Today I want to talk about small business blogging. How do you do it? What’s the goal? As I see it, there are two main functions of blog writing for business: one, to define your brand’s values, to tell your story. And two, to build up your fortress of online content to be found easier through online search.
In this case, knowing is (probably less than) half the battle. The other half is going out there every day and getting your hands dirty publishing great content. You need to go beyond simply talking about your core offerings to offer added value or a deeper understanding. Creating exciting and useful content day after day can be difficult. So, here are 5 types of blogs you can write that will fulfill both functions mentioned above.
Tell people who you are where you came from. When it comes to building relationships with customers, they are going to be drawn in initially by one thing or another, but forming a deeper appreciation is what will keep them around. Origin stories, memories of tough times, and turning points in the life of the business are all things to consider as blog topics that can contribute to your story as a whole.
A partner spotlight.
Whatever you do, it’s unlikely that you do it alone. Showcasing one of your partners, be it an individual or a business, shows that you appreciate those who help you do what you do. It also helps your audience contextualize you, to find out what kind of business you are, not in terms of industry, but in terms of personality. Plus, if you show some love to other businesses, don’t be surprised when they show some love back to you.
Behind the scenes.
If people are interested in what you’re doing, there’s nothing they’d like more than to be invited behind the scenes. Use your blog as an opportunity to share some insider information that someone who only purchases your product could never know. Whether it’s a funny blooper video, or an in-depth view of a complex process, your blog is a great place to go a little further and show a little more.
Making a tough decision.
Though I don’t mean to suggest you treat small business blogging like a diary, there are some situations where it can be a good idea to share a complicated decision. For example, maybe you decided to switch providers of a certain service for moral reasons. That could be a great way to put the company’s moral compass on display without simply saying “at X, we care about Y.” I think it benefits businesses that want to attract repeat buyers and viewers to share this kind of information in order to build trust.
A photo essay or video blog.
If there’s one major trend in digital media right now, it’s toward communicating with images and brevity. Not every blog has to be a 500 word mini-essay on one topic or another. Attending an event or doing something extracurricular as a company? Post a series of related photographs with brief captions detailing the fun! Or you could post a quick video blog where you discuss a timely topic. While not everybody feels like they have time to spend a few minutes reading, almost everyone will readily watch a quick video or look at a few photos.
So, how well-articulated is your brand’s story? If you’re interested in small business blogging, I hope these suggestions have sparked some ideas. Remember you are adding to your brand’s identity every time you publish, so make sure each blog is a great contribution.