By Amanda Cleary Eastep
So you’re contemplating starting a blog for your small business.
In Part 1, I talked about the value of blogging.
The next logical question: WHO will write the blog and WHAT should that person write about?
The Who: You don’t have to be a great writer, but you do have to be a clear and authentic communicator, qualities you probably have if you run a business. So, yes, you…business owner. Think of your post time as a respite, a time to collect, and then share, your thoughts over a cup of coffee. But…
You can also ask if someone else in your company is interested in accepting the blogger role. This will add to their responsibilities, so it’s important to talk about how blogging fits into their current work priorities. And blogging really does need to be considered a priority, once you accept the potential value in it.
Another option, depending on the size of your company, is to form a blog team. This provides a great opportunity for collaboration and sharing of knowledge.
Finally, many companies outsource freelance bloggers.
The What: Similar to the long list of reasons to blog, the list of topics is even longer.
But who wants to read blog posts about the fire protection industry [janitorial supplies, home construction, etc.]?
Your customers do.
Here are some ideas to get you started
Remember that your blog should provide value to your customer as much as it provides value to your business.
Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% content relevant to your audience, 20% about your company.
Question of the week: Answer customer questions. Odds are, many others have the same question. You can also answer a customer question via video, like PR pro Gini Dietrich.
Trends: What is happening in your industry, and how does that affect your customers?
Case studies: With a customer’s permission, share your best customer service stories.
Customer of the week: Again, with permission, share a photo of a valued customer. Include a comment from each about how they use one of your products. Or something more personal, like a tip on any subject, e.g. favorite restaurant, the best mobile app for golf, or how to kill garden pests with beer and dish soap.
Photos and videos: Photos and videos can help engage readers and increase sharing of your posts.
The most important rule for blogging for your business? Consistency. Your blog is another part of your overall business.
“Stock” it with great posts, and nurture those online relationships with current–and prospective–customers.
What challenges and successes have you had with your business blog?