Blogging for Your Business: How to Make it Happen

blogging-for-your-business Need help blogging for your business? When you’re a busy business owner juggling a lot of hats, it’s tough to make time to add another marketing tactic onto the list. But, it’s actually one of the best ways to market your business and get consistent leads coming in online. In fact, it even has an updated name, “content marketing,” that underscores why blogging is important for your business as a key marketing tactic.

And here’s why: a whopping 80% of business decision makers say they prefer to get information in a series of articles, compared to an advertisement.

But it’s too easy for small business owners to feel daunted by creating a blog. But think about how, with the right strategy and actions, you can set something up that, on pretty much auto-pilot, can tell your ideal prospects you’re an expert in the problem they are searching for help with online?

Here are five myths I hear over and over again on why business owners don’t blog, and how you can overcome them.

1. It’s too hard to make a blog.

Most website platforms now offer simple blog functionality as blogging has become such an important marketing tactic.  Wordpress makes it easy to get a blog started- and for most service based businesses I generally recommend setting up a self-hosted WordPress platform as it’s very easy to optimize for the search engines with the right plug-in like Yoast. And most E-commerce solutions now have a blog function built into their platforms. Many companies, however, don’t maximize the benefits of content marketing as a terrific lead generation tool. Make sure to designate a place on your website where the blog lives, and clearly showcase it in your navigation on the home page. An easy way to get started? Create a simple 12 month editorial calendar centered around your marketing goals for the year.

2. I don’t have anything to write about.

Obviously this is the most important step, but it can be the most daunting especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs who aren’t professional writers. Don’t get hung up on this, though. Blogging is not like writing your school essay. The goal is to ensure that your content is informative, rather than promotional. Today, people expect to go to a blog and get lots of information, not just a sales pitch. So whatever your business is, make sure that you are sharing actionable, interesting information that your readers can use and that will help promote you as an expert. Keyword research can help you get ideas for content, but remember you will need a way to capture their information such as an opt-in so your reader and potential prospect doesn’t disappear forever into the world wide web. Jaaxy is my favorite keyword research and LeadPages is my favorite lead generation tool.

3. I’m not a writer.

Today’s business writing is increasingly informal, meaning that people want to read something that sounds like someone is talking to them. That doesn’t mean that it’s unprofessional; it just means that it’s approachable and conversational which you might find is much easier and fun to write. So go ahead and use contractions and informal wording that your English teacher might have frowned on.

And remember that more people than ever will be visiting your blog via a mobile device so you have to make sure your blog is “skimmable.” Some tips to help include using numbered lists to create your posts and then using formatting elements like white space and bullet points to make it easy for your readers to grasp the main points. If you end up using a narrative format, rather than an actual list, make sure to include lots of subheads to help guide your reader through the piece.

One thing not to skimp on is proofreading. Your blog will be an advertisement for your professionalism so make sure that you have someone else read over your posts to make sure that they are grammatically correct.

4. No one will read my blog.

Blog posts are great to keep on your website, but you have get them out to your customers. As mentioned above, make sure you have a way to attract your audience so they will want to opt-in for more info and stay in touch. They are not as likely to want to visit your page to check, so make it easy for them to know there’s new business blogging content up.  Setting up a newsletter with a email service provider like Mail Chimp or AWeber is a good place to start, but remember nobody wants to sign up for another newsletter- they want something more enticing to hand over their email address.

Once you’ve created your content, you can share it far and wide via your social media. Ask others to share it as well. If you have interviewed a customer or industry leader, tag them also so that your post will show up in their social feeds.

5. I don’t have time.

I see so many times that someone starts a business blog, eager to get their content out. But it’s so easy to let it fall by the wayside with all the other competing demands you have. The best bet is to not start out too ambitiously – instead, tell yourself you’ll post a blog every month. That’s doable. Then as you find that gets easier, you can post twice a month if you decide it’s an effective strategy for you.

But even if you only post once a month, make sure they are tied into your overall marketing strategy. Content should support your other marketing efforts such as launches, sales and building community.

Need help creating a blog that generates leads you can use to grow your business? Feel free to call me today at 1-858-858-1411 or email me at laura@webnavigatorgal.com. I’m happy to chat for 1-15 minutes on how to turn a blog into a key marketing asset for your business all year round.

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