If you thought blogging (publishing articles on the internet) was the domain of fashion influences and parenting experts you are missing a golden opportunity.
In fact many types of business could benefit from blogging, particularly if they provide solid, practical information and expertise that people are searching for online.
Benefits of blogging
In marketing and promotional terms, blogging can:
- establish you as a subject matter expert in your field
- help prospective customers get to know you or your company, and therefore grow their trust, before they buy
- attract more traffic to your website by creating articles with specific keywords that customers are searching for (a proven search engine optimisation tactic).
Other benefits of blogging are its low cost (apart from your time to write posts, and any research you may need to undertake), and the fact customers who contact you after reading your articles are often educated buyers who are much closer to making a purchase than a ‘cold’ client with no understanding about what you do and how you do it.
How to get started
Becoming a good blogger is like any skill — it takes time and practice. However, there are some tips and tricks to can help you get started and produce content that will work for your business.
- Start with research. Think about the questions your customers always ask you before buying and invest time in some keyword research to give your content the best chance of being found.
- Consider your key points. It’s helpful to use dot points to outline the key points you want to make in your blog, ensuring you have a strong answer or conclusion at the end so readers aren’t left confused.
- Use a framework. There are several templates to use as a starting point including:
- The listicle: An easy to read list of main points, for example “7 little known but essential car maintenance tips”, “5 reasons to use a traditional signwriter” or “10 ways an osteopath can help your mobility”.
- The comparative post: A comprehensive article where you review two or more similar products, outline the pros and cons of each, and state which you would recommend, for example “iPhone 11 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 for photography”, “Free range vs cage eggs for cooking” or “Having a Squarespace vs WordPress website in 2020”.
- The case study: Relating the story of a client including the situation they were in when they came to you, what you did for them, and the outcome.
- The tutorial post: A ‘how to’ taking the reader step-by-step through a DIY project. This format can be particularly useful if you sell the raw materials or machinery needed for the project (“how to make a wood turned bowl from jarrah” for a lathe retailer) or you provide a service and want to establish your expertise (“how to knock 10 years off your home loan” for a mortgage broker).
While it is easy to make blogging work for your business, there are some key traps to avoid:
- Don’t make your blog too promotional – it is an educational marketing platform, not a sales platform.
- Don’t ‘churn and burn’ – a well written and researched article will do more for your business that a raft of hastily written filler posts.
- Don’t copy – your blog content should be unique and offer information of value to your prospects that they can’t easily find elsewhere. Beware of plagiarism that can hurt your website ranking.
- Don’t ‘spray and pray’ – poor spelling and grammar, and misinformation, can hurt your business brand.
- Not sharing – it’s important to make it easy for people to find your blog in the competitive online world, so use your social media and email lists to help people find the information, and encourage them to share it too.
- Be consistent – post at regular intervals, whether that is daily or monthly. Don’t forgot about your blog, it’s not a good look if you haven’t posted for a long time.
Ready to start blogging?
Blogging for business is a free promotional technique that can help you achieve your digital marketing goals. You can get some further background for blogging from the following resources:
- Our small business workshops including Marketing your Business and Digital Marketing Essentials
- Add blogging to your marketing plan (download a free marketing plan template)
- Read about digital marketing and search engine optimisation made easy