Everyone has a blog these days and businesses absolutely should have one. Any business who keeps in contact with their clientele should also maintain good relations via social media. Believe it or not, that’s where everyone is talking about your business. Utilizing a blog to keep your clientele up to date will ensure success. But if you are overwhelmed with how to start one, here are 6 tips towards getting you creating a blog.
1. Set the tone
What is the focus of your blog? It can be beneficial to post about upcoming events, changes in staffing, openings/closings of stores (if applicable), and anything else that can impact your clientele. At the same time, you can consider writing posts geared to your business niche. If you are in housekeeping, talking about the latest green products and whether you use them can be a great conversation to have with your clientele. Whichever you choose to do, stick to your tone so that your clientele know what to expect.
2. It’s all in the name
Consider what the name of your blog will be. You want something catchy and easy to remember but also relevant to your business. Write out several options and check to be sure your domain name is available. Speaking of which, opt for a .com. Everyone can remember are a .com. Even if you choose to use a free blog site, point it to a .com. Free site domains look less professional and you lose credibility.
3. Review web hosting
Once your domain is purchased, look around at various web hosting sites. There are tons so be sure to also check reviews. While you want something affordable, do consider what you get when you are paying next to nothing. Be realistic with your budget and expectations. Free blog sites are easy to come by, but you’ll be limited in terms of look and feel of your site. WordPress comes highly recommended for both hosted (WordPress.org) and free (WordPress.com) sites as it is easy to work with.
4. Be eye-catching
Your blog is part of your advertising. So be sure that you utilize your logos and color schemes on your blog. The more people recognize your brand, the more people will remember you. When making your blog, consider the flow of how things are visible. A hectic and busy page cluttered with a lot of ads and images can deter your readers. You want things to be very smooth and linear to the eye. Avoid having any videos that automatically play when landing on your blog. It is one of the biggest complaints about blogs and people will not want to visit you again.
5. Create a calendar
Be realistic about how often you can post on your blog. You are already running a business and you don’t want your blog to become a second full-time business. WordPress offers the ability to schedule your posts to go live at the time you choose. This can simplify your blogging. Begin by thinking about how often you want posts to go live. If you want to post every day, can you write each day? Can you write all 5 posts in a single day and schedule them? Or would you rather post once a week or even every other day? It may also make it easier if you can get a few of your staff to write posts so that you can still handle your day to day duties. Whatever you plan, keep a calendar of topics handy, and schedule them around timely events, like holidays and other promotions.
6. Finding middle ground
The length of your posts is very important. Too short and you lose engagement with your clientele. Too long and your clientele gets bored and loses interest. Ideally, posts should be anywhere from 800-2000 words to keep your clientele interested. Occasionally a short 500-word post is okay if there isn’t that much information to share (Ie: holiday schedule for your business).
Keep your posts pleasing to the eye and easy to skim. All readers skim before really reading your post. If you have a long wall of text, most readers will pass on as they feel too overwhelmed by the content. Using bullet points and sub-headers will give them an idea of what they are about to read.
Bonus: Sharing is important
Getting your post noticed is incredibly important. Once a post is live, it should be shared on all of your social media networks. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and even Reddit are very helpful in getting the word out. Be sure to include social sharing buttons on each of your posts so the reader can share your post on their favorite platforms as well. Most sites offer plugins that include sharing buttons that you can select for maximum exposure. Don’t limit to just a couple of sharing options. Your readers have their favorites and you never know what unknown sharing option can be of benefit to you.
Take some time to produce a few weeks worth of content before you launch your blog. This way, if something happens to prevent you from getting additional posts ready, you’re not left scrambling to get something up. Install analytics to keep an eye on how well your audience is responding, so you can adjust your strategy as necessary.