If you’re a business owner with a website, you’ve probably considered adding a blog. It’s a worthy thing to ponder: “80 percent of US internet users interact with social media and blogs.” A small business blog can be a shiny new marketing strategy that pulls traffic, generates leads, and converts sales for your company. By the way, if you’re reading this – you’re proving that blogs are worth your time (wink).
Have you considered starting a small business blog?
This question doesn’t need to be as daunting as you think – you’re not writing a book. You’re just creating a blog for your business, one post at a time. Why is blogging important? Because it’s a chance for you to enrich your website with valuable information about all that you do. Most importantly, it’s a tool you can tailor to your needs as you cultivate the personality of your company through the content you create.
What are the benefits of starting a blog?
- Blogging is free. (Well, maybe minus your web hosting fees.) Why is this a benefit? Because it’s a promotional tool you don’t have to pay for! Your time and expertise are the only requirements needed to write a post.
- Blogs communicate what your business does. Customers are looking for answers about your product or service, but sometimes, it’s hard for them to know what they’re looking for unless you tell them.
- Blogs are a conversation between you and your consumers. It gives them a point of reference when researching your business. Whether it’s promoting products, offering solutions, or just sharing news related to your industry – your content could serve as a continuing conversation with both existing and future clients.
- Blogs can impact your web traffic. If you’ve got an article that contains relevant knowledge to your industry, the more people that read it, the better. Additionally, if you’re strategically incorporating the right keywords into your blog posts, this could impact your search engine optimization (SEO).
- Blogs create trust. The more you share, the more opportunity there is to inspire confidence in your customers. It gives you the chance to be both authoritative and transparent on the subject at hand.
How Might a Business Use a Blog?
Finding good blog topics for small business websites doesn’t have to be tricky. Here are some blogging tips to get you started:
Share your business’s values. A blog is a chance to open up to your audience and share what you stand for. Your values are why you started your business – they’re your foundation. If you need someplace to start, something that resonates; write about your values.
Write the story of your business. If you commit to posting regularly, your blog can serve as a living timeline that shows how you’ve grown over the years.
Showcase your work. This may require some client permissions (please safeguard their privacy), but if you’re, say, a home remodeler, write about those kitchen remodels, those new decks, those garage-to-home-office conversions – this content shows your accomplishments and engages customers.
Sell your products. Marketing with blogs is an easy way to provide information, reviews, and current deals for your line of products.
Share current industry updates. If there’s innovation in your industry, a quick post can educate your customers while telling them you’re on top of the news.
Answer FAQs. Even if you’ve already got a section of your website devoted to FAQs, your blog allows you to go into more detail to explore some of the more nuanced questions you get.
Post photos and videos. Yes, a blog is about what you write, but it’s also a “home” for your visuals that allows you to share them in the context of the stories, products, or experiences you’re promoting.
Address some common obstacles you encounter. For those blogging for small businesses, your posts can illustrate your experience dealing with industry hurdles. For example, if you’re a wedding planner, you could write a post about having a backup plan for an outdoor wedding.
Invite guests to post. Not only does guest-posting offer a fresh perspective to your blog and your business, it allows you to cross-promote with your guest on both of your channels.
What Are Some Potential Roadblocks for Blogging?
Adding a blog to your website: A blog feature is included on most web hosting services like Shopify, WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace and Wix. These platforms recognize blogging as a marketing strategy and often feature basic templates and tutorials for creating and publishing your blog.
Time: If you’re the only one who can write your blog posts, chip away at each one. Don’t be hard on yourself. Try to find a routine: post once a week, or twice a month, to start. If you have a small team, see if a couple members can serve as content writers, not just one. And remember – a blog post doesn’t have to win a Pulitzer. It could be as simple as a list of useful tips.
Length: Just like the time it takes to write a post, length can be a worry for some bloggers. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, you’ll need to devote time to creating a post with more meat on its bones. That said, your blog is yours to do with as you please – anything is better than nothing. And, if you do the work to promote your posts, then mission accomplished.
Outdated content: You may look back on some old posts and think, “that’s not relevant anymore.” Is there a chance to refresh the content to bring it back into the present? If so, edit it with a fresh coat of paint. If not, there’s nothing wrong with deleting old posts that no longer have value.
Keyword research: This gets into the SEO strategies of content marketing mentioned earlier. If you are creating your blog to gain traction on Google, look into some of the numerous resources available to you online. This HubSpot page is a great place to start.
Plagiarism: You’ve got something to say, so say it in your own words. Plagiarizing other content puts your reputation at risk.
How Do I Share My Blog Posts?
So, you’ve got your content, now you need to find your audience. Here are some avenues to explore:
- Social media: If you’ve got a blog that resonates, your social media followers may be guided to your site. And remember, every platform you use is one more tentacle, one more opportunity to attract new audiences.
- Your website: Make sure your blog page is easily accessible and visible on your homepage. If you want people to read your posts, this will be the first point of contact for many of them.
- Your business cards: When you’re networking, a simple URL on the back of your business card is basically sharing everything you do on a piece of paper.
- Your advertising collateral: Include a QR code to your blog on flyers, posters, and pamphlets. This will let users immediately access your content on their mobile devices.
- Emails: Do you send out marketing emails? If so, your blog posts are valuable content to include in your email blasts.
- Your blog: This may seem like a head-scratcher, but seriously, use your blog to promote your blog. You can link to past blog posts whenever it’s relevant. (Kinda like we just did in the emails suggestion above.)
How are you communicating what your business does? Is blogging part of your content strategy? If not, you could be missing out on an opportunity to tell your story, offer solutions, and interact with new clients. Share your own experiences with blog posting in the comments below and keep us posted if you’ve got a new blog we should know about.