You’ve spent a lot of time building your small business, but now you need to get some new customers. How can you do that? One way to attract new customers is to start a blog.
Why Does My Small Business Need a Blog?
You’ve probably read tons of articles and social media blasts telling you that your small business needs a blog, but why do you need one? You already have a lot on your plate; do you even have time to start a blog?
Here are seven reasons you should consider starting a blog
for your small business:
To Find New Customers
Without a blog, someone might
find your business because their friend shared your post on Facebook. But, to
find you on their own, they’d have to already know your company’s name to
search for you in Google. That really limits who you could reach.
Your blog can greatly increase your reach and help you find
new customers. According to HubSpot,
businesses that have a blog generate 67% more leads than businesses that don’t
How do you generate those leads? By answering questions on your blog that your potential customers are asking. Then, when someone searches for that question on Google, your blog post will show up.
For example, if you own a women’s clothing boutique, you
could write a post with your top five Thanksgiving outfit ideas. Then, when
someone searches for “What should I wear to Thanksgiving dinner?”, they’ll find
your blog. It won’t matter that they didn’t know the name of your store
To Get to Know Your Target Audience
You probably have a pretty good idea of what your ideal customer looks like, but your blog can help you learn even more about them and build a more complete buyer persona.
With tools like Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see what
pages and blog posts are attracting the most visitors to your site, which will
give you an idea of what your potential customers want.
You will also be able to see what they’re searching for when
they find you, so you can write blog posts that better address those searches.
To Build Your Presence on Google
It doesn’t matter how great your website is, if you’re not
regularly updating it, Google won’t crawl it as often, so you won’t get the
boost in rankings you need to attract new customers.
A blog will fix that for you because you’ll be regularly
coming out with new content that your ideal customers want to find, and you’ll
have even more opportunities to rank for important keywords.
To Share Your Mission
Your business has a unique story. Your blog gives you the opportunity to share that story, so you can stand out from your competition.
A potential customer might be on the fence about doing
business with you, but then they connect with your small business’s story on a
personal and emotional level that leads them to becoming a lifelong customer.
People go online because they’re looking for information and
want answers to their questions.
You can help them find what they’re looking for through your blog posts. As you continue to answer consumers’ questions, they’ll trust you more and more. And, people prefer to do business with people and companies they trust.
To Communicate with Your Customers
It’s cheaper and easier to keep existing customers than to
find new ones, and you keep your current customers by building long-term
relationships with them. Your blog can help you build those relationships
because it offers a two-way street for communication.
After you publish a blog post, your readers and customers
can comment on it to tell you their thoughts and share their insights. Just
make sure you’re responding to those comments!
To Grow Your Email List
You might already have a small email list, but you need to give your customers and potential customers a reason to sign up. Your blog can do just that! You can use your email list to share exclusive content or coupons with your subscribers.
How Do I Start a Blog for My Small Business?
Have I convinced you that you need to start blogging to grow
your small business? Great! But, now you’re thinking, “How do I start?”
With programs like WordPress
and HubSpot, it’s
never been easier to start a blog, but let’s look at some steps you can take to
make sure your blog is doing its job:
Figure Out Why You’re Blogging
Before you type a single word, figure out why you’re going to blog. You might be
using it as a marketing tool or to help attract new employees. Maybe you’ll use
it to communicate with your existing customers or to generate new leads.
Knowing why you’re
going to blog will help you determine what you should post.
Know Your Target Audience
Yes, your blog will help you learn more about your ideal
customer, but you still have to know a little about them first. Figuring out who you want to read your blog will help
you figure out what to write.
Picture your ideal customer, then list their biggest pain
points and their goals – this will help you come up with tons of post ideas
that will actually help your customers.
Check Out Your Competitors
If your competitors have blogs, go spend some time reading
them. Look at what they’re posting, when they’re posting, their communication
style, and how much engagement they’re getting from each post.
This will help you figure out what’s working for your competitors,
so you can implement some of those same tactics and ideas on your blog. It will
also help you figure out what’s missing, so you can improve and answer your
customers’ questions better than your competitors.
Work with Your Team
You already have a lot to do, so don’t feel like you have to
be the one writing every blog post. Talk to your employees and ask them to
write some posts, too.
If someone on your team isn’t confident in their writing
skills, but has some great ideas, make sure they know that those ideas are a
crucial part of the blog. Coming up with new things to write about can be one
of the biggest problems you’ll experience while blogging, so having people on
your team who can help with that will go a long way.
Build an Editorial Calendar
Use Google Sheets or an online task board (like Trello or Asana) to create an editorial calendar for your blog. It will help you keep track of who is writing each post, when each post will be published, and what each post’s status is (researching, writing, editing, or published).
It will also help you make sure that you always have
something to write about because you’ll know when it’s time to find some new
Posting to your blog consistently is the key to making sure
people keep coming back. If you post every day for a week, but then are radio
silent for months, your readers will forget about you and move on to another
Before you start blogging, sit down with your team and
figure out how often you can (realistically) publish a new post. It doesn’t
have to be every day; you could post three times a week or even just once a
week. As long as you’re regularly coming out with new posts, you’ll be able to
grow your readership.
At the same time, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a post.
Quality trumps quantity, so if you don’t have a good post to write or don’t
have the time to write one week, that’s okay. You’ll be able to create
something even better for the following week
Turn on Google Analytics
Google Analytics is free and can help you keep track of how
your blog is doing. You’ll be able to track how many people are finding your
site and what pages they’re spending the most time on.
Promote Your Posts
Just because you published a new blog post doesn’t mean the work is done. Now, it’s time to promote it. Share it on your company’s social mediapages and send it in your next email newsletter. This will help even more people find your posts.
How are you using your blog to grow your small business?