A small business blog is a great way to answer questions, and offer tips and how-to’s that make people want to buy from you. A blog is a unique style of a web page, like a scrolling diary of online Post-It notes.

A lot of small business owners have heard of blogs, but don’t really know what they are. One owner said to me recently, “I don’t do blogs,” but he was confusing writing one with reading one. If you frequently visit a website to read an organization’s ideas and opinions, you’re likely reading a blog page.

Another option is to hire someone to interview you and your staff for blog posts. That person can sit down with your team and identify blog topics, conduct the interviews, and write the posts. 

Here’s an example of a simple blog by a client of mine, an engineering firm that wanted to stand out from its competitors, none of whom have blogs. We chose to call it “Insights,” because their target audience of business owners and contractors wouldn’t read something called “Blog.”

This blog not only differentiates this firm, but it fulfills a need they have to share their encyclopedic knowledge. People always want to know what they know, and seek out their opinions. The leaders don’t have time to deal with these inquiries one by one, so the blog posts are a way to share something for everyone to find.

Finally, the blog posts show what they know and the kind of people they are. Digital marketing is all about being helpful and authentic.

The company president is a teacher and frequent conference presenter, so his content can be parsed into posts. Also, the staff naturally takes photos at project sites, so they have a library of images to choose from.

The partners write about one post per month; it’s the best they can do given how busy they are. They are using SEO (search engine optimization) keywords to help people find their website and blog, but they cannot produce volumes of content like content marketing professionals. That’s fine!

A 600-word post typically takes two to three hours for a subject matter expert (like you) to write. And then you’ll want to hand it to someone to edit the post and that can take another two hours. This post you’re reading is 600 words, to give you an idea of the length.

A blog could be right for your company if you have

  • a few people who are good writers
  • an editor who catches grammatical errors, can rewrite copy for clarity, and uses a “style” guide (e.g. do we capitalize all words in the headline?)
  • photos, charts/graphs, or can easily find stock art
  • and a website platform that supports an easy-to-use blog (easy in WordPress, not easy with Joomla, for instance).

Here’s the real test: Tell your team that everyone must write a 300-word blog post by X date, and then get together on that date to see what was accomplished, what you learned, and how readable the posts are. If no one wrote anything in that time, or anything that’s interesting and easy to read, then reconsider having a blog! It’s likely going to feel like drudge work.

Another option is to hire someone to interview you and your staff for blog posts. That person can sit down with your team and identify blog topics, conduct the interviews, and write the posts. The advantage of having an outside writer handle your blog  is that she can keep you on track and offer an objective point of view.

Still serious about blogging and want to learn more about it? Check out this 2017 Orbit Media report about the time and effort that goes into blogging, and more. You’ll get a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into and what’s possible with blogs.

Interested in learning more about blogging? Contact me! I’d love to hear from you.