The Do's & Don'ts of Blogging For Your Small Business image

As a small business owner you may know the value of blogging as part of your overall online marketing plan.  You might even have an understanding of how to do it effectively. However, you might be thinking to yourself, “I’m not a blogger.  What in the world do I blog about?

Here are my do’s and don’ts about what you should blog about.  I will start with the don’t list.  Its short.

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Don’ts

Don’t Blog About Upcoming Events

I may not have any scientific research here, but I find it absolutely annoying when I am googling something like, “5K Run Near Me” and I come up with a Turkey Run, for example (true story, by the way) and when I clicked on it, I realized it was for a run that happened 3 years ago!  I found no other information about a more current Turkey Run.  For a business, this can be detrimental because it leaves the impression that you were once in business but no longer in business, when in reality it could have been an event that wasn’t so popular, so you decided to not do it again.

Create an Events Page

Instead, create an “Events” page and put all upcoming events on the page.  You can update it when the event is over.  Have a yearly event?  Create a page just for the event and hide it when the event is over until you’re ready to market it again.  Then, all you have to do is update it and reactivate it.


Related Reading

Blogging Brainstorm: Know Your Customer Part 2

Who Is Your Target Audience: Know Your Customer Part 1

Create Original Content For Your Small Business Blog


Do’s

Do Solve Your Reader’s Problem

The products and services you provide in your business are meeting some sort of need for your customer, maybe even solving a problem.  For example, let’s say you own a catering business.  You might think, my client’s don’t have a problem, they are having a party.  Well, I say, they do have a problem.  They need to decide which caterer to hire.  You are there to solve their problem.

So think about it… they visit your website by googling “caterers near me” or maybe more specifically, “caterers who use local farms.”  They might find 4 or 5  results that are relevant (ok, I am in a smallish town, so I might find that many, but if you are in a big city, you might find pages of results). How will you tell them about your service and your business model. With a blog post that has the keywords that bring that customer to you and then provide them with well developed content that educates them about you and your business without them having to contact you.


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Now, I am no child, I am a woman of a certain age (heh, heh) but I still want information fast.  I don’t waste my time on websites that have a huge phone number in my face and don’t tell me anything about their product or service without a phone call where I fear I will get myself into a high pressure sales situation.  I want to educate myself and to my detriment, the best company may be that company that has a one page informational site.  But I skip it, because I cannot educate myself so I can narrow it down to 2 or 3 options.

You want to be in the mix of the 2 or 3 options.  How do you do this?  Have a blog post that resonates with the reader, educates, and proves that you are the right choice because you are not afraid to be transparent.  You are not afraid to let your customer educate themselves and risk losing them to someone else.  Why?  Because you are confident in what you have to offer and you show that in your blog post, with information, education (well-researched) and pride in what you do.

Do Answer Common Questions

Imagine yourself in front of your customer showing them your product or service.  What questions do they ask?  Make a list.  Now address each one of them in a blog post.  This is a great opportunity to elaborate in detail about your product or service and answer common questions.  You can then create a brochure and email campaign that links to you post.  What kinds of questions are they asking?


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Do Respond to Concerns

Concerns, different from questions, really.  Think about it.  How does it work? compared to “What if…”  I had a client once say, “you say we need X, Y and Z, but I don’t even know what you are talking about.”  Don’t assume your customers have the same repertoire of experience as you.  They might be rocket scientist, but have never had experience purchasing your service or product.  Educate them, answer their questions and address their concerns.

Allow them at least three ways to educate themselves.

Your blog, your website, your email list, your social media pages.

Allow them at least three ways to contact you.

Phone Call, address to stop by, book an appointment (in person or on the phone), email you, message you on social media, Facebook groups.

Framing Your Blog Post

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are great for your blog and are a nice feature, but you can frame your blog post in a way that is positive and not a list on concerns.  That is why I love the concept of using your blog to address one concern or a few concerns at a time.  Frame them not as a question but more as a statement.  Example, I was going to title this blog, “What in the World Do I Blog About?”  However, I might be able to frame it in a way that addresses the concern in a more positive way, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Blogging For Your Business” or “5 Things to Consider when Writing Your Blog Posts.”


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