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    Helper II

    What's your approach to blogging for business?

     

    A friend of mine runs a small chartered accounting firm in a big city. They recently switched over to WordPress so that they could manage their site's content without needing to pay someone else to do it.

     

    They know content is important, they hear it all the time, and they know they need it to compete with other accounting firms in the city.

     

    Now they have a blog on their site, called "Updates" (or something like that). But they can't find the time to work on writing content. They don't know what to write. They don't know if it's a valuable investment versus doing client work.

     

    So what should I tell them? What should small businesses like this do?

     

    If you're blogging for a business, what's your approach?

     

    Any tips or guidance is appreciated. Thanks!

    8 REPLIES 8
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    Advocate II Advocate II
    Advocate II

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    I build a blog section for almost every client I have.

     

    If they cant keep up with it, I always offer content creation for a HEFTY price.

     

    When it comes to actually telling the client what to be putting up or creating the content myself I always do a few google searches for the type of business they run, landscaping, construction, NPO's, etc. and then figure out what sort of questions people are asking related to these businesses.

     

    For instance, if the business is a florist, ill do some research on what kind of questions people are asking related to a specific flower. Lets say that I see that "How to grow a sunflower" is a popular search, ill ask my client, or myself, to write a pretty hefty blog post about sunflowers, how to grow them etc.

     

    Its all about "answering questions" in a blog post related to whatever the business does. Ive had great success with doing my content this way.

    CEO of Antbuilt, LLC
    Highlighted
    Super User I Super User I
    Super User I

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    Like @AnthonySiringo we also offer content creation and our offering is pricey as well. Typically we would not expect a small company or one just starting off to afford our service. That being said frequent website updates are great for the SEO of a smaller business.

    What we usually advise clients who want to do their own blogging is "Be an opportunistic troll". It might sound a bit crazy but what we mean is merge your expertise and content to that of what is going on. Note: This only works if you post relevant content If you are a small law firm the opportunistic thing today is to base a blog post on is Business Partnerships and Lawsuits. The troll part is keywording, maybe there is a family of "celebrities" that are being sued by a company claiming breach of contract? Remember that the content has to be relevant and not just keyword rich but a lawyer shouldn't have any issue composing an article about the why there is cause for a suit (if there is a cause for a suit) and how you can avoid these kinds of things in your business. Keep in mind that your business blog is not a gossip website but using widely searched keywords included in your content easy to do and beneficial?

    Many things in news that are highly searched can be broken down into many topics to be serve as inspiration for a blog post. Generally the method I advise is first paragraph, a bit of information about the author or company, second paragraph about the event that triggered the post and the remainder of the paragraphs being your expertise, advice, commentary... but remember to keep it relevant and readable. Be also aware that this is a long term play and not a quick fix, you should expect to make two to three relevant posts per week. Using this method your client creates content based on what they know.

    ...turns out that my two cents is worth less or more depending on the current exchange rate.

    roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head

    Highlighted
    Advocate VI Advocate VI
    Advocate VI

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    When clients tell me they want to blog (and they usually think they will do it on their own), I give them 2 assignments to start with, just as a feasibility study:

     

    1. Write 3 blog posts NOW, before I do anything in terms of architectural setup. Let's see how easy it is for them to come up with something relevant, and to understand what they can say that would make a contribution to their site. 

    2. Make a list of 10 future blog post topics. Let's see if they can plan ahead and maybe write several items in a series. I realize that some posts may be a reaction to current news, but I want them to have confidence that they can come up with stuff on an ongoing basis.

     

    If they can't do item 1, we have to have a conversation about whether they can suck it up and write, or are willing to pay someone (me or someone else) to do it.

    If they can't do item 2, I will help them with a list of suggestions (doing what @AnthonySiringo said, trolling for ideas on similar sites).

    If they can come up with topics but can't write the articles, I will do the research and write them. And like the others who have commented on this, I will definitely bill for the time. 

    If they are crappy writers but like to write, I will offer to proof and edit (and bill for it). 

     

    But honestly, I would rather have THEM do the writing and take ownership (after I have set up the back-end), so that it is their voice, and their commitment. 

    I had one client who wrote about 20 posts in advance when we launched her new site last September. She wrote them all, but sent to me to post, add photos, etc. I was impressed with her writing and thought process, but she had no desire to learn how to create the posts! OK by me.

    Highlighted
    Super User I Super User I
    Super User I

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    @webdiva I LOVE the idea of homework. I'm going to steal your blogging assignment method for my monthly meetup for those just starting out.

    ...turns out that my two cents is worth less or more depending on the current exchange rate.

    roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head

    Highlighted
    Advocate IV
    Advocate IV

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    All the answers below are great.

     

    I have been on both sides: I've written blog content for clients, and I have a blog on my own website for my food business.

     

    I am the first to admit that I do not update my own blog often enough. That's mostly because my clients always come first. But also...discipline is hard.

     

    There are very few small businesses that have the right combination of resources (i.e. a person on staff who can actually write AND can figure out what kind of content the business should be creating AND knows something about SEO AND actually has time to generate content regularly).

     

    I am a big believer in repurposing content. When the business gets a question on social media, take that question, answer it, and use the Q&A as a blog post.

     

    Also, blog posts don't always have to be long. Two or three paragraphs can often be enough.

     

    Creating a content calendar helps. That way you know what you'll be posting each week, and you can even write some of the content ahead of time if you have a lull in other work. 


    ---
    Erika Kerekes, Founder & Condiment QueenNot Ketchup Gourmet Grilling Sauces
    Highlighted

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    Great one,

    Thanks a lot

    Akram

     


    @webdiva wrote:

    When clients tell me they want to blog (and they usually think they will do it on their own), I give them 2 assignments to start with, just as a feasibility study:

     

    1. Write 3 blog posts NOW, before I do anything in terms of architectural setup. Let's see how easy it is for them to come up with something relevant, and to understand what they can say that would make a contribution to their site. 

    2. Make a list of 10 future blog post topics. Let's see if they can plan ahead and maybe write several items in a series. I realize that some posts may be a reaction to current news, but I want them to have confidence that they can come up with stuff on an ongoing basis.

     

    If they can't do item 1, we have to have a conversation about whether they can suck it up and write, or are willing to pay someone (me or someone else) to do it.

    If they can't do item 2, I will help them with a list of suggestions (doing what @AnthonySiringo said, trolling for ideas on similar sites).

    If they can come up with topics but can't write the articles, I will do the research and write them. And like the others who have commented on this, I will definitely bill for the time. 

    If they are crappy writers but like to write, I will offer to proof and edit (and bill for it). 

     

    But honestly, I would rather have THEM do the writing and take ownership (after I have set up the back-end), so that it is their voice, and their commitment. 

    I had one client who wrote about 20 posts in advance when we launched her new site last September. She wrote them all, but sent to me to post, add photos, etc. I was impressed with her writing and thought process, but she had no desire to learn how to create the posts! OK by me.


     

    Highlighted

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    Blogging is definitely a big deal for someone looking to grow online on their own and dealing with competition. They need something to help build trust with potential clients. 

     

    It's definitely a long term strategy and requires patience and consistency.

     

    From a SEO perspective, we don't charge our clients anything extra for content creation. But the way we create content is by buying multiple trusted sites, putting pieces of content on each site and linking them back to the main site.

     

    Doing this right is what helps rank much higher in Google, because at the end of the day content is king, and Google operates that way as well. It just doesn't necessarily have to be multiple blog posts on your main website to get a higher ranking in Google.

    Highlighted

    Re: What's your approach to blogging for business?

    Do you mean that you will purchase “abcde.com abcde.org abcde.businesssite , abcde.net
    Then post the same content on all these websites ???
    How would you link websites to your main website