Small business owner? Get blogging!

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Blogging is a great way to reach out to your target audience.

If you’re a business owner and have your own website, I’m sure you’ve already heard that you should be blogging. And I agree; there’s great benefits for your business.

Not to be confused with full-time lifestyle bloggers, I’m talking about a regular blog page on your business website that draws attention to your product or service and gets your name known in your industry.

I understand the thought of writing a regular blog is daunting. You might be thinking: “How do I find the time?” or, “What can I write about?” and you may even be worried that your spelling and punctuation aren’t up to scratch.

Despite these fears, it’s really worth your while getting your blog out there; on your website and across the social media channels of your choice.

Adding good quality content to your website will help you to get recognised by search engines and raise the visibility of your website online.

I’m not going to talk about SEO; I’ll leave that to other experts. But what I would say is that I think it’s more important to get regular, good quality content out there than get too hung up on keywords and algorithms. If you’re sharing your content on social media, it’s a fantastic way to get yourself known and position yourself as an expert in your field.

Show that you’re a professional; that you know what you’re talking about. Add value to your reader by giving tips and advice. I know that sounds crazy; if you’re giving it away for free, who’s going to buy your service? But if you build up a regular audience, who keep coming back to read more; chances are they’re going to pass your details to their mates in the pub, their colleagues, their family and friends when the need for your service crops up in conversation.

Only yesterday, I shared the details of a local cleaning company with a neighbour. How do I know about them? Because they blog and engage on social medial regularly, making themselves very visible locally. And they’re quick to publish good feedback and testimonials.  So I feel I know enough about them to make a referral, if not a recommendation.

Blogging is a slow burner; don’t expect results overnight. But whether you’re investing your own time, or money if hiring a writer, it’s a worthwhile investment.

So you’ve decided to give this blogging game a go, but where do you get started? What do you write about?

Your blogs don’t have to be about your product or service all the time. Remember, this isn’t a selling device, it’s a tool for getting yourself known and trusted.

So while some of your blogs will be about your service, you can also link to current affairs (though be careful not to offend) or even write about something personal.

Sharing something about you, what makes you tick or how you came into your profession is likely to interest your readers (and inspire them).

When writing my blogs, I sometimes add a personal touch by talking about my son (who has autism). There’s lots of parallels to be drawn from parenting a child with autism and copywriting, so I’m able to link topics quite easily. And it shows I’m real. I’m not a faceless person, hiding behind my laptop; I have real life challenges and goals. And my son’s disability led me into freelance copywriting, so I have a story to tell too.

So how can you do the same?

Maybe you’re a cleaner, with ten dogs, so you could draw on that experience to give advice on cleaning up muddy paw marks. Or you might be a dog walker, who came into the job because you hated office life (which could lead nicely into a blog about working full-time and owning a dog). You may have suffered health issues and been inspired to becoming a therapist, after a particular treatment worked for you.

Can you see how these examples could lead the reader to become interested in your service, without directly selling to them?

Just be careful not to talk about yourself all the time, or people might think you’re just interested in yourself (and they’re more interested in how your advice can benefit them). Strike a balance.

Remember to include a clear call to action, visible on every page of your website. My contact details are clearly shown on the header of my website and every blog includes a statement about me at the end. So if you were interested in using my services, you can easily see how to make contact with me. And that’s what you need to aim for on your website.

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Your call to action needs to be visible on every page of your website and at the end of your blog. Leave your reader in no doubt about how to get hold of you.

My advice? Put pen to paper and do it! It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make sure the content is compelling and adds value (and don’t be tempted to copy and paste it from your competitors’ websites).  Remember to proofread too, as there is evidence to suggest that lots of mistakes can turn customers away. Show that you’re a professional in everything you do, including your blog posts.

So give it a go! Blogging is good. I’d love to hear how you get on.

Alison

Alison is a Freelance Copywriter in Milton Keynes offering a range of services for small and large organisations in MK and across the UK.

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