Whether it’s a service or a product, there is a story behind every business. And often that story is what customers and new clients need to hear to get them interested and involved in what you have to offer.
A blog is the best place to share your stories and get customers engaged. Today there are millions of blogs available on the internet, but no blogger and blog is alike. A blog can help build your business and brand and make you an expert in your field.
Before Starting Your Blog
- Do your research: Decide what you want to blog about and why. Search on the internet and see who else is blogging about the same topic. Find your unique voice and unique stories.
- Blog location: Designate a page for it on your website or start a blog on a blog-hosting platform.
- Days to post: For starters, commit to post at least twice a week. The more you blog the faster you’ll grow an audience.
- Who will blog: Decide who will be the designated bloggers at your business, but you must be on the same page with same goals and messages.
Set Up Your Blog
If you decide not to have your blog on your website here are three free blog-hosting sites:
- WordPress.com is easy to utilize. It will offer a WordPress domain name. For example “myname.wordpress.com.” You can also pay to use your own domain without the “WordPress” name in the url. WordPress.com offers free themes, and no coding is required.
- WordPress.org is a free blog-hosting site that requires no coding know-how. You can pay for a domain name and hosting.
- Blogger.com is a free blog-hosting site by Google. It also offers free blog themes for the look of the site.
- Choose a theme (look for your blog.)
- Choose a title for your blog. For example, “Business Tips by (your name).” The title should indicate what the blog is about.
Find Topics for Your Blog
- Stories and topics will suddenly come to you. Make sure you keep a notebook where you can jot down your ideas for topics.
- Welcome your readers in your first blog. Let your readers know why you are blogging.
- Write about customers that you have met through your business. Maybe a person who may be doing outstanding work in the community.
- Keep your blog post relevant to what is happening in your industry. For example, if you’re a realtor, you may want to write a blog about the latest buyer or sellers market in your city.
- Write about an experience at your business. Maybe a company fundraiser or a project for the community that employees did together.
- Readers want to read blogs about topics they can’t find anywhere else.
- A blog is not an ad or commercial for your company. It’s a conversation where your customers don’t need to be pressured to buy. It should not be about “buy this or that.”
- Invite an employee or client to contribute. Engage your customers to be part of your business family.
Your Blog Should Stand Out
- Use a conversational tone when writing your blog post. It should make the reader feel like he or she is having a conversation with you. Show your personality.
- Use links to other websites that add credibility to your blog. For example, if you’re a real estate agent and are writing about the housing market, find a link to a credible study by experts.
- Don’t be long-winded. It’s a blog post not a book. Keep it at 300 to 400 words.
- Have an extra pair of eyes look at the blog post before publishing. Double check grammar, spelling and punctuation before posting.
- Use photos, images and videos to support your blog post.
How to Share your Blog
- Once your blog post goes live share it on your social media platforms.
- “Read my blog” will not get people excited about “clicking” into the story. Give them a reason to dig deeper.
- Share your blog post on different days at different times. Remember your readers live in different time zones.
- It’s OK to recycle a post a few months later.
Respond to Feedback
- A blog is like any other social media platform. It is a two-way conversation. Respond to someone who leaves feedback in a comment.
- Some of that feedback may be an idea for your next blog post. Keep an open mind.
- Do not get into a “war of words” with someone who leaves negative feedback.
- Feel free to delete any responses that may be vulgar and inappropriate.
Have fun with your blog and soon you’ll see that you can’t keep up with all the stories you are discovering with the help of your customers.
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This article, Social Media: Start a Blog, Share Stories and Watch Your Business and Brand Grow, By Rebecca Aguilar, first appeared on LATINA Style Magazine.