How to Pick the Right Topics for Your Small Business Blog
Many business professionals and business advisors agree a business blog can be a very powerful tool. But, with all the responsibilities small business owners have – keeping customers satisfied, developing new offers, doing payroll, hiring employees, providing training – who really has time to create and launch a well-put together blog? According to many communication specialists, there are a number of good reasons why small business owners should make the time to create a blog.
Why Blogging is Valuable
Blogging can provide a small business with the most bang for its marketing buck and there are a number of ways a regularly updated blog can help the business advertise. Some of these benefits include:
- Becoming an Industry Expert: Blogging about the business and about different aspects of the industry can quickly position a local small business as an industry expert in its niche. For example, a driving school can update local laws changes, provide driving tips, and offer simple maintenance advice.
- Helping Consumers Find the Business: It has been found that small business websites including blog content are 55 percent more likely to receive visitors to the website and are almost 98 percent more likely to have the website linked by consumers.
- Blogs Increase Search Engine Hits: By updating a small business blog on a regular basis, it helps to create more pages on the website – the increased number of pages makes it more likely the website is picked up in relevant searches through different search engines on a wide variety of topics.
For small businesses especially, regular blog posts can help consumers get to know the person or people behind the business’ brand. When consumers get to know a business owner or the staff through their blog posts, it can help make those transactional interactions feel more personal and comfortable.
What to Include in a Small Business Blog
Once the value of blogging has been realized, the next hurdle small business owners must overcome is choosing the content they will include in their blog. There are a number of different strategies that can be employed to help brainstorm different topic ideas, but it is important for business owners to choose topics that are not only going to be interesting to consumers but also easy to execute given their already busy schedule. Here are three easy approaches to help choose the perfect blog content:
- Go Behind the Scenes: Consumers are always interested in knowing what goes on inside a small business, particularly the things they don’t generally get to see on the business’ website or while they are in the store. Consider telling consumers a story about how the business works without giving away too much information or any industry secrets. Consumers will appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the business process and also meet some of the people creating the products and/or services.
- Answer Common Questions: It is very, very likely the business has received some frequently asked questions either through the associates working at the retail store or through the comments or email feature on the business’ website. If there is a running list of these questions, consider having one or a series of blog posts answering these questions. The types of questions asked will depend on the industry in which the business operates, but some of the most common questions include:
- How to choose the right product or service – what should consumers look for when making a purchase? What are some common mistakes consumers make when choosing?
- How can consumers get the most out of the business’ products or services – once the consumer has purchased a particular item, what can he or she do to make it last longer or perform better?
- Understanding the price or value of a product – consumers may be curious to know why a certain product or service is priced the way it is or want to understand why they should pay the cost the business is asking instead of a different cost from a competitor. In other words, why buy it from you.
One of the greatest benefits to answering these questions for consumers is the increased customer satisfaction that will generally take place. The ultimate goal of a blog is to contribute to the business’s bottom line – happy, educated consumers often buy more than unhappy ones.
- Share Exciting News: If big changes and exciting things are happening for the business in the coming weeks or months, a blog can be used to increase the hype around these events and help keep consumers informed. Some possible topics in this area of content include:
- New services
- New products
- Upcoming promotions
- Store openings or special events
- Community work being done by the business and/or by employees
While these are all great things to share with consumers, make sure the posts are not too self-promoting or boastful as to put the consumers off. Think of a blog as more of a conversation with consumers instead of a soap box to make important announcements.
- Use Images: Don’t forget the power of an amazing image! It has been shown that blog posts including great photos are viewed over 90 percent more than traditional blog posts.
Most of all, the posts that appear on a small businesses blog should be relevant to the consumers lives and should also be something the business, the business owner, or the employees are passionate about. The goal of a business blog is to help the business build a stronger relationship with its target market, potential new customers, and its existing customers.
We realize not every small business owner has the time or ability to write and maintain blog. Simply the Best Writing offers blog writing services at a variety of price points (we can also customize a package for your budget and needs). If you are located in Conway, AR, we would be more than happy to meet with you in person to discuss your project. If you are not local to the area, we can set up a phone conference to see just how STBW can help you improve your online presence with an active blog.
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