In last week’s blog post, we shared 10 Content Ideas for Your Small Business Blog. But what good is content if you don’t have readers?
While it’s true that blogging can generate leads, create connections and boost sales for your small business, you need a plan to get the word out. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula or sure-fire strategy to succeed in the blogosphere overnight. But if you’re willing to invest some time and effort, there are certainly ways to build a following, increase traffic and, eventually, better your brand. Here are four tips to get the ball rolling.
Create Engaging Content. While flashy headlines and creative social media campaigns can get clicks, the key to any successful blog is the content itself. Remember, the primary purpose of a small business blog is not simply to make sales; it is to add value for your audience in the form of unique and engaging information. From product reviews to interviews with industry experts, your blog is an opportunity to assert your experience, expertise and influence while getting your name out there. Regardless of topic, ensure your blogs are clear, concise and relevant. And remember, quality trumps quantity every time. For a list of 10 specific content ideas, check out last week’s blog post.
Be Consistent. While blogging can be a great way to build momentum for your small business, posting sporadically – or only occasionally – will bring it to a screeching halt. By serving up new content on a regular basis, you will not only grow your archives and attract more eyeballs, but you will (hopefully) create anticipation among your audience. But consistency in blogging goes beyond frequency. Equally important as the when is the how. While the topics and structure of your blog posts may vary, be sure to maintain a consistent tone. Whether that tone is strictly professional or conversational and personable, stay true to your company’s values and overall branding. Through your blogs, people should come to recognize the voice of your blog – and your business. Bonus Tip: One great way to ensure consistency (both in frequency and in tone) is to create a blog series, as they ensure thematic uniformity, personal accountability and a reason for readers to keep coming back.
Be Proactive. No matter how engaging your content is, or how consistently you post it, your blogging efforts will go to waste if no one knows about it. Instead of simply sitting back and waiting for people to find your blog (spoiler: they won’t), take matters into your own hands and find them! The best ways to share your blog with the world are by posting them on your social media channels or in a regular newsletter to your readers. In addition to quality content, intriguing headlines, attractive images and effective keywords will go a long way in making your posts more discoverable – and more share worthy – online. A well-placed “Subscribe” button on your website will also encourage your readers to follow you and ensure they never miss a post.
Edit Accordingly. If you’re following the first three steps and your blog still isn’t gaining any traction, there has to be a reason. With millions upon millions of daily surfers, the Internet is teeming with a built-in audience of people interested in your business or industry (regardless of how niche). To maximize your exposure to this audience, begin experimenting. Try sharing your posts on different days or at different times (the most optimal time to post on Facebook may differ from that on Twitter). Perhaps use different images, or tweak your headline formula. Either way, be sure to track your strategies and save your data so you know what works – and what doesn’t.