Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend 6 hours sharpening the ax.” In other words, preparation makes a hard job easier. It’s no different when it comes to creating a small business blog. Here’s a few tips to help you get your blog off to a great start.
1. Register your domain name. Don’t just leave it under “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Connect it with your website URL. This is more difficult to do later, so this prep step shouldn’t be skipped.
2. Don’t procrastinate, post! It does no good to sign up for a blog on WordPress or E-Blogger, and then not post. It’s not a blog until you publish something. Don’t make the mistake of getting caught up in designing your blog in lieu of actually blogging, or intimidated by all the techie info you don’t quite understand yet. Content is king in the blog world, so write an introductory post, say who you are, a little about your business, and maybe the direction your blog will take (how-to, helpful hints, product information, etc). It doesn’t have to be long–a paragraph or two is great–just get started!
3. Spread the word. Tell people you have a blog. How? Start with your email contact list. Email everyone you know–personally and professionally–and give them the address of your blog and beg for links and comments. Some of your family/friends/co-workers will support your efforts and get you off to a good start.
4. Be consistent. Once, twice a week is enough to get you rolling. Ideally, you’ll blog every day–at least five days a week, but if this feels overwhelming, then go with once or twice a week. Put it on your to-do list and commit to it. Again, shoot for a couple of paragraphs. Listen at work for conversations that can be turned into a blog post–a question someone poses, a suggestion…you’ll be surprised how many ideas you’ll pick up on.
5. Mention your website–often. Link to your own website–and not just to page one (your landing page). If you have multiple pages (contact page, photos page, products page), then refer to them as well, and link to it from your blog. Do this at least once per post.
***One for the road: Keywords. Remember developing your webpage and researching those keywords–words that people use when they’re searching? Be sure to use those keywords as you blog. You should naturally–they’re what your small business/products and services are all about. Keep them in mind as you write your blog. Sound natural, as if a customer were standing in your store chatting with you.
These five keys help you prepare for creating and maintaining a successful small business blog. It won’t take long until blogging is an easy, economical way to market and network with your clients–and potential clients.