Many small business owners ask me if they need a blog or not. It depends. A blog can be a way to engage with your customers and attract new customers, but if no one reads it, none of that matters. So, do you blog – or not?
First, answer these questions:
Do you have a business website? (If not, get one – now. Prospective customers may be looking for your business, directions to get there, or hours of operation. This info could be on your website. If you need a low-cost solution, check out WordPress.com.
Do you or a key employee in your company love to write about the business/trade? Your products or services? Related topics?
Are you or an employee willing to commit to posting an article on an interesting topic at least once every two weeks? If someone can’t commit, don’t bother! If you’re not sure if it makes sense, give it a try for about six months. That should give you sufficient time to determine if it is beneficial to the business.
Get started with your blog!
Develop an editorial calendar. Include the blog titles/topics, date of post, and author/person responsible. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just factual.
Create content. Here are some ideas to help you:
Talk about what you know! If you’re a chef, talk about food and food preparation. If you’re a mechanic, how to change a tire or jump a battery. If you’re a book seller, let readers know what’s new and what’s coming.
Respond to the questions frequently asked by your customers. You know what these are!
Consider seasonal topics. A plumber in Michigan could talk about preventing pipes from freezing or a mechanic could offer tips on taking care of vehicles during cold winter months. Accountants could provide valuable tips prior and during tax season. Reducing stress is an excellent topic for massage therapists, healthcare professionals, or yoga instructors.
Show rather than tell via technology, especially if you’re not a fan of writing. How-to videos and podcasts are ideal for blogs and websites. Stick to the simple stuff like fixing a leaky faucet – and be sure to point out reasons why they may need to call in an expert. How-to advice is about adding value and encouraging customers to visit your website but also, utilize your expertise.
Businesses and nonprofits need to keep a lot of records: Sales, donations, addresses, historical data, and engagement benchmarks. When these records are off or unorganized, it can create a lot of extra work and soak up hours of time. In some cases, it can even put institutions in jeopardy.