You’ve been hearing about this whole small business blogging thing for a while now, but you wonder if it’s really worth all the hoopla. I mean, come on now, aren’t blogs filled with silly ramblings by people with too much time on their hands? Or an ancient relic from the early 2000’s, made irrelevant by the oh-so-popular social media trend? Not so much. Here’s the thing: blogs are important and yes, they are still relevant, even in 2016.
In fact, small business blogs are a fantastic way to get noticed not only by prospective clients for your small business but by potential referral partners who can help you spread the word…and significantly boost your biz.
Recent research showed that sixty percent of potential customers are more likely to buy from a company after reading well-written blog articles, not to mention that sixty percent are more likely to be on the lookout for products to buy when reading said blogs. Your blog serves as the gateway to draw potential customers into your business, where they can then read your helpful information and make informed buying decisions.
Which means that your chances of using your small business blog to connect with actual, paying customers are pretty darn good. With that being said, there are some things you need to consider, and some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid at all costs, in order to actually make your business blog a useful marketing tool.
Small Business Blog Mistake #1: Not Getting Started
Just getting started can be the toughest hurdle to jump when it comes to your small business blog, especially if you find yourself looking at other blogs in your industry that have been around for years and have 100s or even 1000s of posts. You wonder how on earth you’ll ever compete. I’ve had people comment to me before about how they’ve seen my website and all the blog posts and feel like they’ll never “catch up.”
Or maybe you’re not worried about comparing yourself to others but might instead feel so intimidated by all the talk out there about how you have to publish 10 new blog posts a day or you’re just wasting your time – or something equally as ludicrous – and you threw your hands up in despair, giving up before your poor small business blog ever really had a chance to see the light of day.
Here’s my advice, no matter what your concerns: you don’t have to catch up or write 100 blog articles a month. You just have to start. By writing ONE blog post. And then you’ll write another, and then another, and before you know it you’ll have oodles of great blog posts driving traffic to your site. But don’t look so far ahead that you overwhelm yourself and stop before you start. Just focus on your FIRST blog post and take it from there.
And take advantage of resources along the way, such as my no-cost, 5-step blueprint showing you how to write a blog.
Small Business Blog Mistake #2: Holding Back Value Out of Fear that You’ll “Give Away the Farm”
Listen, you don’t want to give readers ALL of your best tips and techniques in one blog post. ‘Cuz first of all, if you have any amount of knowledge in your area of expertise, that post would probably be 100s of pages long, and you’re better off writing a dang book at that point.
And secondly, you’d overwhelm the pants off your readers with so much detail in one blog post.
BUT, with that being said, you very well can – and should! – dive deep into one topic and actually give away a few tips or techniques that people can try right then and there to get results. I can almost hear your gasp at the very thought – you mean I should just GIVE them something useful? Yup. It’s a great way to show readers that you know your stuff, and once they see how much value you’re giving away, they’ll be all the more eager to see what you’re hiding behind the proverbial curtain of your paid products and services.
Plus, once you help them to solve that one problem right there on the spot, you can then begin to educate readers on how they still need additional help for deeper problems, which is where your paid solutions come into play.
Small Business Blog Mistake #3: Not Being Consistent
Once you have a blog, carefully designed and placed prominently on your website by your website designer, and you manage to write a blog post or two, the next key step is to keep it up. Because it’s easy to stop when things get busy. You get flooded with clients (woo-hoo!), which is great until those clients finish their work with you, go on their separate way, and leave you scrambling to fill the gaps. Or your spouse/parent/child/other loved one gets sick and needs your full-time care. Etc. Etc. It’s always possible to let your great intentions of publishing a regular small business blog fall to the back burner.
If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. According to IBM research, while 77% of businesses have a blog, 85% of those small business blogs contain a wimpy 5 posts or less.
Which is about the same as opening a brick-and-mortar store, proudly displaying 5 items, and expecting customers to come a-flocking. Not. Gonna. Happen.
Now, that’s not to discourage you if you’re just getting started, because the fact of the matter is that even the most experienced bloggers began by writing a blog post at a time, one by one, until they amass dozens and then, ultimately, 100s and even 1000s of blog posts.
But let’s face facts: if you want your blog to help you gain exposure for your small business and connect you with interested prospects and potential referral partners, you do need to keep it updated somewhat regularly. There’s nothing worse than finding your way to a small business blog and noticing that the last post was made in 2005; readers just might make the (false) assumption that you’re either out of business or lack the expertise to keep writing great content. When the truth of the matter is that not only are you still around, but you’ve got boatloads of great info to share – it’s just stuck in your head, not doing anyone but you any good.
To get past that, you need to brainstorm some great small business blog topics.
In fact, before you even start writing a blog, I would encourage you to come up with at least 10 great topics. Those topics will help you get inspired about writing a blog and help you gain momentum too. To help you get started, check out my recent post on how to brainstorm 6 months’ worth of great blog posts in 1 hour or less, or check out the 60-Minute Article Template package which contains 29 ways to find a hot topic, plus a fill-in-the-blanks template for writing compelling articles, 17 irresistible article title formulas, and tons more. Click here to learn more about this time-saving template package.
And then just remember: at first, it may seem like your small business blog isn’t worth the effort, if you’re not getting many views or comments. But as they say, if you build it, they will come. Blog on, and you will start to reap the rewards of your efforts.
About the Author
Tammi Metzler, founder of The Write Associate, shows entrepreneurs how to effectively position and promote their services online so that website visitors instantly “get” what they do and eagerly say YES to their free and paid offerings. To learn more about writing a blog that magnetically attracts your ideal peeps, check out the virtual workshop called How to Write Client-Attracting Articles for Your Blog in 60 Minutes or Less. I’ll hook you up with everything you need to write biz-boosting articles that magnetically attract your ideal clients, including instructions, samples, and guidance on how to choose fresh, hot topics month after month; how to write attention-grabbing titles that get your articles noticed by your ideal peeps; my 5-step, 60-minute blueprint for writing the body of your article in a way that provides value to readers while establishing your expertise and helping to convert interested prospects into paying clients; 12 ways to re-use each article so that it drives multiple streams of steady, targeted traffic to your website (with little to no extra work on your part); and, as they say, lots more. 🙂 Visit http://WriteAssociate.com/Write-Your-Articles/ to learn more and grab your instant access.