Should I Really Have a Blog?
There is another element to having a blog that goes far beyond technical skills. Many small business owners, if they’re being honest, are actually hiding behind the excuse of “not knowing how.” Let’s be real: you got where you are because you didn’t let obstacles stop you. When you were starting your business, there were things you didn’t know… so you learned them. You bootstrapped and figured them out. With a blog, it might go deeper than “not knowing how.”
Many small business owners don’t think they are important enough to have a blog.
There’s a phrase for this phenomenon. It’s called imposter syndrome. This is essentially the feeling of self-doubt that you’re not qualified to be doing something– despite your years of experience, accomplishments, and education.
Many small business owners don’t have a blog because they secretly think “who wants to hear what I have to say?” The answer is more people than you’d think.
“But I’m not a great writer.” Don’t sweat it. You don’t need to be Bill Shakespeare, you just need to be yourself. The main point of a blog is to share your unique viewpoint and experience. Tell people your opinions on topics. Tell people your story.
Most people who read blogs expect them to be conversational and relatable. So lean into an informal and conversational style. (Also most web browsers have built-in spell checkers that will help you out).
There is one ingredient that you do need, and it’s one that you can’t fake… passion for the subject matter.
If you have a true passion for what you do, your blog is going to be fantastic and will come naturally to you. Many small business owners can talk for hours about their profession– just put some of that energy into writing about it instead. From tree removal to appliance sales or anything else, all you need to write a blog is to be passionate about your business– which for most small business owners is as easy as breathing.
Now that we’ve determined why you can and should have a blog, let’s talk about how you can turn your customers into raving fans using it.
Prove That You’re Competent
Most small business websites will list off the services they offer (and maybe explain a bit about them), but that information is often just the tip of the iceberg.
By design, your website has to be general enough to give an understanding of what you provide to people who are looking for your services. You don’t want to confuse them, so you keep your website information broad in hopes that they call you.
With your blog articles, you can go as in-depth as you want, and tell your customers all of the finer details of the various services that you offer. Let’s say you’re in the business of tree removal. Your website will probably have the service “stump grinding” listed– but it’s not that simple is it? There are countless situations, locations, and details about how you’re going to grind that stump. You have enough experience to know the pitfalls, mistakes, and headaches you might run into.
Since you don’t want to (or couldn’t) list all of those details on your website, your blog post could be something like “3 Common Mistakes When Stump Grinding.” By sharing your expertise on this topic, more people now understand that you know what you’re talking about. By writing blog articles, you’re showing people that you are a competent expert, and gives you far more credibility than a website could provide on its own.
Helping People Will Get You More Customers
By sharing your knowledge with people, you’re helping them fix the problems they’re facing, and in turn, they begin to think of you as their go-to when they need help in your area of expertise.
There is a term for this– it’s called content marketing.
Think about it. Traditional advertising isn’t always effective. You’re trying to reach as many people as you can and let them know what your small business does. Content marketing is different because it helps people find solutions to problems they’re experiencing right then and there. Rather than looking for customers, your customers come looking for you. (More on this in the next section.)
Here’s the thing that’s different about content marketing, though: you’re giving away information for free. By consistently delivering relevant, helpful, and valuable content, you start to build a larger audience that considers you the “thought leader” or notable voice on a topic.
You might be thinking “wait, you want me to give away information about my industry for free?” The answer is yes. If people come to you any time they have a plumbing question, and your blog gives them an amazing answer, who do you think they’ll come to when they come up against a plumbing job that’s too much for them to handle? Exactly. They’ll come to you. You’re investing information into people so that when it comes time to hire someone, your company is a no-brainer.
Being 100% transparent, that’s one of the reasons we do what we do here at Good Rep Media. You’re reading a piece of content marketing. We’re helping you at no cost, and giving you more tools than most companies would, because we know that it will build trust. Additionally, we want you to succeed. So if you can do it without us, we actually love that. We also understand that if you get into the thick of things and need a helping hand, you won’t hesitate to reach out to us because we’ve been in the trenches together.
Give away how-to’s, tips, tricks, and other information about your business, and you’ll get more customers.
More People Will Find Your Business
You’ve probably heard the term “search engine optimization” or SEO. This is how you rank within search engines like Google when people are looking for answers. Everyone wants to be first in the rankings, right? And since you’re just starting today, do you even have a ghost of a chance?
The answer is yes, but it won’t be overnight, and it will take consistency. SEO is a lot like weight loss. It’s about making the right choices over time to see results (and it may take longer than you’d like). But you know what they say: the best time to invest was 10 years ago, the second-best time is today. That’s how you need to look at SEO.
What we’re about to share with you isn’t going to help you dominate the market, and beat out big corporations– but if you follow it, over time, you will start to get more visibility and more customers (especially locally).
The actual secret sauce to SEO isn’t known by anyone, Google keeps it a secret so that people can’t game the system. If anyone tells you they have “the secret little-known key to SEO”, then run in the other direction. They’re selling you the equivalent of a fad diet. Nothing beats hard work and making the right choices consistently.
So what are those choices? Well, we can give you some of the things that we know Google likes and looks upon favorably as a starting point:
- Post frequently. Weekly if possible, and on the same day of the week. This is the equivalent of “raising your hand” and asking Google to start to notice you. Do this for a month or two, and you’re off to the races.
- Post at least 500 words per article. This is just what Google likes to see to prove that you’re serious, and want to be considered as a good source of information. Every article you post should be at least this length if you can.
- You need to get some keywords. You don’t need to use some big fancy online tool, and you can do it using Google. Go to Google and search for a service you offer. Now scroll to the very, very bottom of the page. There you’ll see a list of Google’s “suggested searches.” Use that list (and the original word you searched for) as your ‘keywords.’ (For example: “stump grinding”)
- Consider some local city names in your article too. You’re looking to get noticed around your area. So “stump grinding in Orlando” if you’re in Central Florida, for example.
- Write articles that have your keywords in the title, and then use those keywords once or twice in the article (not too much more than that or Google will think you’re trying to cheat the system– trying to cheat is called “keyword stuffing”).
- One of the most important things that Google looks at is how long people stay on your site and read your article. This is why we said to keep things conversational. The longer people stay on your site and read, the more often Google will show it to other people looking for the same things.
If you stick to this consistently for a year, you are very likely going to see it start paying off dividends. As more and more people search for your topics locally, you’ll be easier and easier to find, and Google will show your blog posts more and more often.
Re-Purpose Your Blog for Social Media
You’re already taking the time to write these killer articles giving people advice in your area of expertise, so why not make sure as many people see it as possible? You can make customers into fans by sharing your blog posts on different platforms so they’re more likely to see it.
There are a few strategies that we can use to share your social media online to get the most mileage out of the work you’ve put in.
Share the Link: When you share the link to your blog on social media, you’re going to get people that click it and go to your website. If they need something that you offer, and you share an article that helps solve their problem, you now have a potential lead visiting your site that wouldn’t have otherwise. Share the link to your articles each week when you post them to your blog.
Slice and Dice: There are going to be quotes, paragraphs, and small sections of the material you write that are strong enough to stand alone and still be helpful. These are often called “pull quotes” or “sound bytes”. For instance, if you have a few sentences from your “replacing your toilet properly” article that offers a solution to the most common problem people face, you could post that by itself and it would help people.
So we’re not suggesting you only post the link for this advice. Instead, slice and dice a single article into pieces, using all of the parts that can stand alone, and make the pieces into a week’s worth of social media posts.
Do You Still Need Help With Your Blog?
Hopefully we’ve given you enough juicy details in this article to prove that we practice what we preach. But even after we’ve equipped you with several ways that you can turn customers into fans with the power of blogging, you still might feel overwhelmed.
That’s where Good Rep Media comes in. We’re real, down-to-earth marketers who focus on helping small businesses. We operate with full transparency and integrity and are here to help you get your blog into shape.
Let’s have a discussion, and we’ll give you a free consultation. Let’s talk today.