Written by: Joanne Parcell
Can blogging really help your business?
Everybody’s talking about them and everybody seems to have one…everyone except you. I’m talking about a blog, and it’s about time you had one to promote your business so you better get blogging!
Let me set your mind at rest –
Blogs are easy and inexpensive to start, and if handed correctly, they can drive a huge amount of targeted traffic towards your business, and even make heaps of cash themselves.
But let’s start at the very beginning –
The word ‘blog’ is contraction of the term ‘web log’, and they became popular in the late 1990s along with the introduction of web publishing tools.
Blogs are made up of a series of chronological posts, usually with the newest post appearing first. Blogs combine text, images, videos and links to other websites, and most have a comment section at the bottom, allowing readers to post their views and interact with each other.
Many blogs are personal, with users ranting and raving about their issues and views to anyone who cares read.
However, a great deal more are corporate –
Businesses use blogging to enhance public relations, for branding, and to promote products. You can also use your blog to exchange feedback with your customers , and to improve your business and services.
Search engines love blogs as well –
Think of them as Google catnip. If you want your business to rank higher on Google, then you need fresh copy written as often as possible, containing the correct keywords for your particular business.
But why would anyone in their right mind want to read what is essentially an overly verbose advert for a company or service?
The key is to keep your blog compelling, interactive and fresh, and there are plenty of ways to do this. If written well, a blog can make any product or business sound interesting, and if your writing skills aren’t up to much, you can always hire a ghostwriter to spin wonderful words about your organisation.
Coming up with blogging ideas
A good source of ideas is ‘key milestones.’ Check your calendar, and see what’s coming up – for instance, if Christmas or Valentine’s Day is on the way, write an article relating your blog to this particular holiday.
Or maybe it’s a business milestone, such as corporate anniversary, or the anniversary of a product launch – plenty of interesting material to be mined from such events.
Go behind the scenes
To you, backstage at your business may be dull as dishwater after a Sunday roast, but with the proliferation of How It’s Made-type programs, it’s obvious that people are fascinated with behind-the-scenes information. Who wouldn’t want to read about how the best cupcakes are made? How you take incredible wedding photos? How to groom a poodle to Crufts-winning perfection?
Write a tutorial
Become an expert in your field by informing people about your product, the history behind it, and how it works. Don’t worry about competitors stealing your ideas, because you’ll be building excellent search engine traffic, and checking for plagiarism is easy, thanks to free internet tools.
Invite reviews and feedback
Positive testimonials can put you on top of the world – be sure to share glowing reviews with the rest of the community. Adversely, a negative comment about poor service can feel like a shot in the heart with a burning arrow. You can always use negative comments as a blogging subject, highlighting how you intend to improve. Be warned – do not enter into a squabble with someone who made a cruel remark. Address it graciously, apologise, and move on.
How to set up a blog
It’s far easier than you can possibly imagine – you can do it without any prior experience, and many blog platforms are free. If you use a popular blog-hosting platform, you can manage your content without needing to know a single thing about HTML, or uploading files.
Free templates are provided, and are infinitely customisable, meaning you can choose a layout, colour scheme, and font that reflects your branding.
You can even host adverts within your blog such as links to affiliate marketing pages, and Google AdSense. It’s possible to make an enormous income from doing this alone, and there are plenty of online courses to show you how.
So, are you ready to start your new business blog?
Let’s hope so. And thanks very much for reading my blog – it’s been a pleasure to educate and entertain you.