Why do I talk so much about blogging?
Yes, it’s a service I provide so – if what I’m saying makes sense – you might ask for help with it.
That’s how marketing works isn’t it; I tell you what I do and then why your life will be better if I do it for you.
So, blogging is marketing, but – to me – it’s gentle, helpful marketing that fits with the kind of business I want to be. It’s marketing where, rather than shouting “Buy this!”, you’re saying “Do you need a hand with that?”
But how does a post like this work as marketing then? If you’re writing pieces that tell people what you know, doesn’t that reduce the value you can provide – giving your reader the opportunity to do the work themselves? If you’ve read my post The Accountant Who Gave Away All Her Secrets, you’ll know that’s not the case.
In this post, I’m going to outline simple steps to help you write blogs that showcase your business; because being known as an expert will help you reach the clients you want.
Small Business Blogs, Making You the Expert
1 Know Your Audience
Understanding who you are talking to is the first step in any communication, it’s something I touched on in my post Business Writing – Do You Know Your Reader and How to Attract Their Attention?
As a business owner, your website and social media channels are often trying to talk to a number of audiences at once – potential customers, collaborators, those in your business network, family and friends. But for each piece of writing you create, you need to understand who – on this occasion – you’re talking to.
As a therapist writing your blog think… will this subject be interesting to a worried parent? a frustrated sufferer? or an athlete wanting to improve performance?
How much and what type of information you provide, as well as how you present it and the tone you use, will all be affected by who you are writing for.
2 What Are They Looking For?
Knowing what to write about is something that puts off many potential business bloggers.
The first step is to write down those questions you are asked most often and use a blog to answer them. Think of it this way, if people are asking you that question they’re likely to be asking their search engines.
This also gives you the advantage of having content available to send out to the next person who asks – meaning you’re not answering the same question again and again. It could even become something you turn into a download to encourage sign-ups to your mailing list if enough people want the information.
There are other simple topics to consider:
- How to work with me
- Behind the Scenes – on product development or projects
- Case Studies
- Topics that are in the news
- Relevant awareness days and more.
This is an area we spend time on when I run a Blog Planning Session – people are almost always surprised by how much they have to share.
3 Put It In a Post
Once you’ve worked out what you are going to share with your audience, you’ll have to write it. Think about how you will present the information you’d like to share.
If you’re often asked about how your therapy sessions work, you may choose to layout the post as:
- a list of steps your clients experience
- a case study telling the story of a particular session
- an interview, or Q & A, with a client
If you’re asked which of your products is most suitable you could write:
- a ‘versus’ post comparing two of your products
- behind the scenes posts of how and why you developed them
- case studies showing how these products help your clients
Think about your reader and how they like to process information – stories, lists, step-by-step guides.
You might need to do some research for your post even if it’s a subject you know a lot about, having data to back you up or additional links for those who are interested in reading more, is good for your credibility.
Again, these are elements we cover when I’m doing a blog planning session. Considering the best way to share our information can even help identify new topics your audience might be interested in.
4 How Much Should You Share?
This isn’t a straightforward question.
You’ll need to write enough to answer the question, or keep the promise, you gave your reader in the title. However, many experts could fill whole books on their favourite topics so it is important to keep the focus narrow enough not to overwhelm your reader.
You’re writing this post to help your audience with their question and show them how much you know about the topic. If, having read your post, the reader is engaged enough to want to know more – it’s your job to make sure they contact you to answer their questions.
This post will hopefully have given you some insight how to write a business blog – and why
Growing your business is about making sure people understand what you know and how you can help them. To do that you need to know who your reader is and what they are interested in, then you can answer their questions.
If you’re interested in whether blogging could help your business, check out my online workshop here – the first module is free; or get in touch, I’d love to find out more about you and your business.