Lies We Tell Ourselves about Blogging
The Sprocket Report
This article has been updated on 11/10/2020 with the article entitled “Why a Blog Is Still Vital to Growing Your Business - Even in 2021.”
At every marketing seminar you ever attended and in every marketing article you ever read, the subject of business blogs came up and you nodded sagely to yourself. “Yes, I need to write a business blog.” And then you didn’t. Follow these easy tips to make your dream blog a reality.
Before you start blogging, you need two things: A plan and a platform. The plan should include:
Who you want to read your blog
Too many businesses actually wind up writing for their colleagues, not their customers. Watch the way you use jargon, industry news and insider information.
What your blog is about
Among the most popular blogs are reviews of the latest consumer technology because people about to make a purchase want to visualize how they personally will use the product.
How often you will blog
You can read reams of statistics on the preferred frequency and best times to post - and some day you should - but we're talking baby steps here. If all you can handle is once a month, then that’s the best frequency. But with these tips, you should have no trouble posting twice a month or even every other week.
Pick a consistent day for posting. Also pick a day for writing, like during the kids’ soccer practice or Friday afternoons when business is slow. Writing is actually not nearly as hard as coming up with what to write, so you won’t need to set aside a ton of actual writing time because the trick is to have ideas all ready to go.
Get your platform ready to roll before you actually sit down one day to blog. There are a ton of options to choose from so give it a bit of thought. A blog on your business website is best. Third party platforms, while perhaps cheaper to set up, have major drawbacks such as:
- If the third party platform shuts down, you will lose your content.
- Search Engine Optimization pluses go to the third party platform, not your website.
- Your website loses out on getting updated with fresh content.
While getting your plan and platform in place, start a list of topics. You probably have a few in your head now, but keep your eyes open for new jumping off points. For instance, if you’re a financial planner at a barbecue and Uncle Bob grouses that his son’s fancy-shmancy college taught him diddly about the basics of money management, note that on your list. Later, that could be “Budgeting 101 for Your College Student” or “What I Wish My Alma Mater Had Taught Me about Money.” Likewise, if you read an interesting article online or get a bit of news in an email, copy the link for later. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you will build up a list of topics you can draw from in the coming months.
People have no time and short attention spans so you don’t need to write a lot. Figure you’ll write five paragraphs, like in high school: An introduction of three points, the three points, a conclusion of the three points. If there are more than three points, great! You have a second blog post!
Adding a graphic element is important these days. Your own photos would be wonderful, but if you don’t have any, Google “royalty free photo” for some legal options.
For a second post every month, swap that article with a colleague in a complementary business and you’ll each double your content. Voilà! You now have a month’s worth of blogging done, new content for your website and new ways to reach your customers. But if that even sounds like too much work, ask us about our Online Business Growth program and we can blog for you. Either way, we’re happy to help!