Every small business owner aims to come up with cost-effective marketing solutions to spread brand awareness and widen reach. While you may not always have the financial resources similar to large corporations, there are several cheap or zero-cost strategies you can use that can make wild impacts on their digital presence.
Digital content marketing is one of such strategies. Effective blogging for business, in particular, is one of the best things entrepreneurs can leverage to bring their game to the next level. With blogging, you can start talking about your business even without an established audience yet, traffic or even if you only a small capital to begin with.
Blogging is one of the most effective digital marketing tools there is. And if you’re not blogging for your small enterprise yet, you’re missing out on a lot of potential for revenue and exposure.
REASONS WHY YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS A BLOG
To help you understand the benefits of blogging for your business, here are the statistics that you should look into:
- According to HubSpot, 53% of marketers consider blogging as their main priority.
- HubSpot also says that marketers get 67% of their sales leads from blogs than those who do not use blogging at all.
- BlogHer reports that 81% of online consumers from the US found blogs as trustworthy and reliable sources of information.
- Techclient says that sites with blog components are likely to get 434% more indexed pages. The more indexed pages your business website has, the more search engines recognize it as a valuable source of information.
- According to Mashable, Google gets 100 million searches each month, with a little more than half of these searches performed through mobile devices. This incredible number put you in an excellent position to offer valuable and useful information through blogs that convert visitors to paying customers.
These are but just some of the most compelling numbers why you should seriously consider the benefits of a company blog. But apart from these data, you should consider running and maintaining a blog for your enterprise for these particular reasons:
1. Improve SEO
The best way to make your business visible online is search engine optimization or SEO. SEO doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it take place by accident. It needs concerted effort to make sure your business blog is viewed favorably by search engines.
Blogging is one of the best ways to improve your SEO campaign. Every search engine loves fresh and relevant content, and feeding your site with new high-quality material consistently makes it more search engine-friendly. The best way to get your contents indexed by search engine algorithms is to use relevant keywords and key phrases in your content, and at the same time, put out useful, informative and factual information in your blogs.
When you get a right balance of this, your content will most likely drive more in more traffic, get more likes and shares and both the internet and the audience will regard your site as a vital source of information.
2. Establish your authority and expertise
Another one of the most notable benefits of writing a blog is that it’s an excellent opportunity to position your business as an expert and industry leader in your niche or field without having to pay for marketing costs or seem too imposing. Providing high-quality information regarding your niche or industry makes you look like a reliable go-to source that people will flock your blog should they have queries or challenges that they need to solve.
To help make your blog become a reliable source of information, and establish your authority in the field, make sure to format your content professionally, use professional language, and follow proper grammar and syntax. Importantly, provide in-depth, well-researched articles that offer knowledge and insights that your readers do not find elsewhere.
3. Connect and Engage with Your Audience
In blogging, you are writing for your audience. Not only does blogging give you the platform to share essential information, but you also have the opportunity to connect and engage with your audience. Learning how to blog effectively for your business allows you to grow your followers or “tribe.” These are the people who would visit your blog for new content, comment, and share your articles.
Interacting with your audience through your blog also helps boost SEO and website traffic, as well as reinforce your authority in the field. That being said, you want to respond to comments left by your audience on your site, as well as engage with them on social media. You can also humanize your blogs by injecting humor and metaphors into your content as well as backing it up with different content forms like videos, images, and infographics.
4. It’s a Fantastic Way to Share Content
Another top benefit of writing a blog is that you get the ability to share your content with others, especially since you can link your blog to social media and vice versa. The more people who read, comment, and share your content, the more potential it has to become viral and achieve a wider reach.
This gives you the leverage to attract more traffic to your site and enhance your SEO. Sharing your blog’s content is the ultimate proof that you can enjoy free marketing while getting a massive positive impact on your brand.
TOP BLOG WRITING TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Now that you know why it’s vital to run and maintain a blog for your small business, it’s essential that you understand that you need to be committed to this. You need to come up with content regularly, brainstorm for useful topics, and be able to present information in a consumable manner.
All of these can seem like a tall order for a business owner, even overwhelming at some point. Following these blogging tips for small business will help you become more effective in crafting compelling and useful content.
1. Focus on valuable, useful content
Your audience comes to your blog for a reason: to answer a question, solve a problem or get more information or a combination of these. To keep your audience interested in reading your blog, you need to give them useful and valuable information. More than the potential for traffic or earning, your first main focus in blogging should be essentially relevant content.
If you’re not sure what types of useful content you can post up in your business blog, consider putting yourself inside their shoes. What kind of questions do you want to be answered and what problems do you want to solve?
For instance, if you run a salon business, you might be interested in sharing how to take care of your hair after a coloring treatment. Or, if you run a local hardware store, you might give out tips on how to choose the best flooring for one’s home. You must create content that’s directly related to your niche or industry while zeroing in on specific problems or questions.
This is the first step to running a successful blog, and when you use this technique in tandem with excellent on-page SEO, your blog should start gaining traction in the short run.
2. Research and integrate keywords into your blog contents
First, you start with high-quality content. Now, you have to use the right keywords. If you can get these two elements in every blog post you write, you’ll come up with a killer content each time.
Now, why is the keyword important?
Search engines rely on keywords when indexing contents. For instance, if you go to a library to research on something, you don’t start looking out of nowhere. You begin your search with that specific topic. So, if you’re interested in learning more about “wedding gowns,” you’ll type in these keywords in the search engine and peruse the results you find.
It doesn’t stop there. You have to strive to appear on the search results, but ideally on the first page, on the first three to five results. This gives your blog more potential for more traffic. Incorporating keywords on the title and using them in your content gives you content more opportunities to get indexed and attaining better rankings on the search results.
If you’re unsure about how to go about keyword research, you can look up at various search engine optimization keyword tips, or you can use tools like SEMRush to get a good idea on what keywords work and which don’t. There are a couple more keyword tools you can explore, such as Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and KW finder to help you figure out the best keywords to use in your contents.
3. Snoop into your competitor’s blogs
Another excellent way to craft excellent blog articles is to look at what your competitors are doing. You don’t mean to copy them; instead, you want to get more ideas of which strategies might work for you as well.
When looking at your competitors’ blogs, you want to see how they write and format their content, what keywords they use, and overall user experience while on the blog. You’ll get plenty of ideas on which blogging tactics could work for you as well and which you should ditch. It even pays to read the comments section to see what their audience is looking for, and then address these issues in your blog.
The information you get while “spying” allows you to do better with your blogs, so you don’t just stand at par, but even outdo your competitors.
4. Create a content plan/schedule
Creating blog posts can sometimes get so overwhelming. You feel the pressure to publish regularly, yet you run out of topics to write about. Instead of keeping at it, you ditch blogging altogether, and your site goes stale with old, irrelevant information.
But with some careful planning and scheduling, you will always have something to blog about. First, brainstorm on the topics that you want to write about and their corresponding keywords. If you want to write in various categories, a content plan also helps ensure that you’ll have something for each category regularly.
It is also essential to follow a regular and consistent blogging schedule. You don’t want to start off posting three blogs in one week, skip the next week, and then post only one article the following weeks. You must get into the rhythm of blogging regularly so that search engines know that you’re updating your site with new information every few days.
According to studies, you’ll achieve the best blogging results if you post on your business blog four times a week or 16 times a month. But since you’re first and foremost, an entrepreneur, you want to make sure that you’ll be able to blog consistently by keeping a content plan and schedule while tending to your business.
5. Take the time to create long-form articles
Although quality always triumphs over quantity, you still want to make sure that you churn out long-form blog contents from time to time. There is nothing wrong with shorter articles, especially if they’re able to deliver the message you want to convey and still employs the best SEO practices. However, long-form contents are beneficial for a lot of reasons.
First and foremost, long-form contents give you lots of space to be as detailed, in-depth, and comprehensive as possible. This is particularly useful when you want to deliver a blog that uses a lot of data to answer questions or lengthier step-by-step instructions.
Apart from that, longer articles serve two purposes: they’re excellent link baits and tend to rank higher in Google’s search engine results. What should be the ideal length of long-form content, then? According to experts, you should strive to generate more than 2,000 words in your blog post for it to rank higher in search results.
Also, long-form contents are so much easier to repurpose, whether it be in the form of an infographic or script for a video or slideshow presentation.
6. Don’t hard sell
When writing blog contents, you should always go back to the very first reason: offer valuable information. But sometimes, you want to inject a sales pitch here and there to let your audience know what you do and how you can help them. Hold your horses and think again.
Hard selling on your blog post can drive away your audience. Consider putting yourself in their position: you’re looking for information and found this seemingly brilliant blog. In the middle of the content, the author starts saying how great their service is and strayed away from giving you the full information that you were looking for. You’ll probably close the tab and look for another resource to read.
Initially, you wouldn’t want to be talking too much about “you” all the time. You want to establish authority and expertise, and the best way to achieve this is to give your audience the information they need. Once you’ve got them hooked up, it’s the time to start promoting what your business does, but until then, you want to keep those sales pitches as low key and subtle as possible.
7. Use visuals
An all text blog will get boring soon enough, and it would be easy for the audience to leave your site even before they get the information they need. It is important to remember that humans have a short attention span, so make sure that you capture your audience’s interest right away.
The best way to do this is to include visuals into your blog. Support your content with engaging visuals, whether it be in the form of images, videos, charts, or infographics. Visuals make your content more appealing, exciting and easier to remember, allowing your visitors to stay longer in your blog.
Never end your blog without a call-to-action or CTA. A CTA is what you want the audience to do, whether it is download your brochure, sign up in your email list, share your blog, or even leave a comment. CTAs are important in keeping your audience hooked up with your business, generate leads, capture information, and even convert visitors into customers.
HOW TO START A BLOG FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
So, you understand why your small business needs a blog. The next step you need to take is actually to set up one. Fortunately, you don’t have to be so tech-savvy to put up a blog on your own. You can follow these tips to for starting a business blog.
1. Determine your platform
There are several blogging platforms out there, so you’ll always have plenty to choose from. But you have to make sure that you get the right one because it will eventually determine how easy (or difficult) it is for you to blog in the long run.
Right now, the most popular blogging platform is WordPress. You may opt to set up a wordpress.com blog in just a few minutes, but the features tend to get limited. For a more professional blogging user experience, it is recommended to opt for the wordpress.org blog because it is self-hosted. It gives you more liberty for customization, widget installations, and so much more. Both versions are free to use although you might want to spend a little more money on hosting and domain.
You may also explore other blogging platforms like Drupal, Weebly, and Joomla, although these sites work differently from WordPress.
2. Give it a pro look
Once you’ve picked up a blogging platform, now is the time to tweak it a little bit. The goal is to make your blog as professional as possible, ideally mirroring the branding that you have with your brochures, business cards, and other marketing collaterals.
If you’ve chosen WordPress as a platform, you’ll find plenty of themes to choose from in the WordPress Theme Directory. You’ll also find nicely-designed premium themes which come at a cost.
You’d want to look at several aspects when choosing a theme, such as responsiveness, level of customer support as well as customization. You can always change your theme or modify its features, or have an expert work alongside you to get the look and feel that you want to achieve for your blog.
3. Get a domain name and your own hosting
WordPress blog may be free, but if you want to make your blog sound more professional, you’ll want to register a domain name for it. A domain name gives your blog its proprietary name. Instead of getting the URL www.yourbusinessname.wordpress.com, you’ll actually have one that says: www.yourbusinessname.com. A dot come domain name is always the preferable option so splurge on this a little bit.
You’ll also want to get your own hosting. This means getting your own space in the vast world of the internet. To put simply, web hosting allows your blog to go live on the internet and let people visit and access your blog. With web hosting, you get more control over your content, you can customize your blog, and you can be assured that your site remains safe and stable.
4. Start blogging
Your blog is now up and running, and all you have to do is fill it with high-quality content. Think of topics that you want to write about, focusing on issues that your customers would want to read and know more about. Set up a content schedule and blog consistently. Share your blog contents with your social media to give it more exposure and don’t forget to connect with your audience via the comments section.
The benefits of blogging for small business are manifold. It is a worthwhile marketing strategy because it can create massive impacts without spending so much money. You’ll have to invest time and effort in researching topics, writing content, responding to comments and sharing posts, but all of these give your business a solid advantage to branding, traffic, exposure, conversions and more!
So, when it comes to cost-effective, high-impact marketing for your business, you can never go wrong with blogging.