All businesses need marketing to survive in the market.
Perhaps this is more important for startups than for well-established companies.
The consumers already know quite a bit about existing brands and their legacy.
However, startups are completely new, and have no such legacy to speak of; which means that they are the ones who need a lot more structured and complicated marketing strategy when they make their entry into the market.
Ironically, startups are the ones who have the least to spare for a big budget marketing strategy.
They have to spend most of their capital on perfecting their product or service.
It’s not just a matter of capital; they cannot spare the time to launch a well thought out marketing and advertising campaign.
The introductory phase of a startup is full of frenzy and tension; you have a group of shareholders and investors who are anxious to see that their money doesn’t go down the drain, to which you are forever accountable.
On the other hand, you have to motivate your workforce.
In the midst of all this, it’s okay if you find it hard to execute an intricate marketing strategy, complete with customer interaction and loyalty programmes.
Although executing such a marketing strategy seems hard, there are other simpler methods you can use to achieve the same goals of a marketing programme. Blogging is one such method.
Starting a personal blog for writing about the things that interest you is easy; you only have to write what comes to your mind.
But writing a blog as part of a business is tricky; if used well, it could bring much fame and popularity to the business.
Blogging is a digital marketing tool, one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions to businesses worldwide.
If you are a startup owner who hasn’t started a blog yet, here are a few blogging tips for a small business owner that will get you upon your feet in no time:
1. Scour the audience
Before you write or say anything, first you have to listen to the audience.
Go through social media, online forums and other websites where you can observe the trends in your target group.
Look out for what they want, especially with regard to your brand and your products, but also about what related topic they normally like to discuss or read.
Once you are able to understand what they need, you can include related content in your blog.
2. Make a list of ideas
It’s always good to keep a notebook, or an app equivalent of a notebook handy so that you can jot down ideas as they come to you.
Make a long list of topics and ideas to include in the blog. In this way, you will never run out of material for your blog.
3. Keep an eye on your competitors’ blogs
Let’s call this ‘research.’
If you are unsure of how to start a blog or what topics to include, simply go through your competitor’s blogs so that you get an idea of the kind of topics they deal with.
Be careful not to imitate the exact same thing.
You just need to form an idea of the topics and areas they cover.
4. More, extensive research
Be sure to do your research well.
When you run a blog, it is very important that you don’t plagiarise, but you need to do some extensive research on everything you write.
When I say research, you’re probably thinking about googling things and searching on the web.
But, if you want to create some really unique content, you can look at a number of other offline options, like books or information that is passed by word of mouth.
For example, if you want to do a blog post on popular recipes, instead of googling them, try going through some old cookbooks or talk to your friends and your mother.
You will get some valuable tips that no search engine can ever find for you.
5. Instructions and How-tos
Being an entrepreneur in a particular field, you would have some expertise to share with your readers.
Be it fashion advice, beauty hacks, or simply tips on running a business, there is always a lot of insight that you can give to your readers.
Whatever you put in from your own thought is what makes your blog unique, and that is what captures the reader.
Putting in topics regarding how-tos will actually bring more traffic to your blog.
6. Solving problems
When you scour through your target group, you are bound to find a number of problems that they face.
Find solutions to these problems and put them up on your blog.
A good way to find such problems is to go through forums like Quora and Reddit where users often pose their questions and doubts.
7. Promoting your products and services
Promoting your products and services through your blog is a tricky thing; you don’t want to look like a sellout when you have convinced your readers that your blog is here to help them.
The ideal way is to passively mention helpful products in between when you write your posts.
For example, if you are writing a blog post about hair health, you can passively mention a hair product or two that you sell.
Try not to include this in every single blog post, and minimize the number of such mentions.
8. Put in some industry buzz
So what’s going on in the industry currently?
You might want to share some industry related news, something that would be interesting for your readers to know.
You can even include commentary articles on different trends in the industry, or write posts related to what’s hot and breaking news.
For example, almost all fashion bloggers now are blogging about the hot topic of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, with every blogger predicting in their own unique ways what the bridal gown would be like.
I even came across a recipe imitating the wedding cake on a food blog.
9. Throw in a pinch of entertainment
The striking feature of blogs that make it different from others is that there is a level of informality used in the language, design, and presentation of a blog.
A blog doesn’t have to be completely commercial.
You can even add in a little bit of entertainment and fun.
You can write about your own experiences.
All of this mixed together is what makes a blog interesting to read and explore.
Promoting your blog on social media platforms is a great way to get some traffic on it.
When you write a blog, it is not enough to simply create articles and post them.
The readers would have a lot to say and a lot to ask.
You need to respond and be consistent.
And remember, it is not quantity, but the quality that counts.