From the Blog...

(About 6 minutes to read.)

…And why you should consider writing it yourself.

It’s no surprise that many businesses give up on blogging quickly. Or delegate it to a junior employee on staff.

Before you give up, do you know what blogging can do for your business? Read on to find out why you should stay closely involved in your business blog.

Blogging as a Business Strategy

Blogging as a strategy can achieve several business objectives better than other forms of marketing.  Why “better?” Because blogging reaches out online where your customers and potential customers spend a lot of their time (usually). It’s also possible to reach a very specific demographic with your online marketing — and to measure the outcome better than with most traditional marketing. Lastly, it gives you an opportunity to let your personality shine, and show potential clients why they’d enjoy working with you.

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Objective #1 – Blogging Helps You Get Found Online (SEO)

  • Google’s algorithm prefers content that is updated regularly and recently – regular blogging will help you with that automatically.
  • Blogging enables you to put all kinds of keywords onto your site, and say things in many different ways. All these keywords and phrases can bring your business up in different searches. As you accumulate more blogs over time, you accumulate more opportunities to come up in search engine results.
  • Pro Tip: If you’re using WordPress, install Yoast SEO plugin on your blog. There are other SEO options, but this one is special because it can help you learn better SEO practices. Each time you write a blog post, fill in the fields and pay attention to the plugin’s tips for improving your on-page SEO. Go beyond the basics and read the feedback the plugin gives you. It will help you improve your skills over time.

Objective #2 – Blogging Helps You Grow Your Market Reach (Audience)

  • Blogging helps you network, even while you’re in your pyjamas! Sharing your blog posts over social media helps you to reach out to new audiences. Even if you’re not working hard on every social media platform, it’s worth sharing your blog posts over them. This can help you “be everywhere,” at least a little bit.
  • Make a routine of sharing your blog posts out on all your social media platforms. Consider writing a different introduction for each platform.
  • Pro Tip: Increase the “shareability” of blog posts on your social media platforms: write interesting headlines and use high-quality images with each post. You can even tailor the size of your images so they fit the ideal dimensions for sharing on each social network. (For example, one size that works well with Facebook and Google+ is 470px x 470px.)  Use an online service like PicMonkey or Pixlr to re-size your images.

Objective #3 – Blogging Establishes You as a Market Leader or Authority

  • Your blog posts help prove your expertise and increase your perceived value. They help you build a solid reputation, showcase your work and your critical thinking ability. Blogging shows your unique value – which means there’s an advantage to doing business with you, instead of just “some other guy.”

Objective #4 – Blogging Creates a Business Asset (Content) that you can Leverage (Use Again & Again)

  • This is really the “hidden” opportunity in blogging. The content you create today will be on the Internet indefinitely. It will be working for you, coming up in searches, building your business without your knowledge.
  • After you’ve accumulated blogs on your site, you can leverage that content. You can create free downloads to entice potential customers to sign up for your newsletter. You can send blog posts to reporters and ask them if they’d like to interview you. You can pull a bunch of blog posts together and create a How-To guide, a training manual, or a book of your best blog posts… whatever suits your business best. You can create both free and for-sale products out of the blogging you’ve done.
  • Pro Tip: Once you get traffic to your website, you need to keep them involved in your business somehow. If they don’t come back to your site, how can you keep in contact with them? Asking readers to sign up for your email list is a common strategy for good reason. It helps you regularly connect with people who are interested in what you’ve shared on your website. However, make sure you write a “thank you” email and follow up with other emails, so they’ll receive something from you as soon as they sign up. Mailchimp is a free program you can use for email lists, and it offers a ton of features.

Objective # 5 – Blogging Helps People “Like” You

People expect to see “the usual” stuff from most business blogs. That’s often because the person writing the blog isn’t the person who’s most passionate about the business. Think about your website as an online version of your storefront… how would you decorate it? How would you want people to feel when they visit it? How would you personally relate to people in this online storefront?

Are you starting to see why you need to be involved in your blog? Your blogs are a reflection of you, as well as your business, and should be something you are directly involved in…. at least on a strategy and planning level.

If you’re planning to delegate your blogging to someone else, whether it’s someone in your staff or a paid contractor, be very strategic in how you do this. Blogging is one of the best strategies you have for managing your presence online — which is a big part of how most of us do business these days. If you have someone else do your blogging, make sure they are on-board with both your branding decisions and your marketing plan. Don’t leave it up to them — decide together what your blog strategy is going to look like.

So, how do you write a good blog post?

Writing a blog is a skill you’ll learn over time. In the beginning, you may feel a little intimidated by your empty computer screen.

For the first few posts, try using some content you’ve already written — a business presentation, a brochure, or any other materials you’ve already worked on. Remember, people will read your blog if they find something that educates and/or entertains them. Keep it on topic and professional, always considering how the post will reflect on your business.

It’s also helpful to realize that blogging doesn’t always have to mean writing. If you’re a visual person, you can use a lot of photos in your blog posts. Your written words are important, but you could just describe what’s in the photos to make it easy to write.

Or maybe you enjoy talking to people and it doesn’t bother you a bit to be in front of a camera… in that case, it makes sense to do video blogs (vlogs). It’s super easy to get started doing vlogs — just use a smart phone or a laptop with a good camera. Ask a friend to help! Over time, you can pick up additional tech to make your vlogs more professional. (Pro Tip: Facebook’s algorithm gives lots of LOVE to videos, as long as you upload your video directly to Facebook as opposed to linking to it on your blog. So upload your video to both YouTube and Facebook, as well as sharing it on your blog.)

As you move forward, you can learn to plan your blog posts further in advance. I’ll share some blogging tactics in a future post. (Sign up to my newsletter to get the posts delivered to you over email!)

If you can figure out what your ideal clients need to read, and provide it to them with your personality, you’ll find blogging is a great way to connect with existing customers and reach out to new ones. Follow my blog to get more strategies and ideas for your blogging.

Thanks for reading!  Remember to sign up for my email newsletter so you don’t miss the next posts!

– Lindsay

Looking for some help setting up your blogging system? Check out my Blogging Bootcamp for Business here. There will be live online video sessions as well as a closed discussion group where you can learn from like-minded entrepreneurs. The next session start dates are coming soon.  

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