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​​Blogging for Small Businesses: Planning Your First Blog Article

By Emily Nicholson
October 19, 2022

Why Your Business Needs a Blog

You might be wondering ‘why should a new business owner, with limited resources, invest their time and money into adding a blog to their site?’ The answer is simple: blogging is a great way to reach new clients and establish yourself as an industry expert. In fact, blogging for small businesses has an excellent ROI over time, as it helps shape public perception and build trust for your business.

Blog articles are not only informative, but they also can help increase the likelihood of your website appearing on search engine result pages (SERPS), improve your SEO so that more people see your website, and demonstrate expertise in your field. They can even be helpful as a basis for a lot of your social media content. Increased SEO will bring more visitors to your website, increasing the chances of conversions, in turn creating a greater ROI for the investment you put into your blog.

Blogging will also improve your domain authority (DA). This ranking estimates how likely it is for a domain (website) to appear in the SERPs in comparison to its competitors. It isn’t a metric that will raise your position in search engine results, but a blog article that increases the DA of your website can significantly help you stand out from competitors in the same industry. 

Additionally, blogs are great for both inbound marketing and creating content that you can then use for your various social media channels. Blog articles are typically at the very top of the inbound marketing funnel, attracting visitors to your website because the information you are offering them is based specifically on what they are looking for. As for social media – you can easily pull snippets or content from your blog article and turn them into engaging, relevant social media posts.

Having a blog allows you to demonstrate your expertise in a certain area, helping to position you as a trusted and respected figure in your industry. It also helps to inject a ‘human element’ into your website. This is important, as people increasingly want to know who they are buying from and what their story is.

So, now you know all about the ‘why’, but what about the ‘how’? In this article, we’re going to provide you with some tips and tricks to help you write effective and engaging blog articles for your company website. By following this advice, you will learn how to create relevant content on a regular basis, engage your target audience, and make your small business blog a fruitful use of your time.

Free Social Media Plan

How To Plan Your First Blog Article

Let’s start by walking through the planning and writing of your first article, step by step:

  1. Figure out your topic, titles and keywords
  2. Estimate your word count
  3. Determine the tone and aim of your blog article
  4. Create/identify internal and external links
  5. Write the article

Choosing Your Blog Topic

To identify a popular, relevant topic to write about, consider the frequently asked questions that are relevant to your business or industry. What are you selling? What challenges might be related to what you do or offer? What are the pain points of your ideal client? How does your business address these pain points? 

When blogging for small businesses, put yourself in the position of your target audience, and think about what they would be looking for answers for.

Your target audience is repeatedly seeking out answers to problems you can solve through search engines every day. By answering these questions in an in-depth blog article, you will pop up more often on search engines, allowing you to build your position as an industry expert and a trusted source for prospects.

The second thing to consider with your topic is relevance. You want to make sure that your blog is relevant to the following areas: 

  • Your audience – are they older, younger, professional, or looking for a friendlier tone? How do they speak, and how do they prefer to be communicated to?
  • Your niche – i.e., don’t write about NTFs if you are selling your life coaching services!
  • Your objectives – are you trying to get conversions, subscriptions, etc.? What are you trying to do, and how does your blog article address that?
  • The present – don’t use outdated information or try to fix pain points from the past; focus on the here and now.

Hit these four points, and your blog article should already be off to a great start.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get your own reusable Blog Article Template here!

What Makes a Good Blog Title?

For many, figuring out your blog title and keywords might be one of the most challenging aspects of blogging for small businesses. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s start by discussing how long your title should be.

While there is no limit to the number of characters for title tags, Google only shows the first 50–60 characters. This means you should make sure that your keyword appears before you reach the character limit, or just stick to the allotted 60 characters when crafting your blog title. Otherwise, searchers may not glean a full understanding of the topic of your blog article from search results and may skip right by it.

The blog title is one of the first things someone sees; if it is interesting enough, they are more willing to click on it and read the whole article. If your blog title is too dull, misleading, or doesn’t cover the correct topic information, they are more likely to move on quickly. This can lead to an increased bounce rate, which can hurt the SEO performance of your website, leading to lower rankings in the SERPs and ultimately, fewer eyes on your content.

Blog Post Title Examples

Some examples of popular topic title structures you can build ideas from are: 

  • How To’s (“How To Choose a CRM”, “How To Find Business Insurance”)
  • Listicles (“Top Ten Self-Help Books”, “Top Six Ways To Improve Workplace Morale”)
  • Vs. (“Custom CRM VS Off-The-Shelf?”)
  • Checklists (“Make Sure Your Business Insurance Has These Things Included”)
  • Step-By-Step (“5-Step Guide To Finding Your First Client”, “3 Steps To Hire Your First Employee”)
  • Mistakes (“The Biggest Mistakes New Business Owners Can Make”, “Avoid These Hiring Mistakes”)

Identifying Keywords for Your Blog Article

Another thing to consider for your title, and your blog article in general, are keywords. The more keywords you have within your article, the more often you will pop up in searches. However, you need to ensure the keywords themselves are relevant, fit naturally into the article, and that you aren’t ‘keyword stuffing’.

People use keywords to find solutions when searching online. If an online search gets your content in front of your audience, you stand to gain more traffic. Imagine looking for ‘business CRMs’ – you will be inundated with options. But if you look for ‘business CRM for insurance agencies’ you will get better options geared towards your specific needs. You need to hone your content to what people are looking for so you don’t get lost in the online noise. You can check out a few good SEO and keyword research websites online, which can be incredibly helpful when narrowing down your keywords and overall article focus.

What is the Optimum Blog Article Word Count?

Now that you have a blog topic, title, and keywords, you can move on to planning what you will actually write. At this point, it’s a good idea to work out a rough word count for the article, as that will heavily influence how much, or how little, information you can convey. 

So what is the optimal word count for a blog? Well, it depends on what the blog article is meant to do. Longer is typically better for social shares and SEO. However, shorter articles generally get better results for engagement. See the table below for more detail about this:

Length500 Words1000 Words1500 Words2000+ Words
ProsGood for generating discussion. 
Often gets lots of comments.
Good for getting backlinks and shares on social media.Gets frequent shares on social media
Good for getting more in-depth points across.
Rates the highest on Google searches.
Very shareable.
Good for backlinks.
ConsDoesn’t do much for SEO.
Is less shareable on social media.
‘Standard length’ expected by many.Start to get into the ‘too long’ category, depending on the topic. 
Often gets fewer comments than shorter posts.
Readers must be willing to read longer form content. 
It can be hard to write that many words without becoming boring or repetitive.

One thing to keep in mind regarding the word count for your blog is to avoid filler. Readers, especially those coming to you for advice, do not want to read what they don’t have to. It is far better to have a five hundred word blog that concisely covers the topic, than a two thousand word blog that is mostly fluff.

Freebie: We’ve created a Blog Article Template to help. Simply download it here!

Writing the Article Description

Think about WHY you are writing a blog post before you start, and what it needs to cover. How does this blog post help you achieve your business objectives? What is the searcher’s intent?

Some objectives you may be aiming for in your content marketing strategy could include: 

  • Growing blog and website traffic
  • Increasing your cash flow through sales or affiliates
  • Entertaining or informing your readers
  • Growing your email list
  • Establishing authority or credibility
  • Describing or explaining a product or service you are offering

Next, think about what you want your reader to get out of the article. For this, you need to figure out your target audience first. Your target audience is a particular demographic you are purposefully writing for. They are the group of people who are most likely to engage with your content and self-identify as being interested in the topic of your blog.

But why do you need to worry about identifying your target audience for your blog article?

  1. If you cater to your target audience, they are more likely to return to your website in the future.
  2. They will be more likely to give you feedback to craft your next, better blog article.
  3. They will be more likely to engage with and share your content on their social media feeds.
  4. Your target audience will be far more willing to buy from you, making your blogs more worthwhile! 

Next, think about the tone of voice for your article. The feeling the words elicit in the reader is referred to as the tone. Four of the most common writing tones include:

FormalCommon in professional and academic contextsDirect, respectful, yet lacks ‘warmth’
InformalConversationalFriendly, but doesn’t come across as ‘expert’
InformativeEducationalShares information with the reader but can become dense if the topic is in-depth
EntertainingWants the reader to enjoy the topicMore lighthearted and enjoyable to read, but can be ‘fluffy’

How to Use Links in your Blog Article

Next, you will want to plan out your external and internal links

Links that point to pages on your own website are called ‘internal links’ while links that point to pages on other websites are called ‘external links’. Internal links are useful for keeping visitors on your website, while external links can be a useful component of your SEO strategy. Having both internal and external links on a page helps Google understand the topic of your content for SEO, crawls other content on your site, and gives the linking page more authority.

For external links, there are quite a few things to keep in mind.

Relevance, traffic, authority, link profile quality, editorial standards, outbound link quality, and indexation are the seven characteristics of high-quality backlinks. When looking for a backlink to use in your blog, look for websites that come from trusted and authoritative websites, include your target keywords in their anchor text, and are topically related to your content – one solid backlink is all it takes. 

High-quality links of either type can increase the authority and reader value of your post. They can also improve the rankings of your search engine results.

One thing to keep in mind regardless of what type of link you use is that they should point to information that is complementary to or related to your blog post, but does not repeat it, adding further useful layers of context and meaning.

Bonus: Download our FREE Blog Article Template here to help you get started!

Writing Your Blog Article

Now comes the important part – writing a blog article for your small business. You have several options when you get to this stage of the blog planning process. 

  1. Write the blog yourself – The most time-consuming option for business owners who need to focus on other pressing matters. The last thing you want to do is add another item to your to-do list or worse, produce a half-heartedly written article. You also need to be able to write exceptionally well to position yourself as an expert, which is not a strength everyone has.
  2. Hire a content marketing manager – Another option is to hire a content marketing manager for your business team. While this is a viable option, especially if you need someone solely focused on your business and its marketing activities, it can also be costly as you will have to pay their salary, benefits, and more. 
  3. Outsourcing – Your final option is to outsource to a trusted writer who isn’t on your books as a permanent member of staff. This option cuts down hugely on costs, but you will want to ensure that they are UK-based, and have good reviews and a reliable reputation. 100 Pound Social is one such provider. Our writers are all highly qualified and we pride ourselves on being an affordable option for business owners. We offer a range of blog article word counts through our Blog Articles Plan, and have experience in blogging for small businesses in all industries.

The Importance of Blogging in Digital Marketing

Having a blog on your website can be a great way to bring in visitors, give information on your products or services, and position you, the business owner, as an authority on the topics you are covering. In other words, blogging is a great way to make the most out of your website! You can get started with something small, but by creating strong content frequently you will really be helping yourself in the long run. 

If you are finding it hard to plan your blog or social media strategy, or don’t want to deal with things like figuring out the perfect call to action, look no further than 100 Pound Social. We are your solution to obtaining high-quality, well-researched articles for your business, so you don’t have to waste time, or money, doing it yourself.

Contact us today, and let us start creating blogs for you!

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