If you want to drive traffic to your small business website, one of the best things you can do, in fact perhaps the #1 thing you can do is to develop a blog strategy for your small business! There are lots of great reasons to invest your limited time and energy into blogging on your website.
Blogging is a low cost way to drive traffic – all it costs is your time. Blogging is a way to niche your traffic – only users who are interested in what your content is about will find you in relevant search results. Finally, blogging is great for SEO because it tells Google that you have new, fresh content for users. In order to keep your website fresh, you’ve got to develop a blogging strategy for how you’ll add fresh, new content to your site (via your blog) on a regular basis.
There are three strategic areas to consider as you develop your small business blogging strategy.
Strategy #1: Determine How Often You’ll Blog & When
A lot of bloggers will tell you to start with content. My recommendation is to start with frequency. What is your schedule going to be? It doesn’t matter what work out you were planning to do at the gym if you never make it there. So, start by determining how often you’ll blog? My personal goal is to post three blog posts each week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You’ll see in a minute why I chose those days.
I know that it takes me about 2.5 hours to write three blogs posts. So I schedule 3 hours of writing time on Monday to knock out my blog content for the following Wednesday, Friday and Monday. By starting with Wednesday and ending with Monday, I don’t have to be in a rush on Monday morning to develop that day’s content. I’ve already done it the week before!
I block off Mondays from 7am to 10am to blog because those are my “power hours.” I know I am my most productive and focused during those hours so I devote them to projects that need my full attention. If I know that I’ll be busy on an upcoming Monday, I’m careful to get that block of time rescheduled for the next day on Tuesday. By actually putting the item on my calendar and blocking off the time, I’m protecting it from getting eaten up by other important work. I use Toggl to track all of the time I spend working on/in my business (which is how I was able to see that it takes me approximately 2.5 hours to create three blog posts). Read my recent blog post to learn more about Toggl and how it helps with productivity.
Strategy #2: Decide What You’ll Blog About
Content is king! Content takes a lot of effort to produce, so it’s important to focus in and develop a blogging strategy that includes producing content that helps your business. There’s no point in wasting your time developing content that doesn’t convert!
It can be a little painful to come to the realization that your content isn’t working for you; especially after you’ve worked so hard on it. Part of your blogging strategy is to determine what kind of content is relevant to your ideal customer and then develop content that meets their needs by solving their problems.
I wrote a blog post about my favorite Ariat Denim Trousers – but no matter how much I love those jeans, spending time creating content about them isn’t going to move my small business forward. As an entrepreneur, I’ve decided to focus my small business on helping ranchers, farmers and small rural business owners learn to create their own websites using Showit. If I want to sell website templates to my ideal customers I need to blog about content that is relevant to websites and small businesses.
As part of your blogging strategy, I want you to think about three BIG content buckets you can name to pull from. Mine are websites, small business (entrepreneurship) and How-To articles (mostly articles on how-to use Showit).
Those BIG content buckets are my primary buckets. Ranch life and personal posts, like the one about my favorite office desk mat (it’s really awesome) are great for here-and-there posts… but primarily I need to be creating content from one of my primary buckets.
Strategy #3: RePurpose Your Blog Content Where it Makes Sense!
When you create your blogging strategy, you should be thinking about more than just your blog – think about your overall content strategy and how you can utilize your blog content in other creative ways! Most of the content you create can be repurposed and used on other platforms – but you have to do it the right way!
For example, on most Wednesdays, I send the Website Wednesday email to my email subscribers. And on most Wednesdays, my email includes a link to fresh content that’s just hit my blog that morning. In fact, this blog post was written to connect to a Website Wednesday email newsletter encouraging my subscribers to create a blogging strategy. By tying the two pieces together, I’ve both saved myself time, made my email easier to read and driven traffic to my website.
Because my business is all about helping ranchers and farmers learn to build their own websites, it makes sense that my content is focused around that main idea. I’ve developed a blogging strategy that makes sense for my small business… and you can too!
Create Content that Helps!
When you think about creating content, my recommendation is to create content that helps! Even if your post isn’t a “How-To” or DIY post, be sure that the content you’re creating helps your ideal customer solve a problem, big or small, that they’re currently facing. Creating content that helps your users will help you to show up in relevant search results and it will position you as an expert to your audience. When you’re a resource in someone else’s entrepreneurial journey, they’re more likely to recommend you to other people they know in their circle. And there’s nothing more powerful than a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Finally, don’t let the idea of developing a blogging strategy for your small business overwhelm you. Choose a realistic schedule and content you can stick to. It’s far better to blog only once per week about relevant content than it is to blog in spurts every six months about content that doesn’t connect with your ideal customer.