Lee Odden

Small Business Blog, Big Business Results

small business bloggingBusinesses of all sizes often struggle to find high impact, low cost methods of attracting and engaging customers.

While some say social media and SEO have leveled the playing field, blogging is by far one of the most effective ways for small businesses to achieve numerous business objectives.

What can you achieve with a blog? As a content management system that can be optimized for search and social shares, blogs with great content can help a company attract new customers, engage existing customers, connect with journalists and connect with potential new hires. There are many business communication goals that can be realized through blogging.

How? The fundamentals that many companies seem to gloss over include:

  • Create a hub and spoke framework for blog publishing and promotion.
  • Source content that customers care about and that can influence sales or other goals.
  • Integrate blogging with SEO, Social Media, PR and Content Marketing efforts to amplify content where customers are actively looking.

Those are general guidelines, so here are 4 steps for small business blogs to get big business results:

Small Business Blog, Big Business Results

Optimize & Socialize Framework for Blog Content – Slide from #SMMW13 Presentation

1. Understand your  audience according  to their objectives – Don’t simply lead content planning with “we need to increase sales of product 123.” Think about your buyer and what goals your product solves for them. Ask how and why, too. The answers will reveal a more meaningful story that you can use when planning blog content.

2. Map customer needs to topics &  search keywords – If your target audience are potential buyers of your products, then describe how those needs are met. Further distill those descriptions to keyword lists, which can be researched and filtered using Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

3.  Use a content calendar to organize & optimize – Failure to plan is a plan to fail, so be sure to create a content planning calendar to identify when you will create what kind of content on what kind of topics. Here’s a free blog content template for this.

4. Grow social networks, promote content & optimize performance – A hub and spoke publishing model only works if there are people watching, monitoring and subscribed to your content. Make an effort to share useful content from others and engage wherever possible. Being useful is a great way to build your social networks. When you do promote your own content to social networks, make sure it delivers on the promise.

If you empathize with the audience you’re after and plan relevant blog content in a way that makes it easy for people to find in search and share on social, then you’ve optimized your way from a small business blog to big business results.

If you’re a small business blogger, what are some of the obstacles you’re facing? Maybe you’ve overcome those challenges – what lessons have you learned for getting better performance from your blogging effort?

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Hi,
    I am starting an online retail business. I have a website, http://www.foreversingel.com as well as social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Pinterest. However, my dilemma is that I am not sure whether I have to submit my website to Search Engines, learn SEO; pretty much learn how to create online awareness of my website in order to drive traffic, thus revenue.
    Could anyone point me in the right direction or offer me some advice?

    Thank you very much!

    • Hey Mario, I would highly recommend reading OptimizeBook.com as well as posts here on this blog to get you up to speed with a plan and how to implement basic blogging, SEO and social media marketing tactics.

  2. Blogs are a powerful medium to express views and connect with masses,my team at Synechron is working towards blogging and content marketing and i must say the basics of targeting, promoting and presenting remains true.

  3. That’s a good point Simon. If a small business can’t write, then maybe video, podcasting or photos are a better fit. As for agencies, those with experience can easily accommodate for the industries in which they specialize. The caveat is to watch out for agencies that claim they can write qualitatively for any industry.

  4. Edward de Valle says:

    This is a very informative post as it describes the importance of blogging and how effective it is for for making small business big and how useful it is for business expansion in quick success of time.

    Edward De Valle

  5. alexandria scott says:

    Awesome!. Thank you for giving us a relevant and timely information regarding social media and how we can be able to utilize our blogs. Your insights help us understand and determine the function of social media in our daily lives. Your tips are also very useful so that we may be able to enhance our blogging experience.
    Have a wonderful day!

  6. alexandria scott says:

    I have been reading your blog and I am really amazed with all the knowledge that you have continued to give us. Please continue to post more.

  7. I agree with all your points discussed. Thanks alot for sharing this useful information.