The blog. It’s a 21 Century marvel that we all have a love hate relationship with. It’s the window for customers and prospects into small businesses and nonprofits, but the bane of our writing existence.
There are the good — the ones I read often and refer to for information or inspiration (stay tuned for a future follow-up post about what makes these so good). There are the okay ones, that I come across in the dark corner of the internet, dust off the words, and glean some wisdom from. And then there are the ugly, that I pick on accident and frantically click-click-click about until I’m back to a trusted website.
But the truth is, no matter what industry you’re in, what small business you run, or what type of website you keep, you can find big value for a small price with a blog.
If you don’t have a blog, here’s four reasons I’d suggest you start one.
- Blogs drive people to your small business website. Customers and prospects won’t revisit your site time and time again to check if you have a new product, a new service or updated pricing. But they will click-through for a blog post that fancies their interest.
- Blogs increase your small business credibility. Because small businesses often compete with big-name stores, your prospects and past customers want to rest assured that you know your stuff, that you’re staying up to date in your industry, and that you have a secret sauce only your small business can offer.
- Blogs boost your search engine ranking and keep your content relevant. And both go hand-in-hand. You want people to find you via Google. And Google and other search engines want you to keep updating your site with relevant, valuable content. Google, meet our regularly updated blog. Website, meet increased SEO traffic.
- Blogs don’t cost you much of your small business budget. If you do it yourself, it won’t cost you anything except your time and sharing your talents. If you invest in better writing, a better strategic plan — by investing in some outside help — you’ll still spend less than traditional marketing and you’ll likely see higher return in the long-run.
If you already blog your small business heart out (you go, boss!), here are some Zao-entrusted tips.
Plan for its success. Sure, those first few blog posts may write themselves, but someone has to write — and think up ideas for — the rest. Zao uses its own special strategic plan to ensure content is relevant to the audience, stays fresh, and sticks to a schedule.
Share what you’ve got — and interact with that awesome audience you’re talking to! So you’ve written all these amazing insights and shared these inspiring stories. Let your audience know about it! Use social media, refer customers to a recent, relevant post via word-of-mouth, and more. Zao uses a trusted guide to ensure content meets the people we’re writing for.
Ask for help if you need it. You have a million to-do items on your list and a blog doesn’t have to be one. Reach out for contributors by looking to thought-leaders in your industry or by looking to other employees in your small business. Or, call up Zao525 and see the magic we can cast over your blog.