As an entrepreneur of a small company, you may be wondering if you should invest time and money into creating your own blog. If you’re on the fence, consider these five statistics compiled by FitSmallBusiness.
- More than 409 million people read over 23.7 billion pages each month (WordPress).
- 6 out of 10 online marketers believe that blogging has added customers to their business (Search Engine People).
- 6 out of 10 online consumers have stated that they made a purchase after reading the recommendations of a blog (Huffington Post).
- Companies that post blog articles get 97% more links to their website than those who don’t (Social Media Today).
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI (GetCodeLess).
Blogging can be an important marketing strategy for your company, but many small business owners aren’t sure where to begin. Here are four easy tips to help you get started.
Figure out what insights YOUR company – and no one else – can provide.
What kind of data do you have (that you can talk about openly) that your customer base would find useful?
For example, let’s say that you own a company that rents event decor and audio-visual equipment. Post information that your customers would value and that will identify you as an expert in this industry.
You could discuss event planning trends, how to create an event timeline, or ways to make your night stand out from the rest. Or maybe you might want to share the most common mistakes that people make when decorating or the top ten ways to make guests feel welcomed at your party.
Decide who will run the blog
Blogging is a time-intensive task, so don’t expect a blog to magically appear. Will you assign the blog to a current marketing employee or hire someone new?
I spoke to Christina Morales, a freelance writer who has been blogging for various companies. speaking, “A blog can take anywhere from 1-3 hours and my clients usually request 500-1000 words,” Morales said. “The word count and the difficulty of the topic can take it to the 3-hour mark.”
If you don’t have someone in-house to run your blog, there are a variety of ways to find a blogger/freelance writer. You can visit websites like CloudPeeps, Fiverr, or Upwork to hire the right person to fill this need.
Rates for writers from these websites tend to start at $15/hr., but vary based on experience and breadth of knowledge. Many freelancers will ghostwrite so you can remain the face of your company without having to spend hours writing.
Decide what format your blog posts will take.
The format of your content shapes how you’ll market it down the line. As you’re considering your company’s strengths, ask yourself questions like:
- Do you want long form essays?
- Will you comment on the latest news in your industry?
- Will you use images/video on your blog?
- What platforms do you want to post on other than your own website (such as LinkedIn, Medium, or guest blogging)?
The formats you choose depend on your audience and the services and/or products you offer.
For instance, if you are a software developer, you might want shorter articles (500 words) which share tips on how to use your product, how clients have used it successfully, and the newest updates you’re introducing.
If you are an ecommerce company that sells clothing, your content may be short snippets but you’ll want to include more images of your clothing. This way, you can show viewers the tone and style your clothing embodies.
Decide how often you’ll post on the blog.
Blogging takes commitment. To make that commitment easier on yourself, decide when you’ll post.
Content cadence differs by company, industry, and budget. Some companies post once a week, others Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Larger companies may even post daily.
According to a survey conducted by The Manifest, 51% of large companies publish daily, nearly one-third (31%) of businesses publish content weekly, and just 2% publish less than monthly.
Once you’ve decided how often you’ll publish, make a content calendar so that you know how many blog posts, videos, or infographics to make ahead of time.
Blogging Establishes a Digital Footprint
Blogging is a great way to increase SEO, which allows potential customers to find you in a crowded space.
“As you continue to add content to your website, you are essentially telling readers and search engines alike that you have something valuable to say about your field,” said Nanak Flights CEO Rishi Kapoor. “The more you produce, the more you solidify yourself as a leader in your sector.”
So, what do you want to say to your customers? That’s the perfect place to start.
Elizabeth Ballou is a content developer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B research and reviews firm in Washington, D.C. She writes about digital marketing, as well as business process outsourcing, and manages Clutch’s Twitter. Outside of work, she listens to an ever-growing list of podcasts. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.