If you are a small business owner (or if communications falls under your job description), you probably identify with one of these remarks: I don’t think I need a blog; I have been putting off starting a blog; I have a blog that is not doing so well; I have a great blog that I am always trying to improve. Whichever one of those best describes your current situation, you can benefit from these four tips.
1. Be in the know.
Whatever your industry is, whatever your market is – stay on top of relevant news. Doing so will spark content ideas. You can often localize a national topic by making it your own! Share your small business’ approach or solution. How does your business play a part in the bigger conversation? How does it all relate? Make sure to do your research and bring it all full circle.
Pro Tip/Warning: When businesses are too focused on self-promotion and try to write about a topic that is too much of a stretch (in that it doesn’t relate to the business directly), they could appear insensitive and do more harm than good.
2. Showcase your expertise.
This goes hand in hand with tip No. 1. By creating your own content, you are establishing your small business’ credibility. A common misconception is that as an expert, you have to stand on your own. Quite the opposite is true. Experts have a network to lean on, and they learn from others. Similarly, be sure to link to other resources, incorporate quotes, give examples and always credit your source.
3. Relate to your audience.
I am not talking about incorporating slang into your posts. You need to know your audience. If your small business is geared toward corporate executives, then you may use more formal language. However, if your small business involves serving families with young children, then your blog may have more of a fun tone. Keep your purpose in mind. Do you want to inform? Do you want to inspire?
4. Be a catalyst.
Once you create a post, don’t let it just sit on your blog. Post it, share it and promote it! This starts with making sure that it is visible on your website’s homepage. For some businesses, this means having a tab at the very top that says “New blog post!” For others, this means having a slider on the homepage that visually catches people’s attention and links to the blog posts. Next, utilize social media. This includes Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If your small business is even more advanced, you may consider taking the content to Pinterest and Instagram. (For Instagram you would have to put the link in your company’s bio to remain there for 24 to 48 hours.) Lastly, distribute the new post via email, especially if you have a regular e-newsletter!
Sarah Sherlock is an account assistant at Obsidian Public Relations.