OK, so you have been told that you must write a blog for your company website, but you have the constant nagging questions at the back of your mind - is it worth it, do I have time? Well, the answer to both those questions is, yes! Let's take a look at why blogging is great for every business, and how you can easily make the time to blog.
Your Blog Is The Company Voice
It is hard to give personality to a traditional company website. Corporate pages need to be kept professional and product pages must be accurate and not misleading. However, your blog provides the opportunity to give some personality to your website and ultimately, your business.
For example, your blog can highlight the latest products and services that you are offering, but at the same time explain why you, the CEO, personally think that these products are fantastic. You can provide a review of products and talk about how much more advanced they are than the previous generation that you used to stock. If you let people know that you are passionate about your business, they are more likely to trust your opinion.
As well as talking about products and services, your blog can also highlight the fun side of your company. For example, if you have annual summer work parties or attend industry events, you can share details of the events along with photos, which can then be shared on social media.
Your Blog Is A Sales Gateway
Whereas your product or service descriptions may be very factual, your blog can be a sales opportunity to help encourage potential customers to buy from you. Talk about why specific products and services are good, explain your USP and direct readers to the money pages.
Your Blog As A Networking Opportunity
The Internet is built on links between different websites, thus the term World Wide Web. Your blog is an opportunity to mention other relevant (but not directly competing!) companies, which can then be used to connect via social media.
Take the industry event example - you attend an event and speak to several prominent companies with the idea of forming new business relationships, maybe as a supplier or buyer, or as a service provider. In your write up of the event, you can mention what a pleasure it was to speak to these companies and hopefully share some photos (tip - if you attend an event in a group it is a good idea to have a designated photographer who can capture shots of the directors engaging with other businesses).
When the blog is published, you then post it to Twitter and mention the other companies - they will appreciate your kind words and the photos will remind them of who are, and they will hopefully respond, which can boost visits to your blog as well as strengthen a new relationship. Plus, their other connections, which may have some crossover with your business, will also see the blog when they reply. Blogging can be a powerful way to grow your business network.
Keep A Small Notepad
Every journalist or writer worth their salt keeps a notepad on their person at all times - even in bed they will have a notepad on their bedside. An important idea can come to you at any time so you need a way to quickly capture the thought before it passes. Why is this writer's method good for blogging? Here's an example - you are speaking on the phone to a customer who asks a question about one of your products and it suddenly strikes you that almost every customer you speak to has asked the same question. After repeating the usual answer, you note down the question in your pad.
When you sit down to write you blog, you refer back to the ideas in the notepad and this question leaps out. You turn the question into a title for the blog post and go about writing a full description, providing much more information than you usually provide in the verbal answer over the phone. The result is that you have created an informative page that your customers will find useful. In addition to this, Google will index the page and people who search the Internet may well be greeted with your answer, and if your website is designed well and optimized to convert readers, you win a new customer - and one that won't need to phone you before putting an order in!
You can use these blog posts to then link direct to the product pages in question, along with a nice photo of the product and a sales line clearly visible, and this should help encourage readers to place an order.
This method of planning and writing your blog is perfect for SMBs. You only write what is relevant to your market and the content you write is what you already know, so there is no need for you to spend hours researching topics before putting virtual pen to virtual paper. Blogging really should be done this way whenever possible.
Finding The Time To Write
Writing need not take long at all. A short blog post of around 300 words can be written in 20 minutes, so long as you are in full flow. Those 20 minutes will result in a page of relevant content on your website that may bring in new customers for many years to come. Repeat this once a fortnight, and within a year you will have 26 new pages on your website, all of which highlight a part of your business in a new way. "But I am not a writer!" I hear you say. While writing is a skill, you can convert spoken words to text.
Let's go back to the example of answering a customer's question on the phone. In a sales call, a person will speak around 150 words a minute. If the conversation lasts three minutes, that's 450 words. If you are able to talk about a product or service for three minutes, you can certainly write enough to fill a blog post - why not simply record some sales calls and use those to create blog posts?
There is software available that can convert speech to text, and although it is by no means perfect - you certainly would not want to publish directly what it produces - it can be used to create a first draft of a blog post. Google Docs has voice typing functionality built in - this is free and has the added advantage of automatically saving all your work on Google Drive so that you can access it from anywhere. A quick piece writing at work can be edited and finished from home. (See also: 10 Content Creation Tools To Streamline Your Process)
Get into the habit of writing a blog post once a fortnight and you should see an improvement in sales over the next few months. Alternatively, if you really do not have time, just hire professional copywriters to write your blog. (See: Outsourcing Marketing Without Losing Your Voice)
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