Are you a small business owner with a blog? Great! Now the important question—do you USE it? Just like that treadmill/laundry rack in your basement collecting dust will not help you get in shape, an under-utilized blog will not help you reach your marketing goals.
So what do you blog about? Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Provide helpful how-to’s—As a small- to medium-sized business owner, there is no doubt that you have a lot of expertise you can share. For example, if you run a D.J. service, you can share helpful posts on how to choose a D.J. for your next special event. If you really want to get fancy and boost engagement, put a how-to video on YouTube and embed it in your blog post. Video is a great way to connect with your audience and increase SEO.
Solve a problem—Let your audience know that you care by identifying a common problem or concern that they share and showing them how it can be solved. For example, “What should I blog about?” is one of the most common questions we get from clients, which is why this blog post was written.
Promote products/services—Now this is can be tricky. While blogs can be a great marketing and brand awareness tool, hard selling products with your blog is a no-no. So how do you promote your new products or services? Use your blog to touch on a common problem or issue plaguing current or prospective customers. Then include a “by the way” paragraph that mentions how your product can help eliminate the issue. You can even include an internal link to the product page in case viewers would like more information on it.
Share industry-related news— Cement your status as a credible authority in your industry by commenting on current industry news and events in your blog posts.
Entertain—Show your human side by blogging entertaining facts or heartening stories that your audience can identify with. Don’t be afraid to link to other business or personal blogs (as long as they aren’t your direct competitors).
Now that you know what to blog about, here are some helpful tips to make your blog posts read-worthy:
- Be Consistent. Whether you blog once or five times a week, stay consistent with your blogging. Your audience will begin to see the pattern and look for your posts. If you disappear for a month, you will start to lose website traffic for a couple of reasons. First, your audience will start to look elsewhere for information. Second, you will have less content for search engines to index.
Tip: If you know you are going to be busy at certain times of the month, write an extra blog post when you have time and schedule it to post during that busy period.
- Quality Counts. Readers can be fickle. And they should be. After all, we are all short on time, and we look for blogs that are entertaining, informative, and generally a good reflection of your brand. Putting out irrelevant or error-ridden content will be off-putting to even your most loyal readers and can result in a drop in traffic.
Tip: For each blog post you write, remember that it is another opportunity to sell your product or service. The quality of your blog post matters. You don’t have to have an English degree, but make sure there aren’t typos or spelling errors in your copy. Most importantly, be sure that it is valuable to your potential or current customers!
- Quantity Counts. Wondering how long your blog posts should be? At minimum, your blog post should be 300 or more words. But according to the experts, if you want to get the most SEO bang for your buck, shoot for at least 500-600 words. The longer, the better IF your content is relevant and helpful. Fluff won’t get you very far.
Tip: Be sure to optimize each blog post to help you get noticed more easily in search results.
- Be Responsive. If you receive questions or suggestions in the comments area below your blog posts, try to respond to them. Even if the comment is negative, consider addressing it in a light-hearted, professional manner rather than deleting it.
- Write Friendly. You know your stuff, and in some cases it can be very technical. But that doesn’t mean you should present it as an academic journal. Blog posts should be casual and conversational.
Tip: Approach your reader just as you would if they walked into your office. Sympathize with them and let them know how you can help make their lives easier.
- Socialize. Social media is like a bullhorn. After you publish your blog post, distribute it on all of your company’s social media sites for a short term traffic boost.
Do you need help with your blog or other written content? Our copywriting and content creation team is dedicated to providing quality, engaging content for blogs, website content, email campaigns, ads and more! Contact us to find out how our content marketing services can improve your website traffic and increase quality leads.
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