The Beginner's Guide to Local Business Blogging

Nowadays, the average consumer looks online to find information they need. This means that if you’re looking to grow your business, you need to make sure it is found online. Blogging is one of the best ways to draw visitors to your website, and drive interest in your business. 

Adding new content to your website is an important factor in SEO success. Blogging is a great way to add content and should provide information to the potential customers checking out your website. It should show that you and your team are experts and thought leaders in the services you offer. 

Unfortunately, the problem that most small business owners encounter is the fact they are not bloggers, let alone writers. If you’re new to the concept of blogging, we’ve put together a quick guide to get you on the right track. In this blog post you’ll learn:

  1. What to include in every blog post
  2. Blog formats that will keep your content varied and engaging
  3. How to share your blog post in order to generate new and returning business
  4. ...and more!

5 Things That You Should Include in Every Blog Post

Before you start to write your first blog post, it is important to know the elements that every blog you post should include. We’ve listed these top five elements below:

  1. Title: Every blog should have a title that is creative and catchy, but also tells the reader what the blog is about.
  2. Introduction: It is important to grab the reader’s attention in the introduction paragraph. If you lose the reader in the first few sentences, they will leave your website and sometimes it is unlikely that they will return. For this reason, you should make sure that the intro is entertaining and also explains how the rest of the blog will be beneficial for the reader.
  3. Organized content: After the introduction paragraph, you will write the actual blog content. To ensure ease of reading, break up information into sections that are separated by section headlines. (Hint: If you create an outline before you actually start writing you will already have these sections created!)
  4. Links: If you use research in your blog, make sure to include links back to the website where you found the information. Adding links are an easy way to build credibility for your blog.
  5. Image: Did you know that articles with images get 94% more views than those without? Make sure that you include at least one image at the top of your blog post so that it is aesthetically pleasing for the reader. If appropriate, you can also embed photos throughout the article. This also makes it easier for readers to share your blog online with the included photo, which should be a goal of your website.

5 Blog Post Formats to Shape Your Blogs

It is important to keep your audience interested by providing fresh content in varying formats. While blogging may sound overwhelming, there are many different types of blog post formats to use that will help you write unique, informational or entertaining content. Take time to think about what types of blogs match best with your business’s philosophy and skillset. Below are several suggestions for formats of posts to keep your blog fresh:

1. How-To’s / Tutorials

How-to guides are a great way to show customers a step-by-step process relating to your service. After all, you’re the expert and your goal is to help the potential customer solve a problem. If it’s important to your customers and it’s something they want to learn about, show them how to do it. By doing this, your business is providing an extra value to the customer.

For example, if you run an auto repair shop, you can help your customers extend the life of their engine by showing them how to properly check their oil. Then when it is time for them to get an oil change, they will remember you. Customers will appreciate that you are showing value right off the bat. If you are having a hard time deciding what topic to start on, think about the basic problems that your ideal customer is encountering. Below are a couple examples from other industries to consider: 

  • Personal Injury Law Firm: How to Choose an Attorney When You’ve Been Injured in a Car Wreck
  • Dental Practice: How to Decide if Dental Implants are Right For You

Empower your customers with a library of tutorials, and they will thank you by coming to your business first when they have a need.

2. Checklists

Preparation is key to making your potential customer feel confident in choosing you. By creating a checklist you can give them a heads up for what to be aware of so they are prepared for the process that your service entails. A checklist leaves your customer with a takeaway and keeps them aware and focused for what’s to come in a simple, useful and convenient manner.

3. Video: Instructional or Introductory

Videos are an engaging way to connect with customers while providing rich content for Google to better rank your site. Videos can be used as instructional or introductory tools. Show how your business works, introduce your business to the world or produce a how-to video. 

While creating a beautiful video does take some practice, you may be surprised by some of your employees’ talents. Ask your employees if any of them feel comfortable in front of the camera, or see if any of them have had prior experience creating videos. Couple this with the fact that there are many video editing softwares and apps that are available for download, it should be easier than ever to introduce your business to your city.

A video is a win-win-win. It provides value to customers, drives traffic to your website and promotes your brand. Why not give it a shot?

4. Customer Interview

Your business knows the importance of word-of-mouth. People talk about the great work that you do; that alone most likely created your business’s foundation. Not long ago, word-of-mouth could only be found at a lunch meeting or work, but now it can now be readily found online on third-party review websites such as Yelp and Facebook.

Here’s a secret: you can help to generate what is still seen as traditional word-of-mouth, online. By interviewing loyal, charismatic customers, you can showcase to potential customers how your customers feel after an unbeatable experience at your business. People want reasons to connect with you. By giving them a face or story they can relate to, customers can’t help but to give your business a call.

5. Personal Spotlight

A blog provides a personal voice to your brand and business. How many times have you talked to someone on the phone and when you’ve met him or her you say, “It’s good to finally put a face to the voice.” In the same way, a blog provides a personal voice to your business. Highlight the people that are the heart and soul of your business – your employees. A customer wants to trust the people they are working with. Provide customers every reasonable opportunity to trust your business by showcasing the best staff around.

By implementing these different formats in your blogging strategy, you will be able to create a blog that people will engage with and want to come back and visit. Trust us, by adding new content to your website, new customers will hear about your business and you will start to grow.

How to Share Your Blog Post

Once you have published an entertaining and informative blog, don’t stop here! It is important to make your blog easily accessible to your readers. People look for information on many different sources so you want to make sure that your blog is available no matter where they are looking.

For example, post a teaser to your blog on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Does your business send out an e-newsletter? Make sure to include a link to your latest blog in the email.

If you think about where your customers are consuming content you will be able to focus on those outlets and increase the amount of clicks to your website.

Conclusion

While blogging does take time and strategy to create, when done correctly, it will result in a great ROI in the long-run. By following these steps your business should be able to create engaging content that your potential and existing customers will love. 

If you don’t feel that your business has the time or bandwidth to write blogs, there are also many freelancer websites such as Fiverr and CrowdContent that can connect you with a writer to create the content that you need. 

Blogging takes consistency and should be a part of your marketing and SEO strategy. While your readers won’t expect a blog every day, it is important to create a regular posting schedule - we recommend monthly or bi-monthly at a minimum.

If you have any questions about blogging or how to get the most out of your digital marketing, the team at RocketLevel is always here to help. Call (866) 380-7128 or email info@rocketlevel.com to get in touch with one of our digital marketing experts today!

 


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