Drowning in a sea of to-do lists and endless paperwork? Feeling overwhelmed? It can be really hard to keep your head above water when you first start out with your new business. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to downplay your content strategy and not create a business blog. A business blog is a great place to engage with your audience, and it can even be a source of new business leads. It’s the cheapest, most effective publishing method you have to hand, and it should be a starting point, not an afterthought. Here are six of the most important reasons why you need a blog and how to manage one as a startup.

Blogging is a scalable content strategy

Blogging is a great small business weapon Click To Tweet

Blogging is for everyone. It’s democratic. It’s cheap. It’s scalable. It’s the kind of content that can work equally well for huge brands like Hubspot and for the local jewellery artist.

  • Find a blogging frequency that suits you and feels right for your business. You don’t have to be churning stuff out every week.
  • You’ve actually got something more valuable than the big brands – your own story and your own journey. Embrace that and don’t focus on the negatives.
  • Embrace the speed and immediacy of blogging for startups. Without complex editorial processes you can be more reactive and comment on events as they unfold.

Your business blog helps your customers find you

People love original content. Search engines love original content. You should love original content too.

You don’t have to be an SEO whiz kid to get some decent search traffic to your blog if you are writing about a topic that people find interesting.

  • Optimise your posts for SEO with just a few simple things like writing out original and keyword-focused page titles, optimising your image alt texts with your keyword,  and making sure you use keywords in your heading and subheadings. With a blogging platform like WordPress, there are plenty of out-of-the-box SEO plugins like Yoast you can use to help you. Read up about SEO and blogging on Yoast’s blog.

Your business blog becomes a place to engage & communicate

See your business blog as a place to have a conversation Click To Tweet

It’s where you can go when something new and exciting happens, like when you announce a collaboration or someone features your business in a local magazine. It’s where you can comment on the community around you and mention worthwhile people and causes.

  • Eventually, you might want to feature other bloggers and businesses on your blog. Think about how outreaching your business blog could help you grow your audience.
  • Interviews, features and reviews are a great way to make your blog more about community, less about broadcasting.
  • Cover any local events you attend on your blog. If it’s something worth going to, let other people and businesses know.

Without a blog, your social media strategy will suffer

In the spirit of growth hacking a lot of startups are turning to social media to build communities of loyal followers and early adopters. Social media is fantastic, but you have to have things to share. If you are just curating content, you’re missing out on a vital traffic opportunity.

  • If you endlessly share and curate other people’s content, you’re just sending traffic to their websites, instead of your own. Sharing your blog posts helps you drive traffic back to your website too.
  • You have to see your blog and social media as part of your content strategy and figure out how they are going to work together. Ideally, social media would be where you would go to shout about your latest content.
  • Don’t just share a post once ‘as it is’ and hope for the best. Share a piece of content over and over again and use different titles and images when you’re promoting it. Pull out different quotes and ideas every time. Match the channels to your content.

Your blog helps further your business goals

Business blogging is an important branding exercise for smaller businesses Click To Tweet

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your blog is just a pretty add-on. Content is a real business driver and should be part of your business growth strategy.

  • Product launches, new lines: all these should be reflected in your blog.
  • Blogs drive traffic and can be used for lead-generation. Think of your calls to action at the end of each post. Are you giving people enough of a reason to come back?

Everyone can learn to blog

It’s not as scary as it might sound. Despite acronyms and jargon that may at first fill you with dread like SEO, CMS, plugins, widgets and thingamajigs (OK, that one I made up), blogging is a easy and fun thing to do.

  • Read other blogs to try to get a handle on the writing style. You don’t want to be overly formal here.
  • Bloggers are a very supportive and giving online community. Ask other more experienced bloggers for help and advice when you are starting out.
  • Not sure where to find them? Join blogger Facebook groups, hang out on blogger Twitter chats and comment on other blogs.

Hopefully you have some good reasons for starting your own blog now. Remember to balance your blog between reaching out to others and sharing  your knowledge. See blogging as another way to grow your business and give it the respect it deserves. What type of content do you think businesses need to do more of?