So you’ve got a shiny new small business blog on your website… now what?
Chances are if you are a small business owner, you’re not a writer. And, most of the blogs out there are content heavy, filled with lots and lots of words.
The good news is you don’t have to be a writer to have a great blog; you just need to find the right things to fill it with.
While most blogs are all about written content, yours doesn’t have to be, especially if your visitors are looking for something else.
A small business blog can simply be a place to connect with customers and visitors, a place to build credibility, or a place to simply share.
I’ve compiled 10 ways you can use your small business blog to connect with your visitors and you don’t have to be Hemmingway to do it!
Okay, I know I said you don’t need to be a writer but the reality is that Google likes heavy word count blog posts. It’s why the phrase “content is king” is so popular.
While you can fill your blog with different kinds of things, understand that for the best Google results, you’ll want to have some well-written content.
If you know you aren’t ever going to sit down and craft a 2,000-word blog post, then consider getting some help. The content doesn’t have to be written by you. You might have a budding writer working for you already or maybe your marketing consultant offers a service.
Be weary when using places like Craigslist and Fiver, you might not pay much but you might not get great content either. Use good judgment.
Again, you don’t have to make your blog just a place for written content, there are other things you can do to fill your blog – let’s explore some of them!
People love lists! List posts are easy and fun, and generally attract traffic. If you’ve got a unique angle or creative list connected to your product or service, then you’ve got a great small business blog post.
A list post can be as simple as a list – plain and simple. If you have a cooking site you could list favorite cooks, favorite recipes, favorite kitchen tools, or favorite spices.
If you want to do a bit more, then for each item on the list write a sentence or two about the item.
If you sell leadership consulting services, you might make a list of your favorite books with a small blurb about why you like the book.
Finally, you can go a bit further and write a post like this one. It’s still a list post but each item contains a few paragraphs of content.
Whichever method you choose, lists are extremely popular and a good way to connect with your audience.
Event posts can be fast and easy to put together, and they share what you are doing.
Most consumers want to know about the people they are working with or buying from. Sharing what you are doing gives visitors a glimpse of what you are up to.
An event post can announce an upcoming event, with details and even a sign up form, or an event post can simply be a round up of a recent event.
Show pictures or video, write out a few highlights and thank sponsors or participants.
Event posts are great way to connect with your existing clients, as well as, prospective ones.
Product announcements are super easy to do. All you need are some images and product details.
Let your customers know when you’ve added a new service, when you begin carrying a new line of products, when you add a new product color, or when new updates are available.
Introducing new products and services is a great way to keep your customers in the loop. You can then link to those announcements in emails or newsletters.
Depending on the type of customers you have and the tone of your site, you can use an announcement post to announce personal things as well. This provides a human side to your business. Maybe you’ve added a new family member, maybe you’ve just taken an epic trip, or finished a marathon. Sharing makes you human and increases trust.
If you renovate homes you can post pictures of projects in process or finished projects.
Post pictures of events or gatherings you’ve attended.
Post pictures of your clients if it makes sense.
If you are an automotive detail shop, you can post pictures of the cars you’ve detailed.
Before and after pictures are great ways to showcase your work or expertise.
Photos can be fun, too! You could even have photos of customer pets… or if your pet is the business mascot, you could use the blog to show photos of your mascot on the job.
Get creative with photos; your customers will love it.
If you have interviews or a podcast, they can be used as small business blog content.
Any kind of audio can be easily shared whether it’s an interview with a vendor or client, or perhaps you’ve been interviewed, these make great content.
If you have a lot to say but hate writing, then record your content and use it as blog content.
A good headset with microphone is all you need. If you want to invest in a high quality microphone you can. But to get started you simply need to just start!
Make sure you speak naturally and conversationally. Keep an outline handy so that you stay on track during the recording. Try not to read from a script.
If you find you really love doing audio, you can always publish your podcasts to iTunes for greater reach. You can get started by checking out a few podcasts to see how they are put together, just jump on iTunes. My favorite podcasts and the one’s I’ve used for inspiration include RadioLab, Novel Targets, and Freakonomics radio.
People love video! And, video makes for great small business blog content.
If you like getting in front of the camera and talking with your customers, it’s a great way to connect. You can talk shop, introduce new products, interview vendors, or do product demonstrations.
Have you seen the blender videos?! Blendtec created a series of “Will it blend?” videos to highlight its product; they are both entertaining and effective!
Or maybe you want to just connect with your customers, Gary Vaynecek does a great job with video. His videos are extremely popular.
Using Skype and a tool called Call Recorder you can record an interview with a client to show a success story, if you provide online services you can use screen-sharing software to create a how-to video, or simply share interviews with experts relevant to your viewers.
Just check out youTube, it’s filled with videos of all kinds. By doing a quick keyword search on your industry, you’ll find ideas and inspiration.
Perhaps doing a youTube video feels overwhelming, then Slideshare is a perfect alternative. You simply create a PowerPoint presentation and upload to the site. Then, you can embed the presentation in your blog post and publish as content.
You can create any kind of content that you would create as a blog post, the difference is that the presentation is hosted at Slideshare.net is shared in the form of images and short content. How-to presentations and industry information make for great presentations.
Because Slideshare.net is connected to LinkedIn, it’s super easy to create an account and get started. Check out the Slideshare.net home page for inspiration and ideas.
Infographics are a great way to showcase interesting information in one concise graphic. Infographics are visual and informative.
Things to think about when creating an awesome infographic are:
• Content – it needs to be communicated in very short sentences.
• Multi-colored – use more than one or two colors.
• Busy – is good! The more busy an infographic is, as compared to minimal, the more people like and respond to it.
• Relevance – make sure to share information and statistics that are relevant to your audience.
There are several places online that can help you create an infographic – one free option is Picktochart.
10. News & Press
Sharing new happenings can very easily be great blog post content. News that relates to your business or industry makes for great content. If you have prepared a press release or can share press releases of partners or vendors, you can absolutely use it as blog content.
If your business has been featured in a magazine article or newspaper share it! If you’ve been mentioned somewhere online, share it!
News can be as simple as announcing new employees, new brands you are carrying, a new location or even a redesign of office space.
If you generally share more personal information, then sharing things like a new family member or new pet can be great content to share with your audience.
Anytime you are mentioned or anytime a change occurs in your business, take a minute to share it on your blog, it’s a fast and easy way to keep your blog updated.
There are lots of things you can share…
We’ve covered 10 different ways to use your blog to share content. There’s no need to simply use just one method.
You might want to share videos and photos or maybe you want to share news and announcements.
You can use all 10 strategies if you feel like taking on a challenge or stick with what makes sense for you.
The point is that blogs don’t simply have to be written content. Get creative and your visitors will reward you with increased traffic.
Let us know what other ways you’ve used your blog in the comments!