Are you starting a small business blog?
As they say, proactive vs. reactive wins the race especially when it comes to starting a small business blog! (Or is it slow and steady?) Either way, you’re helping your company better stand out online. As more and more small businesses open shop, that’s an increasingly difficult thing to do! To help you move forward with your blog (and avoid some hurdles), we’ve come up with a few considerations, stats, and tips.
What to initially expect
First, be prepared, because as soon as you sit down and start writing, those ideas will start flowing like Niagara Falls and then into a perfect whirlwind of imaginative and super helpful info! Hope you’re a fast typer!
*Sound of Record Scratching*
OR…you realized that there’s a lot more to blogging than you had initially thought and are trying to figure out how to get over writer’s block.
Darn those over-filtered Instagram pics by making “starting a blog” look so easy!
Now, deep breath and one step forward!
Consider these seven tips before starting your small business blog:
1. If procrastinating on your business blog has been second nature, you might want to reconsider your content strategy.
It’s super easy for businesses to brush-off blogging. However, most delays aren’t necessarily due to time constraints or financial matters.
A common theme: there’s a misconception that merely having a website (without a blog) puts you out there.
Not the case! Even more so if you haven’t focused on SEO, website optimization and connecting and growing networks (more on that below) through social media marketing. Also, some companies have optimized their websites and flat out refuse to blog. Why?
They’re comfortable with what they have. (Not necessarily a bad thing!)
However, when looking at it from a competitor’s standpoint…
At least 3.3 million new blogs get published daily (as of 9/3/17)!
UPDATE: we went back and compared the previous 2017 numbers (on 11/9/18 at 4 PM) and got 3.85M!
So, is blogging becoming LESS popular?
When comparing the above numbers, it seems likely. However, to make sure that wasn’t a fluke, we took the numbers from 2017 and compared them to 2018 (at the below times) and found that…
At 8:30 PM:
- On 9/3/17 – 4.3M
- On 11/9/18 – 4.9M!
Lastly, at 11:59 PM:
- On 9/3/17 – 5.04M
- On 11/9/18 – 5.76M!
There’s a reason why blogs are popular!People love them! They help us make purchasing decisions, and almost anyone can learn something from starting a small business blog! Plus, they help to optimize a website further!
2. If you’re not familiar with SEO, blogging is a great way to learn. However, teaching yourself SEO takes time and effort. And trial and error.
If you don’t correctly implement SEO, then search engines cannot index your pages and posts. Nor will they be able to ensure that they’re catching your updates promptly. Ultimately, there are many ways to optimize SEO and blogging can help you get there.
PRO TIP: At the very beginning, make sure to register your website with search engines (Google, Bing, etc.).
3. Set posting deadlines and stick to them, consistently. (Editorial calendars help!)
So how do you up the ante on how often search engine bots come back to crawl your site? Depends on many things! However, if you have a blog and publish posts regularly, search algorithms do (eventually) pick up on that and start visiting your site more often.
4. Blogs Can Be Time-Savers!
You read that right! Starting a small business blog can help to save time!
To be clear, writing, creating images, formatting, optimizing SEO and everything else in between takes A LOT of dedication and effort. What we mean by time-saving is that by strategically utilizing blogs (from the start) to answer frequently asked questions, you’re doing yourself a few favors:
- Brainstorming frequently asked questions (even if you already have an FAQ page) can help you come up with a new list of topics to write.
- Those more complex FAQ page questions can now be better (and more quickly) answered if you internally link those new blog topics accordingly.
- Over time, your super helpful “FAQ + blog hybrids” help to better answer questions, reduce confusion and simplifies things for your customers. Less time clarifying = [you fill in the blank]
5. If you’re looking for ways to further personalize your business blog → add Infographics, GIFS, short videos, etc.
Ultimately, don’t be nervous to experiment with your blog! Some tactics will end up working better than others. But no matter what, blogs are a great way to stand out from the crowd. They’re meant to be personable and enjoyable! Reserve the jargon and MLA formatting for research papers, and dissertations.
6. Blogs can help SEO (if done correctly)
AVOID “keyword stuffing!” at all costs! What is keyword stuffing? It’s when you overuse your focus keyword in a single post. Keyword stuffing isn’t only looked down upon by search engines, but it takes away from the quality of your post and makes it sound choppy and not cohesive.
7. Choose the CMS (Content Management System) that is right for you
There are tons of CMSs out there, but the most popular ones are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Wix. They all slightly differ on the user interface front, but ultimately help you to create and store your website posts and pages. There are a ton of practical courses on just about any CMS via YouTube or Udemy.
Another option is Blogger. Blogger has been around since 1999 and was acquired by Google in 2003. The URL of your page would look like www.username.blogspot.com. It is a free service but has some limitations with image sizes and posts per day.
TIP: WordPress.com is free, but your URL will look similar to Blogger (www.username.wordpress.com). Alternatively, use WordPress.org if you want the URL to be your own (www.yoursite.com). For a relatively small fee, search for a web host (GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc.) and install WordPress on them. The cost is worth it and gives you access to a lot more customizable features (and security options)!
Overall, starting a small business blog is essential!
Having a small business blog is an essential part of growing almost any company nowadays. However, they do take a bit of time to develop, but they can have a significant impact on your online visibility! Not only that, but they add more value to customers, and also help to personify a brand better! Plus, if you keep at it consistently, they’ll evolve with you and your business!
So there you have it, the importance of starting a small business blog, what to consider and how to avoid setbacks before you begin! If you’re looking for more info on blogging, inbound marketing tips, or website optimization (SEO), check out these posts!:
In the meantime, stay tuned for additional UGH! Media blog posts!
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Although we specialize in Conversion Rate Optimization (specifically within Website and Social Media Optimization), we may not already be your CRO company. This post does not establish a UGH! Media LLC-client relationship. It is simply for informational purposes only. For more info, please refer to our disclaimer.