Monthly Archives: February 2014

Sussex copywriting

Small business and wondering whether to blog or not to blog?

The question of whether small businesses should be blogging seems to raise its ugly head fairly often so recently, after a networking lunch, I did a survey of everyone who had attended to check out their blogs, find out what they were blogging about, how often they were blogging and how effective their blogs were. The result surprised me. Only about 3% were blogging regularly at all and everyone else either hadn’t blogged in many months or years or had never had a blog at all. And of those that were blogging? Hmmm, well let’s just say that I got the feeling that some were just not sure why they were blogging in the first place. So if you are struggling with your blog or not sure what the point is, here is my quick blog re cap:

Ask yourself why are you blogging?

The first thing to remember is that a blog is not a hard sell.  It’s about engaging with your clients (current and potential) and having a conversation with them, providing them with information (and this is the crucial bit) that they need or want to know and raising your profile. We’re not talking about personal blogs here so your blog should not be all about you and as there’s an awful lot of information out there which you’re competing with, you’ve got to make sure the content is compelling.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask yourself what they’d like to know and what is interesting enough to stop them clicking quickly away. That means if, for example you’re a cake maker, your readers probably don’t want to know about the fact that you got up at dawn and got flour on your nose etc. But they might find a list of 5 little known tips to successful cake baking useful and next time they have a baking dilemma that might just be the incentive they need to click back to your blog or shop.

It isn’t always easy to come up with a regular stream of useful and interesting information but with a bit of research and some lateral thinking, it’s not impossible. And if all else fails, why not write a review or invite a relevant guest blogger for a change once in a while. But don’t forget, when all is said and done, whilst it’s not a hard sell, you must include an easy to use and obvious link back to your website or your contact details.

 

Set yourself a realistic blog schedule.

If you know that you hate writing or simply don’t have the time, then don’t try and blog every day or even every week. I read recently that a good blog should be daily but I strongly disagree. If you think you can only manage a blog once a month then that’s what you should aim for. A regular monthly blog is far better than a weekly blog which lapsed after the first fortnight and hasn’t been touched in a year.

Make sure people know about it.

This may sound obvious but if you’re spending hours on your blog but no one seems to be reading it, then do an audit. How are you publicising it and what do your analytics say? Have you posted a link to it across all your social media platforms? Do you have an irresistible headline which makes people want to read more? If you’re still building up your Facebook business page fans but have lots of friends on your personal page, why not post a link to it there?

Another useful tip to bear in mind when trying to promote your blog is using keywords in the right places. Most blog platforms make this really easy with keyword tags and a check of whether your keywords are in your meta data and headings. If you don’t yet understand these things, you are almost certain to know some one who does, who’ll be happy to show you how. And don’t assume because no one has commented yet, that they are not reading. Even when done well, these things take time.

Be the expert you are.

Chances are you know a lot about your product, so make sure you write with authority and passion. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to research because you do but that process alone will make you more of an expert.

It’s not always easy getting the balance right between raising awareness of your product and providing interesting content on a regular basis. It takes time, research and skill but is a great way connecting with your customers in a natural and informative way. And if all else fails, don’t forget to use some eye catching images to get your message across.