What once started out as a way for people to have an online journal and share thoughts with family and friends has grown to become one of the greatest tools a small business has to connect with its customers. Today, blogging is an essential tool for every business that hopes to stand out from the crowd.
How Blogging Helps
The many benefits of maintaining an active blog far outweigh the time, and possibly money, that goes into it. Consider the following.
- It establishes customer trust. Trust is the single most important thing a customer relies on when giving their business to someone. By blogging on a regular basis, you get your readers more confident in feeling you will do what you say.
- It makes you easier to find. Google loves pages that change frequently. Blogging helps you create new content that triggers the Google-bots. This new content then moves you up in search results. People tend to stop looking past the second page of results on Google. You want to be as high on Page 1 as possible.
- It establishes authority. Blogging helpful articles that provide reliable information to your customers lets them learn that you know what you are talking about. They are more likely to buy from you when in need than they are to buy from someone they cannot say knows the business.
- It creates a connection with customers. In today's world, people want to be heard by the individuals they do business alongside. Blogging helps you get on a more personal level with people. You are providing them with useful information. They can comment and feel heard. You learn more of what your audience needs and can target your business better. A close relationship that makes both sides of the transaction feel valued creates a business bond that's hard for others to break.
Best Business Blogging Practices
Now that you know it is important, how do you go about establishing a blog that effectively draws in readers and offers the above benefits? You know it has to involve more than only posting a few words and letting it go - and it does.
1. Set up a posting schedule
An effective blog is not about how often you write but how dependable you are on keeping to a schedule. It is better to post dependably two times a week on established days than to only throw up a post whenever you can or write shallow posts every day. Determine a reasonable schedule to post your articles and then make it a priority to stick to that. This plan will help readers know when they can expect new content.
2. Create a content plan
Deciding in advance what to write about alleviates the pressure of having to come up with a last minute idea. Use customer questions as a starting point and then create a plan that extends as far into the future as you can.
3. Make it informative, not sales directed
Your website is meant to sell to a customer. The purpose of your blog is to get customers confident about you and your business. It is a tool to build trust. Use your blog to establish positive connections with potential clients.
There are two ways you can go about this. If you have the time and skill, you may want to provide all the content for your blog or assign it to another member of your staff. If this is not possible, there are many freelance writers a mere Google away who would jump at the opportunity.
5. Publicize your posts
Every time a new post is up, take a minute to announce it on your social media platforms. This connection helps get people interested in seeing what you have to say. Your content will be what keeps them returning.
The biggest question we get is when in a business timeline should a blog be established. The answer is a simple one. If you have spent even one day in business you should have one up and active. The good news is that it is never too late. Make it your goal today to set up a blog and create a posting plan. It will not take long to notice the benefits.