Blogging…urghhh…As small business owners, it’s one of our least favourite marketing things. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: Blogging works. Most of all because it helps your people find you on 'the Internets'. Here are 3 tips to make blog writing a little less painful and a whole lot more effective.

Before we get into the ‘how’, let’s talk about the ‘why’. Three little letters: S E O. For you newbies, SEO is search engine optimization. In a nutshell, it’s how Google determines where to send people looking for your products and services.

Businesses with a consistent blog strategy receive 2x more email traffic as those without. Plus, more than 55% of marketers say they’ve gained new customers just by blogging. (Oberlo)

Google LOVES fresh content and Google loves it even more when that content speaks directly to someone’s need. So if our boy Scott is searching for ‘custom engagement rings in Toronto’ and you have a blog post titled ‘Top 5 tips to buying custom engagement rings in Toronto’, chances are pretty good Google will show a snippet of your blog post in Scott's search results.


#1: Write what you know


“I have no clue what to write about Jenn.” Really? Really?! Sure you do! Sit down and make a list. Here, let’s do one together.

Topic: Child psychology

Blog post ideas

  • How to support your child’s mental health through the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 5 Tips on raising thoughtful teens

  • 3 signs you should seek professional help for your child’s mental health

  • Educational video games

  • Things to do outdoors with your child

I’m no child psychologist but I do have a child and these are certainly topics I, as a parent, am interested in learning about.

Whether you run a snow removal business, a local cafe or a women’s clothing store, you have knowledge to share. And that knowledge can be transformed into insightful blog posts that get you found, position you as an expert in your field and build trust with your audience.

#2: Use winning blog formulas

Want to know the one thing that will get more people to click on your posts? It’s the headline.


You’re welcome.


Expert copywriters (like me!) know that the key to getting traffic to your posts is the headline.



Have a look at the headlines from our little exercise above. It’s a fact: Blog headlines that start with How To’s, Why’s & (INSERT NUMBER) of Tips/Tricks, etc. get read more.


Let’s take the dull ‘Educational video games’ headline above as an example. A quick edit can guarantee way more hits. Top 5 Educational Video Games for Teens. See what I did there? I added a number (5) AND I also specified the audience, i.e.,Teens.

Once you get folks to click on a great headline, you had better be prepared to deliver some valuable content.

Do some additional research to bring new angles to popular subjects. Consider adding quotes from other experts that further hammer home your key points.

Using bullets and stats and quotes will make your blog post more scannable and easier to digest. And don’t forget the images!

Lastly, don’t skip out on completing the meta descriptions on your posts. This information is critical when it comes to having your posts indexed by search engines. ‘What’s that Jenn?’ Here’s what it looks like in my website editor.



Fill out those SEO settings

#3: Reuse and Recycle old blog posts

Wanna know the best thing about blog posts? They can be repurposed in so many ways. With the average blog post taking almost 4 hours to write, you want to get the most out of your efforts.

Take little snippets from your blog posts and convert them into social media posts. I could likely get a good 10 out of this one post alone!

I’ll also be condensing this into a synopsis which I plan to send to my email list. Maybe that’s where you came from today ;-).

Knowing you’ll be able to slice and dice a blog post into valuable little morsels will make the task of actually writing it more enjoyable.

A blog post can also be resurrected years later. As a matter of fact, my first job with a long-term client was to rewrite and refresh some of their old posts. I updated the tone, content and stats to work for ‘today’. Here's an example of one below:

Infusing a trendy tone into an old post results in more clicks.

If your business is stuck, blogging is one of those simple steps you can take to give your business a boost. But like any other marketing channel, you’ll need to be consistent if you want to see results. So carve out some time on a Sunday afternoon in between weekly meal prep and your favourite true crime podcast to get one written.

You should be aiming for one blog post a week. Even one a month is better than none a month.

If, after reading this, you’re convinced you need to give blogging another try but still have a case of the ‘I don’t wanna’s’, give me a shout. I’ll be happy to take on this chore for you.


Happy Blogging,

Jenn

Social media has given birth to the age of the consumer. A single voice now has such power to shape the opinions and influence the behaviours of thousands of friends and followers. But “with great power comes great responsibility”. And we really need to be more careful.

We’re Killing Small Business

We’re increasingly turning to our virtual friends for recommendations on everything from restaurants to reliable auto mechanics. And in turn, we’re more than happy to spread the word about our own experiences: the good, the bad and the downright nasty.

As a social media marketer, I see negative reviews on local businesses every day which are often followed by comments like, “Wow Amy, I’ll never shop THERE again.” “Thanks for letting us know.” “Sharing!” The negativity spreads like a virus. And it’s working. More often than not, the damage is done before the business owner even has a chance to respond.

Have you seen the story about the wedding photographer who was forced to close her business because a disgruntled customer unleashed a hate-filled online campaign against her? What about the boutique hotel in Ireland who received a scathing online review?



These stories are becoming increasingly common. With somewhere between 67 percent and 90 percent of consumers looking at a product’s reviews before they decide to make a purchase, reviews matter.

If you don’t have anything nice to say…

...Choose your words carefully. We all have a voice and that voice has been further magnified by social media. It’s wonderful that we’re able to help educate friends and fellow consumers based on our experiences but we need to understand the ramifications of our words. In fact, a single negative review can drive away approximately 22 percent of customers.

There’s a difference between writing an honest, well presented review about a business and just plain venting. Have a read through the following To Post or Not to Post Checklist to ensure you’re posting a review and not a defamation.


1. Have you calmed down? The ‘heat of the

moment’ is never a good time to write a review.

2. Did you make every attempt to rectify the situation offline?

3. Are your words helpful or hurtful?

4. Is your review factual?

5. Are you prepared for the repercussions?


#5, cont. On the plus side, your negative review could result in a change to business practices. On the downside, it could lead to lost revenue, a firing, or in the absolute worst case, the business closing.

Small businesses are fighting back

Whether it’s a witty tweet reply or a slow burn response to a TripAdvisor review, it’s clear that business owners no longer accept that the ‘customer is always right’. Especially when they’re wrong.

That wedding photographer mentioned above actually took the customer to court and was awarded $115 thousand in damages. An up & coming network marketing company is suing a number of individuals for operating websites and blogs that disparage the quality of their products.

Be Kind to One Another

Apply Ellen Degeneres’ advice to the virtual world. If you feel the need to write a negative review, try to make it constructive and lead with kindness. When you receive exceptional service, be just as passionate about posting a positive review. See a painful review on your favourite local business? Resist the urge to respond directly and instead counter with a kind word or two.

#SupportLocal doesn’t just mean shopping at your neighbourhood farmer’s market or family-owned shoe store. It takes more effort to ‘think twice and be nice’ than it does to troll behind the apparent safety of a screen. Before you click the ‘post’ button, understand that your words have an impact on real people, yourself included.

Feel free to share this article with your connections, especially those Keyboard Cowboys.

Positively yours, Jennifer

Jennifer Iannuzzi is a seasoned copywriter, content marketing expert and founder of ifixtext.com. She works with company founders to position their solutions for success.

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