The benefits of blogging – including the potential to dramatically increase SEO ranking, leads, and professional authority – are well known. Still, many small business owners don't prioritize this critically important marketing tool. Unsurprisingly, many entrepreneurs who don't blog on their business websites cite time (or lack thereof) as a main reason.
The good news is blogging doesn't have to be a time drain. With the strategies below, even the busiest small business owner can find the time to blog regularly in 2018. Even if you can't commit to all four, each tip will up your blog game in a big way.
1. Plan several posts ahead of time.
It's a lot easier to begin a new blog post when you already know what you're going to write about. Start with a content channel plan strategy, which outlines what you'll be posting, for whom, and why it's important reading for the audience. Content strategists can help you identify an area or areas of focus that sit at the intersection of your expertise and the subjects that potential customers of your business are likely to search for. Next, you'll create an editorial calendar that aligns with the strategy outlined above.
The calendar will outline when you'll post to your site. The more frequently you're able to blog, the better. Plotting those posts ahead of time removes the guesswork and helps keep you accountable. Aim for at least two posts per month, but remember that quality is more important than quantity. Even a handful of good posts per year will help drive traffic to your site and increase your credibility as an expert in your field – especially if you time them to major events or holidays important for your industry.
2. Speak your first drafts instead of typing them.
On average, people speak at least three times faster than they type. It's also often easier to collect our thoughts by speaking them rather than staring at a blank screen. If writing intimidates you, try speaking your first draft into a recorder app or your computer's microphone instead of typing it.
Next, have it transcribed. It's inexpensive and quick to have a post transcribed, and the end result will be a post that sounds natural and conversational. In fact, this entire post was spoken and then transcribed.
3. Use a copy editor.
Do you still remember everything your high school English teacher taught you about grammar? Great! But you're definitely in the minority. If, more likely, you need to brush up on skills, don't let that stop you from blogging. Copy editors can elevate your blog post from good to great. Many copy editors are also SEO pros who can help ensure even more organic readers will find their way to your website based on the keywords in your posts.
4. Include a video... or, let the video speak for itself!
Content that includes video is several times more likely to be shared on social media. And because the human brain only retains about 20% of written information but 80% of visual information, videos are more likely to be remembered by your audience as well. Hire a video production specialist to create a video to make your written content even more engaging. You can also use a video instead of a traditional post.
A short video, whether created in-house or with the help of a freelancer, can often convey a message to your audience quicker and more clearly than a written post. Video-only posts are also a great way to break up a series of copy-heavy blog posts. (And so are infographics, which can be created based on stats or strategies shared in videos.)
Blogging doesn't have to be intimidating or a task that you dread. The most intimidating part is starting, so make a commitment to begin brainstorming your posts. Utilize these quick, inexpensive tips and you'll be a regular in no time.
What benefits has your business seen from regular blogging? More customers? Increased authority in your field? PR wins? Let us know in the comments below.