Did you recently launch a blog to promote your small business? If so, below we outline several strategies to help you turn that blog into a customer raving, information packed, lead generating, sales producing machine.
The trick is to know from the outset what you want your business blog to achieve, as this will facilitate the step by step action plan needed to get you there. Whether you seek leads, sales, readers, email subscribers, etc – below are seven tips for new business blog owners to get started in the right direction
1. Design A Cohesive Look
Try and mirror the look and feel of your blog to that of your offline motif. If you have a logo, incorporate it into the theme of your overall blog design. If you have certain colors that identify your brand, be sure to place these on your blog site. You can hire a freelance designer on marketplaces like eLance or ask your social network for a referral. If you’re using WordPress, have a custom theme designed or a ready-made one altered to match your offline look and feel. Don’t underestimate your brands power to drive online traffic and readers.
2. Decide on Content Topics
Next up on your list once your design is nailed is to create a plan for content. This can be as simple as deciding that you will update the blog once daily, once weekly or some other regular schedule. It could mean deciding who will write the articles, or it could mean what specific topics you plan to cover. Want some examples? Try thinking of what your target buyer seeks in terms of information and formulate content that answers questions or paints a picture. And don’t forget to include multi-media content such as videos, audio, podcasts, digital PDF reports and mobile accessible content. The more variety the better.
3. Video Is Your Friend
Online readers love to watch video as evidenced by the explosive growth of video sites such as YouTube. Not only that, but Google the biggest and best search engine on the web, gives good credence to online videos. Now when a search is done, depending on the term, you will most likely get served up a video along with traditional text only results.
As a small business owner, there are a tremendous amount of ways to use and include videos as part of your content marketing strategy. For example, a video showcasing a fun company event is a way to let customers “inside” your business. Keep in mind, that you can’t go wrong with humor, find a way to use humor in your blog and or social media campaigns. People love to laugh.
In the blog world, you can’t be an island. By definition a blog is collaborative and this is what makes it stand out from traditional publishing. There’s dialogue and feedback, which is what you will have once you’ve established yourself in your respective niche.
You do this by aligning yourself with other blog owners and joining their social networks, try to find them via blog directories, Twitter, Facebook, Google searches and or word of mouth. Ask established bloggers to point you in the direction of those who would be a good match for you to network with.
This piggybacks from point four above on networking. Once you’ve found 10 to 20 blog owners to network with, you now will want to share freely Share their content, spread it around via tweets on Twitter, status updates on Facebook and or linking to it from your own blog.
For example, let’s say you own a travel business and now have a travel blog – from your network you spot an article on how one blogger thinks living abroad in South America is an easy and inexpensive way to live the good life. But you feel differently about this topic. You now have a golden opportunity to state your case (via a blog post) and use the South America article as inspiration for your piece. The trick is to link to the other blog and let him or her know you’ve got a response to the article on your site. This is how the blog world works, we feed off each other.
6. Hire Or Outsource For Growth
As a small business owner, your time is limited and as such so is your time to blog and or do social media online. But once you’ve got a basic handle what a business blog is and what it can do for you. You can hire someone or outsource a part of the tasks involved in getting the blog off the ground and or growing it. But it’s essential that you take the time (initially) to learn the ins and outs of it, so that you can competently hire someone to take over. If not, you will be lost and so will your hired person. As for where to look to outsource, try eLance, Fiverr.com or ask around.
7. Patience Is A Virtue
Creating, managing and growing a blog is hard work and time consuming. It’s not a “set it and forget it” type of effort. It requires good old fashioned elbow grease along with some smart but simple strategies and lots of networking. But it will not happen overnight, it will take some time to get it going. How long depends on your efforts and overall action plan. Keep at it, don’t give up. You can (as many already have) create a go-to resource online in your niche in the form of a blog for your small business.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be half way there
Let me know below in the comments area – how you plan to get your business blog off the ground, what questions you have and what you hope to accomplish?