Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or juggling a blossoming side gig with a full-time job, you still need to build your brand. A big component of that, of course, involves social media, your site and ahem, blogging.
We checked in with Shawn Graham, author of Blogging for Badass Small Businesses, for the inside scoop on blogging success.
MediaJobsDaily: What’s the biggest mistake small businesses/freelancers make with their blogging?
Shawn Graham: Not having a cohesive content strategy. Your posts need to be relevant to target audience. Just because you think a particular topic might be interesting doesn’t mean your visitors to your site will automatically agree.
MJD: That said, what’s one of the best things they can do if driving traffic to their site is the number one goal?
SG: Think about the types of questions someone would ask if they were searching for information about their business or their products and services online. What keywords and phrases would they use? What would they want to know? Once you’re able to answer those questions, you can start generating blog posts around those topics.
In addition to creating interesting and engaging content, it’s also critically important to think about each post title. Incorporating relevant keywords will not only help to pique the reader’s interest, but will also help with visibility in search results.
MJD: Should badass businesses have guest bloggers and if so, how frequently?
SG: Only if they add value. If current and prospective customers are visiting your blog because they want to hear from you and your business, guest bloggers could potentially dilute your blogging efforts. However, if you can pull in guest bloggers that are relevant to your business, that can be a great way to expand your reach. In most cases, I would suggest limiting posts from guest bloggers to 20-30% of your overall content.
MJD: Define what entails a badass business as opposed to just a regular ol’ business and shouldn’t that be everyone’s goal?
SG: Great question. I really do think all small business should aspire to be badass—to live by their own rules, harnessing their true passion and personality to become the absolute best at what they do.
MJD: At the end you of your e-book, you advise readers against overthinking it. Once someone identifies the purpose of their blog and how to use it, what are some ways they can have fun with it?
SG: I always recommend starting with a conversational tone. If you were speaking with a first-time customer about a product or service that you are super excited about, what would you say? How would you say it? As you write, try to picture yourself having the conversation with someone face-to-face.
MJD: Do the same rules apply when you’re building your business or if you’re branding yourself out of the office from your day job? Or are the tips across the board, a badass business is a badass business?
SG: Absolutely. But with one caveat—when you’re branding yourself out of the office from your day job, you also have to think about your employer and whether what you’re blogging about could get you in trouble. For example, if you’re blogging about how you hate your day job and your employer sees it, you could be out the door and fast.