How to Start a Business Blog
Here’s part two of the Kicksmith Blogging Mini-Series. If you missed part one then head over to Why Blogging is Good for Your Business and read up on the wonders of blogging.
This blog post is for the peeps who already have a blog set up, have been using it for news and want to turbocharge their blog and I'm going to teach you the value of picking a niche, focusing on your strengths and using your blogging voice.
So, are you on board with the idea of blogging being great for your business? Then let's start a business blog!
1. BUSINESS BLOGGING THEORY
The theory behind business blogging is this... A business blog has two sections -
News Blog - A news section for your milestones, announcements and interesting things.
Resources Blog - A repository of awesome and useful information for your customers.
And the best way to turbocharge your blog is to use both strategies. The ratio 70/30 is best. Be useful and valuable 70% of the time and 30% of your posts are about your business. It's as simple as that.
If you want to know the reason behind this ratio, there’s a great book by Gary Vaynerchuk called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
2. YOUR BUSINESS BLOG NICHE
I'm gonna say something obvious, forgive me! Write about the industry you’re in. This is your niche and you should stick to it. It's sometimes tempting to write about other 'stuff' because other people are blogging about it. However, keeping your blogging focused and in your niche will gain the trust of your readers. It will encourage them to come back because you're always blogging about things they expect.
3. YOUR STRENGTHS
Let’s start with a couple of real world examples - a hair salon and a photographer.
How the hell do you blog about hairdressing? "It’s such a huge industry and there are a million and one blogs about hair and fashion!"
Think about you and what you love.
What do you naturally find yourself gravitating towards? It could be shortcuts for women, pastel hair colours, glamour on a budget, everyday styling for business women. And for a photographer, it could be retro-styled weddings, black and white portraits, UK street fashion, photography on a budget.
Choosing one area is probably the best thing you can do when you have a blog.
If you can't choose then the best way to niche is to write a list of your strengths, read the list items one by one and the one that makes you smile, is the one.
One of the things I’ve found in blogging is that you start with a big industry, start blogging, you end up gravitating towards one part of the industry then add your own spice to it. Many, many fashion bloggers started with their love of fashion and niched it down until they were the experts in their field.
It feels like you could be niching down too much but trust me, having a plan and a niche to start with show your authority so much better than a general blog. You will get dedicated readers and it will establish you as THE place to go for information and how-tos in your niche.
4. YOUR BLOGGING STYLE
The only way to find your voice is to use it.
Get it right, get it wrong (not too wrong) and just write.
This is where you can add your personality and your business personality. If your business was to speak, how would it sound? Would it be funny, authoritative, posh/luxury, friendly, bonkers? List three or four words that resonate with who your business is. This takes practice so don't be afraid to write in a style that feels little weird at first. Write first then edit later.
I find that writing blog posts on my website, setting them to draft then reading them on my site makes me write better. It's like you're surrounding yourself in the personality of your blog when you write.
And finally, enjoy it.
Business blogging is a great way to show off your expert status, connect with your audience and have a bit of fun. Sometimes the words don't want to flow and no one seems to be taking any notice but persevere. Getting your first comment is a great feeling!
So now it's over to you. What is your niche, strength and business blog personality? Let me know in the comments below.
Here's mine... Kicksmith - Web Design and Blogging Tips for the Hair, Beauty and Fashion Industry - Fun, authoritative, caring and friendly.