Many small business owners across the United States are stretched thin as far as overhead costs are concerned. Indeed, many folks simply don’t have the means to expand their operation in a manner they would ideally like. Perhaps they don’t have the resources to mount an aggressive marketing campaign geared towards maximizing exposure, gaining more leads and increasing ROI. But to not have an online marketing presence in this day and age can be particularly detrimental to the livelihood of any small business. And the cornerstone of any good online strategy is blogging.
According to statistics put out by Yahoo!, B2B marketers who blog garner an average of 67% more leads than those who do not. On top of that, some 61% of American consumers have purchased a product or service based on a recommendation they read in a blog. So with that in mind, here are some tips small business owners can utilize in order to craft a successful blogging campaign.
1. Create a Schedule
Before the actual blogging even begins, the most important thing is to commit to a regular schedule. There’s no need to tackle the world the first time out, but business owners should commit to providing at least one blog post per week. In time, this number should be increased to three or five blog posts per week.
2. Outsource If You Need To
There’s no need to shoulder the content burden alone. There are plenty of freelance bloggers out there – as well as reputable SEO firms – that offer their services for a small fee. Although this would involve spending cash, bear in mind that freelance bloggers often have solid relationships with multiple high-end blogs, and they can get quality content posted where the owner’s target audience is most likely to see it. Of course, if you source content from guest bloggers for your own blog, that content is completely free!
3. Get Personal
The best way to reach that target demographic is to engage with the audience on a personal level. Whether it’s the owner blogging about his or her activities, or having an employee — a “face of the operation” – writing about their experiences, the point is to engage while keeping with the overall theme of the business.
4. Help Your Readers
Blog posts aren’t ideal vessels for the hard sell. Those who are surfing the web are likely to pass right on by a blog post filled with nothing but sales pitches. It’s important for the business blogger to be credible and offer the reader something tangible that can help them in their day-to-day life. For example, someone running a hardware store may want to try posting DIY home-improvement articles; those in the music business can list favorite songs and albums of the year. The sky is the limit as far as helpful blog posts are concerned.
5. Be Honest and Forthcoming
The best way to generate leads is through trust, and the best way to earn a potential customer’s trust is through honesty. The highest-profile blogs out there are completely transparent when it comes to things like product reviews and guest authors. Those business owners posting blogs should always be up-front about who they are and what they represent.
If the small business owner is to take one thing away from this article, it is the notion of diligence. Adhering to a firm blogging schedule and making regular posts is the best way to maximize exposure and keep the leads coming in.
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO services in the United States.