As a small business owner, your goal with a blog is to build the ‘know”, “like” and “trust” factors that people need in order to do business with you. A blog will help you showcase your business and start that all important relationship building with your potential customers.
Here are some areas to consider when creating the content for your business blog:
Does the content you are writing help to showcase you as the “go to” person in your geographic area for your type of business? It may be entertaining and funny but are you also showing that you know how to solve your potential customer’s problem?
Does your blog encourage people to connect with you and build relationships? Is there a place for your audience to give you their name and email address so you can start the communication process? Are you asking for feedback? Ask for people to comment and respond to what they are reading. Don’t assume they will know what to do.
Does your content create a sense of trust in you and what you do? If you are repeating a testimony or story from one of your customers, do you have their permission to use the information? Are you writing in a tone that people will understand? Stay away from technical terms just to show your knowledge. You may want to have a middle school student read your articles. If they can understand what you have said, then your audience will also understand.
Is it clear how someone can hire you? I am often surprised at the blogs that I read and there is no place for me to contact the author of the blog. You need to supply multiple ways for people to communicate. This should include a RSS feed for them to subscribe to your blog, a local phone number and an email address. If you are active in social media (and you should be), provide a link to your Facebook Business Page or LinkedIn profile.
What are some areas you can address with the content of your blog?
Keep in mind that your goal is to educate your audience. Provide helpful tips they can use when using your product or service. If you have a seasonal business such as lawn care, give your readers good information on what to do during off-season times to maintain their lawn.
Make your blog entertaining by relying stories and funny antidotes. You blog should be written as if the reader were sitting across the table from you and you were having a cup of coffee. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be vulgar to be funny. You want to appeal to the widest audience possible so stay away for sexist, age or race related topics. You do want to include stories about yourself. People relate to people, so tell about who you are and why you are in this business. Being entertaining includes using multiple forms of communication. Don’t be afraid to add photos and video to your blog.
Peak your audience interests. Share the history behind your product or service. In the case of our lawn service company, they could share the history of the azalea which is a very popular plant in our area. When a potential customer is searching for information on azaleas, their article would be part of the search.
Engage your audience by doing polls and asking for their opinion. People always want to share their knowledge in a certain area. Ask for questions and be ready to provide an answer. Give your opinion on a topic. Set up a Google alert on your product or service. Write a review of the something that was in the news or another person wrote and give your opinion. You will also want to provide a link back to the original story.