Why do I need a blog for my small business?
If you follow any of my social media sites, you will know that I’m PASSIONATE about the need to have a blog, especially if you are a small or independent business. Yes, I might bang on about it quite a bit, but I promise there is a good reason for that.
YOU NEED A BLOG AND YOU NEED TO UPDATE IT REGULARLY!
Just like you update your social media sites daily (you do that, right?!), you need to have a regular blog presence on your website. You need to be regularly engaging with your customers, giving them interesting and entertaining content. You need to be posting to a regular schedule, weekly, or at least fortnightly, if you can.
Notice how many times I used the word REGULAR in that paragraph?
Customers are searching for blog content
Business blogging is on the rise. And your customers are searching for fresh new information about your business. In fact, consumers say that they view blogs as one of the most trusted sources of information when they are looking to buy a product or service. So it’s important that your blog is giving them what they’re looking for, and that it’s written well, in a way that convinces them that you are a trusted brand, and that they should be buying from you, and not your competitors.
Once you’ve got a good number of blog posts, telling your customers about what you do, giving them information and advice, you can use them for your social media campaigns. Keep recycling them, and this will ensure that they not only stay relevant, but they will be much more likely to be recognised by search engines. The more times they get read, the higher they will rank, and the more people will search you out.
But what do I write about?
When you’re planning your blog posts, think about what your customers are likely to be asking. What will they find interesting to read about? What will they need to know in order to seek you out, and buy from you over the competition?
I’ve seen so many businesses publishing dull blog posts – don’t be one of these. No one cares about the inner workings of the machines you use to manufacture your goods. They want to know how you can benefit THEM. So give them something – tell them how your product or service is going to make their lives easier. How it’s going to free up their time, or save them money. If you’re aiming at other businesses, how are you going to help them MAKE MORE MONEY?
If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few to help you out:
Answers to specific customer questions
News about your business or industry
What about the length?
As with all online content, blogging is a competitive game. Businesses are quickly catching on to the success of business blogs, and more and more are being published every day. There are pros and cons for both short blog posts, and long, in-depth posts. It’s my opinion that as long as you’re posting something, and posting regularly, you can’t go wrong.
Statistically, search engines are more likely to rank your blog posts if they are longer, in-depth pieces. There are millions of short blog posts online (I’m talking on average below 500 words), and it stands to reason that if you posts shorter pieces, you have a heck of a lot more competition. Therefore, if you can aim for 1,000 words or more, engines such as Google will favour those posts, and you will make it to the top end of the food chain.
To quote a statistic I found online, the average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words.
But it won’t make people come to my website… will it?
You’ve heard of SEO, right? Well, these three little letters are so important, because they encourage search engines to rank your content. To put it in to very basic terms (you can search for more in-depth information on it – go knock yourself out!), you need to be producing good quality content, using key words and phrases which will tell Google what you’re all about. So if, for example, you are a cake shop owner, you might be using words like cupcakes, wedding cakes, birthday cakes…. And all of these will tell Google that you want people who are searching for cakes to read your blog.
And by nature, people who find your blog posts, if you’ve written stuff that will engage them will click through to your website, to find out more about you.
That my friends, is the beauty of blog writing!