You’ve probably heard how powerful blogs are for marketing small business. It’s inexpensive, relatively easy, and gets your name out to a far wider audience than you could reach on a limited ad budget. But if you’re like most small business owners, you don’t know where to begin.
Here are 7 building blocks to start a small business blog:
1. Choose a Platform
Image via Flickr by businesspictures
See if your web hosting service offers a blogging platform. This will allow you to start the blog right from your own website, and people can easily navigate back and forth between the blog and your other pages. If you don’t have a website yet, shop for a web hosting service that offers a blogging platform with the purchase of your site. Most of these are easy, intuitive, and quick to set up and manage.
2. Think Broadly About Your Industry
Blogging isn’t just a matter of spilling your same sales messages over and over. A successful blog gives people insight into the industry, answers many of their common questions, and helps them make better decisions. For example, if you’re a plumber, write about:
- Simple DIY repairs
- How to avoid common plumbing scams
- How to save on your water bill
These are useful topics for everyone, and bring a lot of interest to your business without trying to sell them anything.
3. Establish Yourself as an Expert
Write your blog from a position of authority. This doesn’t mean you talk down to the audience, it simply means you establish yourself as the go-to person for knowledge about the topic. Read other industry blogs, and offer your helpful insight in the comments sections. Become the authority.
4. Blog Regularly
You can blog every day, three times a week, or once a week, but always blog regularly. Over time, you’ll build a readership and they’ll be expecting it. Also, it keeps you in the mind of people who might need your services. When someone goes to your blog and the last post is over a month old, they wonder if you’re still in business.
5. Consider Paying a Professional
Blogging is a chore if you’re not into writing and have little online knowledge. Consider hiring a professional writer to keep up with regular blogging, or at least hire an editor to proofread your posts for mistakes. Spelling and grammar errors hurt your credibility.
6. Use Images
High quality images draw readers in, even when the headline fails to capture their attention. Add photos to illustrate your point, to show off your staff, so customers will recognize your trucks, or simply to provide visual appeal to the text. Upload some of your own company photos and your logo and supplement these with high quality images and photos from Flickr or Google Images.
7. Promote Your Blog on Social Media
Here is where many businesses fail to bring their blog to fruition. You’ll garner a few clicks now and then from your blog posts, but to really draw a crowd you need to get involved in social media. Set up a Facebook page, and accounts with Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and other social media outlets, and connect these accounts to your blog. Each time you submit a new post, put it on your news feeds in all your social media accounts. This gives several avenues to promote each blog post.
Finally, when you’re blogging, make sure each post is something your company can be proud of. Never post something just because it’s Tuesday. Post valuable information that people want to read and share.