5 great ideas for adding fresh content to your small business website, motivating customers, and getting the attention of search engines.

You’re a small business owner. You’re busy — all the time. You’re constantly pulled in many different directions, but you understand the importance of strong content marketing, so you want to regularly share new content to your blog. But what can you write about to keep your blog authoritative and interesting?

Between the struggles of having very little time and/or having writer’s block, the notion of constantly posting to a blog can leave many small business owners frustrated or overwhelmed. That’s why we asked these blogging professionals for their tips to keep your business blog fresh and reeling in new readers.

Blog content doesn’t have to be difficult. Multiple bloggers recommend setting aside some time to determine or clarify the purpose of your blog. Once you have some direction for your blog’s goals, get in the habit of consistently posting quality content to motivate customers to trust your business and keep search engines ranking you authoritatively.

Here are a few expert tips to help overcome those hurdles and make sure your blog is effective.

1. Identify Your Target Audience & Their Questions

Dedicate some time  in your schedule for research so that  can find what questions your customers are asking, what topics they’re interested in  learning more about, and how they respond to posts from others within your industry.

Dayne Shuda, founder of Ghost Blog Writers, helps customers understand the process of learning about their audience, creating an attainable schedule for blogging, and creating captivating blog content.

“You can find questions by talking with current customers. You can use social media to find questions. Do a little digging to see what hashtags your customers are and follow those hashtags. Look at a few of your current followers and dig into their feeds. See what questions they’re asking,” he said. “See what the big topics are.”

2. Set Realistic Goals You Can Achieve With Your Blog

Your blog can be  one of the most efficient way to reach your customers, but you need to plan carefully  to make sure that you’ll be able to maintain it over time. Nathan Ellering writes about setting attainable blog goals in his piece on CoSchedule. The best blog goals, according to Ellering, will be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely.

Make sure that whatever amount of content you set out to post to your blog will be attainable each month. Account for any seasonal spikes, scheduled trips, or other variations in your schedule. Also determine what results you expect to track with your blog posts, whether they be pageviews, purchases, or other action taken on your website.

Give yourself regularly scheduled deadlines to hold yourself accountable, but not cause your attention to other important responsibilities to slide. Choose the best time of day in your schedule to have your content ready to share. These goals will keep you disciplined, and soon enough, become second nature!

3. Determine the Optimal Frequency For New Posts to Your Blog

Once you have your goals set, it’s time to put your research and schedule together to determine how often new blog posts are necessary, but also possible. How often do your customers like to read new content from you? Do you use email marketing or newsletters to notify your customers of new blog posts?

Start slow — give yourself a goal of two blog posts for the first month. As you start to feel more comfortable, increase your frequency when you and anyone else contributing to your blog are able to stay on the same page and track what is working and what isn’t.

Ellering warns new bloggers not to start out with too many posts. “Instead, in the first months especially, focus on publishing enough content to work through the awkward newness of blogging, without overwhelming your team,” he said.

Ellering provides this infographic to help gear up to an effective frequency of blog posts:

4. Hold Brainstorming Sessions For Upcoming Blog Ideas

It’s important to write down good ideas for future blogs, even if it’s not time to write one yet. Keep your thoughts and ideas organized — give yourself scheduled brainstorming sessions to run ideas by your staff or open the conversation up for suggestions from various members of your team.

Shuda said this kind of regular brainstorming relieves the pressure of  sitting down and forcing yourself to pick a topic to write about then and there. “Take about one to two hours a month to brainstorm blog post ideas for the entire month. Then schedule separate times for writing,” he advised.

5. Uphold A High Standard Of Consistent Quality

This is where the rubber meets the road — time to shine with your blog content! After you have determined your blog’s audience, goals, frequency, and topics, keep the great content coming!

You can share the blog post across your social media pages to call more attention to it and keep your followers updated with new content. If you ever start to feel like your blog is getting repetitive or stale, consider writing about more than just your services or industry. Listen to advice like that of Beckie Manley, founder of Fierce Strategy + Creative. Manley’s approach is to use strategic content that is customized to each individual business brand.

“We recommend topics that highlight brand attributes, cultural insights, case studies that demonstrate expertise or success, and value-added posts that educate or share valuable information with your readers,” she said. “Don’t add a blog to your website unless you are committed to producing consistent content.”

This article was originally posted on Manta.com

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