How to Start a Blog - 8 Tips for Small Businesses That Blog
BLOG - It's not a new word anymore.
Blogs started in 1997, as weblog, but it's now taken off. Every client I work with has a blog. When I frist started Sheer Concepts in 2011, I knew I wanted to help market small businesses. I focused on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and helped them with branded materials, and graphic design services. After the first year, I realized along with my clients that marketing a small business was now a new atmosphere. Social media posts had to be frequent and unique, graphics had to come in multiple formats to fit (Instagram, Facebook, Email Marketing, and print!). How is a small business supposed to keep up? We can help!
Blogging is a crucial part of this new atmosphere, SEO experts will tell you how curcial it is to increasing traffic to your website, which 20 years ago would be the same as saying "I want people to walk through the door." Your website is that door. Your blog the side door.
So where do you start?
1. Connect your blog to your website
We suggest not starting a new website for your blog, but keeping it within your website. If someone finds your article on Celebrity Engagement Rings, why not let them quickly get to your online store of engagement rings? We suggest either using - blog.website.com or website.com/blog. If you want to come up with a clever name for your blog, then go for it!
2. Find your voice
I say this to everyone working on their social media. Be consistent with your style. It's your brand, but in text. How will you express it? Is your brand a glamourous fashionista? Is your brand 2 guys starting in a garage and cracking jokes? It doesn't matter, but stick with it. Let your customers understand your brand through your online voice.
3. Use Graphics
A picture is worth a thousand words, but it will also help people engage in your blog. Images will make what your saying easier to digest, and besides who doesn't want to look at a pretty picture amongst a bunch of text?
Create links from your blog to your website or to other reputable sites. Give credit when needed, and use keywords when appropriate. This will boost your SEO and drive traffic to other pages you want your visitors to see.
5. Be Unique
Be a resource to your online community and to your prospective customers. Wouldn't you rather buy a lamp from a lighting professional? Your blog turns you into a professional in your field. Research good topics, find out what questions people are asking, and answer them!
6. Blog frequently
Okay... I admit that even I have trouble with this one. There is so much going on, so how can I constantly sit down for 30 minutes to an hr and create an epic blog post? It's not easy. I suggest keeping a list of blog ideas, you might not have time to write everything at the moment, but when a good topic comes up, WRITE IT DOWN. Also, try to make a reachable goal. Instead of saying, "I'm going to write one blog post a day," aim to post once a week at first. Then work up from there.
7. Create a Call-to-Action
Within your blogs you should put create a call-to-action. It can be towards the end of the post as well, but make sure your readers have a way to buy what you're selling, connect to your service, or contact you! Some strong calls are "learn more," "shop now," "read more," and "contact us."
What is the point of a blog post if nobody will see it? Make sure to share your blog posts on social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin).