In today's business environment it's a rule, not a suggestion: you need a website for a business. Some small business owners are still trying to use only the social sites, primarily Facebook, for their online business presence. Recent news regarding Facebook and privacy may even predict a decline in popularity of some social media. A dedicated website is where consumers and business prospects will check you out no matter where they learned about your business. Call it news updates or a blog; if you're not creating valuable new content regularly, you may be wasting your most significant opportunity online to grow your business.
Far fewer business owners have adopted blogging for their business, however. They often cite the lack of time, ideas for a blog, or writing ability for opting out of blogging. As far as spelling and grammar, you'll need to use word processing corrections, but also have someone proofread your work. You don't want poor quality writing as an introduction to your business. It's not perfect, but it gets me much closer to correct than I would be on my own. I also use various proofreaders - again not a perfect solution but certainly worth the effort to make sure I am communicating clearly.
Of course, you can hire out the writing, but if you take the low-cost approach, mainly using writers who don't understand your business, you may waste time, money, and prospect opportunities.
Taking the Time to Write Posts
There are hundreds of articles recommending a minimum amount of blog post activity to be effective. The fact is that whatever works for you is what will be useful for you. If it's two posts per week, great. If it's one or four, that's fine as well. It is far more critical to make the posts entertaining, informative, and valuable to your blog readers.
Schedule an amount of time you have available to invest in your business and adapt your blogging frequency to that time and concentrate on good content. Then treat your time allotted as more than just a goal; make it a mandatory objective. Depending on your business, you could have prospects and customers waiting for your new content, so you don't want to disappoint them once you've established a schedule. That doesn't mean one post per week on Wednesday for example. One post per week is the schedule, and you can vary the day and time you publish it.
Ideas for Blog Posts
Coming up with ideas is more manageable than most business owners believe. You know your business, your customers, and their needs and requirements. You know your products and services better than anyone. Every business day you answer questions, draft advertising, and advise employees and customers about your products or services.
Set up a blogging plan, some call them editorial calendars. You can do it on paper or a calendar application. You'll be placing an idea as a tentative blog post title on the days you would like to publish the post. Work into the future, putting the titles, but not setting them in stone. I have a Google document created just for this. I also keep an eye on the calendar and upcoming events related to my business or my customers and their interests and needs. The frequency should be consistent, but the days can move around.
What about the ideas? For example, assume you're a home cleaning service. What questions are you asked on a regular basis?
- Do you use environmentally friendly cleaning products?
- Are you using allergy free cleaning solutions?
- Will you work on weekends, or how flexible is your scheduling?
- Can you get stains out of......? on furniture like......?
- Do you have a recommended frequency for cleaning visits, or does it change the cost?
There are many more, and if this is your business, you hear them every day. When you are asked a question in person, on the phone, or in an email, make a note. Then take that note and come up with a tentative blog post title and put it on your calendar.
Over time, you can resurrect old posts and change them up or spruce them up a bit and publish a new one. Often there may be new products you can discuss.
Another great use and fantastic digital-marketing-powerplay is to post and repost blog teasers on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. A social media post has a very short lifespan. Couple that with a short attention span of most of the people using social media and you arrive at an opportunity. I reschedule teasers to my blog posts over and over. After you have years of blog posts, you will have hundreds of valuable items to post on social media without a significant investment in time.
Blogs get excellent search engine attention because the search engines like Google learn how often there is something new to index, so they come back to the site more often. Another benefit often overlooked is that you can use a link to a post to answer a question you get via email or text, saving you time and getting a new visitor to your site.
Consider hiring Ridpath Creative to help with your website design and creation. We can make sure your site includes a blog that will help grow your business. We are a boutique design shop ready to tackle your website, digital & print media, and photography & video needs.