Blogging 101 for Small Business Owners

Blogging 101 for Small Business Owners

Blogging used to be just like an online diary. But nowadays, large international corporations like Coca Cola, news outlets and even small businesses consider blogs an integral part of their marketing strategy.

I’ve already discussed why you should start a blog for your small business. So today, I’m showing you how.

First of All

Blogging works. It increases web traffic, improves SEO, generates new business and helps hammer out a niche for your small business. But that doesn’t mean your business will fail without a blog.

Before starting, make sure you (or someone in your team) have enough time to take care of your blog. Blogging is a long-term strategy that requires consistency; don’t leave the blog on your company website to languish with posts from two years ago.

Also, don’t wait until you’re perfect (believe me, I tried!). Be prepared and read as much about blogging as you need, but in the end you’ll learn by doing. Blogging takes experience and a lot of trial and error. They say you have to fail to grow and they’re absolutely right.

6 Steps to Get Your Blog Started

Here’s a few things to tick off your to-do list before you start sharing your ideas with the world:

1. Goals

To repeat my old credo: If you don’t know what you want to achieve, you’ll never get there. A blog can do different things for your small business, from improving your website’s SEO and web traffic to attracting new customers.

It can also be a platform to demonstrate your expertise and the values you share with your ideal customer. Do you want to give practical tips and advice, or inspire clients and customers with your ideas? What action do you want readers to take and how will you achieve that?

2. Audience

Next, define the ideal customers or clients (if you need help with that, have a look at this). Who are they, what are they looking for and what do they like and loathe?

Another very important question: Where is your audience hanging out when they’re online? You’ll have to share your blog posts widely, so make sure you know how to reach your target audience.

3. Content

Ask yourself (and ideally your readers):

  • What would they like to read about?
  • What can you add to their lives?
  • How can you help them?

To attract readers, you must deliver something of value to them.

Answer questions they might have, offer a new perspective or simply share insights into your profession. Consider your writing style and your tone of voice; put your personality in the blog and be sure to your audience’s language.

4. Form

Your next step is defining the platform you’ll use. Will the blog be part of your website or are you going to use a blogging platform like Medium or LinkedIn? Do you need to access it remotely and are other members of your staff going to work on it, too?

Another aspect is your blog posts themselves – are they going to be short or long, wordy or with lots of visuals? How often do you want to post? Know the SEO keywords you’re targeting, but remember to write for your readers, not Google’s algorithms.

5. Plan

Make a long list of possible topics to write about, noting, special events in your industry, holidays or anything else that impacts and/or interests your audience, and create a schedule for your blog – them commit to it! Find more ideas on how to create an editorial calendar and plan your posts in advance here.

6. Share

When you researched your blog’s audience, you identified the social media platforms they use. Now’s the time to plan how and where you’ll ensure your content is going to be seen. Don’t just promote current blog posts; re-sharing older maximises their impact.

Also, consider using a newsletter to spread the word and build up a mailing list of potential customers, or working with other bloggers and guest blogging on one other’s platforms.

With these 6 steps in mind, you’re ready to write your first blog post. What are you waiting for?

 


WANT TO READ MORE?

To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
Why You Should Consider Blogging – Seriously
Turn Your Social Media Followers Into Leads
How to Find Inspiration for Your Social Media Content
How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Social Media Success


 

Published byDenise Strohsahl

Denise Strohsahl is an Edinburgh-based marketing consultant, specialising in helping small, local businesses get more of their ideal clients.