In the next few weeks I’m going to be offering some ideas on blogging, designed to build readership, bring in more business and improve your Google ranking.
If you’re reading this blog then you already understand the vital importance of an internet presence. Hopefully your business has a blog, if not, it’s time to rethink your strategy. A blog is your tool for self-promotion, marketing, educating your readership and sharing upcoming events, sales and other special activities with customers.
Blogging done well takes time, effort and consistency. As with any job, you want to do it well with as little effort as possible. Let’s look at some ways to maximize your time and prioritize blogging.
- Is your business blog included in your advertising or marketing plan? Every blog post you publish on your website is free advertising for the business. Look at blogging as dollars saved and potential earnings. You can’t really afford not to blog; if you take a look at your competitor he’s probably blogging. Take the time to revisit your marketing plan and add blogging to the list. We’ll talk about a business plan for your blog in an upcoming article.
- Develop a list of ideas for blog posts. Put the list right next to your computer and make notes each time you come up with an idea. If you’re at a loss for ideas check out trade magazines, the competition’s blogs, interaction among staff, customers’ questions, etc. Many regular bloggers keep a little notepad with them for jotting down these random thoughts that can turn into a blog article with a little work. You might get some additional inspiration by looking at your list of inventory items and think about a title that could be used to naturally link to that item.
- Develop an editorial calendar. If you’ve been blogging for awhile you can probably tell what type of article draws the largest readership. If you find that posts which answer common problems draw an audience, then schedule a regular Q and A post. Pick a day for that type of article and stick with it. Readers will come to anticipate a particular type article and check back with regularity. Depending on the type of business you can come up with your own list, just remember that you have to be consistent. Here’s a sample of a calendar for a swimming pool builder website:
Monday: Product Feature – a review of a new or existing product which you want to draw attention to. This can be seasonal or tied to inventory levels.
Wednesday: Question and answers – take a customer question that would appeal to a wide audience and answer it. You can build in products, with links to each specific product as well as help your reader solve a problem. When you’ve given readers something of value they’ll return for more; it’s another way to build loyalty.
Friday: Write an informational piece. Maybe as spring approaches you’ll want to write about keeping the pool-side surface attractive with ideas for cleaning and landscaping. As summer approaches write an article about maintaining pH balance where you promote water testing products. This is where you are showcasing your business expertise, establishing yourself as the go-to person. Share resources, talk about customer service and how you can help clients make the best of your products.
- Delegate some of the blogging responsibilities. There is no reason you, the owner, have to write every article. You can add blog maintenance or writing to a staff member’s job, assuming you have someone with the necessary skills. It’s important that you choose a trusted member who has the best interests of the business at heart. You can also use the services of PlanMySite and let us do the blogging for you or hire other web design company that offers online marketing services. The content of your blog is just as important as the quality of your website, you want it done well.
- It helps if you approach the blog article as an additional opportunity for drawing readers from the internet. Your article can be maximized for search engines, with a good strong title and content that offers value. You are not only writing for customers and regular readers but potential customers. It doesn’t always have to be a long technical article; you can use smaller posts, instructional videos, links to other sites and pictures of your products. When you look at the blog as a creative way to sell your products then it’s much easier to justify spending the time to create a good article.
As a business owner you’re looking for ways to promote products, build a brand and increase sales. And, you want to find that tool which helps you stand apart from the crowd. The business blog is a natural vehicle for this. By making a plan, generating some ideas and providing readers with content which offers value you will be marketing your business effectively. If you have any questions or would like to get more information please drop us a line.