Entrepreneurs are creative thinkers. (Yes, that’s a compliment!) That means when you started, bought or otherwise began running your small business, you went into it with a different perspective from the typical nine-to-fiver. Hopefully, this creativity is leading to new ideas. You could probably spend all day dreaming up new slogans, new products and services, new signage or new ways to market your business. How do you share those ideas? Do you bounce them off friends and family? Share them with colleagues? Jot them down on your “one day, maybe” to-do list?
One of the best ways to share your ideas, establish your business as a thought leader in your market and drive traffic to your website is a blog. That’s right – blogging isn’t just for writers with extra time on their hands or millennials who want to make a fortune endorsing cosmetic companies online. Local business owners like you are blogging up a storm, and it’s helping them gain an extra edge with customers in your area.
Here are 3 of our favorite small business blogs (though some have grown so successful they’re big businesses now).
Birchbox is a monthly beauty product subscription service. Though they started small, business is booming for this creative company which sends expertly crafted monthly boxes of beauty products to its subscribers.
What we love about their small business blog:
- They don’t even call it a blog. They call it a “magazine,” which we think is pure genius. It creates an added sense of value and online “thickness,” so to speak, for their content.
- Their topics are all over the place…in a good way. They cover topics you’d expect, like beauty tips and tricks. But they also cover topics their core audience might simply find interesting, like women’s issues. They give tips for women in the workplace and inform their readers about women’s issues around the world.
North Carolina personal trainer Julie Fagan manages a blog called Peanut Butter Fingers that covers topics such as fashion, family and of course, fitness. Julie’s blog is a great example of how integrating your personal life into your work and being public and upfront about what you love can support your business.
What we love about her small business blog:
- She’s all about sharing. She integrated sharing opportunities all over the place – with options to pin every pic to Pinterest and options to share every post to social.
- She’s not afraid to get personal. Julie opens up about all aspects of her life, not just fitness. She includes pictures of herself and her family and friends, and they make her seem relatable and trustworthy. Way to go, Julie!
Yale Appliance is a family-owned and -operated small business in Boston that touts beautiful showrooms of lighting and appliances and engaging salespeople. But their people aren’t the only thing engaging about this business. Their blog has a lot to brag about too. In fact, their entire website is jam-packed with cooler-than-cool content marketing best practices. But, we’ll focus on the blog for now.
What we love about their small business blog:
- They’re not afraid of frequency. They post in-depth, high quality content at least daily. How do they do it? They have more than one contributor to the blog. So, if blogging on the reg seems like a big commitment, put your team’s expertise to use. You don’t have to be a novelist to write good content, as long as you know what you’re talking about!
- It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. This company is willing to admit that buying their core products can often be a frustrating and confusing undertaking for customers. They address this head-on, providing tips and tricks to get around some of the more common appliance-buying frustrations, like choosing a brand and installation.
Pretty cool huh? We think so. And it’s time for you to get on the blogging bandwagon.
For the purpose of this post, it doesn’t make too much of a difference where you start. You can build a blog into your website through most website platforms (like WordPress), or you can get a blog plugin for your current site. Many choose to start writing posts via their social media to see what resonates most with their target audience. The important part is to start somewhere.
Write about what you know. If you own a landscaping business, write about seasonal landscaping tips. Vent about the rising price of soil. Answer customers’ questions about the best weed-squashing products. Make sense?
Building a collection of content via your small business blog that will resonate with your customers is how you establish trust – not only with them, but with online search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
And blogging is only a small piece of the bigger online pie. Hungry to learn more? Let’s chat today.