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blog writing for small businessSmall businesses often underestimate the value of a good business blog, because they do not know the variety of purposes it serves (ie. shortening the sales process, brand promotion, establishing credibility, building followers/subscribers, inbound link building, etc.).

To make matters worse, these same businesses also tend to overestimate the amount of time and effort it takes to set up and maintain a great, effective blog.  So, since I have already written about how useful a small business blog can be, it’s time to show how effortless generating great, quality content can be.  Here are some ideas for content generation that are tried and true!

1.    Bring blogs together – There are bazillions of bloggers out there who simply post other people’s relevant blog content to their sites.  This is probably one of the easiest ways for someone who is unfamiliar with blogging to learn the tricks of the trade while building up a following.  You could do this over breakfast a few times a week, easily, and jump-start your company blog at the same time!  All you have to do is:

a.    Search for blogs that post content relevant to your target audience.

b.    Paste interesting paragraphs to your site.  Some bloggers will summarize each blog, or say why they thought the article was interesting or important.

c.    Link back to the original content, so anyone interested will be able to read the entire article.

2.    Comment on developments in the Industry – About half the time spent writing a blog post is spent doing ‘research,’ which is just the fancy way of saying web browsing.  The rest is just details.

a.    Go online, read a magazine or newspaper, and find something that both you and your target audience will find interesting or important.  Make sure that it is something you are either familiar with, or can make a point about that relates to your profession.

b.    Link to an online source of that information, quote or summarize the important stuff.  it, and then

c.    Discuss the event/information, in your own terms.  These kind of posts will build a lot of credibility in potential customers/clients, while attracting larger audiences to your site.

3.    Lifting lists – Here’s another great tactic that will save you years of your life as a blogger.  The list is quickly becoming one of the most important tools of modern-day communication, because it allows people to skim through material easily and effortlessly.  With so much material out there, people are considering this ability a necessity for informative content, in particular.  (In case you hadn’t noticed, this post is a list.)  If you think someone else’s list will be useful to your target audience, simply:

a.    Paste the Major headings in your own post

b.    Link to the original article (so that anyone who has questions about the material can go directly to the source.

c.    Explain the purposes of the list and how it is applicable.

4.    The Comedy Skit – The workplace is seldom a stagnant place, and every once in a while, something truly funny will happen, so funny that you may run home and tell your family, friends, or favorite plant about it.  Well, here’s your chance to tell thousands of potential customers that your company has a soft side.  Don’t let it go to waste!

5.    How-to Guides – For many services-based companies, such as dry cleaners or home contractors, creating a quick how-to guide can be as easy as falling off a log, but it can be useful enough to get some attention from your customers.  At the same time, it will make loyal supporters out of mere visitors.  Simply:

a.    Think about the various tasks your company performs that an average person would be able to learn and do easily, without too many tools.

b.    Write a step-by-step guide.  Make it like a recipe you would find in a cookbook.

c.    Include a ‘grocery list’ of items they will need to finish.