Blogging in the 21st Century
The most important commodity for any business using the web is content. Content will always rein king over the Internet for one simple reason. Content is information and the internet is just that, a river of information.
So how can small businesses add more and more content online without spending wads of cash? A blog, which is a crucial component of a strategy we call Content Marketing.
The blog is the easiest way to add page after page of content to any site. It opens a path to new visitors, it creates a conversation with anyone who is interested in what you are talking about and it makes you look like an expert in your field.
So why doesn’t every small business do it?
Time, no small business owner ever has enough of it. People look at it and think to themselves, “Who cares about what I think?” and the thing is most people don’t. But if you’re trying to write about something that is going to interest seven billion (with a B) people you might as well be chasing a unicorn in the land of milk and honey.
There are three things, and I will go deeper in each one over the few couple of weeks, that you have to decide when you’re entering the blogosphere:
- What do I write about?
- Who am I writing to?
- How often should I write?
What do I write about?
This is probably the most intimidating part of writing, coming up with your initial idea. It's very much like trying to pick a movie on Netflix, there are too many options, none that immediately click, and before you know it you've spent more time looking for a movie than you would watching it. This is where most people stumble and give up, they end up telling me that they have nothing to write about, even though their brain are full of expertise ready to help the world.
The most important thing you have to do is offer value to people who need your product or service. Don’t try to sell them anything on your blog, just give them information that they can use. That is how you’ll find your chunk of that 7 billion that cares about what you write. My first suggestion is to go through their FAQs. You want to find out what useful to your clients? think about what they regularly ask you in person.
When you go to most FAQ pages they usually have one or two sentences to give a quick answer. However, you can delve deeper and connect ideas in a blog that you can't in your FAQ page.
What if I don't have an FAQ page. That's easy, start building one. While it's not a blog entry, it is new, valuable content that both your visitors and Google will love.
How do I pick which question to write about?
We come to the Netflix problem again. Now you have a bunch of choices and where do you start. Most people might tell you to start with the most commonly asked one, however I think that just gets people something else they have to organize and will only make you take longer to decide and force you to pause. I say pick one at random, put them in a hat and pull one out. or give them each a number and use a random number generator. It's not as important where you start, but THAT you start. give yourself one less thing to decide.