Do you blog?

Like many small businesses, we have a complicated relationship with blogging.  We know it is good for us, but sometimes it feels like hard work, we worry about whether anyone reads the posts (and whether they like what we have written) and finding the time can be difficult when you are running a business.  There are always other priorities…

Why bother with a blog?

There are many good reasons to blog

1.  It gives people a reason to come to your website (and/or come back).  They might have a nosey around.  See something they like.  They might then buy – or recommend you to someone else who is looking for what you offer.

2.  It gives other people something to share – extending the reach of your audience

3.  It builds your trust with clients.  It shows you as the authority.  You are showing the depth of your knowledge.  You are also showing your personality (and people buy from people they like and trust).

4. It shows customers and search engines your website and business are still in action.  There is nothing worse than seeing a website where the last post is dated 2016.  Is this business still going…

5.  It helps your paid advertising.  How?  You can install a pixel (this is just a little bit of code) which then tracks who has been on your website.  It won’t tell YOU who has been looking at your website but, if you have the pixel installed, you can ask Facebook to show your ads to people who have previously visited your website.  These people are far more likely to buy than someone who has not seen your business before, meaning these ads are far more cost effective

6.  It helps your SEO – that is it makes it more likely someone will find you when searching on Google

Why blog and how to blog

What to Blog About

This is where most people get stuck.

Brainstorm a list.  What questions do customers/potential customers ask you?  What else might they want to know?  Ask if you don’t know (either ask customers or go into a group where they hang out and ask people in there).

You can also blog about topical subjects (new Royal baby anyone?).  Think about dates coming up (we wrote a blog post last year for Father’s Day – My dad, My hero).  But make them at least a bit relevant to your business…

Write about things going on in your business, or your life (but not too much!) – people like to see behind the scenes.

How to Write

First of all, write for your audience.  Make it personal.  Make it sound like you are talking directly to them.  Use the kind of language they understand and use themselves – don’t use technical jargon unless it is an audience that will understand that language.  You’re trying to make friends with them not impress them with detailed technical knowledge.

Break your blog up into sections.  Use sub headings (these should be H2 headings on your website) and images to make it more readable.  Use mainly short sentences with an occasional longer sentence.  People tend to skim read – make it easy for them.  The purpose of each sentence is to make them read the next…

The title is hugely important (no pressure!).  It needs to be compelling to read and also be the kind of question/issue people search for online to have the best chance of helping with SEO (that’s where you are found on Google).

Google (other search engines are available) likes blog posts at least 500 words long.  It gives them more words to search.  But don’t worry if you can’t write that much.  300 words is better than none.

And if you are struggling with “blank sheet of paper-itis”?  Set a timer for 15 minutes.  Write (or type) whatever you can.  It doesn’t matter if it is rubbish – it is much easier to edit something than to start.  If you haven’t found your flow when the timer goes off then stop and come back to it another time.  And if you have?  Then keep on writing!

Good luck!

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© Beyond the Kitchen Table 2018