longer than 1500 words getting more traffic and shares.

But it’s from 2012, and Patel no longer finds it accurate. We keep seeing and repeating it because we wish there was an easy answer, but there isn’t. Ultimately, it’s better to let quality be your guide. If you can say what you need to say in 150 words, have at it. If it takes 7000 words, again, have at it.

Measuring Success

Does your blogging strategy work? Which are your best posts? We have covered what success looks like, but we still need to look for it.


Track the traffic to your blog in Google Analytics. Most blogging platforms have proprietary analytics or plugins that handle GA for you. (Getting your traffic and other information straight from the horse’s mouth still makes sense.) If you’re new to GA, here’s an introductory guide. Assuming you’re not totally new to it, how do you track traffic to individual blog posts?

Your blog traffic is under Behavior>Site Content>All Pages. Then filter for the path “/blog/” or “” – use whatever URL path sets your blog posts apart from the rest of your site.

If you select it, you should be able to see your blog’s traffic and each blog post’s traffic. Don’t be surprised to see a massive disparity in post traffic, with just a few posts drawing the majority of traffic.

Reader Behavior

Knowing your posts attract traffic doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about them. Are people who visit the post-reading it? One way to answer that question is to check Bounce Rate. But that just tells you people left. Even Time on Page doesn’t give you a really satisfactory answer. There are two ways to learn more about reader behaviour on a page without leaving Google Analytics.

One is to use the Javascript tracking built by Google’s Justin Cutroni. That involves installing Javascript and search reader behaviour in Event Tracking on GA.

The other is to use a slightly cruder but more straightforward method and treat reader behaviour like eCommerce actions.


GA already has tracking to monitor eCommerce events like Add to Cart, Checkout, Purchase, and Product.

To leverage this pre-existing tracking system to give you a much more sophisticated view of reader behaviour on your blog, you have to “hack” it. By that, I mean drop blog events into the slots allocated to eCommerce events. (No actual hacking is required.) Instead:

  • A product becomes a blog post.
  • Product Price becomes word count.
  • Product Detail View becomes post to view.
  • Add to Cart becomes the reader starts scrolling.
  • Checkout (designed to let retailers track the most delicate stage of their funnel – the checkout) can be used to track reader numbers at one-third, two-thirds, and the end of the article.
  • The purchase becomes reaching the end of the article and staying there for, say, a minute or 30 seconds (long enough to indicate the reader probably read the content and didn’t just scroll to the end to find something they wanted, didn’t see it and clicked away).

That means you can see whether people are actually reading the post, how far they are getting, and when they are leaving. If your 1,500-word posts pull in traffic, but readers leave after the first 500 words, the posts should be shorter.

For more detail on how to do this, including a step-by-step walk-through, check out the blog of Simo Ahava, who came up with it. (New tab, please; we’re not done here!)


You can track conversions in GA with Goal Flows. Set up goals from the Admin tab in Google Analytics, and then select New Goal.

You’ll see options to either use a template or create a custom goal.

Many conversion types, like signups or purchases, are already supported by templates, but if you want to track something that isn’t shown, use a custom goal. You can build custom goals to treat pageviews as a goal, so you can follow “thank you” page views at the end of checkout processes or “thanks for downloading” pages.

Goals can measure common conversion types. They can also measure the dollar value of those conversions.

To do that, set up Goal Values.

If you know that a conversion at a particular stage is worth an average of a specific dollar amount, ascribe that amount to the conversion as a goal value. If you sell a product worth £1000 and half of those who create an account go on to purchase (unlikely numbers, but they make the point), the value of the conversion is £500. Now you can view the value of your modifications in GA and quantify blogging ROI!


Blogging can generate vast numbers of new visitors, leads, and conversions. Top marketers regard blogging as an indispensable tool. When you approach it right, with a solid strategy backed by data, you can create posts that wow your readers and blow up all the numbers you care about.