In our increasingly digital society, getting your business online is no longer an option – it is a requirement. But being online and having an online presence are two very different things.
Let’s say a customer is looking for a local glazier. They input their search term and Google spits out a dozen names. How do you get them through your door and not the competition? You build trust. Which stands out more: a single-page website with contact information or a business with a blog that regularly publishes expert content about their industry, products and has an up-to-date portfolio?
What is a blog anyway?
blog (n) - A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
(You're on a blog right now!)
Let’s face it — not everyone has the time or a dedicated person to sit down and spend time writing a blog and that’s okay. As far as blogging goes, there are no rules. A traditional website with a dedicated blog will always be a solid option and there are plenty of tools out there to help. With WordPress or Squarespace, you can be up and running in no time at all.
Once you have a blog, you need to promote it. Enter social media! Anyone can write a Facebook post or a tweet, right? So, why aren’t you? It’s free, easy and takes no time at all.
An active Facebook page is not only eye-catching, but lets you talk directly to the people interested in your business and your services. Don’t forget to reply to all of the comments!
Why should I blog?
A blog is one of your best marketing investments. Advertising is great for driving traffic but when you stop paying, that traffic goes. Blog posts never go away and the more you write, the more online information you have associated with your business.
Remember the potential customer from earlier? Without getting too technical, a regularly updated and focused blog generates relevancy. Google loves relevancy and it drives your position relative to every other competitor. Better rankings matter!
Just because someone’s visited your website it doesn’t mean they'll become a customer. A blog is your opportunity to convince them you’re the best solution to their problem. How do you do that? You’ll have to figure that out on your own – it will be unique to your business. What makes you different? What makes you the best?
What should I write about?
Tell a story about what you do. Post a unique design you created. Use lots of high quality photos and include flattering quotes and testimonials from your clients. Before you know it, you’re more than just an expert. You’re an expert with a documented history of success, trusted and relied on by locals.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to blogging, but do remember who you’re writing for – your potential clients. You may be well-versed in industry-specific terminology but they’re not.
How often should I blog?
The sweet spot for blogging is about once a week but don’t stress over it. Do what you can, you will get faster with time. As you get more confident, focus on developing a regular content schedule. Don’t be afraid of posting multiple articles one week and none the next, but regular updates tell your customers (and Google!) to come back often for more content.
At the end of the day, a blog is another tool in your arsenal. Compelling content drives traffic to your site and improves your online visibility. It can be daunting to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) but it’s a low-cost investment every business should take advantage of.
Get creative! Use these tips as a starting point and wow everyone with your expertise.