For a small business, spending time on social media and blogs, even on keeping up their own website, can seem like a waste of time. Having a smaller staff, a small business has fewer human resources and less time to assign to managing these rather timely “trendy” tools. They need their people and time devoted to doing their actual work.
And so, many small businesses skip the blog altogether. Or, perhaps they give it a whirl, but have absolutely no clue how to create a blog and manage it successfully. Small business’ attempts at blogs often end in disaster, and they would seem to be better off having not tried. So, we want to share with you the biggest mistakes small businesses make when creating a blog, and a few tips on how they can start turning failure into success.
4 Big Mistakes to Avoid:
Poor Writing Quality: Nothing can lose you clientele or prospective leads faster than poorly written content. Remember that your blog is a major part of your public face, so incorrect spelling, poor grammar, and punctuation, and confusing prose reflects badly on your quality of work in general. When potential customers begin reading a blog post full of errors, the natural conclusion will be that the carelessness and lack of quality in the blog are also true of your services/product as well. Nothing gets prospects fleeing a site faster than encountering bad writing.
Too Salesy: A blog is your opportunity to connect with your readers and earn their trust. If you jump into promoting your product or services too quickly, or if it is clear that is the only reason your blog exists, you will scare your readers off. Writing a blog clearly focused on making sales will make your business come across as a pushy sales person: insincere and desperate. Neither of these qualities reflects well on your business, and it will do far more harm than good.
Too Aimless: Another big mistake, and one that is unfortunately easy to fall into, is creating a blog that lacks a clear direction, focus, and purpose. Many small businesses begin a blog simply because they know they should because of its efficacy, but they don’t take the time to think about what focus and approach to take. An aimless blog with no purpose is going to bore and confuse readers. If they can’t see the clear reason for why you are writing, they also won’t see a reason to keep reading.
Impersonal: many small businesses approach their blog writing like the would giving a presentation in speech class: incredibly form and purely informational. But the unique and awesome opportunity of a blog is that it is your chance to be personal and conversational, really connect with your prospects. Refraining from this by being too formal, not sharing personal experiences and personality, and not really considering your audience, will make you feel distant and even a bit untrustworthy to readers.
Steps to Starting a Quality Small Business Blog
So, if you want to start a successful blog for your small business, try these tips:
Get the Technical Bits Right: It’s best to have a self-hosted blog rather than, say, a free blog on Blogger or WordPress, or a paid hosted blog. A self-hosted blog means you have full ownership and control of your blog.
Find A Good Writer: even if your business is truly small, there is bound to be one among you who can write well. Find them and allow them to take ownership of the business’ blog.
Make the Blog a Priority: don’t allow the blog to be a “well if we can get to it” task. It will be a major boost to your leads and customers, and therefore revenue, so it should be prioritized just like any other task necessary to keep your business afloat.
Be Personal: use a conversational approach that invites readers to respond and ask questions. Share opinion, share experiences – let your readers get to feel like they know you. And remember to think about your audience first and what they would want and need to hear about from you. Make the blog about them. These steps will go a long way in building reader loyalty. It makes your business come across as transparent, real, personal, and therefore trustworthy.
Be Patient (and Consistent): now, while the overall ROI is fantastic for a good blog, it does NOT happen overnight. Be patient, but also remember that patience won’t do anything for you if you aren’t writing consistently and not writing well.
Go Make That Blog
Maintaining a blog will mean taking some extra time and energy to keep it up, especially if you are going to do it right. But truly, stats and experience show that regular, quality blogging is one of the most effective ways of getting your brand out there, increasing your leads, and improving your business/customer relationship.
You know why a blog is so vital for a small business (any business) to keep, and now you know some pitfalls to avoid and some tips to help you get underway. Go get blogging!
- How to Start a Blog Online https://howtostartablogonline.net/
- Fit Small Business, http://fitsmallbusiness.com/small-business-blogs/
- Top 10 Small Business Blogs, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melinda-emerson/10-top-small-business-blo_b_9417450.html
- Attracting candidates with blogs, https://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/attracting-job-candidates/small-business-blogs.aspx
- Blogging Mistakes, https://www.inc.com/guides/201103/7-blogging-mistakes-that-small-businesses-make.html
About the Author:
Richard Goodwin has been blogging for almost a decade now and has made his share of mistakes over the years. He helps newbies avoid those that they can avoid by sharing his hard-earned knowledge and experience through his blog, howtostartablogonline.net.