Business Blogging From Scratch

Shout about your Blog!After spending a lot of time and money on a new website the last thing you want is for it to sit there not working for you. The only people who are likely to see it are the friends, family, suppliers and customers that you send a link to but all those people know you exist already. You want your website to reach a larger audience.

After an extensive search, my sister and I eventually found a company to take on the project of designing the website for our family business, AR Engineering Industries (a process which will be the subject of a later post on this Blog). Three months after we found them (SEA Ltd, an extremely helpful company) we thought, “Our site looks brilliant…but who is going to look at it?” Search engine optimisation is a time consuming business if you wish to attempt it yourself and an expensive business if you get somebody else to do it. However, if you are willing to dedicate an hour or so a week to it, keeping a Blog it is a highly effective, free way of generating traffic to your site.

The more links there are to your website the better. Search engines like to see other people linking to you particularly from sites that are reputable or highly regarded in their field. However in the absence of links from recognised sources why not create your own? Writing a Blog is a good way of doing this. It enables you to write about your own business or industry in a way that may be interesting to others who may then click though to your site.

There are a few key points to consider when writing a Blog:

1. Be Interesting
I found a very useful article on the Blog for web marketing company Hubspot.com (6 Eye-Catching Content Ideas For Your Business Blog) that I found very encouraging as it confirmed a lot of what I already thought. They say that,

”the success of a Blog article also depends on how you tell your stories, or methods of narration.”

This is very true, you may be an expert in your field but who wants to trawl through boring facts and figure displayed in an even more boring way. It has to be interesting as well as informative.

2. Be Helpful
A large number of people searching the web are in need of some kind of help. If you can write a ‘how to’ guide, or offer advice about problems you have encountered in your industry you are more likely to be found and the people who find you are more likely to share your Blog with others.

3. Keep it Short.

According to useit.com, Jakob Nielsen’s Website,

“On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”

So according to that figure you may not get as far as reading this line. Remember, the idea is to get people to visit your site so get the main points in the Blog article then refer them to your site for further reading, maybe a downloadable document? Even better, offer personal help. Which leads me to…

4. Keep it personal.

People like to think that another human being has written what they are reading, often it will help a person to connect to a subject as you are writing about a problem that they are also experiencing. Read what comments people post. If they don’t agree with what you say, politely find out why. Maybe they can help you? What about inviting people to contact you for further help and advice?

5. Promote your Blog.

You should actively try to get your Blog seen by as many peoples as possible. You can register with Blog directories, offer links in comments sections on related Blog postings (only try to do this if you feel you can further somebody’s experience, nobody likes to be hijacked!). If you want some more in-depth advice on the subject read ‘Branding 101: How To Promote Your Blog Like the Big Guys Do’ by Leo Babauta on http://www.writetodone.com. This is a fairly comprehensive guide that deals with everything from content and structure to targeting particular audiences and sending out a consistent message.

6. Be Committed

Of course, do not expect to publish one post on your Blog and suddenly see the hits on your website go through the roof. Like all aspects of creating web traffic it is all about showing up. You have to be committed. I am under no illusions that this, my first post on the AR Blog will make a massive difference to the amount of people that see our site but we all have to start somewhere.

The more attention you pay to all these things the more likely you are to be found, and in turn send people to your own website. The goal is, of course, to increase your business’ profits by getting them to engage with you and then buy from you but along the way you may be able to help other people. By being a reliable helpful source of information you build respect, which is something that no amount of profit can buy.

I am not an expert on this subject, I just happen to have picked up some useful tips while trying to help my own small business. I have been lucky enough to meet many people on the way that have helped me so I would like to pass it on. If you feel like I can be of any more help to you please contact me at Daniel@ARengineeringIndustries.com and I will get back to you.

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