Blogging 4 Business

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blogging for business... or food

Benefits of Blogging

The benefits of blogging for your business are vast, and yet, starting up a business blog can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Running a blog requires a diverse skill set including: the technical know-how to set it up, talents in writing and editing, and image creation skills. It is also an endeavour that you need to commit to long-term, contributing to regularly and consistently. So why, exactly, should you consider blogging for your business?

Here’s our top 10 list of why your business will benefit from a blog:

  1. Space to build your credibility, authority and expertise
  2. Adds quality content pages to your website on related topics of interest, increasing your search engine rankings
  3. Adds engaging content to your website, keeping visitors on your site for longer, increasing your search engine rankings
  4. Gives you a wealth of information that you can share on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks; invites people to interact and connect with you, as well as share your articles with their networks
  5. Gives you content to send out to your email distribution list
  6. Area built for leveraging the “soft sale” – your potential customers will get valuable information from you for free, which is an opportunity for establishing and nurturing genuine relationships
  7. Area you can make referrals to other businesses, partners, affiliates and anything that will benefit your target audience; in other words, you can use it to be helpful and giving
  8. Place to stash information that doesn’t quite fit into your website architecture
  9. Section for expanding on FAQ’s for your business or industry
  10. Channel for you to keep your brand fresh and “top of mind” with your network

 Who is this article for?

  • You want to start a blog, but need help. You are not sure how to get started.
  • You already have a blog, but it’s not performing. You need assistance getting targeted and on track.
  • You are looking for an easy-to-follow process and don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
  • You have a blog and are looking to monetise it!

Blogging. Everyone’s doing it and it seems like a good idea to get on board. But how does it work?

It’s funny how many articles and free PDFs I’ve read and webinars I’ve attended touting the benefits of blogs, email marketing, YouTubing, hosting online courses and programs, etc. Most of them are fairly helpful, but you’d be surprised at how many of them gloss over the heavy lifting. Heavy lifting, you ask? The heavy lifting is the work that goes into planning, creating and publishing content.

Running a blog requires the same amount of business planning and work that you’d put into any other business initiative. Important blogging considerations include:

  1. Business objectives and specific blog goals: How does your blog fit into your overall business vision? What is the purpose of your blog?
  2. Calls to action (CTA): In addition to a general purpose of having a reader enjoying your article, you need to have 1-3 tangible [read: measurable] CTAs, such as: new subscribers to your email list, requests for free consultations, downloads of your free whitepaper, people enrolling for your online course, clicks on your affiliate links, quality comments added to your article, people liking and sharing your article on social media.
  3. Frequency: How often are you going to post? Is this number achievable or a far-out fantasy? Hint: Start conservative and add posts to your schedule when you have the routine under your belt.
  4. Length: How long should your articles be? Actually – blog posts don’t have to be that long. Between 200 and 400 words is a realistic target length, and you can go longer when you have the material for it. Think of Instagram, where all that is posted is a picture with a few sentences. Or Snapchat that limits video posts to 10 seconds. Don’t overthink it and feel all of your articles have to be long and in-depth, unless that is a part of your specific blog objectives.
  5. Photos, videos, graphics, images: where are you going to source visual elements to break up the text? Do you have the technical skills and programs to do this yourself or do you need to outsource this type of work?
  6. Topics: What are you going to post about so that it relates to your business, increases your credibility, establishes you as an expert, is going to be interesting for you to write about, etc. Whatever you do, don’t pick a topic that bores you. You need to be passionate about it because then you can translate your enthusiasm over to your audience and get them excited about it too.

It can seem a little overwhelming getting your blog off the ground, and Fun4business is here to help. We are coming out with a number of helpful videos and handouts to get you started, as well a 4-week program where a maximum of 5 blog owners will work through planned exercises together, collaborating and providing feedback and suggestions.

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Blogging FAQ

Who am I blogging for?

A popular question we get is who should you write your blog for, yourself or your target market?
And the answer is — both! You need to write your blog about topics you are passionate about that are ALSO of interest to your target market.

If you publish topics on your blog just to fill the space, your customers will start to notice… and they won’t be back. Strategic planning ensures you will enjoy publishing your articles, and your readers will enjoy reading them. Also, keeping blog stats is essential to tracking which blog posts had the most interest, traffic and engagement, and which didn’t, so you can optimize your content.

Do I have to write the articles myself?

What if you see the benefits of having a blog, but do not want to write all of the articles yourself. You have a couple of options for publishing content, and it is good to think outside the box. Here are some ideas for blog articles:

  • Hire or partner with guest writers. The great thing about WordPress are the login controls for giving access to people for writing and posting their own articles, and then they can mark it as “pending approval” for your final review.
  • Search the Internet for published articles and contact the organizations and/or writers for permission to re-post on your blog. Sometimes they agree in exchange for being able to include a short bio with a link back to the original article.
  • Add in affiliate information and posts. What sites, services and products are related to your website? Write to the companies and see if they could provide you with posting material, with images and links.
  • Check into setting up autoblog posts. You may be a member of associations that provide you with information to post on your blog or give you a feed for autoposting. (Just be aware of, and in compliance with, copyright laws as outlined below.)

What about copyright?

In Canada, copyright is automatically applied to written and creative works, including photos, images, etc.  In short, it is illegal to “copy” other people’s creative works and post as if it’s your own. There is a great Intro to Copyright article here on the Government of Canada’s website. That being said, you are definitely able to write and post summaries and reviews and post them as your own work.

If you want to be safe, contact the creator and get permission.

Alternatively, be sure to include only a limited amount of content from the original works, and use citations and give credit accordingly. The Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide is a guide that we regularly consult to ensure we are citing external sources correctly.

And don’t forget, writing your blog article is only half the work. Marketing your posts via your email list and social media networks is critical. Unless you are writing just for yourself and don’t care if anyone reads it. If this is the case, be sure to give it an official “Like” and a positive comment!

Ready to get started with your blog? We can help! 
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Next up: The importance of email marketing.