Posted by Colleen Frye & filed under Local Search Focus.

If you are running a small business, chances are you’re probably asking yourself if online blogging is worth your time and effort. We believe the short answer is ‘yes’. Blogging on a regular basis can seem daunting, but it can actually be a very easy, relatively inexpensive way to enhance your inbound marketing efforts. There is one catch though, you’ve got to blog effectively! You can’t become part of the 57% of companies, according to Hubspot, who have reported acquiring a new customer from their blog if you don’t follow some crucial steps.

Join the 81% of folks who have revealed that their business blog is useful and critical when it comes to their business.

The Case for Small Business Blogs

The first step is to make a plan for the tone and path that you want your blog to take. Are you trying to engage your customers? Are you wanting to get more business? Are you looking to entertain folks? Are you wanting to be the top source in your industry? All the above? What is your end goal? By developing a plan for your blog, you are able to make life easier and your blog most effective.

The second step is to choose the right foundation upon which to build your blog by selecting the right blogging platform for your business. WordPress is often the most popular and fastest growing blogging platform. If you’re already on a WordPress domain, it would just require you to set-up the blog platform on your existing domain.

The third step is to understand how blogging can help your business online. Not only does it help you gain business and become a leading source in your industry, it can also greatly affect your search engine presence.

Boost SEO – Struggling to get found for certain keywords? Consider blogging on those topics most often! By blogging consistently, you give Google and other search engines new content to index and you create opportunities to plug in those all-important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS).

Gain sharing opportunities – Every time you blog, you create an opportunity for your audience to share your blog with others. Whether they link to your blog post, tweet it, or email it to others, it’s free marketing that will get you more exposure!

The fourth step is easy – it’s time to get started! Develop a schedule of how often you and your business should be blogging. Here are the top tips that we recommend –

  • Consider posting 1 to 4 times a week.
  • Decide on who your blog writers will be and ensure that they are reliable.
  • Create an editorial calendar – It helps you be accountable to dates and concepts. All bloggers should develop and maintain an editorial calendar to effectively maintain their content strategy.

The fifth step would be how to best market your blog! Consider adding a plugin to your website that allows others to share your information on social media. There are also plenty of other ways to do so –

  • Post your blogs to Facebook
  • Leverage Twitter hashtags
  • Post to your LinkedIn account
  • Include your blog URL in your email signature
  • Submit your blog to directories
  • Post regularly
  • Guest post
  • Interview
  • Submit each new blog post to Google
  • Showcase your employees
  • The list goes on!!

The last and final step would be to measure your successes! We have some hints as to what to look for when it comes to your key metrics –

  • Total visits
  • Percentage of new visits
  • Visits from search engines
  • Average length of stay
  • Number of pages viewed
  • Referrals from other sites
  • Repeat visits
  • RSS subscribers
  • Comments

Still overwhelmed? We’re here to help! We have YEARS of success marketing small business blogs for our clients and we would be happy to help you get started. Give us a call to learn more: 513-699-5196