Small businesses have a lot on their plates when it comes to marketing, but blogging should not be an added burden to your online strategy. A blog is a simple and inexpensive way to improve your online presence. In many ways, blogging actually makes your overall digital marketing efforts easier.
Blogging allows you to create, share and store content in one place. It also provides you with content that you can post on your social media platforms over time. A blog can boost your business’s credibility and improve your search engine optimization. It can also help your business get discovered by a larger online audience and ultimately generate leads.
To get started, check out our top five tips to creating an effective blog.
1. Write Useful and Engaging Content
Writing engaging content is the most important step to creating an effective blog to reach both existing and new customers. To get your customers to want to read your blogs, your posts must provide value to them.
Take a step back and consider the type of content that your customers would like to read. For instance, if you run a hair salon, you could write a how-to post on the top celebrity hair styles. Or if you manage a bakery, you could post about the top recipes for the holidays. As we discussed in our Social Media Guide for Small Businesses, it is important that your content is not pushing sales, but instead engaging your audience.
2. Target Specific Keywords
One of the top benefits of blogging is the positive effect it has on search engine optimization. Search engines are more likely to optimize websites with blogs since they generally have more pages and content. However, it’s important to use the right keywords when writing your blogs.
Before publishing your blogs, you should create a list of keywords that your customers will use when searching online. For example, if you want to attract customers who are searching for award winning restaurants in your city, write a blog post about the award that your restaurant recently received.
It’s important to use keywords in both the body and the titles of the blog. To find high volume keywords that you customers are likely using in their search, you should consider using Keyword Planner, a great keyword research tool.
3. Write Regularly
It is important to regularly create and publish new blog posts. This is not only great for SEO, but will also solidify your online authority and expand your digital audience.
There is essentially no maximum amount of blogging that you can do, but you should make sure to post a blog at least once a month. Using a calendar is a great way to make sure that you publish frequently enough. If you are short on resources and find it difficult to actively publish blogs, you can always ask a colleague or another business owner to write a guest post for your blog. If you need inspiration on blog post topics, read Entrepreneur’s article, 50 Ideas for Your Business Blog.
4. Break Up Text and Use Images
Your customers are much more likely to follow your blog if it is easy to read. Many successful blog authors use a combination of formatting and imagery to break their blog posts up and make their content more readable.
It’s important to always use sub-headers which will break up longer paragraphs and make it easy to read. You can also break up the text by using bold formatting, which allows readers to easily skim to the main points. Using bullets and lists is another proven way to make reading online content more enjoyable.
Finally, your blog posts should always include at least one image or piece of visual content. Blog posts with photos improve readability and are also proven to lead to higher conversions. With that said, images should always be carefully selected. It’s important that images are directly linked to the topic or message to clarify the blog’s points.
5. Share on Other Social Media Platforms
Once you have a library of blogs, you will have valuable content which you should actively use to improve your social media presence. You should make sure to include a link to your blog on your social media profiles. It’s also important to actively share your blog content on all of your social media platforms. This is a great way to expand your social media presence, drive your audience to your website, and increase customer conversions. Once you share your blog posts on your social media platforms, other businesses and customers can then share your blog, which will increase your following.
Blogging is a great way to increase loyalty with current customers while reaching new audiences. By following these simple best practices, you will have the potential to see great results.