Why does my business needs a blog? I’ve got a perfectly good website, after all!
A valid question, but have you ever felt the need to put something on your website to say ‘we’re offering this service as well now’, or ‘we’re running a special offer’, or ‘this is how you look after the products you bought from us’. Maybe you put these announcements on your news page, or try and find a place to put them elsewhere on your website, but what you have is a blog. You don’t need to call it that, but you have a blog. Sorry about that!
Another good reason to have a blog (or news page, or whatever you want to call it) is because of Google. Google likes websites which are frequently updated. You will get higher ranking on Google if your site is more than just a static shop-window for your business. Regularly updated, useful, content will get a higher ranking, and also draw more customers to your page.
People will get to know about your blog, and start to look there for new information. You can draw attention to it on your homepage, and in social media, and keep people coming back for more.
So what should I write about then?
I’ve written posts about social media for your business which cover what you should post on your company’s social media pages, which are essentially the same answers for blogging. In a nutshell, you need to write about what you know, that your customers don’t know; relevant interesting things, which will keep people coming back to your site.
I suggest writing a plan, usually based on a calendar, to timetable posts, and that will work well for blog posts too. Make a list of things you can write about, and then slot them in around dates such as Christmas, or the Royal Cornwall Show, or Mother’s Day, which are notable in your business year.
Filling in the gaps, you need to look at what interests your potential customers. Can you put up product reviews? Are there back-stories to your products? Where are ingredients sourced? Do you use indigenous producers elsewhere in the world? Are there customer stories you can use, that will inspire new customers?
You also need to look at what will attract customers to you as opposed to your competitors. How can you make yourself stand out from the big corporations? Have you won awards, or certifications, or met trade standards? Can you feature members of staff?
How much should I write?
You need to decide how much to write according to what you can manage. Most of my own blog posts turn out around 800 words, and I try to write one every couple of weeks – or thereabouts. You can decide on two a month, and make them a couple of hundred words, if that’s what you want. It’s better to have two a month, than six across a fortnight then nothing for weeks and weeks. If you get on a roll and write lots of posts across a couple of days, save them and post them at intervals for the next few weeks. Some websites will allow you to set up publish-times, rather than publishing immediately.
Try and keep the length regular as well. If your readers get used to a couple of hundred words, then you hit them with fifteen hundred, they may not come back!
I find myself writing, and then chopping out sections to put into a new blog. This post was originally a half-paragraph on the end of a previous post, which kind of grew… slightly. Sticking to a single topic in a post helps focus the mind, and you can promise the reader more next time, with the ideas you’ve chopped and pasted onto a new sheet. Make sure to go back and link it in, when the new one is ready.
Many of my business’s social media posts refer people to my blog. It’s automatic content for my social media, which is handy, and saves having to say the same thing over again elsewhere. I can just send everyone on to my website, if they’re interested.
Try and draw people into conversations; invite comments; ask for opinions. People will be interested to follow the threads of conversations they’ve taken part in, and will hopefully visit other pages on your site, and buy your product (which is, after all, the point).
I hope this helps, and you can start to develop your business’s blog. I am more than happy to work with your company to help develop a strategy or plan for what you can blog about, or offer training in how to write one.
If you recognise that you need a blog on your website, but don’t have the time, or find writing comes as naturally to you as walking on water, do get in touch. I have a number of customers for whom I write regular blogs, so let me see if I can help you too.