If you’re running your own business you probably do a lot of thinking about your website and posting on social media as part of your overall marketing strategy.  But do you blog regularly?  In this post I’ll be exploring the Why, What, How, Where and When of blogging when it comes to your business.

 

Why is blogging important for my business?

 

There are lots of reasons but these are my top 5;

  1. You get to demonstrate your expertise in your industry. Blogs give you more space than social media posts so you can go into more detail on a particular subject.
  2. Fresh content on your website keeps your website fresh and improves your SEO.
  3. You can educate your readers about your industry, your brand, your business – it’s selling, without the hard sell.
  4. You can address frequently asked questions in blogs, reducing the need for people to ask, or giving the answers directly to those too shy to ask. And when readers ask questions on your blog, you have another subject to write about.
  5. Blogs bring organic traffic to your website. People who are looking for content on a particular subject will find your business website, rather than just those people looking directly for your business name.

 

What should I be blogging about?

 

You know you ‘should’ be blogging, but you sit down at your laptop or maybe with a notebook and you’re faced with this.  A blank page.  And no matter how much you stare at it, it’s just not writing itself.

Blank page blank mind

I start out using the questions that I’ve been asked most frequently

 

After all, my blog needs to be interesting, useful and relevant to my audience so if they’re asking the questions, then I should be on the right lines if I’m answering them.

Take a look at the subjects below and see if any could be adapted for your industry or business;

  • How to take care of the product
  • How and why I started my business
  • The story of a customer (with their permission), what they needed and how my product/service helped them
  • Current news item that is relevant to my business
  • Industry trends
  • New product/service
  • Go behind the scenes and show the making of the product

I hope there are at least one or two in there that have got you thinking.

Now start scribbling around the subject, or dictating your thoughts into your phone.  This will give you some key points that you’re looking to include.

Now you can start to think about the structure.

 

How do I write my blog?

 

I know people who would love to blog, and who would be very good at it. They even know what they want to blog about. But they are paralysed by the fear of ‘getting it wrong’. They don’t think they know The Rules. It’s true there are structures and guidelines that will make your blogs more effective but essentially if you write for your audience you’re a long way to getting it right.

Remember, your blogs need to be useful, interesting and relevant to your audience. They need to read ‘naturally’ so don’t write to a formula that takes all of your personality away.

Having said that, if you have the following in mind you will help to optimise the reach of your blog posts;

  •  Create a headline that grabs the reader – I use the Headline analyser in Co-schedule to help ‘score’ my headlines
  • Reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper and your readers won’t easily see how long the article is. So they are likely to skim through, then decide if they will go back to the beginning and read it in full. To help them with their navigation use a clear heading and sub headings to break up your text and give a structure to your writing.
  • Sans-serif fonts are easier to read on screen than serif fonts – choose wisely
  • Keep your paragraphs short – 3 sentences
  • Keep your sentences to a maximum of 25 words
  • Use images to break up the writing and add interest
  • Keep your text to 275 words if you want to maximise comments, but if you want to alert the Google search engine to your blog increase your word count to 2,500.
  • Use an internal link to another blog or page on your website to keep readers on your website for longer
  • Add two or three categories to help your readers navigate easily through your posts
  • Use up to ten tags per blog post.  Tags are a more detailed way of highlighting the subjects of your posts

Where do I tell people about my blog posts?

 

Now you’ve taken the time to create a blog post that is interesting, relevant and useful to your audience, you need to tell people about it.

  • Create a headline that grabs the reader – I use the Headline analyser in Co-schedule to help ‘score’ my headlines
  • Create social media posts showing a summary of the blog post, with a link so your audience can easily find and read the full article
  • Join blogging groups on Facebook and Twitter. They usually have a daily prompt to add your latest link
  • Write a summary of the blog post and add a link on your email newsletter
  • Use a link to a blog post (old or current) to help answer customer questions
  • Pin each of the images to your Pinterest page if you have one
  • Comment on other blogs – if your comment is insightful and catches the attention of the author, they might visit your blog to find out more

When do I need to post?

 

Planner

 

In many ways it’s like posts on social media. Publishing one blog then running away won’t have much impact on anything. You need to be consistent and post regularly. By which I mean weekly, bi weekly or at the very least monthly (and yes, I’ll put my hands up to not being up to date with my own blogs – client blogs are taking priority just now!).

So start a list of ideas, have it somewhere handy (on your phone or in the back of your diary) so you can add to it whenever inspiration strikes.

When you have ten minutes spare talk a blog into your phone then when you’re in front of the laptop you’ll have something to start from.

Get into the habit of making blogs a part of your business marketing life – don’t let them fall down the list, they’re a valuable tool!

How can I help?

 

If all of this still sounds daunting or it comes down to a lack of time, then let me help.  I receive audio files of spoken notes, photos of scribbled notes, bullet point lists of ideas and articles written by different business owners and turn them into blogs for them.  If you think this could be something that could help you then please get in touch.

 

What blog questions do you have that I haven’t covered this week? Have you written a blog? Add a link in the comments so we can all have a read. If you haven’t written one yet, why not?