traceysinclairconsulting

Writing, editing and legal directories advice

Blogging for business – what to write about

Choose the right format – is blogging right for you? There are many reasons why blogging can be great for your business. It can attract traffic to your website (Google loves regularly updated content); it can help establish you as a thought leader in your field; it can help build relationships with your customers or clients. But it isn’t right for everyone. There are a lot of social media platforms out there, and before you start it’s worth taking some time to gauge which is the right one for you.  If you’re a law firm keen to promote your expertise, blogging is ideal – but if you’re a restaurant trying to build a community, or a crafter trying to sell your products, you may be better off just creating a Facebook page, or setting up a Pinterest account. * Consider your ideal market (and where you’re likely to find them), your content, and the amount of resource you have available, and decide accordingly.

Identify a problem, offer a solution: many people think that a blog should just be a sales pitch – but that’s not what will bring people to your site. The best blogs offer their readers something, and this is often in terms of solving their problems. This can range from the significant to the trivial: a legal blog, for instance, will be focused on issues that can have major repercussions – what does this law mean for me? How do I comply with it, and what happens if I don’t? But not all ‘problems’ are life changing – that doesn’t mean we don’t want an answer. For instance, if you run a furniture business, you might be answering questions such as: what’s the most environmentally friendly material I can use in my house? How do I make more storage in a small space? What are the most hardwearing products for a child’s room? Think about what your potential customers and clients might ask, and set about answering it.

Adding personality: the amount of personal information you include in a blog will, of course, depend entirely on the type of product or service you are offering, and the ‘brand’ you are creating. But in general, readers won’t care about you or your company, so it’s best to limit this kind of information. Some personal content can help humanise your brand, though – so the occasional post about, say, a charity event, can be interesting and add colour. Personal content can also help certain types of business connect with their peers – for example, if you run a small, local business, a blog about your experiences networking and tips about local groups could be interesting and useful. You don’t want to be giving away trade secrets, but don’t be stingy with your knowledge – sharing information can be a great way of building a profile.

Visuals: some blogs can be text focused (eg law blogs) but most will require images of some sort. While you don’t have to use a professional photographer, remember the quality of images will reflect on you, so you can’t just stick up blurry photos taken with your phone! Also, be wary of using images taken from the internet – some may be usable through a creative commons licence (but must be properly credited), but you must be careful not to use anything subject to copyright.

Keep at it! Few things look worse than starting a blog, doing a couple of posts and then neglecting it – what kind of message does that send to potential clients and customers? So only start a blog if you really think you can keep it going, or if you can afford to pay someone to blog for you. (Many writers, me included, offer this service: you can check sites such as freelancer.com for writers with web experience, or do a search under ‘blogging’ on networking sites like LinkedIn).

*It’s worth noting that, while it is a phenomenally popular platform, there is some controversy over the terms and conditions of Pinterest. Do make sure it’s right for you before you sign up.

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One response to “Blogging for business – what to write about

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