When you’re writing a blog for your small business it’s not simply about getting something out there – you need to make it interesting for real people (not just Google!). And the more you blog, the more you develop your own individual style – which is great.
Just be vigilant. You don’t want your blog to turn into one of these:
The “Buy my stuff” Blog
Often found with ecommerce stores, this blog is just a catalogue of product details. It’s a constant sales pitch with little additional information or insight.
Of course you want to showcase your products, but do it in a way which adds value for your readers. For example, if you sell jewellery, put together a mood board which shows how a particular piece would work with this season’s fashion.
The “Aren’t my kids awesome” Blog
Blogging started out as a kind of public diary – people sharing their thoughts and daily lives. But blogging for business is different. Your potential customers don’t want to read about all your family trivia. A diary style blog can still be very effective, particularly for small businesses, but it’s about sharing insights and experiences which your target readers can relate to. It’s OK to write some personal pieces from time to time, but work them around themes which are relevant to your business.
The “Lots of lovely pictures” Blog
Photographers are often guilty of this one: the blog post which contains dozens of lovely images but no text. Apart from taking forever to load, it soon becomes boring. Add some words. Let us know the story behind the pictures. Using images and text works so much better than either on their own. Think about including some posts done in video and audio too.
The “Rant-a-lot” Blog
Now the occasional opinionated post can be very effective. But constant negativity is a big turn-off. Make sure your blog doesn’t turn into the place where you offload your frustrations with your industry, competitors or, even worse, your clients.
The “Same as everyone else” Blog
I’ve lost count of the number of “Why you should use a virtual assistant” articles I’ve seen on VA’s blogs. Of course, there will be some things which will be similar across the same industry, but try to find an original angle. Your blog is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition, so use it well.
The “It might as well be Twitter” Blog
Only a very few people can get away with short blog posts. Seth Godin is one – you probably aren’t another. There is no 140 character limit. Put some effort into your posts and write something worthwhile that gives value to your readers.
The “We’ve run out of things to say” Blog
These start in a rush of enthusiasm with daily posts for a couple of weeks, followed by deadly silence for months. If you aren’t updating your blog, you either need to get back to it now or remove it – otherwise it looks like you’ve gone out of business.
Remember, you can use any of these styles (except no 7) in the occasional individual blog post. Just mix it up so that your blog as a whole remains interesting, useful and (most importantly) shareable.