start the right kind of business blog
By now, you know that your business website needs a blog. No doubt, you’ve heard all of the pros.
- It will help you build a solid foundation of return customers.
- It will help you grow your business.
- It will help you showcase your products or services.
Yes. All that and more. There’s a lot of proof out there that shows how beneficial a blog can be.
- Over 3/4 of internet users say they read blogs regularly.
- 72% of marketers said that having a good content strategy was a major key to their success.
- Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI. (All stats from Hubspot.)
As an owner of a small or medium-sized business, you probably don’t doubt for a minute that bogging can be a very beneficial marketing activity. Any method that puts your business in front of more potential customers has to be good. The problem for most of you, though, is numbers. There’s only one of you, maybe a few of you. Even if there are a hundred of you, it can be hard to fit in one more task. You and your team likely already wear multiple hats. Yet, here I am, asking you to put on one more.
Let’s be honest. Blogging isn’t easy or quick. You’ll need to set aside time to plan the topics you want to cover, research relevant keywords, and write the post in a style that’s sure to keep your customers on the edge of their seats.
Hear me out. Blogging is worth the effort because it’s a great (and proven) way to nurture your relationship with your customers.
You want them to know how capable you are at solving their problems. A blog will give you a platform to demonstrate understanding. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business a long time, you have an incredible storehouse of information. That depth of knowledge and experience gives customers the confidence to trust you. A blog is an effective means to strengthen that connection.
Maintaining a blog without feeling squeezed for time is entirely possible. It just takes a little bit of planning.
build your audience
Start with who you know. You’re already in business. So, you already have advertising materials – brochures, flyers, business cards, maybe even a website. Add the link to your blog to each of those items. Is your website address already on your marketing materials? Perfect. Go one further by adding a direct link to your blog. It just gives your customers a quick way to interact with you. Once they’re reading your blog, they can easily click through to the rest of your website.
Ok, so now you’ve added your website (and/or blog) address to your marketing materials. Now, tell everyone about it. Literally. Every customer that you meet, your friends, your family, staff, anyone. Tell them that you have a blog and ask them to check it out.
Feel free to go one further. Offer a discount to everyone who reads your blog. Go ahead and embed a promo code on your blog that will pop up whenever someone visits.
blog post ideas
Your own business experience is the best blog topic generator you’ll find. Sure, Google your competitors to see what they’re blogging about. That, too, is a useful tool. Your competitors know what their customers need, and by reading their blogs, you might discover blog post ideas that you hadn’t thought of.
Your own customers can provide you with the best topics, too. Ask them what they want from you and your business. Do they need to know how to troubleshoot problems with some of the products you carry. Perhaps they need detailed care instructions.
The same holds true for businesses that offer services. Use your blog to tell your customers all the different ways your services can benefit them. Keep a list of their questions and turn each one into a blog post.
Expand how you think of yourself. You’re not just an expert in your business niche. You’re a marketer, too.
how often should you blog
Ah, the perennial question. Well, this is where things get a little foggy. The fact is that there is no golden formula that will be true for every business. You’ll need to do a little testing. Start out with perhaps one blog post per week. If you’re not noticing sufficient engagement with your customers – and you have the time – increase the frequency.
How often to blog? The answer isn’t a number. It’s a word. Consistency.
Whether you choose to publish many posts or a few each week, the key to success is to be consistent week to week. Be honest with yourself about how much time you or your staff can give to blogging before you commit.
As a business owner, you have absolute authority to delegate blog post creation to anyone inside or outside your company. Consider, though, that blog post writing can be intensive. There’s thinking time, research time, and finally writing time that goes into producing one blog post. That process can take hours. I would hesitate before assigning that task to one person alone. Instead, farm it out to all your staff. Your blog will benefit from those different voices and perspectives.
When I write blog posts for clients, I consider their brand voice. In other words, I will use the same tone, language, and style of speaking that my client’s marketing materials and customers use. Keep that in mind as you assign blog post topics to your staff. Your customers should see themselves reflected in your blog.
measure your success
So, you’ve put all the necessary time, thinking, and effort into creating an amazing blog. How do you know whether or not it’s connecting to your customer base? Remember way back at the beginning of this post when I listed some benefits of running a blog? Yup. That’s what you want to measure your efforts against.
What were your goals going into this process? Did you want to see increased sales or name recognition? After three to six months of consistent blogging, you should start to see pronounced movement toward your goals. If not, it’s time to analyze the parts of your strategy that need tweaking.
What have some of your blogging challenges been so far? Let me know if you’d like some help figuring it out.