As a Marketing Consultant I speak to many small business owners about how promoting a business with your own blog is beneficial.
Blog writing is a great way to engage people on the web by highlighting your expertise and giving insights into how your business runs. However, many business owners don’t see themselves as an expert and definitely don’t see themselves as a writer. I notice many are quite worried about writing for the web. All sorts of doubts surface when contemplating putting a pen to paper like;
- “I’m no writer”
- “I’m no expert”
- “I don’t know what to write about”
- “I don’t know about SEO”
- “I don’t know what to do!”
It does seem daunting at first – but don’t worry “It’s not that hard”. Even though you don’t see yourself as an expert, people who don’t work in your industry think you are. There are hundreds – even thousands of people googling the questions that you know the answer to. So, wouldn’t you like to be the one to give the answers to those questions and as a consequence create a reputation as an expert and gain credibility for your business? …..
This step by step article is for those business owners ready to experience the benefits of writing their own blog articles. If you haven’t written articles before, these 6 steps will help you to start writing articles- and produce great results.
1. Make sure you have a news page on your website.
You can’t write a blog without having a website page to put it on. If you have a WordPress site you will have a posts page – this is where you will write your blogs. And most other websites have news pages to publish blogs. If you don’t have one ask your web designer to create one for you.
2. Think about your own experiences, when you talk to customers – what questions do they ask?
If your clients are asking you this personally chances are, there are 1,000 other people googling that same question from home. The questions people ask can be used as article titles. Before you start writing try googling the questions yourself and see what comes up. The information you find will give you ideas about what to write and what not to write. Try to choose a topic you can write more than 300 words on. If you can’t make 300 words on one topic – try combining related topics into the one blog.
3. Answer the question in your own style from a first person.
Write like you are talking to someone. Don’t worry about sounding clever or technical – google likes really simple language. Imagine you are explaining your answer to a child in year 7. They can read OK, but don’t have any previous knowledge on the topic. No matter how obvious the answer seems to you, assume the reader knows nothing.
4. Apply SEO. SEO is search engine optimisation and it sounds really scary!
There are all sorts of ways to improve SEO – but for Business owners writing their own blog….. I’m going to keep it simple.
- Put your key word in the blog title – (for example if you are talking about a tax return – tax return is the key word) Än example title using this key word is “How do I lodge a Tax Return?”.
- Call your page the same as your blog title – if you have to shorten a long title – make sure you keep the key word
- Use the keyword in the blog, but don’t over do it. You need to make sure that your writing makes sense.
If you can, use short sentences, bullet points and step guides to explain your point.
- If you have an image, name the image with the title containing the keyword.
- If you know how to put tags on your blog, add some tags containing the keyword.
5. Step Five – Don’t be too fussy!
At the end of the day, something is better than nothing. If you don’t publish the article because you are worried it’s not perfect, you will never get anything on line. If someone finds a spelling error or a mistake, you can always go back and fix it, the web is not like printing 10,000 copies of something. It is changeable at any time. And a story about your business with a spelling mistake is still doing it’s job – it’s still promoting your business. However, I would still highly recommend getting a proof read by someone else – before you post. And it’s probably best to refrain from posting anything insulting or defamatory – unless you are specifically creating a blog with this tone and are prepared for the consequences.
6. Share your published blog on social media and email it out to your customer list.
To share all you need to do is copy the link (URL) and paste it in an email or in the social media post. Many assume that publishing a blog on a website means that hundreds of people are going to see it straight away – unfortunately no. The internet now has billions of websites and articles and thousands in your direct location, so the chances of your article being found on it’s own are quite low (especially when you first start writing blogs). The best way to get your message out there is to share it with your own digital network – especially your social media.
Facebook and LinkedIn are great for promoting blog articles and if you have a large following on Instagram – Instagram paid promotions will allow you to post links to these posts. Using Social Media is great for promoting your blogs, if you do this regularly you will start to notice that you are getting way more visits to your website coming from Social Media – which is exactly what you want!
These 6 steps are a breakdown of what I have found to be a perfect start to promoting your business online with blogs. To make sure you blog regularly designate a time in your diary each week or month to work on your blogs. The more frequently you can manage writing blogs, the better you will get at it and the better the results will be. If you absolutely don’t have time in your business to write your own blogs – there are marketers and content writers out there that can work with you to come up with a schedule or write the blogs for you.
Hayley Pieplenbosch – Marketing Consultant
Hayley is an experienced Marketing Consultant that works with Small businesses to develop marketing strategies to promote their business. Hayley tailors the plan to suit the goals and budget of each business. Blog writing has been part of the strategy for several businesses she has worked with. As a marketer Hayley has first applied SEO and then published over 100 blog articles for small businesses.