How to hit a home run with your business blogs
Do you want to use blogging as part of your small business’ marketing strategy, but unsure where to start and how to blog effectively?
Here are 3 hot tips to improve your small business blog. So you too can share your brands, services, knowledge and skills in an informative way, while optimising your visibility across various platforms.
First let’s discuss – Why blog?
It’s proven that marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. That’s a big deal.
There are some key benefits of blogging:
1) Blogging is important in business to engage with customers on a personal level. Blogging is an inbound marketing method that builds a long-lasting relationship and a loyal customer base. People buy from people, and they need to know like and trust you before they will do this.
2) It builds your brand, helping you to position yourself as an industry influencer, while creating key pieces of content for your business, addressing customers frequently asked questions, pain points and demonstrating your unique value proposition.
3) It improves your search engine optimisation (SEO) – This simply means it increases your chances of organically (not using paid advertising) being seen in search engines like Google.
TIP 1 – Know your business mission/vision
Do you have a crystal clear vision of why you’re in business? How you operate and present the brand? And who you want to do business with? If you answered “yes” to this question, fabulous! If not, then it’s likely you need to write or re-write your mission statement. But what has this got to do with blogging?
Your mission statement can offer inspiration and guidance for your business’s content and brand voice. It communicates the direction and values of your organisation. Clear and inspired mission statements communicate to customers, investors and employees the solution you will provide to them by identifying the problem you solve.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. The Brand states “our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
There is no uncertainty who IKEA’s audience is, nor the problem they solve for their customers. I mean… who here doesn’t own a piece of Ikea furniture? Their blogs can address sustainability, design, who the designers are, feng shui, product benefits and so much more.
Our mission is to provide caring, flexible and customised virtual business management and outsourced marketing support services to established small to medium business owners. We offer our clients a collaborative, behind the scenes secret weapon, providing the trust, structure, tools, and expertise that allows business owners to confidently outsource their work. We do this to create the space for our clients to increase productivity, reduce overwhelm and scale their business.
Before I plan out my content for the next quarter, and before I write the blog I ask myself one question… How does this help my audience/customer avatar?
I look to my mission which addresses my customer avatars pain points
- Do they feel they can confidently outsource?
- How can they increase their productivity?
- How do we help to reduce the feeling of overwhelm?
- What can we do to help to scale their business?
- Does the tone show care, demonstrate trust, look structured and share useful tools and expertise?
If I answered YES to any of these, then the blog is aligned to the business mission. By addressing my audience’s needs and pain points, I’m providing them with a solution, and hopefully information valuable to them. The blog will also reveal my business brand and unique value proposition (with hope!).
TIP 2 – Dedicate time to blog
Did you know that according to WordPress, nearly 409 million people view more than 20 billion web pages each month? So clearly blogging is a clever and relatively inexpensive marketing tool, which helps level up small business in the online world.
But a successful blogging requires time, commitment to blog consistently, and some strategic planning. According to a survey of more than a thousand bloggers, a typical blog post takes nearly four hours to create.
As a blog takes some strategic planning, it’s important to allocate and block out time in your calendar to draft blogs with purpose. There’s no point writing a sub-standard piece of prose to keep your web page current… it needs to be useful, well written and speaking directly to your audience.
Or if you have no time to allocate a minimum of 4 hours a month, then consider outsourcing your blogging. We would love to assist you!
TIP 3 – Consider the blog structure
They say ‘content is King’, which is fair, it IS important, but you don’t want to let it down by having it be too text heavy. Readers absorb content quickly these days, if it doesn’t capture their attention with a catchy heading, and easy to digest content, it doesn’t matter how amazing the content is, it will not be consumed. So you don’t just need the king, but the whole royal family!
The aim is to make it as easy to read as possible. Here are some ways to do this:
- How easy is it to read?
Did you know it’s best to write at an eighth grade reading level? Leave out the jargon, abbreviations, complicated words and long sentences. Writing a blog at a simple reading level isn’t to insult anyone’s intelligence, it simply helps make your point quickly, efficiently, and effectively. I use the Hemingwayapp, which is free, to ensure my writing isn’t a challenge to read.
- How visually engaging is the post?
There are several ways to make your blog visually engaging and easy to read, here are a few:
We read with our eyes first, so we tend to look at images before we read the text. A feature image is vital – it will be the visual that will be seen on your website before someone clicks into your blog, or on socials and other platforms. For WordPress, the optimal featured image size is 1200 x 628 pixels. Consider adding high quality, clean and simple, consistently sized images every 400 words or so, into your blog. Ensure the image supports the written content. The image should have a purpose and add to the written content. Ensure the images are consistently sized. Consider an infographic, or a picture enhancing the tone or feeling you’re talking about. Compress the images to optimise SEO and name them with keywords and descriptive titles.
Are you put off by big blocks of text? If you answered ‘yes’, you’re not alone. Short paragraphs, separated by headings are easy to digest. So break them up with headings and sub-headings.Heading 1 is for your blog post title. Heading 2 for the next sub-heading. Then if you nest other sub-headings under that, you’d use Heading 3 and so on. This not only helps with readability, but with SEO.
- Lists and bullet points
By breaking your content into lists or bullet points, they become easier to digest, creating more white space on the page. This blog is a case in point – pun intended.
- Links and statistics
By placing inbound hyperlinks to your blog, it adds diversity to the text. What I mean by that is; firstly, a hyperlink is a different colour on the page, so visually it will draw the reader in. More than that, someone can read further on a particular topic that interests them by following the link to either another blog post or page on your website, or to a third party site.You can see in this blog post, when I reference statistics, there is a link to the source. This is polite, and ethically the right approach to acknowledge your sources. It also adds credibility and shows your audience that you refer to other industry leaders and information relevant to the topic.
When you’re writing your blog, or outsourcing it, it’s important to remember that blog writing isn’t simply putting words on a page. There’s actually a lot to consider when planning content and drafting a blog. We didn’t even really touch on the importance of SEO. So prepare your time accordingly, write the content so it’s easy to digest and relevant to your service offerings, while adding value to your existing and potential customers. Blogging is an awesome way to build trust with your target audience, and increase your visibility.
Looking for someone to plan content and write your blogs for you?
Deb and her team at Versatile VA support small service based health and wellness businesses with copywriting and outsourced marketing support. Book in a complimentary consultation today, so we can be your behind the scenes secret weapon.
Support leads to success