Starting a business from scratch is no cakewalk, and neither is attracting people to your startup’s blog. There are a few key steps to creating a blog that not only entices your audience, but makes them want to run and tell their friends about it.

1. Write Amazing Content

There is nothing more important to your blog than having awesome content. This is what will keep people coming back for more. Creating amazing content means writing information that will help people solve a problem, answer questions, and provide new information. This also means you need to offer a fresh perspective and/or share original ideas.

In addition to writing great content, you need to know how to write killer headlines. This is what will draw people in initially and get them to click on a link to one of your blog posts. It’s worth the time to learn how to master this skill. There are several great ways to write killer headlines. Blogger guru Brian Clark, from CopyBlogger, shares the some of his best tips here.

Warning: One mistake companies tend to make is to only write about their products and services on their blogs—that becomes overly self-promotional very quickly. Chances are, people visiting your website already know what your company is about and they’re looking for new trending knowledge. So, become a resource for them by sharing new and relevant information from your industry. You’ll reap the rewards down the road.

2. Get Connected

The truth is, no one will visit your blog if they don’t know about your company. As a startup, it’s essential to create and maintain as much buzz as possible about your company, and taking advantage of social media is one of the best ways to do that. By creating meaningful connections and forming relationships through Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, you can more easily share your amazing content and attract people to your blog. Building relationships with critical companies and individuals in your field is what will make your blog stand out over others. These online relationships, especially with key influencers, often turn into something more down the road—including new business opportunities and finding people who will market and promote your product or service for free because they’re passionate about what you do.

Here are a few keys ways to keep your blog connected with social media tools:

  • Facebook Like Box: This plugin makes it easy for your fans to like your page directly from your blog and keeps higher traffic between the two sites.
  • Twitter Stream: Install this widget, which shows your Tweets in real time.
  • Social Media Share Buttons: This tool is an absolute must—it is the easiest way for people to share your content.

3. Design

Your website design is the very first impression people will have of your company, and you want to make it count. It’s essential that your blog design looks professional and displays information in an easy-to-read format.

  • Buy a great theme: The layout of your blog is a crucial component when people decide whether to stay on your site. If you’re looking for WordPress templates, I recommend checking out WooThemes or Themeforest.
  • Attractive navigation: Make it super simple for your visitors to find what they’re looking with an easy-to-use navigation pane and toolbar.
  • Highlight top content: Use the popular and recent widget on the sidebar to show posts that people are sharing and talking about.
  • Display information about the author: At the end of each post, include a photo of the author and a short bio about the person. This creates transparency and puts a face to the name of your startup—and the contributors on your company blog. If you use WordPress, download the “About the Author” widget.

 4. Get Visual

People are naturally drawn to images before they’re drawn to words. Find and use great images and videos for your blog posts. If you have a catchy headline, along with a great photo, visitors won’t be able to resist clicking to read more. If you are struggling with finding great photos, check out the plugin PhotoDropper— choose from thousands of photos.

5. Guest Blog

There is no greater secret weapon than guest blogging on other publications. This is the best method to create awareness about your own blog and startup. The key to guest blogging is creating relationships and harvesting them. The biggest benefit it offers is the chance to get your content and name in front of a new and bigger audience. It’s best to start pitching your story ideas to smaller blogs first to build momentum. When guest blogging, it’s critical to understand the blog’s audience and how the post you write will benefit that audience. Additionally, it’s important to share with them your credentials and write such great content that they can’t turn you down. A good way to start forming a relationship with high profile bloggers is by writing thoughtful comments on their blogs.

Remember, creating a stand out blog takes time and dedication—so if you don’t become an overnight success, don’t fret. Just keep plugging away and writing amazing content. It’ll pay off in ways you couldn’t imagine down the road.