If you are reading this because you saw the headline shared somewhere and were baited into reading the whole blog, then you are already somewhat familiar with the first blogging technique in this list. Don’t worry; this is not the kind of clickbait you regret falling for. We’ve put together a real list of important tips for anyone running a blog for a small business.

1. Write Powerful Headlines

You may not like “clickbait,” but you know that it works. Headlines that grab eyes increase traffic, and increased traffic provides more leads, and more leads translate into more sales. This is only true, however, if you get the right traffic.

Clickbait headlines are not always bad; Buzzfeed creates great examples almost every day. How do they do it right? The key is baiting the right audience and making sure that the bait pays off for the readers. When you want to write a headline that grabs people, consider the type of people you really want to bring in. What do they want to read about? Entice them with your headline—use numbered lists and strong words like “must,” “have to,” “always,” and “never,” and be sure to mention the industry or topic that your target audience will want to read about. Then, make sure that your content actually fits under the headline.

Takeaway: Do use headlines as bait. Don’t be misleading.

2. Use an Editorial Calendar

Many entrepreneurs and small business employees start company blogs with the best intentions, only to end up treating the blog as something to catch up on in spare moments. Your blog is a key part of your online presence, and it should be treated as such. Make the time to keep up with your blog, and keep track of your efforts with an editorial calendar.

An editorial calendar will help you plan blog posts, develop ideas, and stick to your schedule. Whether you use a spreadsheet or your smartphone’s calendar app, put together a timeline and notes for several month’s worth of blogging. Include the headline you want, the direction the content should take, the date by which the content should be written, and the desired publishing date. Then, assign the writing to yourself or an employee as a necessary task, or farm it out to a freelancer or agency.

Takeaway: Plan out your posts, and take blogging off the back burner.

3. Recycle Your Content

Originality is key when you are using your content as a marketing tool, but so is ROI. If you just copy and paste old blogs or pages from your website into a new blog entry, Google’s algorithms will punish you and you will lose the trust of your customers. However, you don’t have to wrack your brain to come up with something completely new and unseen every time you want to update your blog.

Content from other parts of your business can be turned into excellent blog entries that are super easy to write. Do you send out a newsletter with a recurring column or feature? Write a blog by pulling that recurring column or feature from the last several newsletters and reworking it into one piece. Does your brochure have some information you’ve never really expanded upon? Expand upon it! Have you published a listicle before? Each item in the list could probably have its own blog entry. Do

Takeaway: Work smarter, not harder. Great content and topics are often right under your nose.

4. Promote Your Blog Posts

Now that you have some great content and headlines that will hook your target audience on sight, you need to make sure people see it all. Most of your customers don’t scroll through your blog to find your latest post, but they do scroll through Facebook and Twitter pretty frequently.

Whenever you add to your blog, make sure that you mention it on social media. Write up a little teaser with a link and a relevant photo for Facebook. On Twitter, you may want to make several updates. Tweet a link with a catchy headline to all of your followers, and then tweet at other businesses and influencers with similar target audiences and ask them to retweet your link. Pick businesses or people who would find your blog interesting and relevant to their business, but who are not actual competitors. Depending on your industry, you may also want to promote your blog on LinkedIn, Pinterest, or elsewhere.

Takeaway: Get your great content in front of eyes by using social media.

5. Blog with a Purpose

You spend precious resources by either taking the time to blog or paying someone else to do it. Make sure that each entry is a good investment by only blogging with a purpose. Determine what sort of results you want from each blog post before you write it. Do you want to sell a particular product or service? Do you want to show off your expertise in your field? Do you want to establish a connection in your community?

Most of your blog entries should focus on marketing your business and helping you increase revenue. Make each blog topic relevant to a page on your site or a product or service you offer. Convert readers into customers by including calls to action with links to the most effective lead-generating and sales-generating pages on your website. Invite readers to “get a quote” or “contact us.” Promote items sold on your site and add a link to the item in your online store.

Takeaway: Blogs cost time and money; don’t let them go to waste.

Writing and promoting a good blog can keep your Google rankings up and increase traffic through social media. You can’t afford not to blog, but you can’t always afford to do it yourself. Pennington Creative has provided hundreds of businesses with years of effective blogging and social media services. If you don’t have the time or personnel to write about your business as often as you’d like, let us take care of it!