Six Blogging Strategies Every Small Business Needs
When you run a small business you’re always looking for ways to connect with your clients. While having a website or storefront is great for traffic, there is something to be said about establishing that personal connection with the people you serve.
You may have some preconceived notions about blogging and how it’s only used by a specific type of person or business, but that is simply not the case.
As a small business owner, a blog can be an incredible way to not only grow your client base but also invite a conversation about who your business is and what expertise you can offer.
A blog gives your business a voice. It’s a direct channel of communication where you can reach your customers with relevant and interesting information.
Having the opportunity to share your story and value-added content means you’re establishing the know, like and trust factor that makes people more likely to want to do business with you.
Most importantly, a blog is a concrete way to tell your brand story and educate your readers about your business.
Here are six blogging strategies that every small business needs:
#1. Define Your Purpose
Before you even get started on a blog, you need to know your why. What is the purpose of your blog?
There’s no one set reason you need to have a blog, but getting clear on the why gives you a jumping off point when you start to think about what type of content you will be creating.
Here are some questions to explore:
- Do you want to generate leads, increase sales and attract new clients?
- Do you want to drive traffic to your site or office?
- Do you want to educate and inform?
- Do you want to update your existing customers on what is happening with your business?
Your blog can’t be all things to all people, so it’s important to drill down and focus on one or two key things you want to accomplish. Like any other strategy, this can evolve over time as your business grows and needs change.
#2. Do Your Research
To make the connection you’re seeking with your audience, you need to know exactly who they are. Your blog posts should be relevant to your target audience and offer them real value.
Look at your competitors. Seeing as they have a similar target market, checking out what they are doing that seems to be working is a good place to start. Consider if there are any common themes that stand out or take note of what posts they have that may get shared or commented on.
When doing your research, look beyond your target audience. While your existing customers or clients are likely to be your loyal readers, keep in mind that with your blog you want to attract new readers (e.g. potential customers). As you plan your blog content, assume nothing and create content that is helpful for both your current and potential customers.
#3. Create a Content Plan
Planning is critical when it comes to blogging success. Knowing what content you’re going to produce and when you will be doing it can drastically reduce any stress of writing posts.
No one wants to be scrambling the night before a blog is supposed to go live trying to come up with an idea for the week or month. To avoid this, start by creating a blogging schedule. Will you be doing weekly, bi-weekly or monthly posts? Who will be responsible for writing the posts – will it be a shared effort or will it be one person?
Once you have the overall schedule sorted out, then it’s time to start coming up with topics.
One of the best ways to get going on this is by using Google. Identify keywords and phrases that relate to your business and start searching. Look at the top sites that come up and see what they are writing about.
The goal is to identify common themes and then from there you can start to break it down further into topics. Also, consider what topics that are related to those popular ones or new spins on a tired theme.
For example, if you own a photography business you may have weddings as one of your themes. Using that one theme, you could identify specific topics you could write about like how to prep for wedding photos, how to hire the right photographer, how to pick a great venue for photos, and so on.
#4. Be Consistent
This is a big one! You need to decide on your blogging schedule and stick to it.
When it comes to the internet, loyalty is fleeting and attention spans are short. Your audience should know when to expect new posts so they can make a habit of checking out new content when it goes live, otherwise, they will lose interest.
You also want to be establishing yourself and your business as an authority in your field, and it’s pretty much impossible to do that if you aren’t producing content to connect with readers on a regular basis. Becoming an authority takes time and effort, and consistently blogging is key to reinforcing your message that you’re to be trusted and relied upon.
There’s also Google to consider. Google likes new and fresh content and having a site that is stagnant and not regularly updated actually works against you when it comes to your Google rankings. Blogging consistently is an excellent way to regularly add new content and not only get people to your site but actually have them stay there for a bit…which is also something that improves your Google ranking.
#5. Include a Call to Action
Someone read your blog – awesome! But is there something there to compel them to come back to your blog or a way for you to keep in touch?
This is where a call to action comes in. It’s a clear, logical next step for the reader. By including a call-to-action at the end of each post, whether it’s a freebie, a sign up for your promotional list or something else, the idea is that you want your reader to take action and engage with you that little bit extra.
By including a call to action at the end of each post you’re inviting readers into the conversation and giving them a way to stay informed and connected.
If you’re starting from scratch and it seems overwhelming or you aren’t sure a blog is worth your time, spend some time on the purpose and research strategies to help get clear on whether blogging is the right path for your business.
#6. Promote Your Blog Post
Promoting your posts is one of the best ways to generate more traffic and get more views. While there are an overwhelming number of options for how you can promote, not all are created equal so you need to be strategic when choosing which channels to use.
One of the most effective ways to promote your content is by sending it directly to your readers. Whether you are communicating with your audience through a weekly promotional email or an informational newsletter, this is a perfect opportunity to share your blog posts. These emails should be branded and can share not only the blog content for the week or month, but also recent successes, client testimonials or other promotional information.
Social media channels also present a great opportunity for you to reach more people with your content. Blog posts can be promoted on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, which provides readers with the chance to share your content and cast your net even wider.
Additionally, on many social platforms, you can create ads to target prospective customers, or just boost a post so it gets more exposure. There are many options for paid advertising on social media to help your content reach your target audience.
By taking the time to look at how you can implement these strategies, you will be setting yourself (and your business blog!) up for future success.