Hana Dickinson, Managing Director of The Bridge Marketing, and creator of SuffolkWire news website, is a passionate believer in the power of the blog to boost your brand… and bottom line. Here she shares some tips to get you reaping the benefits of blogging, whilst avoiding some of the common pitfalls.
Having a business blog is a powerful marketing tool that will repay you in many ways… if you can get it right. A great blog has the potential to:
- Boost your SEO, as Google loves fresh content
- Engage and build trust with your current customers
- Raise your profile and build your brand
- Drive sales
- Attract new visitors to your website
- Stimulate demand for your products
- Establish your authority as a leader in your field by sharing your knowledge.
So, whether your current blog needs a fresh approach, or you’re starting from scratch, here are some tips on getting that blog on point.
- DO create and stick to a content plan and posting schedule. Whether you’re committing to two posts a month, or two posts a day, make sure you’ve got the time, energy and ideas to keep it up.
- DO tailor your content to your customer’s needs. Try and think about topics that might appeal to the people who you do business with, and consider how you can turn that into a blog or two. A good tip is to make a note of the kind of questions you regularly get asked when people ring you up or use your contact form. Turn your answers to those questions into your first blog post, and you’re off to a good start.
- DO give your readers plenty of breaks. Even if you’ve written a longer post, break down dense blocks of text into paragraphs. Stick in relevant subheaders at regular intervals and use images and pulled quotes to give the text space.
- DO ensure your spelling and grammar is error free. Word will pick up most spelling mistakes, but it won’t always spot a misused to/too/two, or an errant comma. If possible, get a second set of eyes to read over what you’ve written or, if that isn’t possible, then write a draft of your post, put it away for a day or so, and then come back to it with fresh eyes.
- DO let some of that starch out of your collar. Think of every blog entry you write as a conversation with your readership. When you’re writing your blog posts, try and imagine you’re sitting down for a coffee with someone you enjoy hanging out with. And don’t be afraid to ask for their opinion in the comments. And if someone leaves a comment, it’s a great opportunity to engage further and stimulate conversations that might lead to opportunities further down the line.
- DON’T get too heavy on the sales angle. You’re looking to offer interest, insight and build trust, which will allow the sales to come later. Think of your blog as a gentle pointer in the right direction, rather than a heavy-handed sales tool. And over time, and with gentle nudges via your call to action at the end of each post, your readership will become more engaged and willing to take further action.
- DON’T copy others. By all means, check out the blogs of your competitors, it’s a great way to research ideas for your own content. But don’t copy them. It’s better to write your own version, or even think of your blog as reply, where you can offer your own opinion. Or even better, take a competitor’s blog, and think about what they should have written to make it better, and then simply write that better version.
Give your blog the expert touch
The team at The Bridge are content marketing experts, and can generate regular, topical, professionally written blogs that use research and insight to reach the people your business needs to reach to succeed.