Many companies are turning to the Internet to make more money these days. In fact, if you’re not, you’re actually losing sales. And FAST! The web is the new marketing frontier and if you know how to make it work for you, you’ll be growing your company at the speed of the Internet!
The issue is some small business owners aren’t sure exactly how to make online marketing work for them. If you’ve ever wondered how to write a blog for your small business or even why you should blog at all, you’ve come to the right place. This article will answer these important questions.
Why Blog For Your Small Business?
Before we get into the ins and outs of why you should blog, we want you to take a look around. Get on Google. Find some of the best selling brands in your niche. Take note of popular business blogs and how they operate. We’re obviously not the only company touting blogging and its marketing benefits.
Even Fortune 500 companies are running blogs to boost their business. So it stands to reason If it helps big companies like those, blogging can help yours, too. The problem is blog writing isn’t easy. It’s actually quite difficult to craft a killer blog that’ll have new and old readers alike looking forward to more of your content.
There are whole books written about how to write a blog, and we’ve only got 2,000 words! But we’ve crammed in as much information in one easy-to-read blog article detailing why and how to write a blog for your small business and add cash to your bottom line.
We highly suggest you have your website hosted on WordPress (many of the most popular blogs in the world run on there) or some other easy-to-use platform. You don’t want to have to call your web hosting provider or web design guy every time you need to post a blog article. Keep in mind, even though it’s simple, it may take an hour or two to learn your way around.
SEO Is King
If your site’s on WordPress, you need to add the Yoast SEO plugin. There’s more to SEO than this plugin, but it’s a great start. With it, you should be able to grasp a little bit of SEO theory and it helps you remember to include keywords while writing. Using this plugin should help your site gain traction on the search engines.
Now that you’re properly set up to start writing blogs, it’s time to give you our number one blogging tip of all time. Ongoing, consistent engagement through blog posts gives more value to your blog than anything else. Commit to a blog posting schedule and follow through with it. Whether that means once a day or twice a month, find what works for your company and stick to your commitment.
Select Meaningful Topics
The best blogging topics to write about are the ones your audience is interested in. Define the target market you are writing for and then focus nearly all of your content on that select group. If coming up with ideas for writing a blog week after week seems stressful and time-consuming, we have included popular, thought-provoking ways to keep your blog fresh:
- Teach something
- Show why your product can help
- Run a contest related to a product or service
- Recap the year in your industry or company
- List ways people can achieve a goal
- Pros and cons within your industry
- Ask your customers a question
- Highlight an innovator in your industry
- Tell a personal story about your industry, business or team member
- Share a former secret within your field
- Make a top 10 list for your industry
- Expose a scam within your industry
- Give an expert take on a current event in your field
- Highlight a new product and its features and benefits
- Answer readers questions
Once you know who you’re writing for, it becomes easier to connect with them. Share who you are and what your business is about. Help people. Focus on solving their problems. This is the key to earning customers.
For example, let’s say you’re a small business specializing in creating knee, ankle and elbow braces for athletes. You could write an article about patella tendonitis called:
How to Beat Patella Tendonitis Once and For All
Then in the article you could talk about:
- What is Patella Tendonitis?
- Compression (your product)
- Mineral supplements
- Treatment options
- Timeframes for different treatments
You become the definitive source for curing patella tendonitis on the web. You create an article on the topic. You solve the problem for your potential customer.
Then a number of people who read your article will end up buying one of your knee braces because you showed them how it could solve their problem or help with their pain. You knew your audience and you focused on connecting with them by solving their problem.
Deliver Unique Content
How to write a blog that boosts your business may seem easy, but it’s not. Take the example above. To actually sell more braces, you have to deliver content that no one else on the web has written. You have to sight sources, use first-hand experience and be the authority to give readers the info they can’t find elsewhere. You truly have to deliver the best content on the web if you want your blog to succeed.
Your writing must be flawless. You absolutely must proofread every piece of content and make sure it’s perfect. Even if your information is compelling, you don’t want spelling errors and grammar mistakes flooding your blog. It makes your company look unprofessional.
Never Be Negative
Another mistake we’ve seen on some popular blogs is writing a negative piece, especially when trying to capitalize on current events. While attacking someone or something may bring a few quick hits, you may hurt your business by coming across negative. As a general rule of thumb, focus on the positive when writing blogs for your business. Save the negative stuff for your personal Facebook page. Better yet, just keep it to yourself!
Most readers are more likely to be drawn into a long block of gray copy when it’s broken up by enticing pictures. Don’t be afraid to add images when writing blogs, but do focus on being original. Even if you must use a stock photo service there are tricks to make your images look custom.
Look for images that are more editorial and less literal. Remember, they are piquing interest and enhancing your story, not telling it. If you have several images, make sure they coordinate in color and style. For instance, select images that are all illustration or photography; don’t mix the two. Also, go for all bright primary colors, softer pastels, sepia tones or black and white. These subtle difference will add a professional quality to your images.
It’s important you avoid overselling on your small business blog. Your customers don’t need reminding you sell something every 50th word. Pitching your services should be limited to the last paragraph, also called the call to action. New business bloggers have been known to offer services 8-10 times throughout their 500-word blog post. That’s the quickest way to turn-off your readers.
Always Be Closing
That being said, you have to use your small business blog to sell. If you don’t, you’re wasting time, money and resources on something that isn’t beneficial to your brand. Decide exactly where your blog fits into your sales funnel and then use the writing to move people along your funnel. Provide valuable information and then offer a service that plays off that information.
The easiest way to do this is to always pitch a product or service at the end of each piece with a link back to your website. Remember, these articles can be reached through search, so the reader may not have landed on it through your website. Here’s an example:
“If you liked our article about X, Y, & Z, then don’t forget to check out our A, B & C. As the [leader in A, B & C link], we look forward to fulfilling your needs.”
You could also send the reader to your Contact Us page or other landing page that encourages them to fill out a form. Then you can capture them as a lead. Just add a call to action at the end of each post and your blog writing efforts won’t go to waste. Instead, you’ll be propelling your potential customer into taking the next step in your sales process.
Utilize Social Media
Once you’ve crafted these killer blog posts, you will need to get people to read them. Some blogs show up in the search engines rapidly. Others take 3-5 months to gain traction with the search engines. If your blog is newer, it’s going to take some time. You can start getting traffic instantly by sharing your blog posts on social media. Depending on your industry, you can use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others to share your value-driven content with fans and customers.
Any article about how to write a blog that gets your small business more sales wouldn’t be complete without a warning. You must set realistic goals about your blog and how it will help drive business.
Posting a few articles and then thinking sales will immediately jump is unrealistic. You need to be patient and set reasonable expectations about your blog writing. Focus on crafting the best content you can and soon enough, you’ll have one of the popular blogs on your hands and increased sales.
This article should help make writing blogs for your small business easier. If you find yourself still struggling, get in touch. At iWebContent, we offer professional content writing and marketing services, sure to boost your business. Let us take writing for your blog off your hands, so you can get back to running your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about blog writing and other content marketing tactics, click here to download The Definitive Guide to Lead Generation for Small Business. It’s a FREE eBook full of useful ideas about content marketing strategies, geared toward smaller businesses.