The world is starting to understand blogging.
Starting to, I emphasise. And all I really mean by this is that if someone asks me what I do and I mention blogging, most of the time they have a vague idea of what I mean. (Which is a vast improvement on the bewildered looks I’d get a few years ago.)
But most of the time the world is thinking of personal bloggers, journal-style blogs, maybe a travel or fashion blog they like to follow. The world hasn’t yet really begun to understand business blogging.
So what does it mean to blog for a business?
I’m glad you asked! There are heaps of benefits to setting up a blog as part of your small (or large) business’s website. To name but a few:
- Search engines will find more reasons (more keywords!) to send people to your website
- Your blog posts can help educate, inform and inspire your existing clients or customers
- Your existing followers might want to share your blog posts with friends and family
- You can use your blog posts for regular content on Facebook or any other social media platform
- And it might even be a whole lot of fun!
But it’s all very well to give you a few bullet points and say go and blog – it’s probably more useful to give you some examples. The following two blogs are utterly different from each other, but they have both been clients of mine who I’ve helped get started on the blogging road.
Commercial interior design blog – with a real character!
The lovely Jenny at Bellfort Commercial Interior Design came to me having already figured out that a blog would be a good thing for their business (for most of those bullet points above, and particularly to help search engines find them above their competitors).
Like many businesses with a few employees (or more), it’s harder to be “personal” when you blog, because who is this person? In Bellfort’s case, Jenny had the cool idea of having a character write the blog, a funny fellow named Baxter! (That’s him over on the left.)
He’s got his own special personality but he’s also very knowledgeable about commercial interior design, and he lends a bit of fun to the more serious topics, too.
Not every blog post is written by Baxter – there are monthly more generic “Latest News” blog posts, but they still have a friendly, casual tone; Bellfort also publishes regular Case Study posts of some of the jobs they’ve completed. Combined with some sensible keyword research, their blog is helping drive more traffic to their site and that turns into more work. You can have a look at the Bellfort blog yourself to see how Jenny manages it.
Private school blog – from the pen of a principal
The communications team at a local private school contacted me to get some blogging advice as well. They already had the idea in mind – to publish a monthly blog post from the principal (with some help from the communications team) with the aim of being an additional communication route to exisiting families, something that potential future families could look at too, and more ways for people to find their website, all at the same time (and the beauty of a business blog is it can do all of this and more!).
What I particularly like about this school blog (have a read of it here) is that it combines all my advice really nicely: it’s personalised, with some true-life stories from the principal’s own experiences, but it also has high quality, useful content for people to read, it has some sensible keywords to help the posts be found, and it has some great images and visuals to help make it readable, too.
Could your business have a blog?
I honestly think *any* business can have a blog – but obviously, some are easier to make into successful blogs than others. A great example is another client’s blog about school fundraising ideas – it’s the kind of thing that people really want to google and then get information from you. You have to think about a few factors, like:
- Who your target readers are, and what they really want to read about that’s relevant to your business
- How to make it interesting – sometimes to people who don’t know much about your area (for example, if my accountant had a blog, I wouldn’t want to read in-depth accounting-related posts)
- What keywords or keyword phrases to target when writing each post – doing some research to figure out what search terms people use for problems your business can solve
- How you can include some personalisation or stories or something that makes the blog something only you and your business can write – not just facts and figures that anybody could write about
- Where you could source good images and visuals, because a blog can’t be just words these days
But in the end, there’s an angle for every business. If you look around and see that other businesses in your niche don’t have a blog yet, then that’s all the more reason to hurry up and start. Since the world is still pretty ignorant about business blogs, you can easily get a great first-mover advantage, so get blogging!