Article written by Megan Totka, Chief Editor of ChamberofCommerce.com
Small business websites and blogging go hand in hand. In the modern, content-driven Web, it’s difficult to separate the two. And why not? The benefits of supporting your business website via blogging are seemingly innumerable. More blogging means more opportunities to:
- Beef up your search engine presence (hint: Google loves a healthy, well-optimized blog)
- Reach out to potential and existing customers
- Make headlines and show that your business is an influencer within your industry
In short, blogging opens doors for your business.
The Elephant in the Room
But even despite its numerous benefits, it seems that nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to business blogging and running a small business.
What if I don’t have any readers? What if my site doesn’t get any traffic? What if I’m alone?
You’re Not Alone
The web can be an incredibly lonely and seemingly terrifying place for the budding business owner. Fresh ideas and new businesses have a number of hurdles to overcome as it is; however, few challenges are more daunting than building a base of readers, customers, and fans online. Ironically, the business blogosphere offers plenty of ideas when it comes to marketing your blog, but few tackle the most challenging task related to SMB content. That is, starting from the bottom.
While the feeling of being a microscopic fish in a seemingly infinite pond may frighten you, remember that you are not alone in today’s ever-social web. Bear in mind that every site starts somewhere.
Although there’s no single way to build your blog from the bottom, the following three principles will not only get your blog started, but also aid in keeping the content rolling as your business begins to gain steam online.
Regardless of size or scope, every small business blog has the same beginning; the first article. From Mashable to Buzzfeed and every blog in between, content networks are not built overnight. They’re built brick by brick, article by article, until they’ve established a tone, voice, and breadth of knowledge all their own. So many entrepreneurs are looking for ways to put their sites on autopilot and generate passive income, leads and so on. Blogging, however, is an active practice. In fact, the creation of content remains one of the most dynamic and organic aspects of marketing and identity for the modern business.
To build a blog and an audience, content must come first. Whether you blog yourself or establish a network of writers, nothing can be done to build an audience until you’ve put pen to paper. Establishing a profile of content is not only important for the purpose of identity and voice for your business, but also for the sake of SEO and showing your customers that you’re there to help.
Know Your Niche
The age old question of “what do I write about” is an increasingly valid one, especially as it seems like the business blogosphere is brimming with new information. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of SMB content, that is, until you establish a niche for yourself and your business. So, why is specialized content a goldmine for the budding business?
- Niche content separates your business from the pack within your industry, providing a unique identity and preventing you from becoming a face in the crowd.
- Likewise, niche content allows for richer SEO opportunities, allowing your business to dominate local keywords (for example, asian fusion restaurant or korean BBQ restaurant versus “asian food”).
- Content like this allows you to put your industry knowledge and expertise on full display.
Engage (Without “Engaging”)
Many bloggers and readers probably see “engage” as little more than a catch-all buzzword used by social media “experts” to describe any sort of interaction between users and businesses. However, engagement is important for your business blog in more ways than one.
To engage, present content in a way that resonates with readers. This could be something as simple as a catchy headline, a personal anecdote or a call-to-action. It’s easy for readers to drown in the aforementioned sea of business content; therefore, put your business’ stamp on your content. Don’t simply write for the sake of writing; be sure that your content has purpose (whether that’s education, marketing, etc.) and give your readers reason to spend time on the screen.
The Bottom Line
The world of business blogging is vast and often lonely for newbies; however, the possibilities are seemingly endless when you finally put pen to paper. By putting the these principles to good use, you’ll be well on your way to building a blog that works for you, your business, and your newfound readership.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.