Many business owners build or have built websites to promote their business. They then jump to the conclusion that they are done. But, they are wrong! Your website needs to be kept up to date with fresh information and content on a regular basis. How best to do this? Blog! A blog allows you as a small business owner to communicate regularly with your website visitors on what is happening in your company.
Here are some ways that blogging can help your business:
- Helps you reach out to clients and potential clients
- Establishes you as a subject-matter expert
- Gives you free publicity through search engine results
- Brings more web traffic to your website
- Makes your website more lively and friendly
- De-mystifies your business and makes it (and you) more approachable
- Lets you easily provide news, specials, etc.
- Helps you communicate in a timely fashion
- Builds a following of readers or visitors, who might turn into clients one day
- Provides technical support, online documentation, etc. – again, all part of establishing you as a subject-matter expert
Of course, the increased web traffic and better search engine results certainly doesn’t hurt either. And since Google and the major search engines factor in the context of your website and what you’re writing about, the more keyword-rich content on it, the better off you’ll be.
While blogging is a great way to benefit your small business, I try to remind people that success with blogging isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, but that’s a concept that any small business owner already knows.
So if you want to start blogging, here are some things to keep in mind as you get down to it:
- Leave time to write regularly – Give yourself time to write. You may be swamped already, but set a schedule and stick to it, even if that means only publishing content once a week. No one says you need to publish content every day anyways.
- Keep expectations in check – It took me over a year to get 100 subscribers to my blog, but I don’t define success just by my subscriber count. Given the other benefits that I’ve received from blogging, I think I’m successful. So what do you expect to gain from blogging?
- Learn to write different – Writing for a website is much different than the more formal writing that people are used to. You might not find your blog voice right away, but keep at it, do some research into how to write for a blog (see some of the links below), and you’ll ultimately find it.
- You have info people want – As a small business owner, you have knowledge that people want to know – that’s why they’re coming to you in the first place. If you’re able to translate that knowledge into quality blog, people will find it and want to read it.
- Think journal entry, not thesis – You don’t have to write a lengthy dissertation for each blog post that you put together. Keep it short and on topic, and you’ll get your readers more engaged with what you’re talking about.