Hopefully, you have a marketing plan in place that covers how you will promote your business within your local area.
Before you start your business blog you need to focus on having a strategy in place that covers some of the following:
Who is your intended audience?
This is very important because all the content you write will be dependent on you knowing this. When you know who you are blogging for what you have to write in terms of blog content is so much easier. Spend some time thinking about the kind of client you want to find you online. You need to engage in research to help you – this is not a time to guess.
What do you want to achieve with your business blog?
Are you looking to become an authority and thought leader in your industry and share news of what’s happening through your blog?
Are you looking to sell more of your products and services using your business blog?
Do you want to use your blog to generate leads from people interested in what your local business does?
Or are you more focused on building an online community that is full of past and potential clients?
Once you know who you are writing for and the audience you want to attract knowing what you want to achieve by setting up a business blog is your next goal. So… you have those two in place and your business blog strategy is shaping up… what’s next?
Decide on your chosen blog platform to host your blog
I have always been an advocate of self hosted WordPress blogs – mainly because you have more control over your blog marketing and SEO than you do on a free platform like WordPress.com or blogger.com. The trouble is most local business owners don’t want to be messing around with setting up a blog or paying for someone else to do it. Even when you do get your blog up that’s just the start…. as soon as something goes wrong you are pretty much on your own.
More local business owners are turning to platforms like Typepad where you pay to blog but you get extra support if anything does go wrong.
Once you have your chosen platform for your business blog the next step is to focus on the content part of your blogging strategy.
Who will contribute and create blog content?
Will it be just you as the sole business owner or if you are a business of employees will the Directors have a “voice” on the company blog?
You also need to focus on how often you will add content. For a brand new blog on a new domain I recommend clients blog very often until it is established and bringing in leads then slow down to two or three times a week. Twice a week should be your absolute minimum if your aim is to attract customers. If you are looking to be an authority blog and provide news you may decide on just once a week or once a fortnight. Whatever you decide it helps if you stick as close to your blogging schedule as you possibly can.
Decide on your business blog ‘voice’
So you have your platform and your blogging schedule. You know who your intended audience is and what you want to say to them and you have a clear idea how your business blog will work to help your local business. The next part of your blog strategy focuses on the voices behind the blog and the style they will be writing.
Writing style is very important to establish before you begin so you are clear about your approach to business blogging
- Do you want to appear informal and chatty
- Authoritative and knowledgeable
- Straight laced
If there is more than one person writing blog content you might want to decide upfront who will write in which style.
How will your blog fit into other parts of your business?
It is important you do not see your blog or your whole online presence as separate from everything else that is happening in your business. It is a good idea to educate those offline members of staff who may not be adding content or an active part of your business blog about how they can help.
If you own a shop staff could wear a tshirt or badge that advertises your blogs url or domain name. You can also start adding details of your blog on any leaflets you create and inside your shop so people know where to find you online.
When you are about to start a new exercise class or promote a new product you can look at how your blog will play at part in helping you get the word out about it.
When you look at your whole health and wellness marketing strategy and how you work to help your local business get found make sure you include your business blog into every thing you do.
Focusing on getting visitors to your blog
You can help your blog get found quicker by sending visitors to take a look. Current and past clients can play a huge role in helping your business blog gain attention from the search engines.
You can send out through your newsletters or on your social network profiles that you have a new blog and encourage them to visit and engage.
The combination of existing clients visiting your blog and new people searching for your services or products will all add up to helping your local business get found online.
For more information on creating a digital strategy for your business blog find out about our digital marketing training workshops in Bedfordshire or book in-house training for your staff.