Jumpstart Your Business Blog

3 easy tips to get your blog rolling today!
by : 

Megy Karydes

January 5, 2015
Marketing Mondays - Blogging

Blogging for your business is a great way to let your customers learn more about you, create dialogue with them, share your knowledge, establish yourself as an expert, and increase your SEO ranking. So why aren’t more business owners blogging, especially when free and easy-to-use programs such as WordPress and Blogger exist? Because it takes time to come up with great content for a blog. But, you don’t need to dread posting because you feel you don’t have anything to say and you can minimize your blogging time investment … if you plan ahead.

Tap into the power of blogging to maximize your business exposure and sales with these easy tips:

1. Develop an editorial calendar.

If you’re not familiar with this term, it’s what editors use to craft a calendar of what they’re going to cover over a period of time. For example, a monthly magazine’s editorial calendar will include the features (stories) they will cover in a future issue, which determines the types of articles that will be in in the magazine. Also, if the editor hires freelance writers, she will seek out stories and writers relevant to the editorial calendar.

By creating an editorial calendar for your blog, you’re essentially holding yourself accountable for writing about certain themes or topics around a period of time. This helps maximize your time because it focuses your attention to the topic at hand (as opposed to waiting for inspiration to smack you in the face), and if you find articles or topics that relate to your editorial calendar, you can file them away for when the time comes and, viola, relevant content at the ready!

2. Write several posts in one sitting.

Aside from what to write, the other issue I hear from many retailers and wholesalers is that it takes TIME to write. This is true. However, you can minimize the time you spend writing by sitting down and knocking out several posts at once. For example, every Monday I will write about a Marketing Tip to share with you. My editorial calendar for Mondays says “Marketing Monday Tip” so I know what I’ll be writing. But, rather than sit at my computer every Monday morning and write just one tip, I sit down at the beginning of the MONTH and write the next FOUR posts in one sitting. It takes about an hour and then I’m done for the month. If I were to do it every Monday, it would probably take me twice the time because I’d have to log into the site, draft my post, find an accompanying photo, and publish it. By concentrating on the task at hand, I essentially buy myself an hour.

If you feel it might be hard to write a post (keep in mind, no one says your post needs to be a novel—it can be a paragraph or two), don’t sweat it. Photos are often even stronger than copy, provided you write a nice SEO-friendly caption. A photographer friend of mine used to post a photo every Wednesday as part of her “Wordless Wednesdays” series. She made sure to include the location of the photo, so those looking for information about a particular place could find her. Just be sure you have rights to use that photo, either by shooting the photo yourself or making it clear in the photo caption who provided the photo. For example, the last line of the caption should read: “Photo by {YOUR NAME}” or “Photo courtesy of {COMPANY NAME or PERSON who gave you permission to use the photo}.”

3. Invite guest bloggers to write for you.

While you’re trying to establish your blog’s voice and assert yourself as the expert, you also can invite others to write a guest blog post for you. When deciding who will contribute to your blog, consider what they will bring to the table. Is their information appropriate for your blog and business? Will she offer valuable and informative information?

By inviting others to write guest posts, you not only provide relevant and different content to your readers, you encourage more traffic to your blog since it’s likely the guest blogger will share the post with her audience, too.

Who might make for good guest bloggers? Customers and/or people who provide you with goods or services, whether it’s someone who provides you with raw materials (e.g., a supplier if you’re a wholesaler) or artists who create items for you to sell in your shop.

Ready, set, blog!

Blogging is a very easy and low-cost way to help connect your business with your customers. Take advantage of the new year by creating an annual editorial calendar to help you get off on the right foot!

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.