Most of the businesses we work with have multiple questions about the mechanics of blogging, what content to focus on, and what the benefits of blogging are. But the 3 most frequent questions we get about small business blogging are:
- How often should I blog?
If you can’t commit to regularly scheduled blog posts, don’t start a blog. An abandoned blog, or one that is only updated infrequently can hurt your image more than it can help. If your business is in a metropolitan area and you have some real competition for eyeballs online, you should be blogging daily. A business in a smaller geographic territory with less competition can gain an advantage by blogging weekly. I wouldn’t recommend anything less than that unless you have absolutely no competition whatsoever and you’re already the number 1 (or only) business in your category.Your competition for online traffic may not be who you think it is. Do a search online for your main keyword phrase (like “lawn service roanoke tx”). Your competition is the businesses who come up in the top 10 search results for the keyword phrase you want to be known for. Take a look at their websites. See if they have a blog. See what kind of content they are publishing, and how often. That will help you decide how often you need to be blogging.
- Should I add the blog to my website, get a new URL for the blog, or just use one of the free blogging platforms?
If you’re serious about gaining benefit from blogging, you need to be adding that fresh, original, compelling content to your own website. When you use a free platform, you’re giving THEM all your valuable traffic, authority and page rank. If you buy a new URL just for your blog, then your existing website doesn’t get any of the benefit and you may actually end up competing with yourself and diluting the traffic you could get. The best way to go is to add your blog to your existing website. You can read more about it here: Digital Sharecropping – You’re Not the Customer, You’re the Product.
- I run out of ideas to write about. Can I use content that I find online if it’s really relevant to my business?
No. You can read other content online to help stimulate ideas and creativity. You can quote other experts that you find online. You can write rebuttals, opinions, reviews and critiques of content that you find online. And you can curate content that you find online, but don’t copy other people’s blog posts or articles. Even if you give the original author the credit (which you absolutely should!) it’s not going to give your blog a boost because the search engines know when and where it was originally published, and the original source is the one that gets the love. Check out these suggestions for creating compelling content.