So, you’re an entrepreneur. A small business owner. A one (wo)man band.
Everyone thinks you’re either a secret millionaire or a lady who lunches with no clock in time and no boss.
But actually, you wake up every night in a cold sweat – worrying about the new employee pension scheme or whether you can afford that fancy new fibreglass composite over traditional GRP. (Yep, we all have our own obscure crosses to bear).
Where before you had one boss, you now have hundreds. You work for every single client and every single supplier that serves or is served by your business.
Aside from the zen masters among us, it can be near impossible to prioritise your content marketing plan amidst the day-to-day victories and calamities of running your own business.
But the truth is, content marketing is an absolutely vital tool for small business owners who want to pit the competition.
It is your secret weapon that can deliver higher search engine rankings, increased customer engagement and skyrocket the reputation of your business.
The evolution of digital marketing has bridged the gap between the big corporates with eye-watering marketing budgets and those little fish in the big pond – because both can achieve the same outcome with a comparatively small investment to that required by traditional marketing campaigns.
This article is an idiot’s guide to one straightforward action you can take today, to start benefiting from content marketing: start your business blog.
Blogging for small businesses
It can actually be really easy and fun. That’s why blogging for business is one of my favourite copywriting projects to take on. Here’s my complete guide to using your blog to implement an effective content strategy and grow your small business.
How to build a blog to grow your business
Your blog is the king of your content strategy.
Featuring a blog as a key part of your website has been shown to improve your Google search rankings by:
That’s why blogging is the most popular form of content marketing among UK marketers – ahead of both social media and email marketing.
On top of improving your SEO a well-executed corporate blog will:
- Establish you as a source of expert knowledge in your industry
- Increase consumer engagement both directly in blog comments and on social media platforms where you’ll share your content
- Convert increased website traffic into paying customers
- Provide a platform to share your latest news, deals and exciting announcements for those not on social media (They do exist. Gasp!)
Top 5 Business Blogging Essentials (and what to avoid)
When blogging for your business you must ALWAYS:
- Be a valuable resource to your target customer. Who is your target customer and what questions are they asking? When they turn to the internet for advice, you want the answers to be tucked neatly into the pages of your website.
- Be YOURSELF. [Pause for collective sigh.] But whether your brand is built around you or your corporate image, people buy from people, so including content that humanises your brand will help you to connect with customers on a real, human level. You can blog about your latest projects, document the exciting renovations in your workspace or introduce a new member of your team and tell everyone what they’ll be adding to your service.
- Remember that size matters. Studies show that posts of 400 words + rank more effectively with posts of 2100+ words being the top performers. If you’re just starting out, by all means, get your content out there or get in touch with a copywriter who can offer you a deal on regular blog content.
- Stick to your schedule. Decide whether you’ll post weekly, fortnightly or monthly and stick to your plan. Followers and subscribers will quickly lose interest if you post sporadic or irrelevant content.
Be graphic. All you need is a smartphone and a bit of initiative to include images in your blogs. It’s easy to take a quick video of as you progress through an interesting project or snap the office dog sleeping on the fax machine. I recommend an image every 200 or so words for maximum impact – but keep them relevant.
Think of your blogs like a garden and your followers like bumble bees – tend to it regularly in the correct doses and you’ll be rewarded with the sweet, sweet nectar of genuine engagement and an established online presence.
And NEVER (ever):
Stuff keywords into your posts. Do not underestimate the intelligence of Google’s latest bots by desperately jamming keywords or phrases into your blog posts or site content. Google can spot when a keyword has been used naturally and can actually gauge the theme of your content from the piece as a whole. Neat, eh? And good news for those of us who value interesting and entertaining pieces of writing over spammy marketing drivel.
Making your blog content work for you
You’ll work hard to create great content, so make sure it’s working for you.
A single blog post is like a smartphone. It not only does one thing really well, but it uses the same hardware to do countless cool things that are only limited by the creativity of the user. Apart from when it comes to battery life – they’re all shit for that.
Increase the value of your most popular content by using it to create:
- A Vlog – that’s a video blog to you and me. Take the key points from your post and use that as the basis for a short video script. You can embed them in your post and share them on social media.
- A new article – was there one aspect of your blog post that was picked up on in the comments? Take this point and run with it in a new, more in-depth article. If your followers raised questions following the original post, give them the answers in a new one and they will appreciate your response.
- An infographic – have you presented a lot of heavy statistics or some interesting data in your post? A traditional infographic uses images to display data in an at-a-glance format. Even the artistically challenged among us can whip up an infographic with minimal fuss using a free online programme like Visually. I personally really like Canva, it’s easy to use and great for creating social-media-friendly blog title images too.
- A pin – Use your eye-catching title image or pick one from the post to create a ‘pin’ on this often overlooked creative networking site. Pinterest is a fantastic resource for inspiration so post your latest new product or project on here and have it picked up by relevant leads.
- A feature for your newsletter – not everyone who subscribes to your newsletter will read your blog or follow social media channels. So make your top performing posts work for you by featuring content in your newsletters that you already know your target audience has shown their interest in.
Don’t forget to inspire action in your blog!
Convert leads into sales with your call to action
Include a call to action at the end of end each post. This can be a link to a special offer, new product or announcement included in the post that encourages the customer to purchase online, visit your shop or simply sign up to your mailing list.
Prefer to hire a copywriter to manage your blog?
I specialise in managing blogs for all types of businesses by writing content that compels your ideal customer to engage with you. Choose from well-researched articles of 400 snappy words to in-depth long form blog posts that will improve your search engine rankings and grow a digital following for your business online.
Get in touch and let’s talk about creating a blog for your business.