A blog can be a great addition to any business’s small business marketing plan. Not only will it help you stand out as a reliable source of information in your industry, but it can also help to improve your brand image and draw more business into your website. You can even use it as a tool to connect with customers and keep them up to date on what’s happening with your company. The possibilities for a business blog are practically endless!
However, the most important first step is to determine if a blog is right for you and your business. There are several things that go into creating and maintaining a blog, so it’s important to evaluate your business needs, as well as what you can reasonably accomplish with the rest of your responsibilities.
- Do you have the time to maintain a blog consistently?
- Can you write good, engaging blog posts or will you hire a blog writer?
- Do you have interesting or useful information to share with your blog?
- Do you have a strategy for incorporating blogs into your digital marketing plan?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then a blog might just be right for you! So, now it’s time to consider a few do’s and don’ts of blogging for a small business…
Do: Outline, Outline, and Outline Some More
Have you ever sat down to write and couldn’t think of a way to start? You knew what subject you wanted to write on, you just couldn’t get the words to start flowing. There’s a simple answer to this type of writer’s block, and it’s outlining. Take ten minutes before you start writing to get a rough idea of what you want to write about, your main ideas, and any references you might use throughout your post. This will help you plow through writing your first draft, and will save you a whole lot of time and frustration.
If you feel like you have all of these ideas but are unsure of how to get them down on paper, outline them! Write down a list of your ideas and decide if some can be grouped together or if you want to use each idea as a subject for a blog post. Then outline the ones that really excite you so you. This is a great way to spend a few spare minutes in your day so that when it comes time to write, you’ll have plenty of starting points and you’ll be able to get your posts written out fast!
Don’t: Write on a Popular Subject
This isn’t to say that you should completely avoid subjects that someone else has written about, but you should always try to write something new and refreshing for your audience. If you see the same types of blog posts over and over but you still really want to write about that subject, find something that these other blogs aren’t including. Look at the subject from a different perspective, or add in information that will expand on the topic and give it an interesting twist.
The point of a blog is to help your business stand out and make an impact on your target audience. You won’t do that by repeating the same ideas everyone else is.
Do: Use Your Experiences
Your blog is going to be about your business and the industry you’re in, so use your experiences to come up with ideas. Do you always get the same questions about your business or services from customers? Do you have some insider knowledge that would be helpful to customers and others in your industry? Did you experience a particular issue or situation that could be used to impart important knowledge?
Your experiences are a great starting point for brainstorming blog post ideas, so use them! Ultimately, your blog is going to add some personality and familiarity to your brand, so it’s okay to talk about yourself.
Don’t: Expect Blog Posts to Pull in Customers by Themselves
Blogs are a tool to pull in a larger audience to your business, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do the work by themselves. You need to make sure you’re always promoting your blogs on your other social media pages, or through email marketing campaigns. It can help to create an eye-catching graphic to share on Facebook or Twitter that links to your latest blog posts or even include a short blurb from your blog to hook people in and make them want to read the rest.
You should also make sure to incorporate the same high level of SEO in your blogs as you are in the rest of your site. Using keywords and phrases throughout your posts that would be searched by customers and will help them find your blog can make a huge difference in the long run.
Do: Keep it Simple, Short, and Sweet
This comes down to saving both you and your customers’ time. While long-form blog posts (over 1,000 words) do have their benefits, continuously writing blog posts that are well over 1,000 words is unsustainable when you have a business to run. Not only that, but digital users’ attention span is getting shorter and shorter. If it takes you 2,000 words to make your point, customers might not stick around long enough to read to the end.
It’s best to keep your wording simple and to the point. Use headings to break up the post and help readers skim easier, and use a variety of sentence lengths to keep your writing interesting to read. Most importantly, avoid industry jargon at all costs! Unless your target audience will know without a doubt what you mean when you use industry-specific terms, it’s best to just avoid them altogether. Simplify your wording and make it understandable to someone who’s not in your line of business.
Starting a blog for your business can be a daunting task, especially if you’re trying to juggle all of your other responsibilities for running your business. If you’re absolutely sure you want to start a blog or are still on the fence whether or not it’d be worth it, contact us.Our knowledgeable marketing team will walk you through all of your options and answer any questions you might have.