If you tell me you have a business, big or small, but especially if it’s just you and your computer, the once piece of advice I’d give you in terms of online marketing, is to write a blog. A small business blog can do wonders for your website traffic, building a community and establishing yourself as an expert, but that’s not all! Setting up and managing a blog takes your expertise and some planning, but requires not much else if you get creative.
But maybe you are still not convinced a blog is right for your small business or that you have the time to do it. So, let me lay it out for you here with a bunch of reasons why setting up that small business blog would be good for your small business (and perhaps could turn it into a big business!)
A small business blog is the answer
And here’s why:
1. You can write about what you know best to an audience who wants to listen
Your blog should be about your wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience. You’ve started your own business to work on what you know and love, so why not tell people about it? Through blogging you can reach a handful-size or stadium-size group of people who are interested to hear what you have to say. And while you may not want to give away your trade secrets (then you wouldn’t have a business) people are naturally curious and want to learn from you.
2. It tells Google your website is alive and regularly active
Your website cannot be just a static document where your contact information and head shot is located, your website should be alive! And while it doesn’t make sense to update your About page every two weeks, your blog can be your regular, updated content. The search engine crawlers used by Google and Bing will favor a website that is actively publishing new content regularly over one that hasn’t changed in six months. And that means it can move up in search results and you’re more likely to be found by your ideal customers.
3. You can express yourself through a medium that works for you (audio, text, video, images)
A blog started out as a “web log” where people could write anything. But these days, you aren’t limited to just the written word. Blogs can be filled with
- audio, like podcasts and recordings
- video, like tutorials and vlogs (video logs)
- images, like infographics or your own photos.
If you can’t stand the thought of always writing an article or essay, choose a different medium that suits your style and brand, and work that into your blog. Technically, you may upload your videos to YouTube but then embed them on your blog post, so your readers can access them easily but you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff. And someone might discover your videos on YouTube…another bonus!
4. It builds your brand without much effort
You are your business. When you designed your business it is with your personality, your values and your knowledge that people are drawn to you and want to work with you. Therefore your voice can come through in your blog and you’ll naturally attract readers who identify with you.
Your brand is the energy that people think about and feel when they see your logo or website, get an email from you, or talk to you in person. And that will come out in your blog posts too.
5. More keyword content is good for boosting your search engine results rank
SEO and keywords are buzz words in online marketing, but what it means is that regularly providing content using targeted keywords that relate to your business means that your website will be more likely to be found when someone uses that keyword in a search. And linking back to #2 above, your blog can help you publish regular content on your website, and regular keyword targeted-content tells Google that you know what you’re talking about.
While it is pretty impossible to rank for one-word keywords (like “consulting” or “ebook”) finding which long tail keywords fit your business (and people are searching for) will mean that you’ll be more likely to move up in the search engine results rankings. See this great article about long tail keywords from SEO expert Yoast.
6. You can connect with and build a community
When you go to a conference, you connect and network with people who work in the same industry or have the same interests as you, and a blog community is like that, but online. If you have new information you want to share it with the people who are also interested in that topic, so you’ll soon gain followers to are happy to read/hear/watch what you have to say. Through commenting and social media you can interact and meet more people who will turn into colleagues or new customers.
And don’t forget to go check out their blogs and add your comments. Give and take is the name of the game!
7. It allows you to expand your knowledge and expertise
As I write this blog post, I have to do a little research of my own. What are the experts talking about? Where was that blogging article I saved to my Pinterest Blogging board? How exactly are those crawler bots finding my website now? It requires that I stay on top of trends, work within my industry and continue to expand my knowledge. I want my readers to have good information that they can take back to their own businesses.
While this may be lower on your priority list for starting a blog, I wouldn’t ignore it completely. If we didn’t continue to learn and grow, we couldn’t adapt to the changing world, and in terms of dollars and cents (or euros and euro cents) our customers wouldn’t want to work with us anymore. Producing content regularly holds us responsible.
8. You can use and share that content everywhere…you wrote it!
Unlike the link you shared or the image you liked, when you write a blog (or record some audio or film a video) you own that content and you can do whatever you like with it. You can share it, reuse it for a SlideShare, repurpose a video tutorial into a written tutorial, or turn into an infographic. You may have followers that find you on different networks or like to get your content in different mediums, so having the legal ability to do whatever you want with your content is a huge freedom.
You may want read my article about 6 Things You Must Do After Hitting Publish in which I explain how you can share your content after you’ve published it on your small business blog. If it seems overwhelming to do all of that, contact me and I can help you out.
BONUS: List of content that could get you started with 10 blog posts
Now that I’ve given you all (well not all but many, compelling) reasons why you should be starting your business blog, I’m going to share with you 10 ideas for writing your first 10 blog posts. Take these and use them, expand on them, create them into a series (like my What Is series) or let them help you get your creative juices flowing. It’s a good idea to write a few posts, so you don’t leave yourself under pressure when your posting deadline arrives.
- Write an introduction to who you are and why you started your business
- Describe the answer to the one question you get asked about your business all of the time
- Write a tutorial for getting a task done
- Compare two different tools and explain why you would use one over the other
- Create a checklist of the things your customers should NEVER do
- Write an update about something you accomplished in your business recently
- Discuss a new trend in your industry and give your opinion
- Share a favorite video or audio clip that inspires you
- Ask a colleague to write a guest post on your blog
- Write a top 10 list of helpful things you use in your business
Do you have a small business blog?
Share it in the comments below, I’d be happy to come over and say hi. If you don’t have one, what would you need to get one started? Time, inspiration, technical help? I look forward to hearing from you.