The primary goals of almost every small business owner are to generate more sales and make more money. Small business blogging can assist with both of these objectives, but must nonetheless be approached strategically.
Unfortunately, far too many SMBs approach small business blogging as something of an administrative ‘box to tick’. Roughly translated, they don’t invest nearly the kind of time and effort their blogs and their audiences deserve.
A few basic statistics to illustrate the value of small business blogging:
- 70% of consumers prefer a brand’s blog posts to its online adverts
- 61% of consumers in America have made a purchase based on a blog post
- A good small business blog can increase lead generation by 125%
Tapping into these and other benefits means carefully considering exactly what your readers expect from your posts. Not to mention, following the five ‘golden rules’ of successful small business blogging as outlined below:
Rule #1: Go In-Depth with Each Topic
When the reader accesses your blog, you can assume they have a vested interest in whatever it is you do. As such, you can also assume that they’d like the kind of topic-specific, in-depth information they cannot find elsewhere. If you simply skirt around the subject and offer nothing of real use or value, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Where possible, consider extending your small business blog posts to include as much relevant detail and useful information as possible.
Rule #2: Publish New Posts on a Regular Basis
The key to successful small business blogging lies in consistency. It’s up to you whether you post weekly, daily or on any other basis whatsoever, but you need to stick to your timetable. That said, it’s important to avoid long periods of silence between your posts. A recent report from Hubspot found that small businesses publishing a minimum of four posts per week generate on average 4.5x more leads than those who publish less frequently. Quality counts, but quantity also plays a role in successful small business blogging.
Rule #3: Get to Grips with Long-Tail Keywords
Of course, you also need to ensure your target audience can find your small business blog in the first place. This means bringing strategic SEO elements into your content, with particular focus on relevant long-tail keywords. Not to such an extent as to compromise the quality of your content, but more as a supplementary addition for maximum SEO clout. Long-term keywords are one of several SEO tools you’ll need to get to grips with to build a successful small business blog.
Rule #4: Pay More Attention to Your Call-to-Actions
Every post you publish should have something of value and relevance to offer the reader. In which case, you should also be in a position to include a strategic and relevant CTA at the end of the post. Your CTAs should be strong and to-the-point, though without making your posts come across as just another glorified sales page. This means paying more attention to both the content, the presentation and the positioning of your CTAs. Experiment using split testing and you’ll soon find a formula that works.
Rule #5: Invite Comments and Feedback
Last but not least, there’s something inherently more appealing and engaging about a blog that’s packed with reader comments and feedback. Perhaps because it gives you the sense that the business responsible for the blog is actually listening to its readers. Hence, this is one of the most important roles for successful small business blogging. Even if it means personally moderating comments prior to publishing and taking the time to reply to dozens of readers, it’s more than worth your while. View your blog as an open forum for discussion (rather than a one way communication channel) and you stand to get way more out of every post you publish.