_*Note: This post was transferred here from an older blog that I was hosting on Posterous.com. the posting date reflects the publish date of the original post.
As a small business, you don't have much time. Keeping up on your blog can be a challenge. And what do you write anyway? Here are my top 5 tips when writing a small business blog.
1) Write what you know.
This is the mantra for writing of all kinds, but especially in blogging. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen clients make is to just regurgitate information from other places rather than coming up with their own thoughts. A whole bunch of links with little commentary rarely adds value to your blog. Instead, think about the conversations you are having with customers every day. When have you heard comments like "wow, I never knew that," or "I didn't understand that until talking to you." That is your content! Now just write it.
2) Always, always, ALWAYS proofread.
Okay - I know I am asking for it now, and will probably get e-mails detailing all the errors in this post. Still, true is true.
There are few things that will take good content and make it seem stupid than sloppy writing, spelling errors, or bad grammar. If you do not feel confident in this area, find a co-worker, employee, friend, or marketing service that does and have them give your work a once over before it goes live.
3) Save good ideas for a rainy day.
When you have a good idea for a blog post, write it down immediately. If you have a few minutes, even write out the whole post. If you have already written one for the day it will be available for a day when you just can't think of anything to post. Keeping a buffer of written articles is one of the best ways to stay consistent.
4) Start small.
The world of the web is changing. You do not have to be able to commit to a daily 500+ word blog with fantastic graphics and pictures to be able to start blogging. Find a simple platform that you can use, choose a clean look, and try to be regular, even if it is only once a month. Having something will be better than nothing, and you can get comfortable over time and expand as needed. Don't let how big the mountain looks to keep you from taking your first step.
5) Know how and when to ask for help.
Blogging can be very personal, which can make a business owner hesitant to ask for help. Whether you are having trouble getting off the ground, staying consistent, or generating enough unique content see what resources are around to help. You may find an employee with hidden writing talents that can help with content. Or a friend who can hold you accountable to writing regularly. Many blogs written by business owners will need professional help at some point in time. After all, the blog is not your business, it is supporting your business. You may need help finding a good platform to start, setting up the original design, writing content, or finding ways to optimize your content to serve your marketing strategy. All these are things a professional internet marketer can help you with to save your precious time and money for what you are best at - running your business.