Out of the many tactics that can be incorporated into a small business marketing plan, perhaps one of the most crucial, yet often overlooked, components is a blog. Blogging for your business may be unfamiliar territory, but with a little instruction and a thoughtful strategy, you will find yourself blogging like a professional in no time.
Blogging is not solely for professional writers and industry professionals. Blogging is for everyone! If you have a business and want to promote and display your solutions and ideas to the public, then blogging is for you! More than ever, in the age of information, the internet is used to connect consumers with the goods and services they seek. Current data shows that over 61% of global internet users research products online prior to making a purchase.1
Blogging is the key to helping that 61% find you through a different type of marketing. It doesn’t intrude or disrupt like some traditional marketing tactics. Think of all those annoying car commercials telling you to “buy, buy, buy!” or the seemingly endless amount of direct mailers in your mailbox. How easy has it become to tune these efforts out or send them straight to trash can? Instead, blogging meets your potential customers where they are and gives them the information when and where they want it most.
So how does it work?
The short answer: When you blog for your business, you create valuable content and share it with potential customers. Search engines, like Google and Bing, index your content and scan it for keywords. Then, when users type those keywords into search, they find your blog and, more importantly, your business.
The more you blog, the more pages you create for your site and the more opportunities you create for people to find you through information they are seeking. Blogging builds instant equity for your site and your business. Check out some of the statistics:
- 92% of companies that blog multiple times a day acquire a customer through their blog.1
- Small businesses with blogs generate over 126% more leads than small business without blogs.2
- “Interesting content” is a top 3 reason why users follow specific brands on social media.2
- 46% of people read blogs more than once a day.1
Numerous sources will continue to echo these statistics and taut the merits of blogging for business. It is an excellent method for generating interest in your business and attracting a solid client base. So, how should you start?
1. Develop Your Blogging Strategy
Create a plan for your blogging efforts to stay organized and on track. Think about how many times a month you want to blog and how much time you have to dedicate to writing each post. A fantastic starting point for small businesses new to blogging is a weekly post. Depending on your writing abilities you may need to allot between 2 and 4 hours to write and edit each post.
Additionally, create a list of topics or keywords that you would like to target for your blogs. This typically includes: categories similar to services you offer, questions commonly asked by customers, and personal areas of expertise related to your business.
2. Set Up Your Blog for Your Business
There are many popular blogging services available and the good news is that most of them are free! Some of the most popular options are:
If you have an existing website you are going to want to host and install the blog on your own domain as sub-section of your website (i.e. www.yourcompany.com/blog). Most web hosting companies offer easy integration with sites like WordPress to do a simple installation of your blog. Check your hosting features to see what options are available to you. If you don’t have an existing website, your setup will be a little easier. Simply do your research and pick the blogging service that seems right for you.
3. Write A Blog Post
Once you have your strategy in place and your blog setup, the only thing left to do is write your first blog! Use the categories you set up in your strategy as a starting point for developing a topic to write on. Here are some guidelines you should follow for every blog post you write:
- Make the title descriptive, unique and enticing. Think about what would make you interested in reading an article or what prospective customers might be searching for. Blogs with titles that are more specific tend to attract the most interest and engagement. Here are some examples to get you started:
- The Real Cost of…
- 10 Excellent Reasons Why…
- 5 Tips on…
- How to…
- 7 Lessons in…
- 3 Things You Didn’t Know About…
- Focus your content and develop it around keywords that you are targeting for your business. Get to the point and avoid tangents on topics that aren’t related.
- Structure your content so that it is easy to read using headings, bullets and numbered lists. List posts are an easy way to get started with blogging. Essentially your topic is centered around a list of 3-10 things and you can write a few sentences about each of the items in your list. Blog post, done – Easy-peasy!
- Shoot for a word count between 500-1000 words. Tailor your blog length to your specific audience and the topic you are writing on. Some audiences prefer shorter reading material while others prefer longer so there is no perfect blog length, however, some recent research suggests that longer articles, that is those with over 1000 words, tend to perform better in search.3
- Include at least one image. Use images that relate to what you’re talking about and add value to your points. Some great resources for free stockphotos you can use are Unsplash and Pexels. Or check out a paid stock photo service like Hautestock. (You can even download 20 free photos right now without a subscription!)
- Include links to relevant pages on your website and other relevant blog posts you may have written within the post. This creates more search engine value for your site.
- Create a call-to-action at the end of your post. What do you want the reader do next? Visit your website? Contact you about services? Get more information on a certain topic? Download resources? Make their next step clear and easy.
- Share your blogs! A great way to get your blog posts out there is through social media and email. If you’re sharing your blogs on social media (and you should be), encourage your employees to engage with and share your posts as well. If you aren’t sharing your blogs, you will be doing a disservice to all the hard work you put into writing.
Related Post: How to Write Your First Blog Post with Confidence
You may be feeling overwhelmed about writing your first post, but don’t overthink it! Just start writing. The more you write, the better you will become. If you need inspiration on what to write about, one of my favorite tricks is to use Quora. You can type in a topic related to your business in search and see what questions people have about that. You’ll get tons of blog ideas instantly that your audience is guaranteed to be interested in. If you are really digging in deep on your blogging and SEO strategy, you may also want to consider incorporating guest blogging into your marketing efforts.
Interested in learning more about how to set up a blog for your business? Contact K Design Co. for more information.
- 1 – http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
- 2 – http://www.dcpubs.com/DCP-Blog/March-2014-1/The-Importance-of-Blogging/
- 3 – https://www.snapagency.com/posts-2018-whats-best-length-seo/
I help female entrepreneurs and business owners create brands that command the spotlight. I love working with women to help them create beautiful, one-of-a-kind brands that give them the confidence to take their business to the next level and get them seriously noticed. I’ve worked with coaches, authors, influencers… you name it, and I bet I can help you too.
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Kristin Pruis • June 9, 2014