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Create a blog for your business – part one

Create a blog for your business – part one

Have you started a blog for your business yet?  If the answer is yes, you know that it helps position you as a leader in your industry and can also increase your sales.  If your answer is no, why not?

I bet your answer is time and money.  You might even be unconvinced of the value of blogging.  Let’s tackle the value of blogging question first.

Remember when we discussed SEO?  Search engines love fresh content.  They get a little bored with stale, outdated web pages.  If you are adding new blog articles to your site on a regular basis it helps get your site to the top of the list with search engines.

Of course your blog postings should offer quality, engaging and useful information.  It shouldn’t just be an advertisement about your products or services – people don’t like to be treated like ATM machines.  People want answers to their questions.  When you answer questions you build connections with customers.  These kinds of connections are invaluable.  They build trust.

So now let’s talk about time and money.

Nobody seems to have enough of either.  But putting resources into blogging as part of your content marketing strategy can pay off in profits and profile.

As an entrepreneur or business owner you are an expert in your field.  You probably have all sorts of knowledge tucked away in your head from your experience and education.  But where do you start to get this knowledge written down?  You start with a plan.

Planning takes an initial investment of time, but it will save you time in the long run.  Start by jotting down some ideas.  Think of the most frequently asked questions that your customers ask or the things about your industry that are most exciting or frustrating.  Try to come up with at least ten ideas.

Then it’s as simple as starting a spreadsheet.  You can have a column with publication dates and a column for topics, or you can use a calendar – the one on your laptop or even an old fashioned hard copy.  Now just add your topic ideas and assign a date for each.  It’s much easier to commit to something when it’s written down and has deadlines attached.

How often should you publish?  That’s entirely up to you.  If you’re just starting out then daily blog posts will be too much of a commitment.  Maybe start with three to five posts per month or one every week.

But what if can’t spare that kind of time?  Your employees can be a great resource for your blog, or you can consider hiring a freelance copywriter.  If you have a few employees who are interested you could spread the workload between you.  Most people could manage one blog post per month.

If that is not an option there are freelance marketing writers who ghostwrite blogs.  This means they write your blog in your own or your company’s voice – they don’t publish the articles under their own name.  Depending on your budget it can be worth the money to hire a writer if you are not able to invest the time or don’t feel confident about your writing skills.

Whatever you decide, blogging is a staple in your content marketing strategy.

We will continue to talk about blogging in future posts with examples of great blogs, developing your voice and how to generate ideas.  Check back next week.