Blogging has been flavour of the month, but many small business owners still seem unsure as to whether or not they should be blogging. The answer is simple, yes you should be blogging. Every small business can take advantage of maintaining a regular blog in one way or another. Let’s start with the basics though, the objective behind your blogging.
What’s your objective
Businesses blog for many reasons. Local awareness, press releases, to hire staff, to release and distribute company news, to build traffic or to generate leads. The first thing you need to do is sit down and understand what your objective is. The reason so many businesses wash their hands with blogging or are scared to pursue it, as they aren’t really sure whether it’s something they should be doing, what results to expect and how to measure success.
Pick an objective. If it’s to generate leads, great start with that go from there.
What to expect
Don’t expect results overnight. If blogging was easy, every business would do it flawlessly and there’d be no need for agencies or in-house marketing and content teams. You can’t expect to blog for a few weeks and for the flood gates to open and leads to rain down left, right and centre.
You need to set realistic expectations, start with a baseline and measure your progress daily, weekly and monthly. This means understanding where you currently stand. How many visitors does your site get, where does the traffic come from, and if you are currently blogging even periodically, how much traffic do these posts generate?
If you currently get 100 visitors a month to your website, aim to get an extra 25 the first month, then an extra 50 and so on. You also need to take into account how much time and effort you put into your blogging and content.
If you only blog once a month, you’re going to see a minimal increase in traffic and possibly no leads. If you blog once a week, your progress will be faster and this will be reflected in the stats you monitor through Google analytics.
If you haven’t set up Google Analytics yet, I suggest you start there. We wrote an article on setting up Google Analytics for WordPress recently.
If you aren’t measuring your success, how will you know if your blogging has been worthwhile? As with any marketing endeavour, the proof is in the pudding. You can measure the success of your blogging efforts by:
- Making sure Google Analytics is set up on your website
- Establishing a traffic baseline. How many visitors do you currently get per month. Where do they come from.
- Setting realistic targets. If you currently get 100 visitors per month, aim for a 25-50% increase the next month based on how much content you will create and how many places you plan on distributing it
- Be consistent. Create content consistently and measure your results consistently. Look for increases in unique visitors and for an extra tip, use Google URL builder to add tracking parameters to the links you share (so you can track traffic from each status, post, group or social media profile).