Blogging can benefit your store on several levels, as long as you're consistently posting with quality and helpful content.
It can show you're an expert, with content that highlights tips, trends and advice. It helps build relationships with customers, makes you stand out from your competition, builds brand exposure and can help your site optimization by consistently publishing fresh content to your site that is keyword-rich.
But, it takes time. And as an independent store owner, I know you're wearing several hats and finding time to blog can be a challenge.
So I've outlined 4 quick ways to get you set up for success so you don't waste time in case you don't know how to start, what to blog about or how to be organized.
4 Quick Tips for Starting a Blog
1. Create a Blog Strategy. Before putting the time into launching a blog, outline the type of content you’ll write (with catchy headlines!), how often you’ll publish, and what the goals are of your blog. Examples of goals may be to increase credibility in the industry, add value to your customer’s lives through tips and advice, increase web traffic, have better rankings in search results, etc. You’ll need to commit some time to blogging, so make sure you have the time or delegate these efforts. Creating a strategy will help you determine how many posts you need to write, how often, who will write them, what they'll say and who the audience is you're trying to target.
2. Pick Your Platform. Top blogging platforms that I suggest are:
- WordPress - wordpress.com for free hosting on Wordpress and access to about 100 pre-designed templates, wordpress.org (not free) to self-host and have a custom design/access to thousands of templates. Wordpress.org is my personal favorite.
- Depending on your current website platform, you might have a blog option already built in which might make it easier for you to launch and manage a blog.
3. Create a Content Schedule. The key to successfully blogging is creating quality content that speaks to your perfect customer/audience, consistently. To save time and to stay organized, plan out blog posts for the next couple of months and then put it on a blog, editorial or marketing calendar as to when they will be published. Then work backwards: based on when a post is being published, plan when you’ll write it, edit it, design graphics (if appropriate), and upload.
4. Create a Promotion Strategy. Just writing posts isn’t enough to gain attention and web traffic; you need to promote your blog, too. Outline the ways you’ll be promoting your posts, on which outlets, which influencers you’ll be reaching out to, with what type of tone, and the kind of graphics and content you’ll want to include.
If you're currently blogging, I'd love to check it out! Leave a link to your blog in a comment below.
If you found this tip helpful, send it to a retailer friend. And again, if you need additional blogging help and resources, consider joining Social Edge to access "Blogging for Retailers". Click to see what's inside.