As a small business owner, there is a lot to think about. Running your website is often the farthest thing from your mind. Most owners would rather set it and forget it. There is this thought that a website will do all this magical work of getting new clients on its own. And that may have worked in the past.
The search engines of today are very focused on user experience. They want to produce the best possible results. To that end, they prefer to go with fresh websites. That is sites that produce new content for them to consume. And content that in turn will answer the exact query the original search was for.
The answer is blogging. And it works in two ways. More content is generated for the consumption of the search engines. The second is directed content for your existing and prospective clients to learn and follow you with. This will keep them more engaged with your business. Front of mind is always better.
So let’s get into it. What are some simple ways that you can use blogging to grow your business.
Give away useful nuggets of information
It may seem a little backwards, but it is true. A large part of getting clients online is building some trust. And a good way to start building that trust is to give potential clients something of value. What may be simple for you to do could be totally foreign to them. Teaching them to do this one simple thing makes them feel powerful.
You do not need to give away the store. Find a task that is easy to teach and that you are an expert at. It should also be something that would be important to the potential client. Teach them something they would be interested in.
Plan to be different
Writing about the same thing that everyone else has already written about is a sure way to race to the bottom. You need to write unique and insightful content. There is no rewards for showing up on the bottom of the search results.
Think about what your clients are searching for. What are they interested in? What do they want to know? Write to answer those questions. A fellow business that we work with writes down common questions they get on the phone. Then they write articles and make a little video to answer these questions.
Have a well written article
Nobody scores a home run their first time out. But you can help get it closer simply by doing a little research first. Do a search for the topic you are planning to write about. See what others have written on the subject. Look for gaps that you could fill in. Is there a neat trick that you know about what you want to teach that would bring a new prospective to clients?
A well written article also means working in drafts. It is unlikely (unless you are a master wordsmith) that you will write a perfect article free from spelling errors. But you should make the effort to correct as much as possible. Have someone else proof read your content. Check for spelling and grammar errors. Take the time to make it the best that it can be.
Unless your article was written by a robot, it should have some character. It should have a voice that reflects your own. Match your speaking pattern. If you use certain contractions or words while talking, those should follow in your articles. Obviously your article should not be crude or totally off brand. But it should have feeling. You are unique. Use that.
Many business owners take for granted that business are run by people. They get so tied up in the day to day and start to feel everything is about business. In turn they write things like they are always talking to this magical client. But the reality of things is the opposite. Every person they talk with sees them as another human. They see them with all their positives and flaws. Stop trying to be something you are not. Stop trying to be perfect.
Life is not just about you and your business
Sorry, but your clients don’t want to hear about what you did last week. Not unless you are trying to teach them how overly busy your life is. A good chunk of writing is wrapping the information up in a story. But the story needs to be relevant and interesting. If your story can tie into what you are trying to teach then go for it. But don’t bury the teaching under 5000 words of nothingness. Nobody will hang around to read it.
Blogging is also not about selling. When you write an article and it starts off as me, me, me then your potential readers will be turned off. If you can find good spots to connect your article to a product, great. But don’t go overboard and focus only on your offering. Remember to put your reader over yourself and naturally lead them into a purchase.
Blogging happens on YOUR website
Facebook and Instagram stories can be useful tools. But they are not a blog. Likewise a blog article is not a Facebook post with 100 comments on it, unless you are taking screenshots and using it as part of your teaching moment. Blogging takes place first and primarily on your own website. This is were the content needs to live to help grow you site and your new following.
The one exception to this is guest blogging. As you become more established and other bloggers like your content, you can approach (or be approached) to write an article for their blog. These are great. Most guest blog posts allow you to link back to your own blog. Now you not only have built more authority, but the new guest blog likely has an audience that may not have heard of you. These people could come over and eventually become your clients.
And it’s that simple. With a little time and effort on your part, you can grow your website through blogging. And not only will your site grow in the eyes of the search engines, but your potential clients will be engaged by the content you write. Ultimately this leads to more conversions, helping you reach your business goals. It also gives you more things to share on social media.
Don’t forget this important key however: Have fun.
Got another way to grow your business through blogging? Let me know in the comments below.