A Step By Step Guide to Blog Writing for Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, you have enough on your plate that even thinking about writing and maintaining a blog might seem like an unnecessary chore.
But as a beneficial digital marketing strategy that can enhance your company’s online presence and produce better lead generation results, the marketing virtues of blogging are too apparent to ignore.
Consider the following blogging-related statistics:
- 77% of internet users access and read blog articles
- American internet users spend three times more time reading blogs than they do with email content
- Companies that blog obtain twice as much website and email traffic as opposed to companies that don’t
- Businesses that blog experience 97% more links to their websites
- Marketers who utilize blogging are 13 times more likely to experience a positive ROI on marketing efforts
The numbers back up the importance of blogging, but what is it that truly makes a blog article not just a marketing tool, but in fact a truly engaging, informative piece of content?
Whether you’re a plumber who’s looking to launch your first official company website or you’re a baker with a strong local following and sufficient social media presence, every business has something to offer when it comes to blogging. From DIY plumbing tips to delicious croissant recipes, what separates valuable blog articles from the rest of the pack is combining proper SEO tactics with content that’s relevant to your brand and engaging to your audience.
But as with every plan, a seasoned strategy is imperative to successful blog writing.
To truly start reaping the benefits of a well-rounded digital marketing campaign, here is a step by step guide to effective blog writing, applicable to small business owners from all industries.
Step 1 | Brainstorm & Schedule Content
The first step to writing anything is knowing what you want to write about!
A crucial component to any proficient blog writing campaign is adequately preparing topics for your blog entries, as well as establishing a consistent schedule for publishing blog content.
When it comes to approaching what blog topics you should cover, you can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What topics am I personally interested and knowledgeable about?
- What topics are relevant to my brand and target audience?
- Do I want my blog content to inform? Educate? Entertain? Comfort?
- Are there any topics or issues I should avoid at all costs?
- What subject matter will promote intrigue and retain reader interest?
- How can I establish credibility and write with an authoritative tone?
- How do I tie in my services or products within my blog’s content?
Planning and scheduling your blog content as far in advance as possible will only make publishing and managing your blog easier in the long run.
Step 2 | Apply SEO Tactics
As much as you want your blog articles to entertain and inform your readers, the main purpose of producing and maintaining a blog is to drive in more website traffic and generate more leads. This can only be done by applying proper SEO techniques to every blog article you write and publish.
There are some basic SEO tactics you should implement into every blog article you write.
Keyword Research | Knowing what search terms your target audience is typing into search engines and organically interjecting those keywords and phrases into your content is the basic principle of proficient SEO writing.
Visual Imagery | Blog articles that feature images or videos receive 94% more views in comparison to blog articles that don’t contain visual imagery of any kind.
Titles & Headings | How you title your blog article has a profound impact on its searchability. This means incorporating ranking keywords into titles and paragraph headings, as well as keeping titles and headings short and concise.
Pro Tip: Blog titles with 6-13 words tend to gain the highest amounts of website traffic, on average.
Link Building | Every blog article you write and publish should have multiple links that link back to specific products or services your business offers that are relevant to the blog topic in question.
Calls to Action | When summing up or concluding your blog posts, be sure to write compelling CTAs that encourage the reader to address whatever topic they’re reading about by enlisting your company’s services.
Step 3 | Choose Your Formats
When it comes to getting down to the nitty gritty of blog writing, knowing what style or format of blog article you’re going for is imperative to crafting a narrative and catering to your readers’ interests.
It’s also important to switch up blog article styles, as producing blogs written in the same formatting can quickly come off as repetitive and stale to your readers.
Some popular blog writing formats and styles to keep in mind can include lists, how to's, FAQs, guides, and comparisons.
Lists | Arguably the most popular blog writing format, lists are extremely clickable blog articles that can cover a diverse range of topics, ranging from ‘8 Things to Consider Before Replacing Your Roof’ to ‘12 Items Every Kitchen Should Have’.
How To's | An easy way to gain credibility and establish an authoritative voice for your blog content is by producing ‘How To’ articles, such as “How to Financially Manage Your Retirement” or “How to Maintain Your Garden Throughout Winter.”
FAQs | Every blog article you write should answer specific questions the reader has in mind. FAQ-based blog articles will inform and educate readers to questions or concerns they may have that are specific to the industry your business serves.
Guides | Breaking down an intricate process or particular procedure that’s relevant to your company’s services always creates educational and engrossing content for readers to consume and digest.
Comparisons | Another enticing blog format to consider are versus-based articles, where certain topics, issues, products, or services go head-to-head and ultimately inform the reader which one best suits their needs, such as “Roof Repair versus Roof Replacement: What You Need to Know.”
Remember: Mixing up your blog article formats and styles as much as possible is essential for keeping your readers intrigued and engaged with your content.
Step 4 | Establish Authenticity
You may not be on par with the writing skills of an Edgar Allen Poe or Ernest Hemingway, but fortunately, solid blog writing doesn’t require the same intensity and literary innovation that those aforementioned writers so clearly possessed.
What is imperative to successful blog writing is establishing authenticity in the voice, tone, and message of every blog article you produce and publish.
You can start by assessing what styles of writing and verbiage excite you the most. Write your blog articles the way you’d speak directly, in-person to a customer who was inquiring about whatever blog topic you’re writing about.
Be conversational, but mix in a combination of information that enlightens the reader, while refraining from being too technical or using jargon that the average reader won’t comprehend.
Remember: Blogging is your opportunity to speak directly to your desired customer base, which means you should strive to be anything but boring, predictable, or cliche.
Step 5 | Edit & Proof
You wouldn’t put a product into production without testing it out first, right? The same can be said for blog writing.
It’s amazing how many company’s produce blogs without editing and proofing them first! Publishing a blog that’s riddled with grammatical errors or technical difficulties of any kind will only come across as unprofessional and amateur to readers.
Always take the time to give your blog articles a once-over before publishing them, especially if you can have a second pair of eyes review your content after you’ve edited it the best you can.
Step 6 | Consistency
What good is it to have a blog section on your website if you fail to maintain or manage it accordingly? The bottom line is that the more consistently you can publish industry relevant blog content, the more traffic you can potentially drive to your website.
Always keep your blog’s content calendar up to date, review metrics regularly, and promote your blog articles via social media posts or email newsletters, so your readership will stay in the know regarding the latest entries into your blogging content.
Perfect Your Content Marketing With Triton Commerce
At the end of the day, small business owners have so many tasks to delegate and projects to manage that even the thought of producing and maintaining a blog can seem overwhelming, to say the least. That’s where we come in!
At Triton Commerce, we specialize in providing small businesses with the digital marketing tools and content marketing resources they need to increase their online presence and visibility to generate and close more leads.
When you’re ready to experience the virtual advantages of proficient content marketing, contact Triton Commerce today to learn more about all of our digital marketing strategies, or call us at 651.321.0578 to schedule a consultation!