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How to Boost Your Small Business Blog

Intro by Skip Cohen

I’ve written a lot over the years about the importance of maintaining an excellent blog. In this post from Sarah Petty’s archives at Joy of Marketing, she’s brought in tips from Mark Roberge of Hubspot. He shares some outstanding advice.

Here’s my point – your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what’s in your heart. The two work together, much like publicity and advertising. I’ve probably written this a few dozen times in past posts here at Marathon. You can obviously run a business without a blog, but why would you want to?

I’ve recently shared two posts about how to maintain a stronger blog, but Sarah and Mark take us all a step further and into more depth with specifics to help you increase traffic and awareness.

Just remember one thing – having a great blog is a big commitment. You can’t build it and then walk away, posting irrelevant topics every time there’s a full moon. And, while it’s a big responsibility, if you do it right, the payback is incredible!

By Sarah Petty

We’ve all experienced the dark hole known as the internet. You know what I’m talking about. You start clicking on links from blogs or images your friends have posted on Facebook and the next thing you know, it’s two hours later and no revenue has come in.

Blogging has traditionally been one of the hardest for me to dedicate time to. It takes more time and planning than making a quick Facebook post. Yet the payoffs are much bigger, as you may have suspected.

Sites that include a blog have 55% more visitors and receive 97% more inbound links (inbound links are how you get move your company up to the top of the page when people search for what you do in google). The more visitors to your website, the more potential clients you have to sell to! We’re still getting our arms around this, but here’s a bit of what we a short time ago.

5 ways you can juice up your small business blog:

Credit goes to Mark Roberge of Hubspot for his presentation at OMS. (Online Marketing Summit)

1) Incorporate the keywords you want people to use when searching for you in google, bing or yahoo in the titles of your blog posts. For example, Chicago wedding photographer, Philadelphia Interior Designer or Miami cosmetic dentist.

2) Make sure the URL for your blog post includes your blog title. For example www.thejoyofmarketing.com/5-ways-for-small-business-owners-to-juice-your-blog-posts versus www.thejoyofmarketing.com/blog45. The more descriptive URL helps your page rank in google when people link to your blog post.

3) If you’re having trouble choosing a topic, use a keyword tool. A keyword tool helps you determine the popularity of specific keywords about your business (the more popular the harder it is for you to show up on the first page in google searches). Google has a great free tool if you are an Adwords user (it’s free to set up an Adwords account, too).

4) Get creative when it comes to your blog titles by using more obscure keywords in your blog titles. So rather than just saying Chicago wedding photographer, you may use a specific city like Schaumburg wedding photographer or something even more specific that describes your style that someone may search for to find you. This increases your chances to show up on page one when people search for what you do.

5) At the bottom of each of your blog posts, include a call to action. It can be so simple as sign up for our monthly newsletter, become our fan on Facebook, etc. Give readers a way to contact you and stay in touch with you.

Finally, on a side note, I see several of our community members doing a great job on their blogs in letting their personalities show through. Props to Light, Love and Laughter Photography and Sweet Water Images who are doing a great job in letting the personality of the photographers shine through in their blog posts and not just letting the images speak for themselves.

I’m curious…how often are you blogging? And how is it helping your business?