Boost Your Business Profile By Starting A Blog

Boost your Business Profile by Starting a Blog

starting a blogIf getting in front of new customers is a priority for any business, getting in front of the biggest number of potential clients possible right now, for the least cost, is usually the main goal. For many small businesses with limited resources advertising is simply not an option. The best way to put yourself and your business in a place where a huge potential audience can find you is by putting yourself online.

One of the great advantages a blog gives you as a small business owner is that it stands as a reference to your skills and knowledge. By regularly blogging about information, tips and services you are telling the world that you know your subject matter and can add value to your existing products and services by providing your readers with an additional resource of information.

By regularly updating your blog you will raise your own profile as the more that brands and industry insiders see your work, the more they will start to see you as an expert in the field.  Once you are seen as someone who’s knowledgeable and willing to speak up or share information, you will find that more people in turn want to speak to you about what you do, ask your opinion on products or come to you for advice. All of these opportunities can then be turned into the start of a business winning conversation.

Blogs are also exactly the right kind of information that search engines like to see. The search engine spiders that crawl the internet looking for answers to millions of search queries love to see sites that are regularly updated. An updated site shows that you are active, and implies that the information is fresh and relevant.

Producing your own new content also gives you more content to share on social media sites such as Google plus, Facebook and Twitter. By posting your content out on multiple sites you are creating all important back links out from your site to the rest of the internet. The real value here is when other people also like your content and share it on their own social media profiles. Again, the search engines will see that your content has been shared multiple times and will deem your work to be even more relevant, bumping you up the search results.

For anyone who has never started a blog before it might seem daunting, and you might be tempted to just stick with social media rather than trying to build your own separate page. Social media definitely serves a purpose, but typically what you post there is only good for a moment and will get lost in amongst everyone else’s posts. If you have your own website you can keep all your posts together in one place and refer back to them again more easily. Also, if you are serious about wanting to raise your own profile then you need to have your own page to refer people back to. Remember you don’t own your social media pages and they could change their rules at a moments’ notice leaving your hard work and audience building efforts wasted. Having your own blog leaves you in control.

At Big Thinking Online we have been building up our own content for almost 4 years now. Every new blog increases the chances of our work being shared, and increases the chance of regular readers coming back to our site rather than looking for one of our competitors. It also means we’ve spent all that time creating a very natural organic back linking profile which is another positive in the eyes of the search engines. It shows to our clients that our business has a good knowledge base, that we have built up our own reputation and profile over a steady period and that we continue to work on our skills. Over the last few years we have had blogs featured on many other places, including Social Media Today and Business 2 Community, sometimes being shared thousands of times in a day. Whilst these posts may not all have caused the phone to ring off the hook they have definitely helped to increase our network of contacts, and it also means that if a client or prospect asks for further information on a subject then we can usually direct them to a post on that subject that they can read whenever they need to.

Have you started your own blog yet? If so what benefits have you found from keeping it going?

20 Blog Ideas for Professional Services Firms That Drive Engagement

20 Blog Ideas for Professional Services Firms That Drive Engagement

blog ideasIf you have a website then regular blogs with clever Keywords optimised for Search Engines are exactly what you need in order to raise your business profile and attract interested new readers to come knocking at your door for more advice.

Starting a blog can be fun, enlightening for you as a business owner and may even prove to you that your subject knowledge is even better than you think it is. But what happens after the first few weeks when you’ve exhausted the initial stash of blog ideas? Quite often Blogging can begin to seem more of a chore – time consuming and not doing anything to directly influence your cash flow.

Thinking of new blog ideas can very often take longer than writing the blog itself, particularly if you’re not a natural writer, or if you struggle with thinking creatively.

Help is at hand! Here are 20 Blog Ideas that with any professional services firm should be able to reproduce for their specific niche

20 Attention Grabbing Blog Ideas

How to

This one should be easy, whatever your profession, e.g. How to floss your teeth, how to seal a bath, how to file your expenses…. It can be recycled as many times as you can imagine!

1. Top 10

Think of a relevant category and off you go! It could be 10 reasons to visit the optician, a top 10 product review, 10 facts on teeth whitening, 10 customer testimonials, 10 herbal remedies, 10 proven local business marketing tips

A day in the life of…

This could be a typical behind the scenes day, or a day when you’re at a special event. You could get each member of your staff to write about their day, or ask a customer to write about their experience with your firm.

Questions you should always ask

This is a great one for building relationships with new clients as it shows you’re thinking the way they would be thinking. Whatever your business, think about the all important questions that differentiate good firms like your own from the not so reputable ones.

Why you should always use a XXX

Any well qualified professional should be able to explain why their services are important, but it may be less obvious to your average member of the public. For example, why do you need a registered gas fitter to remover a boiler? Why should you use proper tools?

What’s in the news

How do current events relate to your industry? As an accountant you could write about tax changes, Dentists could write about dental care for under privileged families, beauty salons might want to blog about celebrity make up. The great thing about news is there is more new news every day!

Frequently asked questions

What questions are you always answering? Why not write a blog for each one? This allows you to cover each question in much more detail than a typical FAQ page allows. E.g. What will search engine optimisation do for your business?

Opinion piece

If something has you ranting and raving, then blog about it! Even if it isn’t 100% to do with your business you can probably find a way to link it back to something relevant. Opinions should be easy to write, because it is your own opinion and you don’t necessarily need too much research unless of course you want to back it up with fact.

What XXX Accreditation means

People know to check that the people they’re hiring or working with are qualified, but what does the qualification actually mean?  Take the time to break it down for your customers in layman’s terms so that they know the difference between different levels of qualification and what it might mean to them as a customer in terms of what you can provide for them.

New Trends to be aware of

You won’t stay successful in business for long if you don’t know what’s around the corner! Likewise, customers are always interested to know what else you might be working on, what else might benefit them and changes that may affect them in the future. By providing your readers with this information you’re proving that you know your industry, and you’re giving them less reason to seek out the information elsewhere.

Seasonal

Every business has seasonal fluctuation, whether it’s a sales peak before Christmas or a quiet spell during the summer. Talk about how the different times of year affect your business, or different jobs that you have to do throughout the year. Perhaps you could have a monthly update or offer that you blog about?

Worst mistakes made in your field

This could be another way to make you look better than the competition! Highlight things that are often done wrong and prove how you can do it right.

Common misconceptions

Are there any old wives tales about your trade that you could dispel? There are plenty of urban myths about many professions that people like to believe, use your blog ideas to set them straight.

Top Tips

The possibilities for this type of blog are huge, and it does fit in any niche. Top tips on organising your tax return & expenses, getting your vehicle ready for winter, why an online presence is so important – 9 top tips to maximise yours, the best morning workout tips. Use your expert knowledge to think outside the box!

Review of Tools / Accessories

If there is a certain software that you use for your job, then write review! Likewise for books you’ve referred to, or tools. You might have found a great gadget that really makes your day easier, so why not tell everyone else and make their day easier too?

Now and Then

What techniques have changed in your industry over the last few years? By writing about how things have moved on you are again demonstrating your expertise in the field and that you have kept up with trends. This is important as customers like to know you are well informed

Guest post

Have someone from outside your business write a blog for you. This could be from a complimentary business, or someone who has a specific area of expertise, or even just a one off subject that you feel might be relevant to your readers. The guest post might also encourage new readers to your site if your guest blogger is already an established writer on their own site.

What’s on?

Talk about upcoming events that you’re involved in. You can build interest with your readers to get them involved. Maybe you could introduce special offers or new product launches.

Combine old posts

You’ll find after you’ve been blogging for some time that certain themes work better with your audience, or that some topics deserve to be covered more than once. There’s nothing wrong with chopping and changing some of your older blog ideas to refresh them for new readers, just make sure that you are adding sufficient new content as well.

Specific area of expertise

Break down every area of your work into different blog ideas. You’ll probably find at least 10 things to write about! Yes, some may be more detailed than others but it will all be relevant and interesting to different people. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth writing about!

So what are you waiting for? Get blogging!