You probably already know why your business should have a blog. Most small businesses do not and the answer I get the most is “I don’t have time for that!” You do know you’ll increase traffic to your website, (if you don’t have a website, shame on you and give us a call) blogging will also help build authority, provide useful information, and engage with your customers. You might even provide the information they need to make a buying decision. Unfortunately, most blogs get very little traffic and it is not that they can’t it is because the way most people write them. Here are some tips to better blogging.
Who do you think you’re talking to?
Depending on what you sell or service you offer, your customers or clients might be a wildly diverse group of people and you might need a different approach for each type of person. So you might need to develop a number of writing styles to fit who you are trying to reach.
Bring your style of writing to life. Basic demographics are fine, but you really need to know what your customers care about. When you know what they care about and what their pain points are, you can create blog posts they will be really interested in.
Way too many businesses confuse dry, old-school articles with blog posts. Blog posts are a whole different animal. They are lively, often opinionated, casual, colloquial, and sometimes funny. In other words, they are chock-full of personality. Make it so. Just make sure to understand the difference between “controversial” and “abrasive” before taking any hot-button political stands. You also need to be ready to respond to your client base if they have questions or have their own idea or opinion about what you are talking about. Don’t be holier than thou. Respect your customers or clients and respond!
Make a plan
I see two mistakes consistently made in content plans. Some businesses don’t have one, and their websites are like employee diaries. Have fresh content on your websites. I have actually found websites with old business addresses that the business was at a year ago. They moved and never updated their website. Websites are also not Facebook fan pages. Don’t post personal things about you or your staff there. Nobody cares. They are there for information about your business, not your dog being in heat.
Mistake two is having too rigid a plan. Some larger corporate blogs follow a theme, and offer a lot of posts about one or two topics. This is a fine idea if you’re building a wheel-a central landing page that links out to a bunch of posts covering different aspects of one subject. But it’s pretty restrictive for small businesses to do this. Be open and creative and if you run out of ideas then start blogging on related topics relevant to your business. If you sell shoes, talk about how shoes made overseas might influence prices as a topic.
customers are looking beyond products to see what kind of company you really are. Millennials, especially, want to know how you treat employees, what causes you support, and whether you’re worthy of their hard-earned money. And since there are now millions of millennials now, every business needs to care about what they want.
Millennials are connected socially, interact heavily with brands, are not impressed with advertising, and read blogs before making buying decisions. They place very high values on trust and accountability.
More than ever before, businesses have to think beyond selling their products and build a brand reputation. Your blog is the perfect place to start, hand in hand with social media.
That means revealing your mission, your future plans, and your inner workings. It means telling customers about your people, and showcasing your customers’ stories. Get personal. Ask for input and then implement it. Treat customers like part of the team. You must interact or have that option there to do so and respond back. Let them know there is someone behind the keyboard they can talk to.
Pain Point Finding
Why do customers buy your product? What need are they answering? How can your product fix their problem or make their lives better in some way?
Answer those questions in your blog. That’s what will draw people to your blog.
The initial success of your blog does not depend on the quality of your posts. Quality is what brings people back. You need to build your blog!
Attracting your first group of readers is the hardest…so don’t start cold. You may not know it, but you have influences such as vendors, for example. People you do business with, your customer list, and even businesses physically near you. Your local radio and television stations might even help out.
Plan a big post for a local or online event you can leverage for publicity. Sponsor or present at an event and live-blog as it’s happening. This is a whole different topic which I will cover at another time. Video blogging is hot right now but I degrees. Host a giveaway or raffle. Do something big that fits your business and blog about it. Then keep blogging. Once you have done one or two, they become a standard part of your work plan.
FDMC Social and Digital Media