I first started my own small business when my kids were young. Doing photography gave me a creative outlet as well as an additional income source that helped allow me to be a stay at home mom. Naturally, I loved looking at other photographer’s work to help me get inspired. One particular photographer from my hometown always stood out to me. Her photos looked like something you would see out of a high fashion magazine; except classier. Then I realized she had a blog. At the time I didn’t even really know what a blog was. Why in the world did she write all of these blog posts on top of all the hard work she put into her photography business? Well, now I have the inside scoop and I totally get why some small businesses choose to start blogging. If you own a small business, should you be blogging too? Is there something you’re missing out on by not blogging? Maybe. Let’s run through all the potential benefits of starting a blog for your small business.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission on recommendations at no cost to you.
Top benefits of blogging for your small business
Now, I will admit, starting a blog isn’t a perfect fit for every small business. While that’s not true. I honestly can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t benefit every small business!
If you own a local landscaping business, creating a blog filled with tips on how to style your yard or maintain healthy plants would be a great idea. Local clients would love these tips and it would be a great way to display some of your best landscaping before and afters.
Even if you can’t think of exactly how a blog would benefit your small business, take a peek through some of the perks before you make your final decision.
Deeper client relationships
Starting a blog helps people form a connection with you. People are more likely to purchase from someone they know.
Representing yourself and your business through a blog is a great way to form personal relationships with people and ultimately encourage them to continue to purchase from you.
We all know people in our life that we would never trust making a purchase from. Sometimes learning who we can trust happens the hard way.
What we do know is that we want someone that we can trust and have total faith in. Customers who are looking to purchase products or services are wanting the same thing from your small business. They want to know they can trust you with their time and hard-earned money. Connecting with them through a single weekly blog post is a great way to start building that trust and get them talking about you to their friends.
Exposure to big brands
I once stumbled upon the blog of a local photographer. She had taken some amazing photos during her family vacation to Disneyland and she gave all the credit to her brand new camera. This camera that was given to her from a major camera company in exchange for her honest opinion in a blog post!
Starting a blog can allow you to start collaborating with major big brands in the same line of work. Bakers can gain access to food companies or quality baking equipment. Home repair companies stand the chance to partner up with places like Home Depot or Black and Decker.
No matter what your expertise, having a consistent, high-quality blog can help you gain exposure to bigger opportunities that your small business may not have otherwise had.
Open up to a bigger audience
Many people start a blog and think they will instantly gain national exposure. While this is totally possible, it’s usually not that simple. Just like anything in life, you have to put in the work to get the reward. Being active on social media outlets, especially Pinterest will help you get that exposure.
In fact, on Pinterest, you can create pins specifically about any products you might be selling. –This is an instant way to draw in potential buyers and start making sales.
If you have a more stationary small business, like lawn mowing or piano lessons, you may not think a bigger audience is necessary for growth. That’s true in a lot of ways since your clients will need to be local. However, don’t overlook the potential of branching out.
Chip and Joanna Gaines operated local businesses and have been able to dominate the entire world (or so it seems) and it was due in large part to Joanna’s blog gaining the attention of people at HGTV.
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Additional income source
Aside from the day to day of your small business, starting a blog has the potential to bring in multiple different sources of income for you as well. I’ll run you through two of the simplest ones.
Just like collaborating with big brands, you also have the potential to get started working as an affiliate for some of them right off the bat. Depending on what your small business does, there will be a variety of affiliate programs available to you.
If you own and operate a landscaping company, you could easily suggest some high-end, quality tools for people to use when doing their own landscaping. Amazon Associates would be a great option in getting started with this type of blogging. All you need to is leave a link to any tools you use or recommend. If someone purchases, you’ll earn a commission!
It can be intimidating, but affiliate marketing is actually a very simple way to start bringing in additional income through your blog. One blogger is actually making over $50,000 PER MONTH through affiliate marketing alone!
Her course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing will walk you step by step through exactly what you need to do to get started making money with affiliate marketing.
You can also get a behind the scenes look at affiliate links in my course, Stay at Home Blogger
Both of these companies make it very easy to have clean, fresh pages that aren’t over-run with ads!
What’s the difference?
When it comes to working with companies like Mediavine, you have got to haveconsistentn page views of at least 25,000 per month!
That’s why most bloggers choose to start with Google AdSense and work their way toward Mediavine when the time is right.
What do you need to get started?
Alright! This blogging thing sounds great, how do I sign up? There are a few important things you need to know about when it comes to getting a blog started if you don’t already have a website setup.
Get a self-hosted site
If you are really wanting to spread the word about your small business and it’s great products, it’s important to get set up with a self-hosted site with BlueHost if you don’t have one already. While there are a lot of tempting free website builders out there, (hosted sites) you won’t get the same results as you would by going self-hosted.
Two major downfalls with hosted sites:
- Your site will be restricted when it comes to customizing which means you may be limited in the look and functionality of your blog.
- If the host site goes down, your site goes down. There is no way to maintain your site or transfer it down the road.
Two major benefits of self-hosted:
- You are in charge of your websites look, layout and functioning. Running your own business, you should definitely be in charge of major decisions like this.
- If you don’t like your hosting company, you can change to a new one because you have total control over what happens to your blog.
The downfall of going self-hosted:
- The only real downside of going self-hosted is that it isn’t free. This turns off a lot of first-time bloggers, but the truth is, the cost is worth all the benefits you gain. Don’t let the added expense stress you out because you can get started for $3.95 a month!
I know it can sound super overwhelming if you’re not sure what to do. My mind was racing when I first learned everything it took to start a blog. Don’t stress, I have a step by step guide on how to get your blog self hosted with BlueHost.
Choosing a layout
After getting a site name set up and hosted with BlueHost, you will get to choose your layout and start designing with WordPress! WordPress has free layouts for you to choose from, or you can choose from beautifully pre-designed themes. Check out some of these theme shops to get an idea of what layouts are available:
Get site protection
If you are putting all the work and effort into building and maintaining a quality site, you’re going to want to make sure you call for backup! Once your site is all set up, you’re going to want to get yourself set up with the Jetpack plugin. Adding Jetpack will help ensure your site is safe and secure from spam and will keep your files backed up so you don’t lose anything!
Do you need a selling plugin?
Does your small business have products or services? You can get your shop setup easily with WooCommerce. WooCommerce works with WordPress and allows you to sell either products or services. “…sell anything from luxury mattresses and cupcakes to kayak lessons and hand-crafted jewelry.” They also have great tutorials to help you learn how to make the most out of selling with them.
What should you write about?
So maybe writing isn’t your thing. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Getting ideas together will become more and more natural if you just stick with it. Ask yourself these questions:
- How does your business help people?
- What can they learn at home?
- What goes on behind the scenes?
- Have a before and after project? Share it!
- Did you get a rave review from a client? Tell us all about it!
Get creative with different things to put on your blog.
My biggest recommendation when it comes to getting blogging material is to ask your customers what they want to know!
Do you have questions that frequently pop up? Something that people always need help with? Write a post about it! You can almost guarantee other people are looking for these answers online!
No matter what you decide, I highly recommend getting a set schedule and staying consistent. Even if you are only consistently writing one blog post a week. Start where you can and stick with it. You won’t find success any other way!
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