One of the biggest marketing trends experts are talking about this year is content marketing. While content marketing itself is really nothing new, Marketers are placing a greater emphasis on it more than ever. There are many reasons for this and if you’re looking for some more detailed information about content marketing specifically, here’s a good post on Forbes to get you started.
Blogging has been identified as one of the most important things you can do to help with your business’s content marketing strategy but so many businesses still do not have a blog. I can tell you that when ever I mention blogging as a part of a strategy to a client, 9 times out of 10 I get the eyes glazed over, deer in headlights look. Let’s be honest, blogging sounds like a lot of work. One more thing you have to keep up with and one more thing you have monitor.
Well I’d be lying if I said those things weren’t true. You do have to devote time to blogging but the rewards can out weigh the costs if you create consistent original content that your readers want to hear. Here are 6 tips on how to start blogging for business.
1. Choose a topic – You should be blogging about something that is related to your business. If you’re a hair stylist don’t write a blog about your DIY home renovations. Sure you can do that on the side as a hobby but if you want to use it to help your business, it should in some way position you as an expert in your field. A blog will help your business if you write it in a way that helps with SEO and that provides visitors to your site with information that is valuable to them. By providing valuable information, you will be as seen as an expert in your industry. People will begin to trust what you are telling them and begin checking in with you regularly to hear what you have to say. This is how it all starts.
2. Choose Where Your Blog Will Live – Depending on how your website was built you may have the capability to build your blog within your website. If you have a WordPress site like I do, you are ready to go! If your website is built in some other program find out what your blogging capabilities are. If it can not be built right on your website, consider other options like WordPress.com or Blogspot. Both are great blogging platforms, they are free and you can easily connect them to your website.
3. Have a Plan – The mistake a lot of people make with blogging is that they think, like social media, if they build it people will come. Not true. You need to have a plan in place as to how you are going to promote your blog and drive traffic to it. Cross promoting your blog posts by posting them to your various social media channels after they are published is a good place to start especially if you have a large following.
4. Editorial Calendar – For blogging and for social media you should have some sort of editorial calendar. Don’t let that term scare you, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. An editorial calendar is just a map of what you are going to talk about on a monthly or weekly basis. To start, think about what happens in your business on a month to month basis. Start creating your calendar around those events and think about what information your audience may find interesting. For example, if you own a photography studio you could plan on doing a behind the scenes post on how you prepare for Spring photo sessions. A lot of people like to get their pictures done in the Spring time so write a post about how you find props, set up your studio and everything else. Then provide some samples of pictures you’ve taken. You don’t have to have your editorial calendar written out word for word. It can be as simple as a Word doc that lists your topics out by month.
5. Don’t Over Think It – When you’re first getting started don’t over think the process. A blog is supposed to be your way of sharing your business, your skills and your experiences with your clients. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, just be genuine.
6. Be Prepared with Photos – Photos are such an important part of a blog and I will admit they are the hardest thing for me to get. So for example, with this blog I wanted to find a picture that was in some way related to blogging. Well you can’t just go on Google and type in Blogging and take the first picture you see. That could be copyright infringement and you don’t want to get nailed for that, so be careful where you are getting your images. If you can, take your own original photos. If that isn’t possible you have the option to buy photos or visit online sites that have for free. Here is an article with some resources to explore.
These 6 tips on starting a blog for your business should get you going in the right direction. Like social media, you have to nurture your blog and devote time to it in order for it to grow. If you do not have time to post regularly, consider letting people guest post on your site or hire someone to help you with posts. Blogging for business can be very beneficial, you just need to have a plan and be consistent!