- Find out what your visitors want to read. This can take the form of logical guesses – what do your customers ask about the most? What parts of your job are the most interesting? Or, you can directly ask customers what they would like to know about your business. Keep a little notebook or a place on your smartphone where you can jot down ideas.
- Don’t worry about being a great writer. You don’t need perfect prose and flowery words to make an impact. Don’t get held up by the need to write something fantastic immediately – instead, just write what you are thinking and then revise later. Or, better yet, have a friend or employee revise to make sure you have another set of eyes reviewing.
- Keep it simple. Don’t use a big word when a more common one will do. When possible, keep your writing at a 7th-8th grade reading level for the general public (there are online tools you can search for and use to analyze the grade level of a chunk of text). But use common sense – if you’re writing for non-native English speakers, you might wish to write even more simply. If you are writing for an audience of college graduates or on a particularly technical topic, you can be more complex.
- Pick a style and stick to it. Do you want to address your reader as “you?” Do you want to write in the first person (as in, “I recommend you do this”)? Do you want to speak like you’re talking to a friend or like you’re making a business cold call? (Hint: Being friendly without crossing a line into crude or highly personal is a great place to start.) Varied styles (friendly in one; formal in the next) don’t read as well. Find your voice and keep it consistent.
- Integrate keywords. This is usually pretty easy. If you’re writing a blog for your small business website, you will naturally cover topics relevant to your readers. But it doesn’t hurt to give a little thought to what your visitors might search for to find out more about your topic. Use different words and phrases to describe the same thing. Don’t, however, repeat your keyword or phrase over and over – a good rule of thumb is to use the same phrase no more than three times in a post.
- Write regularly. If you get in the habit, you’ll find it easier to write. You’ll also be used to coming up with ideas and getting them down in words.
- Post regularly. It doesn’t do much good to write posts if you don’t publish them. Unfortunately, some small business owners who write their own blogs will come up with a first draft, then hesitate to make it public without more thinking and rewriting. Once you make sure you don’t have major spelling or grammatical errors, you can publish – it’s always possible to edit and revise a post. In addition, it’s good to have a fairly regular schedule so people know when to expect new content.
- Be patient. It takes time for a blog to get popular, and many never do. You want your blog posts to show website vistors that you have a high level of expertise. You also want the increased posts on your site to work to attract potential visitors who may be searching for you. Tons of traffic is always nice, as are lots of blog comments, but you can achieve your business goals without a regular readership.
Blogging for business is one of the best ways to build up content on your website, which leads to more search engine traffic. Get in the habit of doing it regularly to improve your site and get more leads.