If you are own a small business or work in marketing at a small business, you may or may not have realized that blogging is a vital part of marketing nowadays. Here are four reasons why:
- Websites with a blog tend to have 434% more pages indexed on Google (source).
- 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs. (source).
- Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads (source).
- Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%(source).
Now that we’ve seen why it is important for small businesses to blog, let’s talk about what can be done improve your small business blog.
Honing Your Blogging Skills
1. Make sure you know whom you are writing for
Blogging, just to blog, will not help your company to the potential that a properly strategized blog can. The first step is to know whom you are writing for. This way you can create engaging content, which will be what your potential customer needs, when they need it.
To speak directly to your target audience, you need to create buyer personas for your target audience. Simply put buyer personas are representations of fictional customers. They have more detail than your target audience, with specifics about demographics, psychographics, buying behavior etc.
By choosing a specific persona to target when writing, your blog will resonate better and potentially be more impactful with a specific subset of your audience. Creating buyer personas can be intimidating at first, but Hubspot, has broken the process out so that it is user-friendly. Here are my favorite resources for creating buyer personas from Hubspot:
- How to create detailed buyer personas
- Buyer persona creation template
- What does a great buyer persona look like?
- 20 questions to ask when creating buyer personas
2. Make it Visually Appealing for Skimming.
We all want to believe that every person is going to read every word of our blog, but let’s be honest, that is not the case, especially when:
- 43% of people admit to skimming a blog post (source).
- 55% of readers will read a blog post for 15 seconds (source).
Don’t get discouraged over these statistics, it just means that the way you write your blog needs to cater to the reading habits of your audience. Here are 5 ways to make your content more easy to skim:
- Have great headers
- Use bulleted lists
- Use white space to focus the reader’s attention on content, not clutter
- Use videos to keep the attention of your audience.
- Use bold and italics to augment your points
- Visuals are more important than text
More details on each of these points can be found here.
3. Don’t forget to optimize for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You have dedicated your time and effort to write your blog, don’t let that effort go to waste. Take the steps so that Google will potentially retrieve your post as an answer to a searchers question. In other words, get ranked in Google’s search engine results (SERP’S).
Proper SEO is not something that is magically accomplished, nor should you expect your page to rank overnight. However, there are steps you can take to proactively help the process along and develop a proper SEO strategy. My fist suggestion would be to install Yoast on your blog. Extensive information on how to use Yoast for SEO can be found here, however, to start, begin with what the plugin tells you to do.
The plugin will show you steps to take to enhance the readability of your blog, as well as guide you through entering keywords, headers and other necessary on page SEO.
Now that we’ve sharpened your blogging skills, let’s talk about how to promote your blog.
Promoting you Blog: Start with Twitter
Now that your blog is written, it is time to start the process of promotion? But, where to start? Social media is a great option, but there are so many platforms to choose from. I suggest starting with Twitter.
You may be wondering how Twitter can help you. According to Mark Schaefer who wrote the TAO of Twitter (great book, I highly suggest reading it if you are going to start with Twitter!), Twitter can help you to:
- Attract new audiences for your blog
- Stay informed on your industry by following relevant profiles on your industry
- Stay on top of the latest research
- Create and or strengthen existing business relationships
If you are ready to start using Twitter to promote your blog, here are 6 great ways to start:
- Tweet your blog post often and be strategic about it
- Write creative headlines and calls-to-action (CTA’s)
- Always include images
- Tag influencers
- When appropriate, use hashtags
- Thank your community for sharing and engagement
What blogging and Twitter tips have you found to help your small business the most?