Should Local Businesses Blog?

Local Businesses BlogThis blog post is supplied to us courtesy of our friends at Loud Rumor and was written by Micheal Arce, CEO of Loud Rumor. With a passion for helping their clients to convert website visitors into customers creating true company growth, Loud Rumor allows your business to adapt to the new generation of marketing. Printing Solutions has been a preferred printing partner for several months and has provided them with custom business cards and high quality postcards and event cards to help them promote their networking events.

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Local businesses are constantly trying to find ways to increase their web presence. The internet is the number one lead generating tool that’s ever been created, and business owners are becoming focused on getting in on that action.

Blogging has always been something that most people know they should do, but don’t do. Whether it’s because they don’t know how, don’t like to do it, or feel like they can’t provide quality content all the time… it’s not being done as it should to get the amount of business that most people don’t even know they’re missing out on! So, let’s answer the question: Should Local Businesses Blog? – Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How:

“WHO” SHOULD WRITE A BLOG

If you’re a local business that provides a product or service (especially a service), blogging can be very beneficial. This goes for dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, carpet cleaners, hair salons, caterers, landscapers, attorneys, doctors, web designers, printers, etc. The list really does go on and on.

“WHAT” SHOULD I BLOG ABOUT?

What is your expertise? You need to ask yourself “If I was in the same room with 10 other people that do what I do, would I be able to have an intelligent conversation about my industry and the changes that occur within it?” If the answer is yes, then what information can you share with me (someone that doesn’t do what you do) to teach me what you know a little at a time? When you sell yourself on the phone, in person, on the website, in print ads, social media, etc., what are some of the selling points you use to position your company as the best around? Use those points in a blog to demonstrate how important they are.

For example: If you’re a carpet cleaner that uses green products that are low moisture and dry in an hour, that’s a good selling point. In your blog, don’t write about how YOU do it. Write about the benefits of choosing a company that cleans this way, or the benefits of attempting to clean this way if you’re going to try it yourself (don’t worry, most won’t try it themselves). Include tricks on how to get wine stains out of carpet, or how to make the carpet smell fresher. You can even write another blog about best ways to keep the stains from coming back or the top 5 reasons carpets get dirty in the first place and how you can prevent that from happening. If you take a few minutes to think, you’ll always find something great to write about. Most business owners can’t shut up about all the information they know about their industry when at a barbeque, party or get together. Just do that… in writing!

“WHERE” SHOULD I WRITE A BLOG?

The best and most popular blogging platforms to use are WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and Weebly.com. I personally prefer WordPress. I like it the best and I own all the content on it, as it’s stored on my hosting. It’s clean and there are a ton of great plugins to make your blog even better! Your website should have an icon or button that’s very visible and links to your blog (and visa versa). If your website is in WordPress, then your web designer can even make it interactive with your site. Every time you write a blog, you should share it with the appropriate audience. Maybe some blogs are good for your customers/clients. Some may be good for prospects, affiliates or partners. And some are great for anybody and everybody! If that’s the case, send a mass email with a short intro to the blog, with an enticing and relevant subject line.

Also, use those wonderful social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc) that you’ve attracted so many people to. Post the link to your blog in groups within social media platforms like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn or add hash tags through Twitter. LinkedIn Groups is supposedly the most productive place. It’s also good to submit your blog to sites like Digg, Reddit, Tumblr, Best of the Web Blogs, Technorati and Blog Catalog to name a few.

“WHEN” SHOULD I BLOG?

Most local businesses write 1 blog per month. I’m here to tell you that’s not often enough. Set a goal of at least once per week. If you can do it that way for a few weeks, try bumping it up to twice a week and so on. The more often the better. If you have enough great content and material to write about every business day, even better!

“HOW” SHOULD I BLOG?

Make your content useful to the readers that you’ve attracted. Almost all of my readers are local business owners. My goal is to find relevant content that can help them improve and grow their business through the internet (my expertise). You should try use keywords throughout the content that Google Users may search to find your article. You’ll notice the word “blog” and the questions that most people may ask about blogging are spread throughout this page strategically, while making sense to the reader. Use hyperlinks to help readers find answers to questions that your content may create. Don’t worry about writing a ton. I know in this “Should Local Businesses Blog” article, I have a ton of content ,but if your information only needs a paragraph or two, that’s fine.

“WHY” SHOULD I BLOG?

Simple – to get more customers. Blogging allows you to add fresh content to your company brand on the internet (where most people spend a good portion of their day). The more content you produce, the more Google sees you as an expert and a good resource to their users. Blogging helps your current customers stay in touch with you, while their perspective of you is a leader in your industry and the go-to place. This is great when hoping to generate repeat business and referrals. Blogging gives you something great to mass email and post on social media platforms.

Building your mass email list, fans and followers is great, but doing something productive with them is even better. Blogging also increases website traffic. It’s interesting content that we draw ourselves to. They’ll spend a good amount of time on the page and probably go to another. Amount of traffic, time spent on site, and pages per vist are all variables in the Google Algorithm when Google determines who should be ranked highest for their industry/market.

So, when asking “Should Local Businesses Blog”. The answer is yes. Blogging is important to the growth of a local business. I highly encourage you get on board with it, or hire a company that can help you with this.

Andrew Pinch

About Andrew Pinch

Andrew has been working in the print industry since 2003, working in prepress, management, and ultimately owner of print shops, including Printing Solutions of Tempe, Arizona. See Andrew's LinkedIn Profile here.