We keep saying it, and we hope you’re paying attention. You need to be blogging on your small business website. Here are the main reasons why:
- Your website visitors, potential customers, current customers, social media followers, and members of the media want information about your business and industry.
- Regular blogging fuels website traffic.
- Sharing information about your line of work positions you as an expert. Consumers want to do business with reputable professionals.
Convinced? Good. Now, let’s talk about how to start your small business blog. Consider the following your to-do list.
Add a blog to your small business website.
We’re writing this article under the assumption that you already have your small business website launched. If not, contact us to get started on your new website.
Depending on the platform you’re using for your website, the method for adding a blog to it will vary. If your small business website is like 31% of the modern internet and powered by WordPress, your site already has the capabilities for a blog incorporated into it. All you need to do now is create a place for your blog posts to land (essentially, you may want to build a new page for your blog) and add it to your menu(s) so that its presence is evident from every page of your small business website. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to add a blog to your website, but if you find the process overwhelming, again, just contact us. We love building blogs for clients.
Select your subject matter.
While the whole point of your blog is to promote your small business, blog post after blog post about your business and only your business can be a turnoff. Company news should be shared, but you should also write altruistically about concepts and ideas that benefit your customers.
For example, let’s say your small business is chiropractic care. Here are the types of blog posts you should be publishing:
- Company news – Share updates about new doctors practicing from your business, new team members, new locations, new insurance you’re accepting, etc. Celebrating an anniversary? Announce it. People want inside information about your company.
- Industry news – Did a new study about chiropractic health publish? Write about it and give your readers your opinion. Is there a new piece of equipment that has just hit the market that could help your patients with their care? Inform your clients. This is your chance to display your expertise.
- Tips – What can your patients do to care for their chiropractic health? Are there exercises to recommend? Is there a specific type of office chair that they should be using at work? What about multivitamins? Offering advice and tips is an opportunity to be generously helpful to your potential and current clients without asking for anything in return. Consumers appreciate free help. When they’re ready to book an appointment and pay for help, they’ll remember you.
Decide on frequency and plan a calendar.
Many, many people decide on frequency and plan their editorial calendar after launching their blog. However, we think it’s best to decide these things prior. You can always tweak both later when you learn more about what works and what doesn’t. But before you officially start your small business blog, set some structure for yourself by committing to frequency. We recommend blogging at least once per week, but if you can publish more often than that, you should definitely go for it.
Now that you know your subject matter and frequency, open up a spreadsheet and start plotting your topics and dates. Again, doing this beforehand gives you some structure and guidance. You don’t want to feel lost after starting your new small business blog. Planning your editorial calendar in advance is like having a road map.
Write your first blog post.
You can do it! Write your first blog post. Acknowledge that it’s the first. Make a big deal about it. Tell your readers what they can expect, and invite them to comment. Your blog posts don’t need to be 5,000 words. In fact, they shouldn’t be. Authenticity and accuracy are more important than length, when it comes to blogging. A blog post between 350-500 words is sufficient. Here are some other blogging tips:
- Optimize your content for search engines. Choose your keyword or key phrase and make sure it is used in the blog post title, URL slug, throughout your blog post in a natural manner, and with whichever plugin or extension you’re using for the SEO of your website. (We recommend and use Yoast.) For example, ‘small business blog’ is the key phrase of this blog post. See how it’s used in our title, above in the URL slug, and throughout this post?
- Proofread. Look for typos, misspelled words, grammatical and punctuation errors. We recommend proofing and editing blog posts at least twice, but preferably three times.
- Insert internal links. Looking over your blog post, what words or phrases could be appropriately linked back to pages within your website? Go up to the top of this blog post. In the first paragraph, second bullet point, we cleverly linked back to one of our blog posts. That’s an internal link meant to lead you to another page on this same website. Hey, we’d keep you here all day if we could, which is your goal, too. By inserting internal links, you could be keeping your website visitors around longer.
- Insert external links. Next, consider peppering an external link or two into your blog post. Be selective. External links should take to your readers to reputable and trustworthy websites only. While you certainly don’t want to send your customers away, external linking is just a method for supporting statements you make in your blog post while also letting search engines know that you play nicely with others on the internet, sharing your web traffic. Search engines reward you for that.
- Use impressive imagery. Include a stunning feature image at the top of your blog post, which can be used when it’s shared on social media.
- Invite people to engage. Many of your blog posts will inspire conversation. At the end of those posts, invite your readers to leave a comment and feedback.
- Invite people to subscribe. Give your website visitors the opportunity to have your blog posts land in their email inbox. Read this article for recommendations and guidance on adding a subscription option to your blog.
Congratulations! You did it. You wrote you first blog post. There, that wasn’t so scary, was it? Now… click Publish. (Or, schedule it for later.)
- Announce it. For your very first blog post, consider also writing and sending out a press release to the media announcing the launch of your new small business blog. It’s a big deal. Invite everyone to read it.
- Share it. Every single one of your blog posts should be shared and promoted on all of your social media channels and email marketing campaigns.
Running your own business is a lot of work, that’s true. And adding regular blogging to your list of tasks may seem daunting, but it’s a a task that’s as necessary as keeping your financial accounts updated.
Are you going to add a blog to your small business website now? Tell us your ideas for your new blog or ask us any questions in the comment section below.