Do you really need a blog?
Every web person you speak to tells you that you need a blog for your small business website, but do you really?
Is a blog right for you and your business?
Creating a blog does take time and effort, but the rewards are great for those who are diligent enough to write for their website on a regular basis. Your blog can communicate new products, features, staff changes and more, but itis only effective if people are reading it - and the only way to get people to read it is to start one. Once it has started, you need to post regularly with interesting stuff, then tell the world about it.
The only way you are going to do this is if you enjoy writing about your business, or you have an employee who enjoys it. Most people don't enjoy it, so our suggestion is that if you can't imagine your blog being updated at least monthly, then don't proceed with a blog on your site. A blog that hasn't had an active post in the last few months looks much worse than not having a blog at all - it simply appears to the website visitor as though you have given up, or perhaps gone out of business.
The great thing about a website is that nothing is set in stone, so if you start out with the best intentions to write fortnightly or monthly, and thing start to go awry - then it is generally easy to pull the blog part of the website down and keep the website looking great.
What if I get stuck for things to write about?
There are always things to be communicating about for your business. You're still doing business, and it is probably because you are great at the things you do!
There is so much about everyone's occupation that simply isn't common knowledge - and if you have been doing what you do for years, you can probably tell the world more than we could ever ask. Communication and education is what you need to be writing about. For example, here are a few ideas for some different businesses:
- Handyman: How to relight a pilot light.
- Mechanic: How to jumpstart a car or check the battery levels.
- Dentist: How to look after a minor toothache.
- Dance teacher: Recommended places to buy dance shoes.
- Swim coach: Directions on the different swim strokes.
- Landscaper: Choosing the best plants for your garden.
- Fitness coach: The best ways to measure performance and improvements.
These ideas are simple to you, you deal with these things everyday - but your average website visitor doesn't. Sharing this type of information makes you an expert in your field, and that is what attracts new business. And don't forget, you can also write about seasonal topics like:
- Dentist: How to avoid cavities around halloween
- Mechanic: How to unfreeze a windscreen without cracking it.
- Fitness coach: How to stay motivated through the winter.
What if I simply hate to write?
That's ok too - we know not everyone likes to write, so we recommend other methods of communication too.
You could consider starting a Video Blog or an Audio Podcast with a 5 minute segment on a certain topic. Have a think about common questions you are asked, and you can speak to the camera about those topics and post this to your website.
Failing that, you can always post reguarly to your social media channels, however these are only going to be seen by people who follow you on those channels, and it won't help your website grow organically through the search engines.