Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
95.9% of bloggers promote their blog posts via social media.
57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging.

Why blog?

Once upon a time, blogging seemed to me, to be something you might do as a pastime, or a creative outlet and little more. It might be a way to share information, write about a topic you are passionate about or vent your frustrations at the world.

I believe it still is all of those things, but once upon a time, I also never realised the marketing power of a blog.

If you are a small business or an independent trader, you need people to know about you. Traffic to your website is the key to getting business through your door. But how do people find you? Why would a search engine even know you are alive? Consistent posting of blogs means search engines like Google know you exist. It lets them know you have something to say and each indexed page on your website is another chance that someone might find you. But consistency is vital. A lull in blogging means that your website has sloped off for a snooze. Keep your blogging regular and relevant.

What should you write about?

I recently shared a blog about the increase in independent shops and restaurants in our town of Urmston. “Manchester Indie scene is back” 

I then posted this on my social media accounts. On Facebook, it had an organic ( unpaid for) reach of over 2000 people. People had heard about me, simply because I wrote about something that interested them. I won’t deny a personal interest in this. I am a fledgling website design business and my target market is small businesses and independent traders. I wanted them to know about me, but I also wanted to write something that was interesting and relevant to them. It is important to blog about topics that provide information, answer customers questions, but are also, vitally I believe,  interesting and entertaining.

There are arguments that you should choose a topic and stick only to that. I can see the reason for this point of view. You don’t want to create a random selection of musings about whatever bizarre thought has just drifted through your head. However, I do think it’s important to come across as human, as well as relevant and informative. Your customers want to know who you are. I believe content that is informative, but interesting and dare I say, even entertaining and sometimes funny is most successful. You don’t want to get halfway through and article and switch off. You don’t want to feel that you are being talked at. A slight deviation from your main theme is totally permissible, if you can find a nice way to bring things back to your main selling points. Consider what your customer wants to know. Think about their Frequently Asked Questions and then answer them in your blog. Now you are no longer just a brochure of products, you are an expert in your field.

Personality! – Let people know who you are?

The phrase “people buy from people”, is one I have heard many times and I decided to google it. Does this phrase really apply?  The suggestions which popped up were mixed to say the least. Some articles wholeheartedly agreed and others disputed it as nonsense. Why would people be buying from Amazon if this was the case?

I can see this argument if you are a widely renowned business, but if you are; like me, a small business, or freelance, why should someone choose you?

I would say, having also run my own primary and toddler language business, Lingotot Swinton and Worsley, for three years, is that people buy from people they believe in, trust and like. This takes time, but you have a better chance of selling your individual brand and sharing your knowledge if people can get to know you through your blogs.  I think blogs are phenomenal channels to invite your customers to get to know you. Share your personality, your interests, your knowledge and let people know that you do indeed know what you’re talking about.

So how might customers find your blog in the first place?

There is no point writing a blinder of a blog, full of wit, knowledge and repartee if no-one ever comes across it and it sits quietly on your web-site gathering virtual dust. The answer to sharing your brilliant insights is social media and lots of it!

I was once full of disdain for social media. “Why don’t people just converse!” , I would cry condescendingly. This was before children and before owning my own business and becoming a freelancer.

I do still believe that there are horrors awaiting the unsuspecting Facebook-er. Being a mum of two, I found that the “Competitive / “judgey” mum groups” could be a particular danger for the stressed out new mum. That’s another blog entirely! We all know that here is still much to be wary of in the social media minefield.

It’s not all bad!

Despite it’s obvious negative side, social media is a wealth of valuable information too. Where could I take my baby for a meal, without risking embarrassment at their first public melt down? Which shops, parks or cafes are offering half term events. Where can I buy a cute Father’s day gift locally? Where can I find an approachable, affordable, knowledgeable person to write me a blog or design me a website! (Ahem!) This is where social media comes into it’s own.

As a business owner, I have flyers, I have posters and even business cards, but social media has been my main channel of marketing. So get your blog out there. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin. Share it widely because as we all know ” sharing is caring”.

Contact me for a website design, redesign, or blog. Let’s get your name out there.