Let’s start with the basics of Blogging. The word blog originally comes from the term
web-log (noun): a log (or diary) on the web (internet).
These days, blogging is more about having a regularly updated web site, written in an informal or conversational style. What you are currently reading is a blog.
You may have heard of WordPress, which is one of the most popular blogging platforms available. Roughly, 20% of websites are running WordPress. But there are many other options these days, including SquareSpace, Joomla, Drupal, and Github Pages
When you write a blog post, you want to target it to your audience. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you trying to communicate?
- Are you selling something to your readers?
- Are you educating them in your art?
- Are you keeping them informed about what you are doing?
- Is it interesting?
- Would they want to read it and why?
- Would they share it with their friends?
SHOW YOUR EXPERTISE
Blogging is a great way to show your readers you are an expert in your area. Are you in construction? How do your customers know what you do and if you are good at it? Blogging is an easy way to share your knowledge with your customers. Teach them simple DIY tricks. Talk to them about the type of work you are doing, or some tricks you just learned or successes you recently had. If you just completed a job, post some before and after pics on your blog and talk about how great of an experience it was and how happy the customer is with the outcome.
ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS
When your customers come to your website, and read about your work, and see you sharing your knowledge and experience, it builds a relationship with that customer. They can see the quality of your work. They can read about the positive outcomes. They learn a little about your art. They now know you and a trusted friendship can be built. When they need you, they will remember you, and will likely call you first. Congrats - your blogging just found you a new customer.
ENGAGE EXISTING CUSTOMERS
Existing customers may check back regularly on your website. They are likely to be repeat customers if you did a great job for them already. If you customer starts following you on social media (eg Facebook), and regularly reads your blog, then you stay top of mind. You will undoubtedly generate referral leads from this customer, and because you stayed top of mind with the client, they will likely contact you again for any further jobs they have.
Also, remember, if you are blogging about the customer on your website, ask for permission first (especially if you are using pictures of their property, or their name). Most customers will be happy to help, and share the link with them once the post goes live so that they can share it with all of their friends.
DRIVE SEARCH ENGINE GROWTH
Google tends to rank websites that stay fresh and are regularly updated higher in their pages. An easy way to keep your website fresh and updated is to post on a regular basis. The more frequent you can post the better. I would suggest every few days. At least once a week.
Also, if your blogs are interesting, people are more likely to share it with their friends. Post a link to your blog article to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever your customers are. It will lead existing and new customers to your website. If your links are shared, then it can boost your website rank on google. Read my post on link building to learn some of the advantages of off-page optimization and driving organic search.
NOTHING TO LOSE
You have nothing to lose by sharing your expertise. Most DIYer’s probably aren’t your customers for the basic stuff anyway, so helping them out means you can earn their trust for the bigger jobs, or stuff they are too lazy to do themselves. For potential clients who aren’t going to DIY, you have a chance to sell them with your skill and knowledge. You have the opportunity to build trust that you may not have had earned before from that customer.
All it takes is less than an hour to write about your ideas. Maybe less if you are a writing freak, or longer if you have writers block.
Before you start to write your blog post, I suggest you write down some bullet points. Keep each post on topic. Don’t stray into 5 different categories that make the article incoherent. You can keep those topics as another article (hey 5 different posts for that matter).
Once you have the basic bullet points, start typing. Let the conversation flow naturally and let your experience and wisdom guide you. Watch for spelling and grammar. Basic things like that can lose an audience pretty quickly.
Use pictures if you have them. Too much text can get boring.
Add references if you have sources. Helps to back up any claims you make with data.