Blog Your Way to More Business

Small businesses don’t always focus on writing company blogs. Between trying to raise sales, gain visibility, and develop rapport with customers, is there time for writing blogs? In fact, if you’re trying to accomplish any one of those goals, blogging is the one of the best ways to achieve all three.

Whether you are just starting a company blog, or you’re a seasoned professional, we have some tips for you. We answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions about small business blogging.

Who?

This question is easy to answer. Every company should have a blog. It doesn’t matter your industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or have 50 employees. It doesn’t even matter what your technical skill is. Technorati found that just behind retail sites and brand sites, blogs are the next largest influencer in purchasing decisions.

If you are a B2B business, you can quote or team up with another company in exchange for mentions and shares. Collaborating can give both companies a boost in followers and potential new customers. You can also consider hiring a professional blogger to review your product on their website. This allows you to gain additional exposure to their fans.

What?

The content of your blog post can and should consist of several different things. Blog posts with company updates, news, and products launches serve to increase your visibility. Blog posts highlighting industry trends help clients learn how your company is different from competitors. You can even include current news. Whichever you chose to write, make sure to highlight your expertise in the area.

Some of the best blog posts to drive traffic are known as evergreen content. These blog posts stay relevant with keywords that are often searched. Lists, instructional how-to posts, and reviews are considered evergreen because the topics stay relevant over time. These posts may be pulled up again and again and bring compounding views as long as the posts stay up. Hubspot shows that 10% off all blog posts fall into this category.

When?

Small businesses should post as often as they have relevant content. However, the frequency of posting is not as important as the consistency. Most blogging sites will let you schedule your blog posts in advance. Write out a series of posts when you have ample time. Then create a consistent schedule for publishing. Delivering timely content to your clients helps maintain a constant connection with them.

Different industries may need different frequency schedules. Huffington Post releases a new blog every minute. A digital trends blogging company, Buffer, posts new blogs twice a week to keep up with industry trends. Other companies may need more or less for their business. Your industry will help determine the frequency. Some, like technology sectors, change rapidly and need numerous blogs to keep up. Others may find the trends of the industry stay relatively the same for a longer period. No matter how often you post, make sure it is quality over quantity. Lower quality posts for the sake of posting will not further the company’s reputation, and may even damage it.

 Where?

The best option for posting your blog is on your own website if you’re tech-savvy or can outsource your blog posting to virtual business company. This will help to drive traffic to different parts of your website. You can also get your own domain with a WordPress site or a Google-owned Blogger site. Medium is a relatively new blogging site where you can create business pages. It has high SEO traffic and searches by keyword. Tumblr is popular short form site that is mainly personal, but reaches a wide range of potential viewers. Don’t forget to post your blog to LinkedIn as well. Publishing it on LinkedIn with public settings drives both connections and outside searchers to your blog post.

A word of caution about posting your blog word-for-word on multiple sites. Have you ever noticed at the end of a search engine page a warning that similar pages have been omitted? You don’t want your website to end up there. If you post duplicate blogs on multiple sites, your content may work against your organic SEO and propel other sites above your own.

Why?

There are many benefits to having a blog for your company. Blogs can give your website additional keywords and anchor text that search engines can find. Anchor text is used to link key words or phrases to the relevant content, in this instance your website. This will drive organic traffic to your website. Make sure to link back to your website from your blogs as well as cross-linking to other blog posts pn your website regardless of what platform you publish the blog.

You can gain additional exposure by post a link to your blog on social media sites. This will allow followers and associates to see your blog posts and increase traffic to your site. Posting links to your blogs and articles on your social media site allows current and potential customers to gain knowledge about both your company and the content you’re providing.

Company blogs will also increase the visibility of your company. It’s a great way to give your company a voice, particularly a personal one that consumers can connect with. Blogs also show your expertise and knowledge about your industry. This helps build trust and reliability for your customers. Having a blog where customers can come for information and leave comments and questions allows a friendly relationship to form. Technorati found that blogs are considered the 5th most trustworthy source on the internet for consumers. Having a blog allows your company to secure a reputable standing.

How?

Before you begin writing, set both a writing and a publishing schedule, and stick to it. It may help to create a content calendar so you can keep track of topics you’d like to discuss and create a theme. If you are able, write several blog posts at a time. Having several completed beforehand won’t leave you pressured by a deadline. Stay consistent with publishing the posts.

Short, concise posts work best for most audiences. Hubspot found 43% of people admitted to skimming blog posts. If you find your post has several topics or is exceeding a comfortable length, consider breaking it up into a series. This can keep your readers engaged without overwhelming them. Keep in mind that if you create a series, you should create the URL links beforehand. This way you can connect the related posts together for your reader and give pages on your site more traffic.

Strive for fluidity. You don’t have to write for experts, but you do need to write so your readers will understand. A good rule of thumb is keeping sentences to a twelve word maximum. This allows readers to digest the content easily. Experts also recommend keeping your writing at a 6-9 grade reading level.

You can use the Flesch-Kincaid calculator to see the level of your blog post. We scored 8th grade on this post!

Forbes says that posts with images get 94% more views. If you chose to use images in your blog, make sure you stay within legal guidelines. Find images that hold a Creative Common License that allows you the right to use, modify or commercially distribute. Some are attribute-free and royalty-free as well. Always check the terms on the image website if you’re unsure how you can use the image for commercial use.

Here at DCA Virtual Business, we create our own blog posts as well as write for small businesses that need a helping hand. We also love to read new blogs – if you are blogger, leave a link to your latest post below so we can learn about your company! Maybe we can collaborate and provide reciprocal links.

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