Everyone has their own idea on what a blog should do and what it should consist of. To be honest, there are some really good blog posts out there about writing blogs which give you a good sense of what to write whereas others throw you into a depth of keywords and other SEO stuff that just isn’t worth you getting into blogging.
Working in marketing and website management and design I get asked a lot about whether blogging is worthwhile. These question and answers should give tips on blogging and give you an idea of whether blogging is right for you and your business.
Why does blogging help my business?
Blogs are about increasing your credibility! You are writing and telling people that you know about your industry.
Also, I am sure you have heard the term “content is key (or king)”. Well, this goes for your website too. The more information you have about your business or industry on your website, the more likely it will be found by search engines as it can find the information on your website. The more traffic you get through your website the more chance you have of getting new customers. Ok, it may not be that simple but that is the general idea.
Will I get more customers just by blogging?
I am going to go with… NO! You will not get more customers JUST by blogging. I can hold my hand up and say that none of our blogs have sold us a website or marketing campaign just on their own. Why? Because blogs are not just about selling to your customers. Blogs are there to inform the customers or people in your industry about your business and what they might find currently interesting. Marketing consists of different strategies and when put together well will bring in those desired customers.
Our company, for example, use blogs to provide our current customers, potential customers and others with advice and ideas on how to promote their own businesses. Sounds crazy right, as a marketing company we obviously would prefer to do this for them. However, the reality is that most small businesses cannot afford to pay someone else to do it. So as I said earlier, no, we have not sold websites or marketing campaigns through a blog. But have I kept my customers happy with extra knowledge and advice? Definitely, and this has contributed to them staying as a customer rather than going somewhere else. Also in the future, if people have found our blogs useful they might remember us and use us in the future when they have got money to spend on marketing.
What should I write about?
If you are doing a business blog then it should really focus on something that relates to your business. Although writing a personal blog every now and again might be of interest to some people, they won’t really care whether you think Avengers Endgame left too many plot holes (unless you are a professional film critic of course).
Here are some quick suggestions of what you can do:-
- Comparison of tools you use – Say you are a photographer, why do you use the Nikon brand rather than a Canon brand and why is this important to you.
- Quick tips – say you are a landscape gardener, how do you keep that lawn green all year round with minimal work?
- Show off a product – say you are in the eco-friendly soap business, why should I buy your soap compared to regular soap, show that it works against other leading brands. Tell people why it is special.
- Success story – say you are a confidence coach who changed someone’s life around. Tell everyone how you did it and made them a better person.
- Provide something free – say you are a cook, provide a free recipe every now and again.
- Expand on a frequently asked question – You should already have an FAQ on your website (I’ve been banging on about their importance for a bit now read The Ultimate Frequently Asked Questions about an FAQ page) but why not expand on one of these questions and explain it fully.
Where else can I get ideas to blog about?
You can easily google “business blog ideas” to find out what others are writing about, however, some of the ones I’ve read seem to cover all marketing rather than simple blog ideas.
I would suggest that you search blogs in your industry (e.g. gardening blog) and have a read of a few competitors. Don’t be too worried about pinching peoples ideas. If it’s a common way of how something is done in your industry then it can’t be argued that more than one person in that industry think it’s the best or possibly best practice. Just do not plagiarise, the blog should sound like you or your company.
Should it be just one person in the company that blogs?
If you are a sole-trader then I suppose this question doesn’t really count as it should be you writing them. However, if you have a group of you in your business you should actively involve others to write on the blog for you. Whether it’s their experience just working for you or they have better knowledge than you on certain subjects, get them to do it as part of their job role. Doing this also shows that you value them as a member of your team and the knowledge they bring to your company.
I’m crap at writing, should I still blog?
Yes and no????
You can get software that can help with your spelling, grammar and punctuation, (e.g. Grammarly) if that is your worry.
However, if you can’t write but have a way with words and feel comfortable in front of the camera, then Vlog it instead. Share your thoughts on youtube and share your videos on your website. Linking back and forth to your site and your youtube channel is great for backlinking and increasing your Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP).
Can I not just get someone else to blog for me?
I’m probably going to get a lot of hate mail for this.
Yes, you can. In fact, it is something we offer as a marketing company. But… I would say, only use someone else not inside your business/company when you or nobody else has the time. You know your industry better than a marketing or content writing company and you know how you want to represent yourself in a blog. So, I would personally say do it yourself if you can.
Are SEO strategies important in a blog?
Being one of the main SEO Consultants in our company you would expect me to say YES.
I think blogs should be fun for you to write. If you start getting bogged down with “do I have enough keywords” then you lose the essence and your personality in your blog. Also, blogs are not about getting enough keywords, they are about providing opportunities to be found for long-tailed keywords and people asking Siri or Google via voice search. Seriously don’t get bogged down with the SEO stuff. Just have fun! If it’s interesting to you then it will be interesting to someone else. Just get them shared on your social media.
Should I sound professional?
Nope. Blogs are informal.
How long should a blog be?
Just out of habit you should always aim for at least 400 words. Just make sure you have said what you were going to from the outset and it relates to the title of the blog.
How often should I write a blog?
Now most people say consistency is important in blogging and I do agree that if you can save space in your diary to write a blog daily, weekly or fortnightly then do it and be consistent. Let’s be honest, life gets in the way and it’s never as simple as just sitting down at your laptop and tapping away at your keyboard till words form and create a blog. I would say if you can’t write one a month then don’t really bother. Google likes new content and likes websites that are active and change.
How do I get people to read my blog?
As previously said, ensure you share it on your social media. You can also put a share module on your blog to encourage others to share it. There is also nothing wrong with doing a bit of Facebook Ad promotion (read our blog Why are Facebook Ads beneficial to my business?)
How do I know if people are reading and enjoying my blog?
This is where google analytics comes in. Get in the habit of checking how people are accessing and looking at your website. The amount of time on your website and blog pages will give you an idea of whether people are reading it (or ask your web management company to help understand the numbers). You can also allow people to leave comments which will give you potential feedback for your blog but don’t rely on these, they can just become a place for people to try and spam.
So should you write a blog? There are definitely clear benefits to keeping a blog and adding to it regularly. Just remember that blogs should be related to your business or industry, it should be a fun experience for you and your readers (or viewers if vlogging) and never get disheartened about comments, shares or views.
Have any more questions? feel free to leave a comment and we will answer the best we can.
Pink Square Media is a marketing company that specialises in online marketing. The information provided is correct on the date of publishing.