Blogging for Small Business

According to Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, blogging is now the #1 area of increased activity for marketers.

And according to Kim Garst* (@kimgarst), CEO of Boom Social, “Blogging is still a dominate way to get impactful, original content directly in front of your customers and prospects easily and inexpensively…If you have been playing around with idea of starting your own blog, now is the perfect time to get started.”

Whether you’re considering a blog, just starting out with one, or one of those marketers determined to give it more effort this year, some advice for getting started:

Blogging for brand#1 Know your brand. Just like any campaign, before you begin you must have a strong brand identity. If not, back up and get cohesive! Your website, collateral, blog and social platforms should all look and feel like your brand. If you’re not sure you’ve got this part covered, give this post a quick read:

#2 Keep It Separate. Your blog site should not be just a page within your website, but a separate site. You will be drawing traffic to your blog and from there to your website. The point is not to sell them on your products or services, the point is to engage them, provide information, and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry – the go to source for information. For more on keeping your personal and business profiles separate:

#3 Add Plugins. There are specific plugins you’ll want to incorporate Blogging for SEOthat will help you with SEO, commenting, social sharing, etc. WordPress makes this fairly easy, as you can search through plugins by keyword and look for those that are highly rated and easy to use.

#4 Start Writing. You should have a back stock of 25-30 blog posts when you begin. So if you’ve only got a “welcome” post, you’d better sit back down and start writing. What to write? Key to BloggingTHIS IS KEY: Your topics should be based on questions your customers/potential customers are asking. What search terms do they type into Google? What do they need to know? What interests them? What’s trending in their world? Think outside of your own products or services to what else your core demographic is interested in.

#5 Create a Content Calendar. This does not have to be overwhelming! Begin with a year in view and write down holidays, promotions and important dates to your company. From there you’ll begin to see themes taking shape.

Once your blog is up and running, a few rules to follow:

Don’t just talk, listen!Follow the 80/20 rule here. You should be listening, in Bloggingthe form of reading tweets, blog posts and responses and watching what’s trending, as well as sitting in on some Twitter chats, to know what’s important to your followers and the people in your industry. That leaves you with 20% of the time to do the talking, so make it worth their while!

Engage. Social media is a space to engage with others in your industry. Vital to your social media success is giving credit to those you retweet and share, thanking others who retweet and share your content, and starting conversations with your followers. It’s time consuming, but so very important.

Promote. You should write at least half a dozen different tweets for each post, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn posts. Don’t forget to optimize for search engines! For more on how to promote your blog posts, click here.

Curate. Posting all of your own blogs is not only terribly time consuming, it’s just one perspective! Curate and share content from other sources that is relevant to your followers … you’ll be seen as a more valuable source for industry knowledge.

Blogs are ideal for sharing content, positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry and increasing awareness about your company, but they are time consuming. If your goal is to create a new blog presence, or increase the one you’ve got, I’d love to help. Let’s connect and create something fantastic!

*If you don’t already, you’ll want to follow @kimgarst on Twitter – relevant social media tips and a fantastic optimistic approach!

About Beth M. Wood

Beth M. Wood is a marketing and writing professional. She's been working in the marketing industry since the early 90s, and feeding her shopping habit with copywriting gigs since 2004. On August 1, 2013, she made the jump to full-time freelance writer, marketer, and social media manager. Beth is highly adept at creating and managing integrated marketing programs that get brands noticed. She's also well known for creating and maintaing a strong brand voice across all channels. She is a word geek, a grammar snob and a boot camp junkie. Which means she believes in giving 100% to every project she takes on - large or small. She earned her BA in writing from Webster University and serves as Senior Content Strategist at Scorch.
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