Why your small business needs a blog and how to start one
A website and a blog are essential tools for any small business, especially those just starting out. These online marketing tools help you get noticed, and a blog is a great way to reach a wider audience online.
Keep reading because this blog is going to share why a small business blog is important and how to go about starting one.
These days, you can’t just throw up a blog every three months with a few keywords and expect to have a tonne of website traffic flocking to your site. Business blogging requires more effort than the bygone days of the early 2000s.
Two great reasons to start a small business blog are to have something to share on your social media regularly and via your email or newsletter. Both help draw people to your website… as long as you share a snapshot, provide an alluring message and don’t give them it all upfront.
Using a blog to turn leads into sales
Whether you run an online photo lab or a brick-and-mortar pet store, every small business can benefit from having a blog and, in an ideal world, two and sometimes multiple blog streams.
One onsite blog and another offsite blog could be a way to go.
An external blog allows you to create backlinks to your website. The only thing to be aware of is that you need to use original content every time, not the same content on your internal blog. You could also look for reputable websites within your niche and try to guest post on their blog to reach a wider audience and help create clean, authoritative links to your website.
Blogging comes down to time and effort. The more you put in, the more results you will get for your small business.
This isn’t about writing thousands of words every time, nor is it about writing so few that it doesn’t provide the reader with anything worthwhile.
It’s about being strategic and making sure that all of your blog content hits that sweet spot. Clean SEO, Google ‘rules’ friendly, readability with engaging or problem-solving information, and calls to action for your desired outcome.
The main thing a blog requires to get off the ground is time. You can start a blog for free, but if you don’t have much free time, that can be the cost.
A study done by Hubspot showed that blogging attracts 55% more visitors to a website than a business without a blog. According to the Huffington Post, 6 out of 10 shoppers purchase because of blog recommendations.
There’s no denying that small business blogging can be a powerful marketing tool if done right and is important for a small business.
Benefits of a small business blog
Business blogs can help you show your brand persona and showcase your industry knowledge. In recent years, the Google algorithm changes have been favourable to content that answers questions.
By focusing on this type of content, your business should come up in more searches and place you as an expert in your field. Showcasing yourself as an expert will help build trust with your audience, and trust is what makes people feel confident about buying from any business.
Speaking of Google
The search engine giant just loves fresh content. So, posting often and refreshing old content will help you stand out from the rest on their platform.
When you post something new on your website, there’s a silent bell goes off, just like when someone walks through the door of an old fashioned store to alert the relevant people that you’re there.
That bell tells Google’s crawl creatures to go and check out your site to ensure it meets their blogging rules, and if it does, you’ll get ‘indexed’ and listed on their search engine.
A potential brand fan or customer then searched the internet from somewhere in the world, and hey presto, your blog comes up providing exactly the information they were looking for or will find fascinating.
Perhaps you run a pet supply store, and you post about the new all-natural tasty turkey treats for cats. When someone searches for natural turkey treats for cats, your post may well be the one that comes up.
What do you blog about?
The best tip here is to choose subjects you a) have expert knowledge on or b) are incredibly passionate about. If you have neither of these about your chosen topic, that will come across!
You’ll need to know your audience so that you can fit your content and tone to meet their expectations. If your small business blog is about the latest financial tech and your audience is professionals, you won’t want to use relaxed language or make jokes.
If, on the other hand, your blog is about handmade surfboards, you will likely want to refrain from being formal and will want to include some personality into your content.
Use images and video to help make your blog pop off the screen because not everyone wants to read lots of text, not everyone has the time, and some people are visual and auditory learners. You can even appeal to kinesthetic learners by including surveys and other tasks associated with your subject.
When do you blog?
This is the golden question and can truly only be answered by you. You could be once a week or twice a month. The quality of your content will be more important than the amount of times you post. Play around with it and see what’s getting a response and what’s not.
With anything, if something’s working, then do more; if it’s not, change it.
Have a plan. Perhaps see what dates are important in your industry and write content around those times and about those subjects. For example, if you’re a fitness business, perhaps write ‘how to get beach ready’ when the summer holidays are coming up.
Do your market research. What are your competitors posting? Do NOT copy their copy! Original or heavily tweaked content is a must at all times. Also, don’t write sales copy in your blog; this isn’t the place for that. Instead, link to a separate landing page that can be as salesy as you like.
By now, it should be plain to see why your small business needs a blog.
Ideally, you want your blogs to be somewhere between 500 to 1700 words. Answering as many questions as possible and working short and longtail keyword phrases linked internally and externally.
Whatever you do, remember to run your content through a grammar and spell-checking website or app!
Try not to overthink it. Just give it a go and see what you can achieve.