Time and time again, I have been asked if I have found a blog to really be that important for a business.
If you are running an online business I truly believe that a blog is a must for so many reasons! But the idea of blogging can really freak some people out! Today we are going to talk a little bit about why having one can be so important, and I am going to give you the same tips that I give every person who has asked me that question!
When you have an online business you have to put yourself out there! You can not just open your business doors so to speak and BOOM you're selling your products or services like crazy! There are a few really good ways to put yourself out there, but guess what…. Blogging is one of them! When you do a blog you are communicating with your target audience and allowing them to feel like they are getting to know you before they even contact you. You are showing that you know your stuff, and even educating your potential client a little about what you do. You are showing that there is a real person behind the monitor and you're giving your business a voice.
Here is my advice to you in how to start and run a successful blog…
If you don't take anything else from this post, please take this bit of advice and let it sink in. You should ALWAYS be genuine with your blog posts. Use your voice, and make sure that you shine through in all of your posts. I have always been asked what readers want you to post about. Guess what… it's not about what the readers want you to post about. It's about what you want to write! If you are genuine in your posts and write about what makes you happy, then and only then will you attract the readers that you really want. That's when you will have the readers who are there because they like what you have to say and feel a connection of some sort to you. In the end people are looking for that connection. They enjoy following along with, and reading posts from people that they click with. So always be yourself so that people are getting to know you through your words!
Have A Brain Dump Session!
You're probably looking at this wondering what the heck I am talking about. Haha! Well, this tip goes along with another question that I get asked a lot. How do you come up with topics to post about?!? This is where the brain dump comes in! Once a week, or even once a month I want you to sit down with a pen and paper, or in my case my phone or iPad, and set a timer for twenty minutes. In that twenty minutes, I want you to write down every idea for a post that you can possibly think of. Once you have done this you can go back later and look through those ideas and pick the post topics that excite you. You will find that when a topic excites you, the post almost just writes itself. That's when the words just seem to flow! Then leave the ones you don't choose for a later time.
Don't Worry About Similar Posts!
“Why would people read my posts? I'm sure there are other posts out there about the same exact topic!” Guess what, you are probably right! But your post will have something that those don't. You will have written it! There are millions of blogs out there, which means I'm sure your post idea has been thought of before. But your readers come to your website because they like you! They enjoy seeing things from your point of view. The only tip that I do have is not to search or read any of those similar posts, because then you have a higher possibility of judging yours based on theirs or even subconsciously writing a post that mimics theirs, and nobody wants to do that.
Show Your Work!
If you are a product/service based business it is always great to do posts where you show your work. Give details on the project, the steps you took to create the end result, and even why you made certain choices to do things this way rather than that way. This shows your reader that you know what the heck you are talking about. Plus everyone loves a behind the scenes look!
Batch Posts & Schedule Them Out!
I believe I have mentioned something on here before called a batch day. Well, this is where something like that comes in. I find it easier to write blog posts if I take one or two days and just focus on the content. For example, Lauren from Elle and Company will go in one day and do nothing but outline all of her posts that she is planning. Then she will go in a day or so later and really write out those posts. This helps save her time because the outlines are already there and she knows what she wants to say, she just has to really type it out. However, I do things a little bit differently. Are you ready for this? Lol. I will go through and look through my brain dump and choose a topic. Then I tend to write my posts out while I am nursing my little one. Yup, most of my posts get written while I am nursing, because that's when I really have the time to sit there and think it all through. This just goes to show that you have to do it in a way that works for you. Regardless, it helps me to go through and spend one or two days setting up several posts at a time.
Only Commit To What You Can Truly Achieve!
“There is no way I can post every day! Why bother posting at all?” You do not have to post every day! Did you hear that? Let me say it one more time just so that it sinks in a little. You do not have to post every single day! Most people just don't have the time for that!!! You come up with a posting schedule that works for you, and then commit yourself to that. This could mean that your posting twice a week, once a week, or even every other Friday. The important thing is really just that you don't commit to a schedule that just isn't realistic for you!
Share Your Posts!
After you have put all of that work into writing your beautiful posts out, making it pretty with your images, and then hitting publish, you had better be sharing these posts! This is why every single post needs to have images. You use those images to share these posts on various social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Don't just add your image and slap your link on there though. That's really just going to annoy people. You want to organically share the content. So maybe put an excerpt of the text that will draw people in with the image and then put your link in your profile. For Pinterest, I would share every image in the post, but make sure you have one image that says what the post is to grab attention. For Instagram, just share your favorite image with a little blurb. On Twitter, you can share it a few times for a few days because a tweet has a very short lifespan. Then with Facebook just the one image with a link and a blurb. Just keep in mind that you don't want your social media to only be blog posts. Then you tend to look like a robot. Make sure you show some posts that show you're a human after all. Share some of your life and what you do when you're not working.
I'm not going to lie to you, running a blog does definitely take some time and effort. But in the end, it is so beneficial to you and your company, and it's definitely worth it. Your blog shows your target audience who you are and helps you build a trust with them before they even work with you or purchase from you. Every online business needs a blog!