Blogging. You’ve probably tried it. And if you have, you’ve joined millions of others talking about everything from sports to celebrities to collecting coupons. While you are free to discuss these without judgment from PEOcompare.com, you do need to make sure you do not talk about cute things your cat does on blogs on your website or other professional sites. Instead, use a blog created on your own website to connect with your customers; it is a great way to build a relationship with your current and future clients. This is because you involve them in your conversations, becoming personal without being invasive. You may also hear feedback about your products or services. However, you do want to shy away from turning your blog into an advertisement. While it is okay to mention your company and what it has to offer, do so subtly and in a limited capacity – do not use your blog as a company billboard to bombard other bloggers and readers with your company’s latest deals. PEOcompare.com is not going to title all of their blogs “I love PEOs” but could mention the benefits of Professional Employer Organizations if it applies to what is being written in the blog, such as a discussion about Outsourcing HR.
Do not use a blog as an ad but as a message board. And just as you read responses to posts on your Facebook, read the responses to your blogs. While hearing about your products or services is not likely (because you do not want to come across as trying to sell your company on your blog), you will hear how your customers feel. You can consider new ideas to see if they will be marketable. Brainstorming within the company is great, but you also want to hear from the people who you are targeting.
Here are some more great tips for small business blogging:
• Be personal …
Since your blog is going to help you reach out to your clients, actually connect with them. Consider what they want to talk about. For example, if a popular celebrity has just come out endorsing a product, you could bring that up. [Insert celebrity here] just signed a contract with [insert company here]and their sales have already picked up. So which is more important, the product or the person who supports the product? Although I admire [insert celebrity here], I would be more likely to buy a product if I heard about it from a close friend who has tried the product. What do you think? This would be a good blog entry because it brings up someone and something that has been in the news, and it sparks a response. Hearing what others say can help you determine how to advertise for your own products.
• … yet professional.
Just cuz it’s a blog, don’t mean that you can just rite however u want btdubs. Remember to remain professional in your blog. The pronoun “I” needs to be capital and no shorthand or slang should be used. Also remember that you are representing your company. If you, the small business owner, are writing the blog this may be easier than when delegating the task of writing to another employee because you are likely to understand the company’s values to a greater extent. Nonetheless, avoid putting too much of “you” out there. In the above example, while you may admire a particular celebrity, does the company? If writing a blog becomes the responsibility of someone else, make sure he or she understands company policy so that he or she does not cross the line.
• Be current.
Old news is boring news. No one will want to read about events that happened months ago, so keep your blog focused on current events or “timeless” news.
• Be concise.
The more you write, the more people have to read. Keep your writing short, but not too short. Consider also that if what you are writing about or if your writing style is boring, people will not read what you wrote, defeating the purpose of your blog. “Keep it fresh” but avoid slang!
Blogging is a useful tool for small businesses to expand and understand their customer base, while also (subtly) spreading the word about their company. It is a good idea to blog on other sites before you create a blog on your own website in order to develop your style. You may decide that you do not want a blog on your website and that is great too. Wherever you decide to blog, remember the tips above and you will do great!