You run a small business with a handful of employees. Or maybe you’re a solopreneur managing everything yourself. You’ve heard you need a blog, but how are you supposed to manage it? What can it do for you? Why would you want one? Isn’t it just a waste of time that you could be putting toward other work?
While I hate to break it to you, yes, you need a small business blog. At least most of you do. Okay, okay. Maybe “need” isn’t the right word. But a blog would be worth every bit of time and money you put into it, if you do it right.
Let’s talk about why you want a small business blog and what “doing it right” means.
Benefits of Small Business Blogging
When you launch and maintain a well-planned-out blog for your small business, here’s what that blog can do for you:
- It can help you share news with your customers, from limited online deals to local event details. That means more customers get to take part.
- A small business blog can bring you visibility and recognition in your field, especially when you or key staff publish industry commentary or opinion pieces.
- Blogs can make you a trusted resource for customers. Educational or entertaining blog content can keep them coming back to your website, or it can get them to subscribe to your email list. That gives you more opportunities to sell them on your products and services.
- A regularly-updated blog for your business is a ranking signal for Google (which loves fresh and timely content). That can mean better search engine rankings. And better search engine rankings mean your customers will have an easier time finding your business — whether that means buying online, getting local business information like your address and hours, or learning about your latest products and services.
With all of these reasons your small business should have a blog, how do you go about it the right way? After all, if you’re going to put the time or money in, you want results.
Small Business Blogging the “Right” Way
Now look. There is more than one effective way to manage a business blog. But there are some “rights” and “wrongs” that apply in every case. It doesn’t matter if your blog is a marketing tool, a customer service resource, a part of your PR outreach, or even a direct money-maker. If you want your small business blogging efforts to pay off, here are three things you must do:
- Have a content strategy. Effective small business blogging doesn’t come from writing whatever you feel like on a whim. Know what’s coming. Plan content out weeks to months in advance. If it’s evergreen, have it written early so you can coordinate other social media marketing around each post.
- Talk to people. Your company blog needs to make readers feel welcome. Make sure your posts speak to them rather than you “talking at them.” Use second-person POV (saying “you” as if you’re having a conversation with each reader one-on-one). Leave your comments open — blogs are social tools. And respond to those comments when appropriate. Don’t worry about it being a huge waste of time. A new small business blog won’t get many comments early on anyway. But shutting them down tells your visitors you don’t care about what they have to say, whether they intended to share or not.
- Offer something of value. If your small business blog does nothing but scream “Me, me, me!” you’re not offering anything of value to readers. Solve a problem. Answer a question. Be a resource. Turn your small business blog into both a tool and a destination. It has to work for you. But it has to work for your customers too.
This is just a short introduction if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should launch a blog for your small business. Moving forward here, we’ll talk more about the specifics. How long should your posts be? Should you write your blog yourself? (It might sound odd coming from a freelance blogger, but the answer might be “yes!”) How can you make your company blog an extension of your brand? We’ll talk about all of this and more. And I’ll be here to guide you through the process of small business blogging if you need a helping hand.
In the meantime, do you have a question about running a small business blog? You can contact me with your questions, and I might answer them here on the blog. Or, get in touch any time to discuss your blogging needs if you’d rather let a professional blogger handle your content strategy and writing.