Before we go into what makes a good blog, let us first take a step back and examine what exactly a blog is and how it can be useful to small businesses in the first place.
A blog is simply a collection of articles that appear on a website, usually in reverse chronological order. (Newest posts first, oldest ones last.) Sometimes it goes by other names, such as the news section – or, in our case, the “Classroom”. (As it happens, this article you’re reading right now is a blog post!)
Blogs are useful for many reasons. They can be utilized to keep your frequent visitors up to date on all the latest happenings of your website. They’re a great way to announce special sales, events, etc. and even promote partnering businesses and post things that wouldn’t fit anywhere else on your website. They are also excellent for making your business feel more interactive. Many blogs include comment sections and can help establish communication and build relationships with your customers.
Aside from from keeping people updated and involved, blogs can also help attract new visitors, as well. How can this be? The simple answer as to why is that blog posts add more content to your website – meaning search engines like Google will have an easier time helping people find you. This can be great a great way to increase the visibility of your business – without cluttering up your website.
Now, although blogs have incredible potential, they won’t do much for your website on their own. In order for your blog to be successful, you’ll most likely need to devote a fair amount of time and effort to it. You should decide beforehand how much work you’re willing to invest in it.
The first thing you ought to consider is who (if not you) will be getting the blog posts published. This is not necessarily the same person who writes the posts; you can have anyone do that, or even pass around the responsibility. But you should try to have someone specifically designated to publish the posts.
Along with choosing someone to publish, you should also try setting up a posting schedule. Consistency is key when it comes to blogging — even more so than content. Great blog posts are incredibly helpful, of course, but getting something published on time should take priority.
One of the strong points of blogging is that there are no real limits on what you can post. Anything from a customer testimonial to an introduction of a new product is fair game – and covering a wide variety of subjects will only increase your traffic. That said, however, it’s still good to keep in mind that the people who land on your blog post will be people who have been drawn to your website due to their interest in what the post was about. If they see that your website has nothing to do with what they’re reading, they may not feel inclined to investigate further. You should always be trying to tie what you write back to your own business somehow.
In short: frequency and consistency are your allies. Neglect is the enemy. If visitors see that you haven’t posted any new content in months, they may be led to believe that your business is inactive. You want to be sure that you appear on top of things, so if you don’t plan to stay consistent with updating your blog you might want to consider removing it entirely. (Or, at the very least, removing the publication dates so they can’t see that it’s been months since you posted anything new.)
Blogs are helpful both for keeping your visitors up to date and increasing your visibility. However, they are only as useful as you make them. If you want your blog to be successful, be sure you’re willing to put forth the effort to achieve that success.
- If you have friends who run blogs, perhaps request that they publish an article promoting your business, and do so for them in return.
- One incredibly useful tool for helping your blog get noticed is something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It requires some extra work during the publishing process, but it is certainly worth the effort. If you have a membership with Control Yours and are interested in looking into this option, please shoot us an email and let us know!