The word "blog" can be like the latest fad health food, you know it is good for you but you really do not know if you want to try it. What if you do not like it? How would you serve it to your friends? Just like a new health food, there are hundreds of ways to prepare your blog, but here is a simple, easy to follow recipe that will leave your customers asking for second helpings.
- Hyperlinks and media
- Audience-tailored focus
Step 1: Authenticity
Blogging is more personal, more cerebral and less polished or sales-focused than other forms of social media. Post your latest projects, your triumph over a frustration – i.e. a baker who finally figured out which frosting tastes best with pumpkin flavored cupcakes. Post fun pictures of funny faces reacting to a pumpkin-chocolate experiment that did not go so well.
It is about letting people know there is a person behind the business, a human with a heart and a mind that is making the products they buy. One way to think about it is that blogging is the how and the why, social media is the what, where and how much.
Step 2: Hyperlinks and media
Pictures, pictures, pictures and, if possible, videos. A picture really is worth a thousand words, and videos are just as important. It is no secret that our culture is visually driven and you only have three seconds to get your customer's attention when they are scrolling online. Pictures personalize your brand and create familiarity, authenticity and catch the attention of the reader. Make sure your pictures are well-lit and good quality. Hyperlinks are another very important item to include in your blog, these are clickable text or images that lead the customer to your connected pages. Have hyperlinks in your blog that customers can click and go right to your website, Etsy store or Facebook page.
If you have a big project coming up or a Facebook contest, link your contest or event right to the blog talking about the event. Create incentives for the reader to click, i.e. have a call-to-action at the bottom with a promotion "Like our Facebook page for $5 off a massage." Once your hyperlinks are live, click on and test all of them. There is nothing more frustrating or puts a worse taste in your customer's mouth than a link that does not work.
Step 3: Consistency
Keep up the good work. Literally. Expand and grow your email lists by having a reward or promotion that requires them to either follow or read your blog: "Sign up for our blog list and get a free bookmark" or "Tell us the title of our blog post today and get $1.00 off." Create fun themes or events that your customers can look forward to and they will want to read like giveaways or themed posts like "Member of the Week Friday," giving your members a chance to be in the spotlight and get fifteen minutes of local fame.
Have take away value, a pattern, a recipe, something that the customer can look forward to. If they know on a certain day of the week you will always post something they are interested in. Be sure you have permission to share or publish anything you put on the blog.
Step 4: Audience-tailored focus
Perhaps the most important ingredient is to keep your audience in mind. If you are unsure what to blog about, ask them. What would they like to know about your business? What do they want to see more of? Keep track and pay attention to the traffic and responses to your articles to see which ones your customers enjoy the most and keep going that direction.
Makes 1 to 1,000,000+ servings. Serve fresh and enjoy!