Discover the secrets of writing effective business blogs
Learn the secrets of writing effective blogs to boost your business – and discover 3 key things you shouldn’t be doing
The plumber scratched his head. “Why the heck should I have a blog?” he asked.
It was a good question. This blog is my answer.
When blogging began, it was all about detailing people’s hobbies and opinions. Now, businesses have cottoned onto the fact that blogs are an important marketing tool.
For many people who have been in business for some time, the idea of writing about their tips for how to change a washer on a tap or how to dress a house for pre-sales viewings seems illogical.
Doesn’t it just give away a bit of the gold, after all?
Yet, keeping in contact with people and being helpful to them works. Business networking is based on the same principles.
Used in that way, blogging works.
It builds your online presence, helps to improve the SEO of your website by attracting visitors, and educates your potential customers about what you do.
Here are my dos and don’ts for writing an effective blog post:
1. Know your audience.
Draw up a profile of your ideal customer – their age, where they live, their income, family circumstances, and their job. Think about what’s important to them, and what problems they have. Think about how your business solves those problems. There’s a lot of content out there and you need to be speaking as directly as you can to the people you want to buy from your business.
2. Choose helpful subjects.
Find subjects which are helpful to your ideal customers – give them useful information. If you’re a plumber, tell them how to replace a tap washer properly. Giving a little up front will help you in the longer term. Few people who replace a washer in a tap will want to replace a toilet or install a new bathroom. They will remember the helpful plumber with whom they’ve already built an on-line relationship.
3. Use keywords.
Research the best keywords and phrases for your business using a service like Keywordrevealer.com – look for high traffic and high quality keywords. Make sure they are contained in your blog in a natural way. That helps optimise your blog for search engines.
4. Grab attention with your headline.
Your headline is what’s going to make or break your post on social media. Use active words and make it impactful. Words like ‘discover’, ‘secrets’, ‘tips’, and questions like “how?” and “why?” are effective attention-grabbers. Headlines containing numbers also break up the text and catch the eye.
5. Write simply, clearly, and logically.
It’s all about communication and connecting with your customers. Be clear and write in language which is easily understood. This rule applies even for businesses where there is a lot of jargon or technical detail – the vast majority of your customers don’t need or want to know that. It’s all about them!
6. Give people a clear way of getting in touch, if they would like to.
End your blog with a link to your Contact Us page, for example.
7. Share on social media.
Writing a blog is just half the job – sharing it widely on your social media to attract potential customers is the other half.
8. Embed video and images.
Using images and video boosts the chance your blog will be shared – for example, Facebook posts with images have more than double the chance of being shared than those without.
1. Copy someone else’s content.
There are algorithms like those used by Copyscape which can show up copied content – and search engines like Google will penalise your site for it. There is also the danger of a copyright infringement, too. Your customers want fresh, original content.
2. Post infrequently.
Be consistent in posting blogs – whether it’s once, twice, or four times a month. Your customers will come to expect it.
3. Sell, sell, sell.
It’s social media – with the emphasis on social. Your blog should reflect that. Blogging isn’t about short-term sales. It’s about building an online community in the long term, keeping them in your fold. You know that once they eventually become your customers, it’s much easier to sell to them than to find new clients.
Maria Williams of Words You Can Use is a professional blogger, copywriter, and PR for small business.
Call 07790 654274 for help with blogs, website content, video scripts, and press releases.