When I mention starting a blog to small business owners the reply is usually along the lines of ‘but why do I need one?’, ‘That sounds like a lot of work’ or ‘I’m not a blogger’. So, I wanted to explain how a blog can be hugely beneficial to you and your business from many perspectives, even if you’re not a blogger!
Multiple Baskets – Multiple Channels
Marketing is about providing value to your audience to get them to know, like and trust you, and while social media is a great place for this, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Although unlikely, if anything was to happen to Facebook or Instagram for instance, or if your account was hacked, you need to cover all bases with your marketing and not rely on one platform or channel.
Setting up a blog on your website is a great way to provide value to your audience without relying on social media. If you’re uncomfortable with the concept of a blog, some people give it a different name, like resources or news, depending on what you’ll be posting more of.
Great for SEO
By posting and providing value on your website in the form of a blog, this will direct traffic and encourage people to the site. Cleverly placed internal links within your blog article will then encourage them to stay on your site too and look around while they’re there, hopefully finding more value and the services or products you offer.
Multiple page sessions and increasing the average time spent on the page, for example reading the article, are great for SEO too. This shows the search engines that you are providing valuable content for users because they are spending time on your website. All of which will be beneficial for the SEO of your website.
Great, but what do I write about?
Anything from your area of expertise is valuable to your audience. Posting valuable content also positions you as an expert in your field meaning people will come to you for information. Even if you think what you know is simple, not everyone will know all that you know. Plus, simple is a great place to start.
Examples for posts could be:
- Tips and tricks
- Product reviews
- Recently finished project
- Updates on your business
- Anything news worthy
- Interview someone in your industry
- ‘How to’ guide
- Behind the scenes
- Meet the team
- Add to social media content
Don’t be afraid of giving your secrets away, thinking that people will use all your knowledge for themselves and never come back. While this could happen, more often than not people won’t take action from what they have learnt. And of the small percentage that do, when they get stuck or need further information, they’re likely to come back to you for advice, gaining you at the very least a keen follower or even a future client/customer.
So, how long does it need to be?
The length and structure of your blog article is another factor which can be helpful to SEO. While there is no right or wrong when it comes to writing your blog article, there are ways to optimise it to really make the most of the content.
Google advises a minimum of 300 words for any webpage on your website. This will give plenty of content for the bots to crawl to clearly establish what the page is about and when it should show it in search results.
On the longer end of the scale for an article, consider making anything over 2,500-3,000 words into a download where you can capture data such as email addresses for your mailing list. You can still benefit from the content though by posting an extract or an overview of the longer article to your blog and then a link to download the rest/full article.
The key here is to make sure it is easy to read for the user, so break it up with headers and bullet points where you can, and don’t waffle on. It’s good to include those all-important keywords and phrases, but don’t overload it and include unnecessary content for the sake of it.
How often do I need to post a blog article?
This comes down to the individual – you! The more frequent the better, but if you can do a blog post once or twice a month you will start to see benefits for your SEO. Writing and posting blog articles on a regular basis will also mean that people will seek out the new articles soon after the last one.
If you leave it months and months between articles it can also look like the site it outdated and not current. Keeping regular articles going up is a good way to avoid this.
A great way to increase the number of blogs you can post is to collaborate with someone else and guest blog. Find a business that compliments your own that you’d like to work with and suggest guest blogging to them. You could write and article for them, in return for them writing one for you.
Well, it’s written and posted, what now?
Once you have posted your blog article to your website, all of what we have spoken about so far in this blog is useless if no one knows about it. This is where you have to shout from the roof tops about your new blog article and let people know where they can find it.
Post on social media to direct people to the blog article, both as a post and talk about it on your stories. You can also put teasers of the content on there too, so people can see what they’re missing. Break down the article into key points and use those for posts or stories on social to make the content go further.
Send the article out to your email marketing list, and make sure you include a link to it. You’ll be able to see the click through rate on there and find out how popular the article is with your audience too.
Always ask anyone who you collaborate with on your blog articles to share it out on their marketing channels and social media too, the more people who see it the better.
I hope that has helped to explain why a blog is a fantastic idea, both your business and your audience. Posting regular blog articles positions you as an industry expert, improves website SEO, provides value for your audience and gains you a loyal band of followers, clients and customers. What’s not to love!
If you have any questions about this article, or any others, I’m always happy to chat more and discuss any marketing tips with you. Find me on Instagram, Facebook or my contact details here. I look forward to chatting with you soon.