5 benefits of starting a small business blog … it’s not all about SEO
As a small business website owner, you have possibly felt under pressure to add fresh content to your website. We’ve all been told that Google likes a well maintained and regularly updated website and a blog is a very easy way of doing that without having to constantly think of tweaking the main structure of your website … although it is important that you keep that current and don’t neglect it.
Apart from posting content in the interests of ‘just adding content’ to boost your search results, there are plenty of other reasons for starting a small business blog and some of them could just help give you a new focus when you’re struggling for blog post ideas.
Ultimately, your website and/or your blog is all about promoting your business and finding customers. Careful planning of blog content allows you to provide real value and benefit to new and existing customers. This in turn can build trust and loyalty which will lead to long term business rewards.
Regular posts on your small business blog allow you to:
- Show a bit of personality behind your brand
- Reinforce your key messages and build awareness of your services
- Generate engagement with new and existing customers
- Establish yourself as a respected voice within your niche
- Attract new, and otherwise different, visitors to your website
1) Show a bit of personality behind your brand
People do business with people. If you’re a small business, or perhaps ‘the’ business this is even more true. Depending on your offering, it is likely that your potential customers are investing in you as the provider of services rather than just the services that you offer.
Your website will be outlining all your goods and services and encouraging your visitors to make contact. It will be factual and detail the logistics of how you work and what a client can expect from you. You may have written an excellent ‘About’ page that outlines what qualifies you to deliver those services but it probably doesn’t give a huge amount away about you … the person.
Writing on a blog gives you the opportunity to use a less formal voice and express opinions that you’ve formed through your own experiences in your field. For example:
- A problem that you helped a customer with. With that customer’s consent, of course and anonymity if required.
- Your experiences of services related to your own offering. For example, I have written about social media for small business based on my own experiences rather than as a provider of social media management.
- A personal story based on your own experiences as a customer. A while ago I wrote a post about a disastrous online purchase because of a very poorly designed user interface on a website.
A blog post is an opportunity to tell a story and provide a human face behind your brand and it’s OK to inject a bit of humour.
2) Reinforce your key messages and build awareness of your services
New visitors to a website have a very short attention span. There are only a few seconds to grab that reader’s attention and encourage them to find out more about your business.
With that in mind your main website content is likely to be concise and to the point. It shouldn’t require too much effort from the website visitor, who will want their questions answered in the minimum time.
Conversely, a blog post is an opportunity to take one very small aspect of your business offering and really expand on it. For example, a post on this blog could discuss in detail the benefits of a well-designed contact page. That would be far too much detail for the main website content, but in a blog post it can be explored in depth. The benefits here are twofold:
- Making readers more aware of how they may need your services.
- Demonstrating that you really know your subject.
Writing in a less formal voice on your blog also allows you to show your commitment and passion about your business and delivering to all your customers … both new and existing.
3) Generate engagement with new and existing customers
A blog can also provide a way of interacting with your customers if only by encouraging any comments in the posts.
A blog can be platform for answering any questions about your products and services that are not addressed in the main body of your website. It allows you to explore specific and detailed problems demonstrating that you listen to your customers concerns, take them seriously and want to help.
There may be more than one answer to the same question … let’s face it there is often more than one right way of doing things. This could be developed into two posts … or even more!
As you know social media is a way of engaging with your existing customers and your target audience. A blog post is a reliable source of material for your social media channels. The post itself can be shared directly and a précised version can be created as a Linked In post and use small snippets create Tweets and Facebook posts.
The post can also be emailed to your customers. If it answers one of your customers questions, you can be sure that others will have had the same one and will be pleased to read it.
4) Establish yourself as a respected voice within your niche
A blog gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge and demonstrate practical application of your skills.
By providing a useful and entertaining resource for your audience around your niche you will be building authority and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your sector. Readers who are engaged with your content are likely to return to your blog and ultimately to your website.
Those readers can be nurtured and encouraged to become loyal to you as well as your blog. Some of these readers will potentially become your customers. As committed readers, they have already invested in you as an authority in your field and should they need your products and services they are likely to come to you or recommend you to friends and colleagues.
5) Attract new, and otherwise different, visitors to your website
By creating content on your blog about related and supporting services that you perhaps don’t offer you are able to broaden your potential audience.
If I write post about generating interaction on Facebook page as a small business owner based on my own experiences, I’m creating material that is potentially of interest to any small business owner who has set up, or is about to set up a Facebook page. Social media services are not something that I offer routinely, but all those readers who are interested in that topic will now be visiting my website, via my blog and I am now visible to people who may not otherwise have visited my website.
So how does any of this give you a fresh focus and more content ideas?
So, relating to each of our 5 reasons to blog here are 5 ideas for potential blog posts:
1) Show a bit of personality behind your brand. People like to read stories, so write a post that shows your human side. It can be loosely related to your services or about running your business. It could also be something funny … it’s good to show a bit of humour.
2) Reinforce your key messages and build awareness of your services. Take one aspect of your services and expand on the benefits and value to your customers in much greater detail than on the main body of your website.
3) Generate engagement with new and existing customers. Answer a question that you are often asked by customers. You will find that you already have an audience for this content. Once the post is written make sure you share on social media and email links to your customers, both existing and potential.
4) Establish yourself as a respected voice within your niche. Write a long form blog post (2,000 words) about your sector. Do your research and try and include some statistics from respected sources and make sure you link back to those resources that you’ve used.
5) Attract new, and otherwise different, visitors to your website. Write a blog post about new services that you are exploring and services provided by others that complement your offering.
So, there you have it. As well as five valid reasons for blogging, you also now have 5 ideas for potential blog posts.
If you’re just thinking about getting your blog up and running and could use a little bit of help, why not get in touch 01494 537612.
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