Small businesses are always looking for new ways to be noticed on the www and blogging is a real way to make a differance.  Blogging, is a very cost effective way, in fact it doesnt cost a penney, to enhance your online presence and should form part of your business marketing strategy.  But how do you go about blogging? This post will help by highlighting the essentials of blogging, providing you with the key information to be successful   

Why Blog? 

A blog offers many benefits and is a valuable tool for your business. Key reasons why you should blog include: 
Increase your business website traffic – Its important to have relevant information on your site, helping it to be fresh, which in turn provides higher search engine rankings, via Google, Bing, etc. Why? Because search engines rank your site higher if you frequentky add relevant content, meaning your business is more likely to be found by customers, looking for your services or product. 
You can attract new clients – Blog regularly, using the content for your social media post, which will increase your social media followers and help increase visitors to your site. Encourage your visitors to share your information to expand your audience reach. 
Differantiate yourself - be the expert in your field – Share informative, helpful articles ensuring that the topic is up to date and relevant to your industry. You will find that your visitors will return to your site and thus establish you as a credible, trustworthy source of infomation, worth doing business with. 
Blogging -The Results! – You are trying to acheive an online presence, with authority, which will take time, as blogging may not have the immediate effect you require. The long term view should be taken, as your blog will help direct traffic to your website, attract new customers, create leads, all attributes of blogging that should not be taken lightley. 

What to blog! 

Having decided to blog, the big question is, what are you going to blog about? 
Well a great start is to to plan your content beforehand, which really helps to make it easier to deliver your message. 
Every post, should first and formost, be of value to your target audience.  
It needs to be written without any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and typos, ensuring it is scripted to a high standard.  
Here are some great ideas to get you started. 
View your competitors’ blogswhy? A great idea, so as you can identify subjects that perhaps non of your competitors are covering. 
This would allow you to stand out from the norm, create your own niche regards topics covered and identify keywords and touchpounts that are being covered within your specific industry sector. 
FAQ's and problem solving – by identifying your blog as the "go to" for frequently asked questions, will show your clients that you care and the blog will become a recource that is respected and visited constantly. 
By identifying customer experiances, including issues, with your services, products, and blogging ways to resolve, will also gain you credibiliuty and once again show customers that you care. 
Guide of how– Use your knowledge! Pass on some industry tips, recent news, skills that you can share - be giving and helpful! 
Use video to boost your blogs engagement highlighting useful information, your services and products. Video is a great platform to secure your visitors attention. 
Share your business news – Promote your business with accreditations or awards you have secured. Staff news, office refurbishment, service and product launches and incentives, special offers. Show off your company activity and that you are investing in your business, which ultimatley is an investment for your clients. 

When to blog  

The key to successful blogging? Consistency. Establish a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. Your audience will get used to your posting routine, and will come to expect new blog posts from you on a regular basis. 
If you stop posting for a long span of time, you risk losing repeat visitors, and may also weaken your position in search engines as you will have less new content for them to provide potential customers with. On top of this, an out of date blog can give visitors to your site the impression that your business is no longer active, so frequently updating your blog is important for a number of reasons. 
The best way to maintain a healthy blogging schedule is to plan your content in advance, and to write several blog posts ahead of time so that you can publish these as and when, especially if you know your business has a busy period coming up. 
Remember, whilst written content is typically more effective the longer it is – say, at least 500-600 words of relevant information – your posts need to be a minimum of 300 words long, so you do not need to be creating an essay’s worth of content each time for your blog post to have value. 

How to promote your blog 

Something to bear in mind when starting your business blog is that as a rule, you should be spending 25% of the time writing and publishing your blog content, and 75% of the time promoting it. 
After all, if you don’t promote your blog posts, it’s unlikely that they’ll be seen by the very audience that you’ve written them for, and all the time and effort you’ve put into them will be rendered useless. 
So, how exactly do you go about promoting your blog posts? Try these easy methods to get your content in front of as many people as possible: 
Search engine optimisation – Optimising your blog posts for search engines is crucial if you want sites like Google and Bing to be able to find them. Make sure you’re following SEO guidelines by including keywords throughout your content and giving each post a unique page title and description – this will ensure that people see your posts in search results. 
Social media – One of the most simple and speedy ways to promote your blog, sharing a link to your latest post on all of your company’s social media accounts should bring you a boost in website traffic, especially if you utilise hashtags and images when doing so. This will also allow you to easily interact with customers and see their reaction first-hand. 
Email – Get existing customers and new website visitors to opt in to a mailing list or newsletter – this will then give you a direct line of communication with the people who are most likely to want to read your blog. You can then send out regular updates letting them know about your latest posts. 
Sharing buttons – As well as sharing your blog post yourself, you should make it easy for your readers to share it on social media too. By incorporating social sharing buttons directly into your blog posts, you’ll encourage people to post it to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more in just a couple of clicks. 
Links – Another great way to promote your blog? Your blog. By including links in each blog post that link through to other posts - as we’ve done ourselves here - you can create a network of relevant information for your readers that will encourage them to visit multiple pages and spend more time on your website, all whilst proving that you are an expert in your field. 

Where to blog  

For your business to experience the maximum benefit from your blog, your blog needs to be on your company website. Whilst there are plenty of standalone blogging platforms out there, it’s no good having a separate blog if you want to move your business forwards online, as this will reduce potential traffic to your website and harm its ranking in Google search results. 
So there you have it – everything you need to know about blogging for your business. It will take creativity, careful planning, dedication, and time, and success won’t happen overnight, but with patience and perseverance, your blog may just become your company’s most powerful marketing tool yet. 
Want to find out more about itseeze’s Plymouth web design services and our easy to use blog feature? Get in touch with us today for a brilliant website and better results.This content will only be shown when viewing the full post.  
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