Starting a small business blog is the most cost-effective way achieving job #1 for entrepreneurs: creating a demand for your product. But it’s not magic. Blogging takes time, creativity, and consistency to gain an audience and keep it. The biggest complaint about social media is that it can be a time drain, so I’ll be giving you great tips on how to market your business efficiently and effectively.
First, read my post on Top Ten Reasons Small Business Owners Should Be Blogging Today. It outlines why a blog should be your main hub in your Social News Network (SNN) and how it allows you to compete with larger companies . . . and win.
Second, read my post on 6 Best Practices for Small Business Bloggers . . . and Everyone Else to discover exactly how you can have the absolute best blog in your industry.
So now that I’ve convinced you to start blogging and offered ideas for best practices, how do you get started?
- Select a blogging tool like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or TypePad. These tools are free but do require some time to install and learn how to use. I use WordPress because it’s full-featured, relatively simple to use, and has a huge network of users who offer support and answer questions when I get stuck.
- Select a theme for your blog that is easy to use and looks professional. Most themes are free, while others do have a small charge. I use StudioPress themes because they are SEO-savvy and allow me to change colors, fonts, and customize my theme with a minimal amount of HTML. StudioPress does charge for their themes, but in my opinion, they’re worth it.
- Allow clients to subscribe to your blog. You want to stay in front of customers and tell them the latest news about your product offerings, events, and exciting news. Give them the opportunity to subscribe to your blog using either an RSS reader or via email. Be sure to offer both options, as you’ll miss out on customers if you focus only on one. I use Feedburner to generate my RSS feed and offer an email option to my readers.
- Feed your blog automatically to your other social networks. You can pull your blog posts into Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn automatically, saving you the time and headache of having to go into each platform and update your networks each and every time to post to your blog. This tip alone saves HOURS every week, so don’t wait. Deliver your message and then manage your business!
- Put contact information on every page. Don’t save your email, telephone number, and address for the Contact Us page. Look at Lands End’s and L.L. Bean’s websites: their telephone number and contact information are plastered at the top of every single page so you don’t have to leave their online offerings to contact them. Make it easy for customers to find you.
- Add a Facebook Like button. One-click interaction is now the gold standard set by Amazon’s 1-Click ordering button. The Like button automatically delivers anything you post to your Facebook business page to the client’s wall, and they didn’t even have to go into Facebook to search for you, look at your wall, and then click Like. Even if a customer doesn’t subscribe to your blog, you can still contact them on Facebook. Reach out to people where they are. Make it simple, make it easy.
As always, I’m here to help. Call me with questions on how to set up your own blog, Facebook page, or take a class with me, either in person or online.
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