You may have created a section for your blog some time ago now, but have you started using it? Knowing what to blog about is one of the biggest issues for small businesses, because sometimes it can be a bit tricky, especially if it is new territory.
Like anything else, if you don’t utilise it, it will fail to deliver results, this is the same with blogging. To give you some ideas of what to blog about, so you can share value with your target audience and increase visibility online, here is a list to get you started.
This will of course depend on your business, but can easily be tweaked to share great content no matter what industry you’re in. Use this approach to engage in topics that your audience may identify with, this will show that you are more than just another brand with a logo. It’s about being personal, but only sharing what you feel comfortable with.
Share helpful tips
This relates to the very famous “how to guide”, who hasn’t Googled or used Youtube to find a “how to” video? As the owner of your business, you will naturally have a lot of expertise to share with your audience. A great example may be, if you run a company that sells cleaning products, you can share a blog post on how to remove tough stains from a suede sofa. You can even go a step further and record a quick and simple video of you cleaning a suede sofa. This is a simple yet effective way to give value, but also showing that your product does work.
Share news from within your industry
No matter what industry you’re in, there is always something to report on. You can place yourself in a position of credibility by sharing your thoughts on the latest news, or simply highlighting it on your blog. This can be once a week or three times a week, it all depends on how you feel. A very popular topic in the news now is Brexit and how it affects small businesses, you can share your view on the topic.
Be the problem solver
Presenting a solution for a pain area your target audience may have highlighted to you is important, not only because it gives them a solution, but it also shows that you care. For instance, most small businesses find SEO confusing, so I wrote an article all about SEO, breaking down the entire concept, so it’s easier to understand.
Let them know about your products or services
Your blog isn’t the place for any form of hard selling, so it can be a little confusing knowing when to mention your product or service in a post. A simple yet effective way may be to mention your product or service as an internal link within a blog post. For example, “I created a product that would make cleaning suede so much easier to do, plus it will save you a lot of time”, then link to the product. At this point, it is up to the reader whether they click over or not, while reading a blog post on how to clean a suede sofa.
This is just half of what it takes to run a small business blog, the other half comes down to a few more points. As you now know what to blog about, the focus has moved onto making your blog successful.
You will need to create a blogging calendar and schedule.
With this calendar, you will outline what you’re going to blog about and when. This rule of consistency is important, because it shows dedication to your audience as well as a pattern for them to pay attention to your content. You may choose to post a blog every Wednesday, after around 3 months, this becomes an expectation from your readers, so they will look out for your post every Wednesday. Sometimes regardless of whether the post is relevant to them or not, they may click over to have a read.
Value, value and more value
Readers don’t stick around if the content isn’t great, that’s just expected, no matter how consistent you are, if your content isn’t valuable, entertaining or on brand, they may lose interest. You don’t need to have a degree in English to write content of value, but take your time to edit each post well; the less typos the better, in fact none would be great, just take a few minutes to read over each post before sharing online. A great tip is to come back to it after an hour, then edit.
Value is very simple to share, all you do is write for your audience, it’s difficult to fail when you keep them in mind. If you are a holistic company, promoting wellbeing and health, it would be valuable to share content that focuses on meditation techniques, healthy meals or the benefits of drinking water regularly.
Share more than just fluff
The length of a blog post has been a hot topic for some time. Many prefer to write blog posts that are around 500 words, some aim for 300 words to avoid losing the reader with longer blogs. I would say a great post, with value should be around 600 to 800 words. Once you are sharing value, longer blog posts are great, they give more and helps with SEO too. You should of course optimize each blog post, to increase your visibility online.
Share your blog posts
The worst thing you could do is spend time writing valuable content, putting it on your website and then that’s it. If you don’t share it, it’s like buying an expensive pair of heels and only wearing it while you’re in the house.
To get in front of your target audience, you need to share, and keep sharing.
Everyone is on social media now, so why not your business? You will be missing out on a lot of free online visibility should you avoid social media. What platform you choose to use does depend on you. If you are better at writing, then choose Twitter, if you like creating and sharing visual content, then take advantage of Instagram. Most businesses will have three core social media platforms; you should choose yours and stick to them. Even if you decide that Instagram is the only one for you, then stick to it.
It will also help to do a bit of research to find out where your audience spends most of their time online. It may be Pinterest, but it may also be Facebook. Once you have chosen what social media platforms to use, take advantage and keep sharing and interacting with your audience.
Write the way you would like to be spoken to
It’s not an essay when you write blog content, so remember that real people will be reading them. Although in some industries, like tech, things can get a little technical, but that doesn’t mean you should use tech jargon throughout your posts. Place yourself in the mind of your potential reader and write from that perspective. The easier it is to read, the easier it is to digest, which means they will come back and quite possibly share your content.
Respond to your comments online.
If it’s once a day or straightaway, take some time to respond to your comments. No matter how simple, whether it’s a negative or a positive comment, it’s great to show that you have acknowledged their time and thoughts. Keep it professional of course and remember your brands voice in the process.
No matter how big or how small your business is, sharing valuable content will always be a move in the right direction. You are selling more than just a product, creating more than just another marketing strategy; you are taking the time to give value away for free, to those who need it. Consumers have evolved and no longer respond to logos and dominance online. Now you need to connect, communicate and step in front of the logo, and blogging has been a great way to do this. Most small businesses gain traction online through their blog and have saved tons on their marketing budget, so take advantage of what a blog has to offer and start writing.