You’re trying to get your own business going so you can leave your 9-5 job. Or maybe you’ve already left your day job and you need this self-employed gig to start paying in order to keep the family financially afloat. Whatever the case may be, you know you need to do something to get things going or you’re going to have to give it up.
So what do you do? What about a blog?
You might have chosen to skip the blog when you set up your website and got started on your business. You figured it was too time-consuming, no one would probably read it, and social media is where it’s at today. Maybe you skipped it because you just didn’t know what to write about.
So why am I telling you that you need one? Because you do!
I know you don’t want to do something just because someone tells you to, so let’s talk about the reasons why you need a blog.
A blog keeps the website active
Whether you sell products or services, once you set up your site, there’s not a lot of activity on it. You add pages for a new product or service now and then, but that’s about it. You don’t update your About page very often, and product and service pages tend to stay the same, too. Your homepage might see the most activity of them all, and even that tends to be pretty rare.
A blog, on the other hand, can be a vibrant source of activity on the site. Whether you post a couple of times a week or once a month, it gives Google something new to look at, which keeps you coming up in search results. It also gives your customers or clients something new to read, giving them a reason to come back to your website – and a reason to remember you at all.
It also ensures that when someone new comes to your site, they can be certain that it’s still an active site. There’s nothing worse than finding something you really love on a website only to discover that the business is no longer in business and they just didn’t bother to shut down their site.
A blog can also help you market your business on social media.
A blog helps position you as an expert
When you hire someone, how do you decide to hire them? You probably look at reviews, maybe ask friends for recommendations, and you take a look at their website to make sure they know what they’re doing, right?
Your blog is where you show potential clients or customers that you know what you’re doing. Small businesses, when they’re just getting started or branching out, don’t always have the reviews and word of mouth that larger ones do. So you have to persuade people that you’re the one they should hire, despite having no reviews or only a few, or having never been heard of by anyone they know.
You do this with a blog that provides valuable information that not only helps educate your potential client but also helps them see that you are an expert in your field.
Of course, you don’t want to give away trade secrets or information that would lead to someone having no need to hire you at all. But when you can give away some solid nuggets of information, you show the customer that you know what you’re doing and that you care about more than just making a buck.
Content is key
Continuing on my previous point, a blog offers content potential clients can consume – for free. When you want someone to buy from you, you have to give them a reason.
Consider this: you see two men standing on the corner with a sign asking for money. One man’s sign just says, “Please give me money.” The other man’s sign says, “Please give me money. War veteran, single father of 2, lost my job when kid got sick, trying to get back on my feet.” Who are you more likely to offer to help?
People want to know what you offer and they also want to know who you are. A blog gives them access to both. They get content that offers insights and small solutions to their problems, and they also get content that helps them get to know you a bit.
Look at my blog. You’ve likely noticed, if you’ve read more than one post, that I tend to take a casual, conversational tone in my posts. You’ve probably gotten the impression that I’m a fairly informal, friendly person to work with – and you’d be right. I also, on occasion, might share a little story about my personal life, where you can get to know me and who I am outside of a meditation teacher and freelance writer.
You wouldn’t know any of that before hiring me without my blog. Your blog does the same for your customers. It offers a taste of who you are and whether your personality might mesh with your client’s. It helps them decide that you might be a good fit so they’ll reach out.
What’s the right length for a blog post?
Blog post length varies. Even in the same blog, there might be posts of differing lengths. Your word count will depend on a number of factors, including the topic, how much information you want to convey in one post, and how often you post.
Typically, 300 words is a good rule of thumb to ensure that Google pays attention, but there are benefits to many different lengths. You have to determine the purpose behind the post (Comments? Social shares? Education?) as well as how many words it takes to convey your point. There’s no need to bloat your post with nonsense to get it up to 1,000 words if 300 words is enough.
Some topics might require 2-3,000 words – and that’s okay, too.
Breaking up longer posts with a few images helps keep the reader interested and also keeps them from feeling overwhelmed at the amount of text. It doesn’t look nearly as long when there are photos scattered through it.
I don’t know what to write about – or how to do this at all!
A frequent explanation for having no blog is not knowing what to write about, or how to structure a blog post, or where to find stock photos. Not having time to write or time to research is another common lament.
None of these need to be a barrier to you having a blog on your website. You can hire a freelance writer to take this over for you. Not only can your writer write the posts for you, but some will even come up with topics and find images for you. Some, like me, will also happily upload and schedule posts for you.
If you’re ready to take the first step and get started on your blog, or you have a dead blog that you want to revive, contact me today to discuss your needs.