The idea of writing and maintaining a business blog makes many small business owners break out in a cold sweat.
Their concerns focus on frequency and will they see a return for their efforts if they write blog posts for their website.
Writing a business blog adds to their stress levels Because the reality is, it consumes precious time, effort and focus. Should they make this investment, and is it a good return for that investment?
Time is a very precious commodity and shouldn’t be wasted on marketing processes that don’t work.
Initially we, the small business owners of the world, twinkle with excitement and enthusiasm, eager to produce our first article or blog post.
Why wouldn’t we? Millions of potential customers are desperate to read our unique blend of wit and insights; they just don’t know it yet. Neither were they aware that they needed our products or services just as much.
The rosy glow fades as our website traffic doesn’t increase 1000% in two days. Sales don’t “crash the internet”. We aren’t overwhelmed with comments, feedback or queries. We do not go ‘viral’.
Our motivation dwindles. The thought of writing another article, which only a handful of people will read, withers our inspiration. Our perseverance runs smack bang into writer’s block.
But what if that handful of people all turn into customers?
What if 50% of your subscribers open your emails and click the Call to Action button? How successful would you feel if you compared that 50% to an industry average of 15% open rate and a 2% click rate? What if your unsubscribe rate is nominal?
As business owners we’re told we need to produce more content. We need to be across all social media because that’s how we connect with our audiences. Viewers, users and followers require “real” online conversations with you.
And many times it’s just us, the solo-entrepreneur. We have to write the blog, source the images, format it, release it on all the social media platforms, engage with readers, respond to comments, all while running and working in our businesses. There isn’t a marketing team in the next room – we’re it.
Producing content for your website can be exhausting, however, there are ways to reduce the time taken and increase the benefits of writing blog posts for your business.
Be strategic. At a minimum you need to know:
- How often is too often to release blog posts?
- When are you not producing enough content?
- Do your subscribers respond to long or short form?
- What content generates the greatest response?
The best way to discover the answers to these questions is by analysing and truly understanding your readers and viewers engagement and conversion.
Don’t throw darts in the dark. Turn the light on and assess the information that is available to you.
The key is to compile data from various sources, such as Mailchimp and Google Analytics. Take this information and apply business and industry knowledge. Don’t take it at face value and file it away. Interpret it and apply detached judgement, before taking action.
These are the factors you need to consider when releasing blog posts:
- The Format – Are you writing long or short form? As a service provider, my content is normally long form as I share practical information, hands on research and knowledge. When you are selling products e.g. an online clothing store, you may find a blend of short and long form works to showcase a new fashion trend or sale item, while also connecting with your audience.
- The Industry – The services or products you offer dictate your target audience. Their behaviours and needs then dictate the content you should be releasing and when.
- The Research – Track your subscriber email opens, clicks and unsubscribes (read more about that here). Monitor and understand your website traffic flow e.g. the length of time people stay on your blog post before clicking away.
- The Client – Talk to your clients and your target audience. Ask them what they like and don’t like, what format and platforms they frequently use.
Business owners regularly ask me, “How frequently should I release blog posts on my website?”
My simple response is this: there is no quick fix formula that will work out the frequency for you.
Even when you complete your content research, website traffic reviews and testing, you still need to schedule and repeat these actions. Trends, your business products/services and client behaviours/preferences change regularly and very often without you being aware of the evolution.
All of these factors will impact the frequency of your blog posts.
Completing the above habitually will help your business grow and adjust faster. You’ll be able to respond faster and take advantage of the insights.
If the idea of analysing your blog posts and website traffic is one task too many, though I guarantee it will save you time and effort in the long term, please reach out. I’m here to help and can undertake a website audit for you.
Rebecca Collett, Owner of Snowed Under Solutions
If you like it, please share it