I work with a lot of small businesses and often they have no clue on what to blog about. In this post, I will (hopefully) inspire and give a boat load of ideas and topics that any small business can easily borrow and apply as a post to their business blog(s).
Blogging is really, really easy once you understand three things:
- What it is
- Why it’s important
- What to write about
What is small business blogging?
I say what is “small business blogging” because I think it’s really different than other forms of blogging. Generally speaking, blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. Typically most blogs give the ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (Art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (Video blogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (Podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts (example: Twitter). Right now you are reading a blog post.
Now when it comes to small business blogging I think business should create content that is more geared towards your local area as in creating a hyper blog and focused around solving your clients/customers problems.
Why Small Business Blogging is Important
The benefits of blogging for a small business is endless but just list off a few:
- Gives your business more of personality
- Creates more valuable content for your customers
- Gives your local company more chances of being found online
- Helps being listing in Universal Search and Real Time Search
- Gives a reason for clients/customers to come back to your site(s)
- Engages in conversation with your clients and customers
- Can help in establishing your business as the authority in your niche
- Will improve SEO efforts
- It can be easily syndicated to other hot content sharing sites (like: facebook, twitter, youtube, blogger, etc)
- And so many more benefits!
With how simple technology makes it to blog today, there really is no excuse for a small business not to blog. Often the biggest objection I get from small business owners is a concern over time. Well my answer to this is: outsource it! Or leverage your smart employee(s) knowledge. Give them access or make them an author on your blog(s) and let them blog about their knowledge. Now I still think a owner should write some posts and take some ownership over their businesses blog, but it’s totally not necessary. So don’t give me an objection of “not having time”.
How Often Should a Small Business Blog?
As much as possible! As long as you follow these 2 simple guidelines:
- You have something intelligent to say
- Your content is useful and relevant to your industry or location
What Can a Small Business Blog About?
Here is a list of 50 ideas:
- Write a signal post about each of your products and/or services
- Write a post on a client using your products
- Write a post on the most FAQ of each product or service
- Write ways your industry will change this year
- Create a list of the best industry resources
- Attend industry events and blog about them
- Comment on an industry-related conversation going on in LinkedIn or Google Groups
- Comment about other videos in your industry
- Comment about other blogs in your industry
- Comment about other tweets in your industry
- Search Google News for relevant press releases and news about your industry Write your own take
- Report new trends in your industry
- Report relevant news about your industry
- Break down the new laws that will affect your niche in
- Interview someone well-known in your world and profile them
- Rewrite an old post with fresh eyes and new ideas
- Have a chat with a competitor and blog about it (again, with permission)
- Debunk common myths in your industry
- Talk about upcoming events you are hosting
- Report on your local seminars and local meetups
- Write a post about the minutes of your meetings (if publicly appropriate)
- Create a list of the books that someone in your industry should read
- Create a list of blogs that someone in your industry should read
- Create a list of videos that someone in your industry should watch
- Write about conferences people in your industry should attend/speak at
- Write a post about the top tweets in your industry or your very own top tweets
- Post a photo that is related to your industry and comment on it (make sure you have rights to publish the photo)
- Hold a contest on blog – reward best comments, most comments, or something that fuels conversations about your industry
- Create a poll on your blog and you can blog about the results later
- Visit other blogs and invite a guest blogger to post on your blog
- Post photos from your company party/team building workshop
- Find a question on Yahoo Answers or OnStartups and respond on your blog
- Why you’re different (or better) than your competition
- A video tutorial showing how to use your most popular product
- The FAQ’s your sales people hear about most
- Post a testimonials a blog posts
- Blog about other places you are adding useful content: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc
- Answer questions left in your comment section
- Share a case study
- Review other competitors products and services
- Review industry related blogs and books
- Share a time when your company made a mistake and talk about what you’ve done to correct it
- Praise your best customers
- Give something away to one of your blog readers, kinda of a contest
- Feature customer’s success stories with your products/services
- Create a video introducing your team to your community
- Introduce new employees and mention how they enhance your products/services
- Write about local issues/challenges
- Write blogs posts mentioning your other syndicated content (press releases, videos, etc)
- Write what’s next for your company
Nonetheless, there is no shortage of things to write about. Post can just be a few words and others can be 1000′s of words. Feel free to use as multi-media like photos and videos to spice up your posts. Be sure to have fun and write to keep the attention of your audience. Write interesting headlines and make sure your posts have an easy to read layout with lots of sub-headings and bullent points. Remember most people skim and don’t read. Make it easy for them to skim. If it’s hard to read they’ll bounce off your blog.
If you follow the above suggestions you should have no shortage of topics to blog about for you business. Let us know below in the comments on your blogging efforts or questions you have about small business blogging.