To the average business owner, blogging might seem like an intimidating task. Blogging for your business can easily become overwhelming, which can turn you away from wanting to blog at all.
With so many layers, strategies, and insights to business blogging, it’s not a wonder why some business owners decide to walk away.
But unfortunately, these obstacles prevent you from discovering the worthwhile marketing method of blogging. You’re losing out on website traffic, social media exposure, and building relationships with new customers.
So instead of just outlining the barriers of business blogging, I’m going to tell you exactly how to overcome them.
Applying these barrier-lifting methods will help open doors and get your business blog lifted off the ground.
Barrier #1: You Don’t Know How to Properly Set Up a Blog
The first step to properly setting up your company blog is by getting your website hosted under your own domain (.com, .org, etc). While you can certainly run a blog under Blogspot or other free content management systems, it looks much more professional to have a blog hosted under your own domain.
So instead of having a blog URL such as YourBusinessName.Blogspot.com, it should be YourBusinessName.com/Blog.
Your own domain also gives more flexibility and customization options in terms of design.
You can register your own domain with storage space at places like GoDaddy or Blue Host. A lot of website hosting companies have WordPress integrated right into your plan, and you can install it in just 1 click. You pay for your domain name and hosting, but WordPress itself is free.
(WordPress is the most popular content management system and blogging tool available. It’s extremely user friendly. Honest.)
While this is just a quick crash course on the subject, there are articles that provide in-depth details on exactly how to install, set up, and start using your WordPress blog.
Here’s how to get started with hosting and installing WordPress on Blue Host.
Here’s another article on the same topic, but with using GoDaddy.
So if you’re unsure of how to properly set up a company blog, start by looking into a place to host your website if you aren’t at that phase yet.
If you already have a hosted domain, chances are that your host can help you set up a blog so you can get started.
Barrier #2: You Don’t Know What to Write About
This is possibly the biggest barrier for business blogging in existence. It can feel impossible to come up with compelling blog topics week after week, but I assure you that it can be done—and it’s a lot easier than you think.
It’s time to tap into your resources and sharpen your researching skills.
Here are a few easily accessible resources for blog topics. A lot of these are right under your nose, such as:
- Competitor blogs. What are your competitors blogging about? The idea is to check in on your competitors’ blogs and evaluate the points that they are missing, and how you can improve on their ideas or add a unique angle.
- Q&A Communities. Browse online Q&A communities to discover real-life questions from potential customers. Quora is an excellent source to dig up questions that are related to your industry. After a few minutes of sifting through results containing your industry keywords, you can potentially find a goldmine of new blog topics.
- Twitter’s advanced search feature allows you to search for potential customers who are asking questions about your products and services. You can even use this feature if you’re a brick and mortar—you have the option to search within a specified radius of your zip code.
- Blog topic generators. These tools can be useful when you’re in a pinch and need an idea ASAP. You simply enter a few keywords into the generator and they send back prompts that you can use as blog topics. Since it’s a tool and not a real human being generating these topic suggestions, you’ll need to use your best judgment when making your selection. The most popular blog topic generator is Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator.
By using a combination of your expert insight and detective work, it won’t be long until you’re a pro at coming up with your own compelling blog topics.
Barrier #3: You Don’t Have Time
I’m not going to sugarcoat it—blogging is time consuming. It takes a considerable amount of time to research topics, write and edit your posts, pick the perfect images, and continuously promote your blog thereafter.
Add that on top of your daily business activities, handling customers, and trying to get in a minute to just eat your lunch.
By then, your day is gone and you haven’t typed as much as a single keystroke.
If this sounds like you, not all hope is lost. You can still write at least one blog post per week—and the quality can still be great, even if you’re short on time.
The first step is to break your blog post into manageable sections. It also helps to have a word count goal in mind, but it isn’t 100% necessary—word count personally helps me stay focused.
The next step is to consider the deadline for your blog. I suggest starting your post 5-7 days out to give yourself plenty of time.
Then, pick a section (or word count) to complete through your deadline.
So, if your blog post is a how-to topic with 5 steps, you can dedicate yourself to writing 1 step per day. That can consist of anywhere between 100-400 words per day, which is only 1-5 paragraphs.
You can handle that, right?
Barrier #4: You Don’t Have Any Readers
Many business owners are under the false impression that nobody reads their blog. The truth is that your readers are your customers (along with a variety of other people and organizations), and they do read your blog more than you think.
The real barrier comes when business owners are unsure of how to promote their blog to customers in the first place. While customers can discover your blog just by simply browsing your website, you shouldn’t rely solely on this method to get readers.
Blogging Is what is known as inbound marketing. This means that you use your blog post to bring readers into your website—the post acts as a magnet to make people want to explore your business and your website.
But in order to successfully get the benefits of blogging, as well as attracting new readers, you must promote it properly.
This is achieved by using different promotion methods, including social media, content repurposing on third party websites, and even blast e-mailing your blog out to your current customers.
It might take time to build up a solid reader base, but rest assured that people will read your business blog as long as it contains valuable content—and that’s a promise.
Barrier #5: No One Takes Blogging Seriously
Hopefully by now you have moved beyond the thought process of blogging being the joke of marketing methods. It might be a cost effective marketing technique, but don’t allow yourself to think that no one takes your blog seriously.
In case you haven’t heard, content marketing (blogging is one aspect) has been on the rise for the last several years. There’s mind boggling amounts of data to support that consumers are taking content marketing more seriously than ever—and so should you.
This is because the mindset of your customers is changing. They rely on the Internet now more than ever to research brands and educate themselves on your products and services.
If you still don’t believe it, the proof is in the data. The Content Marketing Association suggests that 82% of consumers enjoy reading content from a brand when that content is relevant. Furthermore, 68% of consumers are more likely to spend time reading content from a brand that they are interested in.
This means that if your blog remains updated and relevant, your customers can use it as a research tool to help making buying decisions.
Blogging has also been documented as the 5th most trusted source for consumers to find information online. According to this data, your customers trust blogs more than Twitter, online magazines, and brand websites.
Breaking Down Your Business Blogging Barriers
With so many tools and resources available to make business blogging attainable, there’s no need to hold yourself back. You’re likely already aware of the vast benefits that blogging can bring, so break down those barriers and reap the rewards of a solid business blogging strategy.
Excellent tips Amanda. The biggest challenge is just taking that first step and getting started. Once you do that you can learn on the go and improve. You don’t need to have everything perfect before getting started.