For most small to medium sized businesses writing a business blog is a great way to grow your business. It benefits you in lots of ways if done well. For example, it can boost your search engine ratings, attract more traffic to your website, establish you as an expert in your field, and basically help you to find more customers. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Tip 1 – Create a list of business blog post ideas
One of the hardest aspects to running your own business blog is how to come up with ideas for content. And of course if the content is not interesting enough, no-one will want to read it. The best way to handle this is to have a list of blog post ideas that you keep handy for when inspiration strikes (I’m told you can even get notebooks to use in the bath or shower these days!). Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Think about the questions you get asked the most by your customers.
- Use case studies from your current work to illustrate how you can help other customers.
- Take a trip around your social media streams (for example Twitter, Facebook and Linked In) and see if there are any themes you can tap into. Linked In groups can be very useful for this type of information.
- Think about any new stories you read and if you can turn them into an interesting comment piece.
- Identify the main benefits that your customers get from working with you, and write around each one.
Tip 2 – Decide on your business blog frequency
Readers don’t usually want to read a blog post each day – and to be honest, unless the blog is your only work, you will probably struggle to write one each day. What readers are looking for is consistency and for you to cover topics that you say you will cover, so they get what they are expecting. Generally a blog post once a week is ideal – so decide on the best day for you and schedule it onto your diary each week.
Tip 3 – Be disciplined
Once you have decided on which day you want to write your blog post, then schedule the business blog post itself, and the time you plan to spend writing it, into your diary. If you don’t do this, then something important will come up and you won’t write your blog consistently – and it’s this consistency that builds readership. The last thing your website needs is a blog which seems dormant. You will find that even Google will stop visiting if you can’t maintain this regular posting schedule. Don’t forget the time between blog posts is for you to decide – it can even be once a month – as long as you are consistent. Also don’t forget that most websites allow you to schedule your posts. This means you could write four together, then schedule them for one a week. This is particularly useful if you work away, or have holidays coming up – or just find the weekly grind difficult.
Tip 4 – Create a schedule
You can waste a lot of time thinking about your business blog and what you are going to write about. This is why it is such a good idea to have a blog post list so that you can add to it whenever you think of a suitable topic. The trick then is to decide when you are going to post each idea and schedule it into a planner. The reason for this is to try and avoid random blog posts and to make the experience build into something useful to your reader that encourages them to keep them returning. By planning ahead you will find it easier to write the blog posts. There are a number of ways you can do this – I like to use Excel, but you could use a table in Word or even an app like Wunderlist or Trello.
Tip 5 – Variety is the spice of life
Don’t forget that every business blog post doesn’t have to be the size of War and Peace. Although a good size on average is around 400 words (just under an A4 sheet of words) you can in fact have shorter and longer posts to add variety. Also have different types of blog posts – for example, you could pose a question, write up a case study, or comment on current affairs and how it affects your customers. You can also write a ‘how to’ post or a checklist post. It helps to keep to one topic if you can – which also has the advantage of giving you the opportunity of writing more posts – several short ones for example instead of one long one.
So, what to do if you just don’t have time?
Some people just don’t have time for blogging and, in any case, may not have very good writing skills. So, if you know that having an active blog will enhance your business, but you’re not in a position to do it yourself, what can you do? You can use a ghost blogger (for example Write to Win!) to do it for you. This is where you hire someone to write the articles for you in your name.
If you decide to go down this route, it’s important to find someone who can write for you in your tone of voice so that it blends with the rest of your website. Also when people meet you, they don’t notice any disconnect between you and your writing. Also blogging services can work in different ways. Some bloggers take your list of topics and write about each topic as appropriate doing their own research – this is more of a done for you service. Others take the list of topics and bullet points from you to create content. This is more work for you, but you have more control over the content and it is usually cheaper. Another option is to just have an editing and proofreading service. This is very budget friendly, but you have to do more of the work.
Just one final piece of advice – always choose a writer whose native language is the same as yours. This means you will get a better fit with tone of voice and the quality of the writing will feel much better. This is purely because the langauge and sentence construction will match your own style.
What should I do now?
Do you struggle to write the right sort of content? Business is usually lost by your written communications rather than your products or services. As your copywriterI can make your online content and marketing documents more powerful, persuasive and polished. Together, we will make your marketing work harder and get you better results.
Call me on 01902 939493 to talk about any of your copywriting needs or to get a 15 minute review call to see if I can help you. Also check out my copywriting course if you would like to improve your own writing skills.