Many of my clients ask me for ways to improve the results of their online marketing. While there are numerous ways to market your business online including your company website and social media, your online marketing strategy must be tailored to your company and your target market.
There is no one “right” method to use.
However, one method that has been worked well for many small business owners is writing a blog. This article offers you some tips for successful blogging. But what does “successful blogging” really mean?
“Successful blogging” is blogging that leads to an increase in your company’s bottom line by helping you engage more with existing and potential customers.
A well written, relevant blog can improve your Google ranking, significantly increase the number of visitors to your website, result in more activity on your other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and position you as an expert in your market.
But you should not just jump in and start writing. Take some time to create a strategy for your blog. It must fit in with your overall marketing strategy and be designed for your target market.
You must be passionate about what you are writing, but some business owners get so caught up in writing about themselves and their experiences they forget that the blog content is not for them, it is for their target market.
Do you truly have something valuable to share? The content of your blog should have real value for your existing and potential customers. Show them how your company can solve their problems and improve the quality of their lives or the profitability of their businesses.
Write content that is interesting, compelling and even entertaining to them. Provide them with useful information, offer instructions concerning how to accomplish something, review products that would be of interest to them, etc.
Continually educate yourself on topics that would be of interest to your audience. Share what you have learned, giving credit and linking them to the source of your new knowledge so they can learn even more. Occasionally have an informative guest blogger write some of the content.
It is important that you blog often and publish consistently on a regular schedule. Daily blogs will generate significantly more traffic than weekly or monthly blogs. You may find it daunting to blog daily, but remember it is the usefulness of the content that is important, not the length.
Some days you may only write a small paragraph; just make sure it is a powerful one.
Make your blog easier to read by sometimes adding headings, subheadings, and lists instead of just always having paragraph after paragraph. Use pictures and videos to make the blog more interesting and visually appealing.
As you write, let your personality come through to make the blog more personable and human, just be sure that you remain tactful, respectful and polite.
Encourage people to subscribe to your blog and make it easy to find the subscribe button. Allow and encourage comments and questions. Regularly monitor your blog and make yourself available to respond to those questions and comments. Encourage discussion by asking questions of your readers.
Use other social media such as Facebook and Twitter to announce your blog posts. Use your blog to encourage readers to like your business on Facebook and follow you on Twitter. Provide easy to find share buttons so readers can easily share your blog with others through email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Be sure you also have a link to your company website on your blog site.
You can increase traffic to your blog by commenting on someone else’s blog or even writing a guest blog for them. And don’t forget to promote your blog using offline marketing methods. For example, include your blog address on printed materials such as brochures and business cards.
Writing a frequent blog that is interesting and valuable to your target market is a challenging task that requires significant time and effort, but it has the potential to dramatically improve your business’s bottom line.
Connie Edwards is a Business Consultant for The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center in Savannah. Contact her at 912-651-3200.