One thing I keep getting asked by small business owners is whether they should be blogging or not, and if so, what on Earth about?!
It does feel like every business (large or small) has a blog nowadays, so I totally understand the increasing pressure and FOMO - fear of missing out - with this marketing activity.
So, here are some tips for any new bloggers out there:
- It takes time to write
First you need to brainstorm ideas of what to write, then you need to plan it, write it, format it, add imagery to it etc. All of this can take hours a week depending on your schedule.
- It takes time to promote
Once you’ve finished your blog post, your work isn’t done. You have to promote it so that people read it, which means social media scheduling, sending it to your email list and more.
- Show your expertise
Having a blog allows you to show off your knowledge by writing about your industry, you can also do this by including personal experiences/recommendations.
- Add personality
Have your audience get to know you a little better by showcasing your voice and personality. This could be by providing a ‘look behind the scenes’ of your company or information about you as a person separate to your chosen industry.
- Increase website traffic
If you are promoting your blog posts right, there are going to be hundreds more places online for customers to find you through blog post links.
- Benefit SEO
I’m not an SEO expert, but what I do know is that active websites (that regularly publish content, say, on a blog) are highly ranked websites.
Why should I start a blog?
You might want to consider blogging for your business if:
- Your business has regular changes/launches
If you’ve got a lot of news and updates to share with your customers, then you probably need a blog to get the info out there without having to email people every other day.
- You or your business involves expertise that your customers may find interesting/useful.
I write about marketing because my audience is mainly small businesses who would find that useful. For example, if you own a vegan/gluten free food company, you could write about new recipes, tips and health as that’s something your audience is definitely going to find interesting!
- Your brand is very personal
If your business has a big personality, or focuses on personal connection with customers, a blog is the perfect way to let that unique personality stand out!
What should I blog about?
There are a million and one articles across the internet about this topic, and probably millions of books too. But here are some basic ideas:
- Behind the scenes look at the process/the product/the location/the team
- The story of how your business began
- News/updates/launches within your business
- Different uses for your product
- Frequent pieces on industry news/trends
- Describing your process(es)
- A ‘why you need [INSERT YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE HERE]’ post
- Local event, or exhibition, attendance update and summary of the event/experience
- An ‘experience’ blog post (‘what we learned from’) the above event/experience]
How often should I blog?
Creating a blogging schedule that works for you and your business is really important. If you start to grow a following on your blog, people will appreciate consistent, regular content, so you don’t want to start out with a schedule that you can’t live up to.
If your articles are super in-depth, long form and are taking you a day to write, there is nothing wrong with aiming for twice a month. Once people see the value that you’re delivering in each of your posts, they’ll look forward to your bi-monthly publish, and you may find you get more engagement in the comments and shares! If you’re struggling to get two blog posts out per month, you may want to reconsider whether blogging is worth it to you. It’s obviously taking a lot of effort out of you to do it, and with less than two posts per month it will be hard for you to see any results.
Remember… Blogging is supposed to be fun! It’s another way to connect with your audience – if your blog starts to lack enthusiasm your audience probably will too.