OK. You’ve set your blog up. You understand that it’s a great tool for telling people about your business. You’re on board with the technical side of things and know how to maintain your new site.
There’s another problem. What the heck do you write about? How do you know what your customers are looking for, and what subjects will bring people back again and again to your site? Here are my thoughts:
Write about what you know
You set up your blog for a reason – to share your expertise and knowledge with other people. Therefore, it makes sense to stick to subjects you are really familiar with. A gardening blog isn’t going to have articles about cooking, and a technical blog isn’t going to be discussing the intricacies of crochet skills. Your main aim is to enhance your customer proposition by speaking knowledgeably about subjects related to your business, so do that. If the thought of writing about a particular subject terrifies you, the chances are it’s not the right subject in the first place!
Bring in current research and ideas
Every industry is constantly evolving, as people discover new tools, processes and innovations to improve it. Regardless of whether you are blogging about networking or needlework, there are going to be resources online that cover the front line when it comes to your particular subjects. Do some careful online research to find out the lowdown on your industry specialism, and keep your readers updated with news and new ideas.
Ask your customers
The best way to find out the kind of thing your readers want to see on your blog is to ask them! Why not elicit feedback from your existing users, and get ideas from people you network with? This has a double purpose, as it also lets people know about your blog, and invites people to take an active interest in it.
Let your hits do the talking
Some days we get loads of comments and views on our blogs, and other days it can feel as if your writing has disappeared in a puff of smoke. Get to know what works and what doesn’t for your entries. If an entry on knitting generates four thousand views, and an update on casseroles gives you one, you’re not going to blog about Hotpot, right? Work out the right topics to please your readers… and stick to them.
Look at other successful blogs for ideas
We all have ‘favorite’ blogs that we log in to religiously each day to get updates, learn something new or keep in touch with some of the great writers out there. Take a look at some of the most successful blogs on the web at the moment, and work out what they may have, that you don’t. That way, you can learn from the experts, and have fun finding new blogs at the same time!
Take inspiration from your day-to-day experiences
Every day, something will happen to you in your job or at home that can be thought about, and put to good use. Whether you are writing for other small businesses or the general public, your experiences can be really valuable to blog about. We like to hear about what other people have been up to, and there are very few events that can’t be turned in to a great story for your blog, and be used to promote your business.
What do you reckon? Let me know the kind of things you think small businesses should focus on when writing their blog updates…