Best blogging practices for small businesses

 

businessblogAs you surely know, meaningful content is the bread and butter of social media success!

Without engaging, eye-popping content for us to soak up everyday like the little information sponges we are, our social universe would be dry and bland!

Unfortunately, not all small businesses have time to sit around and think up creative blogs all day; never-mind develop a content sharing strategy. But, I’m assuming you’re reading because you’ve got a plethora of content ready to share. So how exactly does one become a successful blogger?

1. You MUST commit: Yep, sorry, no commitment issues allowed! Prepare to be married to your domain. Be warned though, becoming a “successful” blogger takes lots of time and loads of patience. Make sure to consider how often you intend to post: whether that’s once a day, week or even month.  No matter the frequency, find a schedule that works for you and stick with it! 

2. Create content calendars: Every blogger on Earth runs into this conundrum: “Why does this post resemble my thoughts on whale song? Haven’t I covered the best way to eat Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts before? Didn’t I write about dancing butterflies last month?”

Fresh content is key. If your brain takes frequent mini-vacations (mine does) or you’ve diagnosed yourself with ADD – Hey look a butterfly! – consider creating an excel spreadsheet, word doc or some other kind of list that logs your blog post dates, content and hashtags. This helps you stay organized!

(In case you’re wondering, Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts are simply scrumptious when they’re lightly toasted. And butterflies don’t dance. At least, I don’t think they do.)

keep-calm-and-create-content3. Be “Conversational”: Please refer to verbiage in tip numero dos. Blogs are personal. They create ways to engage with one another. They’re a virtual discussion forum. So write as you would converse with another person. (No swearing!) Be peppy, be funny, be creative and witty. Yes, it’s a blog, but you can be yourself. Plus, a looser writing style connects you with a reader in more relaxed way.

But, relaxed writing is not an invitation to forget proper grammar and punctuation. Do you really want your elementary school teachers to hunt you down?

4. Be helpful   According to renowned marketer Mark W. Schaefer: small businesses have an opportunity to develop their own “small fan clubs” by creating a business blog – and he’s absolutely right. While it’s important to produce content that benefits your brand, content that’s helpful to your readership right now is a much better recipe for blogging success.

Oh, while a business blog can (and should) be branded appropriately, it should never be solely used as an advertisement or a promotional arena for your product/service. Remember: you’re blogging to build relationships and meaningful connections, so write industry-relevant content that helps them, not you.

5. Grow thick skin (Quickly): Shockingly, not everyone is going to agree with your well-researched and brilliantly articulated blog posts! As humans, we’re innately opinionated. Some would say passionate. But while most people share differences eloquently in well-rounded discussions, some people are just jerks.

Remember mom’s advice: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Mom is insightful of course, but when it comes to blogging, what your readers think goes, so it’s good practice to accept the criticism. However, this is not to say you should tolerate nasty, “colorful metaphors,” (Thanks, Captain Kirk!) – definitely remove those suckers.

If you decide to engage with negative commenters over differences, may the force be with you. While staying true to your values can drive blog traffic and (sometimes) great commentary, it can also result in pointless banter and lost readers. So, pick your battles wisely. That being said, always thank commenters (even the grumpy ones) for their thoughts – whether you agree with them or not – this demonstrates you not only care about the conversation, but also respect reader opinions.

Share your best blogging practices with me below!

 

 

 

 

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