Establishing a successful small business blog

Blogging may seem like an afterthought, but over 409 million people view blog posts every month according to recent data from WordPress. This makes blogging a powerful tool that everybody, businesses included, can take advantage of; it is an opportunity to determine your brand voice, control the way consumers perceive your company, and communicate with your customers.

Businesses with blogs attract 55% more traffic if their website has a blog. If your business has a website and you’d like to drive more traffic to your site, then a blog might be the perfect tool to add to your arsenal. However, there are a few important things to have in mind before you start a company blog – here they are.

  1. Establish a brand voice

Anyone who dismissed English classes at school should be regretting that decision now – when you start a company, communication skills are of the utmost importance. The ability to communicate confidently and seamlessly with your customer base requires an impeccable command of whichever your native language is, and an understanding of how to use language to persuade and inform.

This involves excellent spelling and grammar, but it goes further than that – having a distinctive brand voice is key. Determining whether you want to be casual or formal, produce short and to-the-point copy or more intellectually-minded long-form content, and how you want your company to come across to customers – these are all questions you should be asking yourself before you sit down to write a blog.

2. Blog consistently

Consistency is key. If doesn’t matter so much how often you post, but that your posting is regular. Posting three articles in a week but then not posting for another month is not ideal. Your blog will lose momentum and your readers will too. Research shows that inconsistent company blogs put potential customers off because they assume the company does not update their site regularly, does not care about the content they’re making, or even is no longer in business.

The more you blog, the easier it will be. You might consider establishing a posting schedule for consistency. If you’re struggling for content, inviting guest contributors or cover news stories pertinent to your industry, are two great ideas to get the ball rolling. Asking customers about the kind of content they’d be interested in reading is even better.

3. Optimise your blog with SEO

There are many ways to use SEO to optimise your blog. It sounds complicated and technical, but SEO just stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Any way to optimise your blog so that it appears further up on search engines such as Google and Bing – that’s what SEO is.

Keywords are the most important form of SEO you need to know. You can use keywords effectively by incorporating them into your article title and lacing them throughout your blog posts. That way, your articles have a better chance of ranking on search engines and people can find them. The length of your blog post also goes some way to optimising SEO. People are more inclined to read articles that are short – if you’ve written 2000 words on a topic, only hardcore fans of yours are going to make it to the end. Breaking up text with images and paragraphs breaks are another great way of improving the readability of your posts, thereby increasing your SEO score.

4. Switch up the form

There’s no need to always focus on the written form in your blogs. If writing isn’t your thing, or you just fancy switching things up, producing a presentation, video, or even an online seminar, is a great way to engage customers on another level. Video blogs (known as ‘vlogs’) can have endless benefits for your business; you can build a unique rapport with your audience through video, and become instantly more personable.

Customers like to see behind the scenes footage of their favourite businesses as it helps to humanise those who work there, and they feel they can relate to your business and its aims more. In today’s market, sometimes it isn’t enough to supply provide a great service. Consumers want businesses to be ethically-minded, to have a sense of their place in the market, and to be able to endear themselves to a wider audience. Blogging is the perfect way to achieve this, and video blogs can take your content to the next level.

5. Use visuals

Individuals retain 65% of information when visuals are paired with written content. In contrast, only 10% of information when there isn’t a visual. In practice, this means that consumers of your content are often in need of extra visual stimuli when reading – it helps to break up the text, and to supply context to the points you’re making. Remember; the more you add to a blog post, the longer customers will spend on your site. Furthermore, images of your venue can be helpful for potential customers who haven’t visited your venue before. If you make your venue look exciting and inviting, customers are more likely to come to you than one of your competitors.

Incorporating images into your blogs is also a great way to get everyone in your business involved! Maybe hire a photographer to take some shots of your venue/services, ask your customers to send in any pictures they might have taken whilst visiting your venue, or even get members of your team to get creative with a camera! The possibilities are endless, and it’s a great way to involve your readers with the business.

We hope these tips have been helpful. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some more of the articles on our own blog?

Words by Rebecca Clayton

TIME
TIME