How To Breathe New Life Into Your Small Business Blog
Blogging can be a tough gig for small businesses, especially for those of us just getting on our feet. However, the journey feels much more discouraging when there are no comments, zero shares and our traffic is just plain pathetic.
Content marketing can be a goldmine for small businesses; however, there are three keys to getting your blog off the ground which are often overlooked by bloggers who feel that they’re just talking to themselves:
– Establish your business’s personality, tone and voice.
– Set yourself apart from the competition when it comes to your message and product.
– Blog with a purpose by targeting specific keywords which are actually realistic for your brand to dominate.
Assuming your blog isn’t checking all three of those boxes, it may be time to re-evaluate your content strategy.
If you’re looking to understand how to make your own blog stand apart from the millions of others out there, consider the following three strategies:
Tell Your Story
Readers love hearing about how businesses got their start. Whether they’re looking to start their own company or simply wanting to relate to other businesses within your industry, explaining how you got your roots is the perfect way to open yourself up to readers. Your audience isn’t interested in another face in the crowd, they’re interested in authenticity. Think about it: The tale of how you dropped out of college with an over drafted bank account to start your own business is much more compelling than the faceless blog churning out keyword stuffed nonsense.
Pick A Fight
The founders of Basecamp (formerly 37signals) have gained infamy online for their seemingly unorthodox suggestions to small businesses over the years, including ditching traditional meetings and undercutting the competition at every turn. Perhaps one of their most popular pieces of advice is to create an enemy as a means of putting your brand out there. While you shouldn’t go slandering other businesses, you also shouldn’t be afraid to stir up some controversy and have a cause to rally against. What is your business battling? What are you doing that your competitors are sleeping on? Consider that controversy creates clicks; meanwhile, controversial content is prime for debate, discussion and social sharing.
Nail Your Niche
Many blogs fail because they lack a purpose. In the case of most small businesses, the goals of your blog will more than likely be to drive traffic to your website and establish yourself as a major player in your industry. Neither of these goals can be successfully achieved without the careful targeting of keywords. When it comes to keywords, the name of the game is niche. If you’re a craft brewery in Florida, for example, you probably can’t hope to target keywords such as “beer” or even “craft beer” in the near future, or perhaps ever. However, it would be realistic to target keywords such as “Central Florida breweries,” “Florida craft beer” or “beer distribution Florida.”
Spend some quality time with Google’s Keyword Planner tool and target keywords with ~2,000 monthly searches or less to start. Such keywords can easily be dominated if they show up occasionally in your content. Of course, never shoe horn keywords into your blog, but rather let them occur naturally.
At the end of the day, what separates a failing SMB blog with a successful one is strategy. By blogging with a purpose, whether that purpose is personalization, stirring controversy or targeting keywords, you set yourself up for building a more loyal, legitimate following.