Content marketing, if implemented properly, can be a powerful tool for any type of small business. One of the best content marketing solutions is the blog and getting started is easier than most may realize. Ann Marie Puig, a successful business owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Costa Rica, shares some tips on how to get started blogging and how to use it to make a business more successful.
One of the most important factors in maintaining a blog is to post consistently. Regardless of whether you post once per week or once a day, be consistent. This allows followers to know when to anticipate new content.
Information provided needs to be relevant, valuable and useful. Explains Puig, “The more useful the blog is, the more often people will return to read more, making them regular followers. If you want to promote a certain business strategy, for example, remember to include why and how the strategy was successful.”
Engage the readers – ask for comments and make sure to respond to them. Even if their comments differ from the blogger’s point of view, they’re still important and need to be given attention.
While it’s nice, and important, to have focus with a blog, too much of anything can be detrimental to success. It’s okay to go off topic from time to time or to mix things up in order to increase engagement.
Don’t make it difficult for viewers to subscribe to the blog. Offer easy-to-use, easy-to-find subscription methods and make sure to keep subscription lists up to date.
“Build it and they will come” does not necessarily apply to blogs. Don’t think that, just because it exists, your blog will be routinely found by viewers. “Use social media, websites, newsletters and even your email signature to remind everyone of your blog,” asserts Puig. Wherever possible, click-through links should be included to make accessing the blog easier.
Not everything has to be about the business. Feel free to write about a particular hot-button topic from the industry and encourage viewers to share their points of view in the comments. Remember, though, that those comments may differ from your own and need to receive feedback.
The blog needs to be easy to read. Incorporating bullets, subheadings and other formatting will give readers a way to skim the blog and catch the information that is most important to them.
With so much going on in the business, it is sometimes easy to be distracted when writing. Make sure all blogs are edited and proofread prior to publication. Using a colleague or friend to help proof the blogs is not unreasonable.
The main intent of the business blog is to, obviously, promote the business. However, promoting the business is also accomplished by promoting yourself. “Don’t be afraid about adding anecdotal details about yourself in your blog,” says Puig. “This lets the viewers know you’re real and your blog will appeal to them more.”
It requires investment for a business blog to gather speed, increase viewership, and achieve a loyal following. Don’t get discouraged – be patient, steady and consistent and you will see the benefits to your hard work.