How many times have you, as a small business owner, read this headline in a business or industry publication: “If you’re not blogging, you should be!”?
I know your first reaction is to roll your eyes but what that eye roll, worthy of a surly teenager, really means is: “why?”
Why should you be blogging?
If your website is designed to help you grow your business, having a blog focused on topics relevant to your business can be an incredibly effective way to draw new people to you. Your customers use Google to get answers to their questions. Do they know the full scope of what you do? Or would they be surprised to learn you also do X? Your prospective customers may not have any idea who you are, but they use Google to get answers to their questions, too. Arriving in their search results is the first step to doing business with them and a strategically-written blog can help you do that.
Google is getting smarter every second. It is looking for dynamic content on your website and a blog is the perfect way to feed that to Google. The days of a “set it and forget it” homepage that never gets touched are long over. Having a regularly-updated blog is a great place for you to provide relevant content that answers questions and solves problems for your existing and would-be customers.
Your business has its niche or area of expertise. The goal for your blog should be clearly establishing that area of expertise for Google, which will regularly visit — and judge! — websites that have regular content updates. The more good content you provide within your area of expertise, the more likely you are to be presented as a result or answer to someone’s question in a Google search.
Becoming an expert in a certain area to Google’s mind means you start showing up as a top result for specific search, which will bring new visitors to your site. New eyeballs can lead to new customers.
“Thanks a lot,” you’re thinking right now.“ <Cue second eye roll> I already knew that! Did’ja think that maybe the reason I don’t blog is because I’m not a writer!”
Non-writers can write blogs
A blank screen with a blinking cursor can be terrifying and intimidating — to writers and non-writers alike. Step away from the computer. You’re not ready to type yet.
Look, if you are a business owner, you’ve certainly had many conversations with customers or prospective customers where you answered questions, explained topics and generally set yourself apart from the competition. If you recorded just one of those 15-minute conversations, I guarantee you would have at least a rough draft for up to three different blog posts.
That’s actually a great way to get started. Record your portion of a phone call with a prospect. Transcribe those notes and see what you have. I have found time and again that business owners know more than they think they know. They’re experts in certain areas and they’ve streamlined — and sort of written — what they know into clean, informative, digestible nuggets of wisdom.
That’s practically a blog post right there — you just need to get the words on a screen.
Another tactic that we actually use in the office when it’s time to write blog posts about the world of content B2B marketing is, we’ll turn on the record function on the phone and just talk for 10 minutes. We’ve gotten the nuts and bolts for several blog topics in one, short “throw it all at the wall and see what sticks” conversation.
Don’t have the time to transcribe recorded conversations? Try TranscribeMe’s service (they usually have an active coupon code for new and even existing users!).
Once you see what you know on paper, I bet you’ll be shocked at how eloquently you speak on topics. You’re an expert in your area of expertise or you probably wouldn’t still be in business! What you are likely to find with the transcription is that you’re just a few cut and pastes away from a blog post.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat. I’d like to think that, using this method, you could probably be generating blog posts every week, but maybe that’s too much pressure for you. How about twice a month?
It always helps to have a second set of eyes on any piece of writing, so utilize a co-worker (or someone close to you who knows a decent amount about what you do), and don’t be afraid of some edits.
One takeaway from this post is that your blog posts should be educational, helpful to those who have a question and add some value to the topic at hand. We will be publishing another post about blogging soon that goes into blogging strategy and starting to think about search engine optimization (this topic along can go deep into the rabbit hole!).
And, you still might still be thinking, “This won’t work for me” or “Thanks, but I don’t have the extra time for this.” We gotcha. What you can make a little time for is working with someone like us at Savoir Faire. We write blog posts on the regular for a range of clients, and while there is a little “getting to know you” involved, once we have some knowledge about your company established, there’s little of your time taken.
And, you have that dynamic content that the ever-getting-wiser Google likes to see.