How to Blog once you’ve become a “Real Business”.
Last month I was ecstatic when TWH was awarded a blog award. It was greatly received considering that it wasn’t a self-nominated one. Plus I feel since I’ve started actually trading, my blog has taken a back seat.
It inspired me to start taking a bit of time out from the “doing” of the business. Back to where it all started. My random meanderings about all kinds of subjects, tediously linked in some way to Dogs.
And what way to best kick this off, than with a blog for other bloggers. How to you best transition from a 100% blog, to a business that blogs.
Before I started trading, I was blogging pretty much every week or fortnight. I used it to build my following and “find my people” before I launched my snack range. Now however I have less time. I’m baking, sending out orders, showcasing at markets etc. all of which is my bread and butter. Hence the blogging has taken a back seat.
I’d love to still have that weekly/fortnightly ritual. I’ve recently however, been introduced to the benefits of batch working. Through batch working, I can have baking days, packing and posting days and blogging days. Dedicating a day/weekend/week to each seperate task.
I find doing it this way, I’m not forcing myself to blog to a schedule and write when i’m not in the mood. I can more go with the flow. If i’m feeling I’d rather be in the kitchen creating recipes I ‘ll do that. When I do have a day I feel like sitting in Starbucks and writing. I have all my ideas stored up ready to go!
Use Instagram, but don’t rely on it
I really like Instagram for the sense of community and engagement it brings. Over the last few years, it’s progressed into almost a micro blog site. Bear in mind though, you never fully own your content on Instagram. If you want to have a real voice, you absolutely need your own website/blog.
What Instagram is great for though as a business, is quickly getting something out there. Something that you can then turn into a longer blog/content for your website or blog. This is the place where your hard-core fans can be found. A great example for me on this is when i’m sharing recipes. Writing a recipe up in detail with accompanying photo’s takes it’s time. What I chose to do therefore is post it quickly on instagram with short and snappy directions. When I have more time I follow this up with a more detailed blog.
Instagram also works well as a tool for you to see what subject matters really resonate with your audience. If people are engaging with a certain post, take it further and pad it out into a blog. That blog won’t disappear as quickly as it would on Instagram.
Finally, if you haven’t already, add Linktree onto your Instagram profile. It allows you to add more than one link to you bio. This way you can still have your “shop” as well as feature a few value adding blog links, giving more to your followers.
Only blog about what you know
It’s tempting to want to blog about topics that are popular, or you think your audience will also want to read. For example, my business is homemade dog snacks and holistic products, but I am by no means a Dog Nutritionist or Veterinary Expert. Neither am I an experienced Dog Trainer. Whilst these other subjects will be a natural hit with my audience, I am not best placed to be writing about them. This is when you can do one or two things.
Let’s take the dog training example. I could write a blog based on my personal experience training my dog. I could then add links to reliable website sources within that blog. This helping my readers find the expert advice.
The second option would be to use a guest blogger. This does not necessarily have to be a costly option either. There’s plenty of bloggers out there who would love nothing more but to get on someone else’s channel. It’s a way they can be introduced to more readers. I have had guest blogs on my site – here’s an example of what one looks like. I have also guest blogged on others. For advice on how to find guest bloggers click here
Define your own “off topic” rules
Sometimes, I may get an urge to write a blog about something that isn’t directly related to my primary business – Dogs or Dog Treats – but it’s a topic that interests me. I used to avoid writing that great idea. Considering it to be “off topic”. My opinion changed on this following a talk I attended with business coach Kayte Ferris at Simple and Season.
Kayte talked about defining the values behind your brand into buckets. You then make sure all your communication, be it blogs or instagram posts ties into one of those buckets.
An example of my buckets being: Wellness, supporting small, local businesses and Nature. My fundamental business is about Dog Treats, however I have blogged about how to make your dog walk more mindful, I also did a series of blogs were I interviewed “petpreneurs” showcasing their small dog related business and sharing their tips. All of these relating to one of my buckets.
Writing about what you are genuinely interested in, keeps you motivated to write those blogs. Plus the people who read your blogs, buy your products or follow you on instagram, have to some extent invested in you as a person. This means the values you hold close to your heart, are likely to be of interest to them too.
Add value that pays off in future years
When it comes to blogging, there are always new topics and subjects out there. However the blogs that will get you the most traffic are the ones that deliver the most value. In my first year of blogging – before I started trading – I wrote a few blogs that were gift lists, example: Mother’s Day gift list for Dog Mums. This blog took me a long time to put together as I had to search for the products I wanted to feature. The following year howevever, all I needed to do was check all the links still worked and update a little and it was good to go. This is a blog that will hopefully continue to get people to my site year after year.
Other examples are seasonal blogs which I’m pretty sure can be adapted to any business. In my example for Dogs, I wrote a “how to keep your dogs cool in the summer” and a “how to keep them safe on their winter walks” blogs. Basically what you are looking for is subjects that will stand the test of time.
I hope you’ve found this article of interest. Whether you are a full time blogger, transitioning from blogger to business with blog or, have a business and want to start a blog. I’d love to hear any other tips people have out there