For a lot of people, blogging for their business seems to be a source of mystery and apprehension and it really doesn't have to be. I’ve written this blog for those of you who have no idea where to start and I hope it helps you kick things off on your own blogging adventures.
Before we get started though….
Why should you blog?
Nobody knows your industry like you do. Let’s say you are the owner of a garage door company. Someone like me is at home, freaking out because my door just started making some really freaky noise. The first thing I do is type into Google “why is my garage door making a sudden loud noise.”
Google is going to turn around and bring me all the articles on the internet that they think will help answer my question or solve my problem, giving me the most relevant answers first. As the owner of a garage door company in my area, you should want your company blog to be one of those first articles to appear. It shows that you know your stuff, that you are a leader in your industry and that you provide information to help people. Plus, you will probably be who I call to help me fix my door when it is all said and done. Those are all good things! Now we know why you should blog so let's take a look at the steps.
Step One: Identify Your Audience.
You are writing for your audience. You are not writing for you, your colleagues or your vendors but for your audience and that is very important to remember. So who is your audience? Are they office workers, farmers, home buyers or business owners? If you aren’t sure how to do identify your audience, learn how. Be sure to check out the other resources in our blog. They are there to help you.
Step Two: Pick a Topic (aka “solve a problem” or “answer a question.”)
Let’s go back to the example I mentioned above about a garage door company. Here I am on Google trying to find an answer to my problem "why is my garage door making a sudden loud noise?" What questions will I have that you can answer about your business? Remember - write something I will find interesting, useful or entertaining. When in doubt ask yourself “who will care about this topic?”
So pick a good topic. What is a good topic? Well, what kind of questions are you asked every day? Here are a few examples from various industries:
- Florist: Rose colors have different meanings. What does a yellow rose say to the recipient?
- Dentist: What exactly is a root canal?
- Hair Stylist: Would I look good as a redhead?
- Coffee House: How should I store my coffee beans?
- Office Supply Company: What sort of paper should I use for my resume?
- Grocer: What is a kumquat?
Do you get the idea?
Step 3: Summarize and Use Bullet Points When Possible
Most people who read online scan an article. Making your blog easier to scan will increase the amount of time they are likely to spend on your website and absorb the information you are sharing with them.
Step 4: Pick a Snazzy Headline
This doesn’t have to be step 4. This can be step one, or step two or three. I like to choose my headline/title after I have written my blog because the title boxes me in. Sometimes what I think I am writing about will evolve into something else. That title is a psychological trap for me - so I just get rid of it all together until I'm done. I haven’t picked the title for this blog yet. I wonder what it will be… .
Step 5: Publish that blog!
Get that blog out there! This is your gift to the middle-of-the-night searcher who is freaking out and needs your help! You did it! You're a blogging superhero! Post it to your business social media channels and be sure to let your friends, fans and mom know you posted so that they “like” “share” “retweet” etc. on all of their favorite social platforms. You did a great job and you should be proud of yourself.
Now, go write another blog.