“Blog” often seems like a dirty four-letter word.
Sometimes I host a writer’s group for small business owners. They often say they need more content to market their businesses. Yet, I’m usually the only one who shows up.
I have both a personal and professional reason for liking blog writing: it works
Sometimes I write or edit user and administrator guides. I suspect few people read them, though. All you have to do is ask, “Did you read the manual?” Usually the answer is “no.”
My clients (and analytics), however, tell me that their customers read blog articles. They often say, “I didn’t know that. I’m glad you wrote that article.”
You don’t get instant gratification with blog writing, though. The ROI takes time. That’s why blog writing is a tough sell for small business owners.
How to stick with blog writing so your small business thrives
My philosophy on how to stick with blog writing keeps changing. I often talk about making it fun, brainstorming for new ideas, setting up time blocks, and so on. These are all good strategies to follow.
For this article, however, I’m going to talk about three different strategies: manage the conversation, use a formula, and follow the bare minimum rule.
Manage the conversation
Usually, I tell people to list 10 to 20 questions that customers tend to ask about your business, products, and services.
However, a web developer told me they aren’t asking the questions she feels they should ask. In that case, you use your blog to manage the conversation.
If you have problems coming up with a complete list of questions to write about, go to the question-and-answer website Quora. It will help you brainstorm for questions and sub-questions people ask about your topic.
Use a formula
A formula is a guideline about how you want to write your article. It gives you a checklist of how to write your own article or hand it off to someone else.
My formula includes stating and personalizing a problem in the introduction. I also want at least one Level 2 heading and two or three Level 3 headings in the body.
Here’s an example of a basic formula for a 300-word article:
- Divide the blog article into 3 sections
- Intro: 50+ words; each sentence 15 to 25
- Middle or Body: 200+ words; each sentence 15 to 25 words each; include at least 2 section headings
- End or Conclusion and CTA: 50+ words; each sentence 15 to 25 words each
- Other: Have at least one internal and one external link; use an image and include the keyword in the alt tag
words each; include a keyword
Your formula can be as simple or detailed as you want it. The more detail you provide, the easier it will be for you to hand off blog writing to someone else.
Follow the bare minimum rule
The bare minimum rule (BMR) is based on the Agile concept of minimum viable product (MVP). Techopedia defines MVP this way:
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users.
For a blog article, you just need 300-500 words. A blog article doesn’t have to be perfect or include any SEO stuff. It just has to be good enough to post and share.
I like BMR or MVP and the idea about getting more content out in less time. That way, you get more feedback so you can constantly improve your content so your small business can thrive. BMR also helps you avoid the “blog seems like a four-letter word” syndrome.
Image courtesy Canva