What is a blog?
The word blog is a truncation of the words ‘web’ and ‘log’ as in weBLOG. A blog is typically a kind of informal message or web page and historically, perhaps thought of as somewhere you might tell people what you had for lunch or the places you have visited – a lot like a social media post. For a long while serious business websites didn’t have blog because it was often felt to be too informal, bordering on the haphazard. Today though, many businesses are realising the benefits of engaging more informally with their customer base and with potential new customers alike to help generate new business. So, as a small business owner, it is worth having a blog and spending the time making posts?
The short answer is yes and thankfully, every website we make already has the capability to include a blog built in. It just needs enabling and a small amount of training (which we provide) to get going.
The business benefits of blogging
From a business point of view and if you already have a business website, there are some really good reasons to invest some time and effort into making blog posts. Think of it like this, your blog becomes the home of all your social media posts – yes, your blog posts can be shared (often automatically) to your Facebook Page, Twitter account or Pinterest so we’re looking at “write once, share many” and this alone can save you some valuable time but, there’s more …
- Each blog post you make appears to the search engines like a whole new web page and will be indexed in just that way giving you greater “reach” across a range of topics.
- Blog posts are a great way to “engage” with your customers and, as we know, it’s a lot easier to sell to someone we already have a relationship with.
- A blog keeps you in-touch with customers old and new.
- A blog may give you a competitive edge over businesses who don’t blog.
- It’s free to do, save for your time and effort.
But what would I write?
There are literally millions of blogs around the globe where authors post on every topic imaginable from the life of their pets to sharing complex mathematical problems and solutions and space exploration – not to mention the ubiquitous fashion, makeup and UFO-spotting examples of the genre. For every business owner though there’s the question of “what would I write?”. Your blog readers may not be interested in what you had for lunch (although they might be) but each of us in our day-to-day work has something interesting to say and worthy of sharing. For example, let’s say you’re a florist and every day you have to go and collect blooms from the market, get back to the shop to make-up your arrangements, package and deliver orders etc. To some people, that will make great reading, even though to you, it’s just the job you do.
If you’re the kind of persona that finds it difficult to write about themselves (and many do) then consider asking a family member to do it for you – they will often be able to do it easier and better because they are slightly removed from the pressures of day-to-day work.
How often should I blog?
It’s entirely up to you but the golden rule is “if you’re going to do it, do it right and do it often”. In other words, it needs commitment on your part because nothing ages a website faster than a blog which hasn’t been updated for a year – that’s actually worse than not having a blog at all. We suggest a minimum of one blog post a week and a maximum of three. Three is enough for good engagement but without the risk of bombarding your readers.
Help is at hand
If you’d like to know more about setting up a business blog and get some ideas of what to write (and what not to write!) then get in-touch with us but, in the meantime, we made a short video explaining just how to do it well.