If you’re a service business, you know that you need to be using blogs and social media to get clients. But it can be tough to figure out what to do and how to stand out.
That’s why I’ve put together 25 business blogging tips specifically for service businesses. These tips will help you write engaging content, build a following, and attract new clients. So read on and start putting these tips into practice!
1. Find your blogging voice
The voice you use on your blog is an important part of your brand. It should be consistent with the voice you use in other areas of your life, such as on social media or in email newsletters.
You can think of your voice as the personality of your blog. Just as you wouldn’t show up to a job interview in pajamas, you want to make sure that your voice is appropriate for the type of blog you’re running.
There are several questions you can ask yourself to find your blogging voice:
- What tone do you want to set?
- Who is your audience?
- What type of content are you creating?
- How formal or informal do you want to be?
- What keywords do you want to include?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a good idea of the voice you want to use on your blog. Remember that your voice may change over time as your blog evolves, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the right fit.
2. Set goals for your blog
If you’re running a service-based or product-based business, setting goals for your blog can be a great way to drive traffic and conversions. But what are some good goals to set?
One goal could be to increase organic traffic by 10% month over month. This can be done by publishing new and keyword-optimized blog posts, as well as promoting your content through social media and other channels.
Another goal could be to increase email subscribers by 5% month over month. This can be done by offering valuable content in exchange for an email address and then adding calls-to-action (CTAs) to your blog posts that encourage readers to sign up.
Finally, you may want to set a goal of generating 5 new sales leads per week from your blog. This can be done by writing blog posts that focus on your target audience’s pain points and include CTAs that invite readers to learn more about your products or services.
Whatever goals you set for your blog, make sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). By doing so, you’ll be able to track your progress and see the impact that your blog is having on your business.
3. Create a content calendar
A content calendar helps you plan and publish content on a regular basis. It’s a content strategy tool that organizes your ideas, content, and publication schedule. A content calendar ensures that your content is timely and relevant to your audience.
There are a few different ways to create a content calendar. You can use an online tool like Google Calendar or Trello, or you can create a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Sheets. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at these content calendar templates.
Once you’ve chosen a method for creating your content calendar, the next step is to populate it with content ideas. To generate ideas, you can brainstorm alone or with a team, look through old blog posts and social media updates, or consider seasonal content themes.
Once you have a few ideas, start mapping out when each piece of content will be published. And don’t forget to include other important details like the author’s name and any social media hashtags or handles that should be used.
By creating a content calendar, you’ll be able to track your progress, stay on schedule, and measure the results of your content marketing efforts.
4. Know your audience
If you’re running a business, it’s essential that you get to know your target audience. After all, you can’t effectively market to someone if you don’t know who they are. So who is your audience? And how can you get to know them?
One of the best ways to get to know your audience is to create a customer profile. A customer profile is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and research. Once you have a customer profile, you can better understand who your target audience is and what their needs and wants are.
There are a few key pieces of information that you’ll want to include in your customer profile:
- Basic demographics like age, gender, location, etc.
- Psychographics like personality, values, interests, etc.
- Buying habits like what they purchase, how often they purchase, etc.
To create a customer profile, you can start by surveying your existing customers or using social media listening tools. Once you have some data, you can begin putting together your customer profile.
Keep in mind that your customer profile will evolve over time as you learn more about your target audience. But the effort is well worth it because understanding your target audience gives you the insight necessary to maximize lifetime customer value.
5. Write magnetic headlines
The headline is one of the most important aspects of your blog post. Why? Because unless your headline is compelling, no one is going to read your post.
A great headline will make people want to click and read, even if they don’t know anything about the topic. So how do you write headlines that are both informative and interesting?
The first step is to understand what makes a headline magnetic. A headline should be clear, concise, and direct. It should also be specific and promise a benefit or result. For example, “5 Tips for Writing Headlines That Get Results” is much more likely to get clicked on than “Writing Headlines.”
Once you understand what makes a headline magnetic, you can start brainstorming ideas for your own blog posts. Keep in mind that the best headlines are those that are catchy and curiosity-inducing.
Don’t shy away from using numbers or creating list posts. These tend to perform well. And finally, don’t forget to test different headlines to see which ones get the most clicks. With a little practice, you’ll be writing magnetic headlines in no time!
6. Format your posts for scanability
When it comes to blog post format, there is no one right way to do things. However, there are a few key elements that every blog post should include. First, every blog post should have a catchy headline that accurately reflects the content of the post (see above).
Second, blog posts should be divided into short paragraphs with subheadings in order to make the content more scannable. Think about how you read content online. If you’re like me, your eyes glaze over at large walls of content.
Well, the same thing will happen to your readers. In this post, for instance, you’ll find that I tend to break the paragraphs into 2-3 sentences.
And believe me, I’m not under any impression that you’re going to read this entire thing. Chances are, you saw the headline, clicked, and then scrolled down the page to examine interesting headings before choosing the ones you planned to read.
I do that, too. And nope, I don’t take it personally.
One last thing: blog posts, especially those of the business sort, should always end with a call to action. This should be a short paragraph inviting readers to leave a comment or subscribe to your blog. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your blog posts are properly formatted and easy to read.
7. Use images and videos liberally
When you’re writing a blog, it’s important to include images to break up the text and make your post more visually interesting. But where can you find good blog images, and how much do they cost?
There are a few different options for sourcing blog images. One is to use stock photos from sites like Shutterstock. You can usually expect to pay around $10-$20 per image, though the price may vary depending on the specific photo you choose.
Another option is to use free blog images from sites like Unsplash or Pixabay. These images are typically available under a Creative Commons license, which means you can use them for free as long as you give credit to the photographer. Finally, you can also take your own photos to use on your blog. This is a great option if you want complete control over the look of your blog posts.
No matter where you get your images from, make sure they’re high-quality and relevant to the content of your blog post. After all, nothing will turn off readers faster than a poorly chosen or irrelevant image. With a little bit of effort, you can find or create great blog images that will help make your posts more engaging and visually appealing.
8. Break up long paragraphs with sub-headers
Subheaders are one of the most important tools at your disposal when it comes to making your content more scannable. By breaking up your text with subheadings, you can make it easier for readers to skim and find the information they’re looking for. But how do you write good subheadings? Here are a few tips:
- Make sure your subheadings are descriptive and easy to understand.
- Use keyword-rich subheadings to improve your SEO.
- Keep your subheadings short and to the point.
- Use subheadings to break up long blocks of text and make your content easier to read.
For example, in this section, I could have easily expanded the content by 500-1000 words by making subheadings out of the bullet points above and sharing some tips or examples for each one.
If you’re not sure how to use subheadings in your own blog posts, take a look at some of your favorite blogs and see how they do it. Chances are, you’ll find that most blog posts are heavy on the subheadings. And there’s a good reason for that!
Subheadings obligate your readers to less of a commitment. They know they can get a complete section of thought without committing an hour or more of their time. If they do find more of your post interesting, they can continue or come back to it. And your subheadings will make it easy for them to find where they left off.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your subheadings are effective and help improve the overall scannability of your content.
9. Use lists and bullets to make your points
Lists and bullet points are effective in blogging for a number of reasons. First, they help to break up the text and make the information more digestible.
Next, they highlight the key points that you want your readers to remember. Also, they can be used to organize complex information into manageable chunks. Finally, they help to create a sense of urgency and encourage readers to take action.
When it comes to determining what is worthy of a list or bullet point, the best rule of thumb is to ask yourself what would be most helpful for your reader. What information do they need in order to understand your argument or take action on your advice?
Make sure that each item on your list is clear, concise, and directly relevant to your overall message. If you can accomplish all of that, then you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective list or bullet point.
10. Incorporate quotes and statistics
As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your bottom line. One way to do this is by finding good statistics and quotes that are specific to your niche. This can be a great way to add credibility to your claims and boost your sales.
But where do you start? Well, a good place to look is the Census Bureau’s website. Here, you can find a wealth of information on everything from population data to economic indicators.
You can also search for industry-specific statistics on sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics or Statista. Another great source of information is trade associations within your niche. These organizations often compile an astonishing amount of data, which can be a valuable resource for your blog and your business in general.
Finally, don’t forget about government websites. These can be an excellent source of statistical data, as well as quotes from experts in your field. By taking advantage of these resources, you can ensure that you’re using the best possible data to improve your business.
11. Use external sources to bolster your posts
Just like with on-page SEO, backlinks are an important ranking factor for your blog posts. Google looks at the number of backlinks that a page has when determining its rank. The more quality backlinks a page has, the higher it will rank.
There are a few things that you can do to get backlinks from the external sites that you are linking to. First, try to link to high-quality websites. Websites that have a lot of content and are updated regularly are more likely to give you a backlink.
Second, try to link to websites that are relevant to your topic. For example, if you are writing about gardening, linking to a website about gardening would be more helpful than linking to a website about sports.
Finally, try to link to websites that have a high page rank. Websites with a higher page rank are more likely to give you a backlink.
It also doesn’t hurt to do a little heavy-lifting. Get active in the comments sections of the websites you’re linking to. Contribute valuable insights to their discussions.
Friend authors who’ve written articles on those websites through their social media pages. When you’ve invested time into building those relationships, it’s a lot easier to get a backlink if you say, “Hey, you had a really good point on this post, and I linked to it on my latest post.”
By taking these steps, you can increase the number of backlinks that your blog posts have and improve your chances of ranking well in Google searches.
12. Write guest posts for other blogs in your niche
If you’re serious about promoting your business through guest posting, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind. First, writing guest posts is not about self-promotion. Don’t worry about trying to cram a mention of your product or service into every sentence.
Instead, focus on writing thoughtful, informative articles that will be useful to your target audience. Second, becoming a guest post contributor is not a one-time effort.
Once you’ve established yourself as a credible source of information, you need to continue writing high-quality guest posts on a regular basis. Also, don’t be afraid to promote your own business within your guest posts.
As long as you’re providing valuable information, readers won’t mind if you include a link to your website or blog. They might even welcome it if you’ve taken the time to give them a valuable post and show that you’re a good steward of their time who understands what their true pain points are.
13. Repurpose old content into new formats
When repurposing content, consider what format would be most effective for your audience. If you’re repurposing an article for social media, for example, you might want to focus on shorter, bite-sized pieces of content that are easy to consume on the go.
Alternatively, if you’re repurposing a blog post for an ebook or white paper, ensure the content is well-organized and fleshed out. Once you’ve decided on the right format, the next step is to repurpose the content itself.
When repurposing blog posts, for example, you can break the post down into smaller sections and use each section as the basis for a new social media post. You can also highlight different points in the post and turn them into bullet points or infographics.
Taking this post as an example, it’s not inconceivable that each section could be expanded upon extensively. Choosing to do that could net me 25 future blogs from this piece of cornerstone content.
It takes time to drill deeply enough into a subject to know how to do this. But as a business owner, you probably know more about your industry than anyone else in your circle of influence. Dive in and see how many subtopics you can come up with!
How many ways do they connect to or contrast with one another? Making as many connections between as many pairings as possible can fuel your blog for months or even years to come.
The important thing is to be creative and think outside the box. With a little effort, you can easily repurpose your content into a whole new format that will reach new audiences.
14. Leverage social media to promote your blog posts
As a small business owner, you’re always looking for new ways to promote your products or services. And with the rise of social media, it’s easier than ever to reach a wide audience. But how can you make sure that your blog posts are being seen by the right people?
First, make sure to post links to your blog on all of your social media channels. Include a brief description and an image to grab attention. You can also use relevant hashtags to reach even more people.
To find good industry-specific hashtags, do a quick Google search for hashtags related to your industry. Take a look at the results and see which hashtags are being used most frequently.
You can also use social media to reach out to influencers in your industry. Share your blog post with them and ask for their feedback. If they like what they see, they may decide to share it with their followers.
Additionally, take advantage of social media ads. Facebook and Instagram offer a variety of targeting options, so you can narrowly target your audience based on interests, demographics, and even location.
15. Analyze your traffic data to improve your blog
What are the most important data points to look at for growing your blog? The answer to this question may vary depending on who you ask, but there are a few data points that I believe are essential for any blogger who wants to see their blog grow.
First and foremost, you need to look at your traffic numbers. This includes both your overall traffic as well as your traffic sources. Are you getting a lot of organic traffic from search engines? Or are most of your visitors coming from social media?
If you’re relying too heavily on one source, you’re putting yourself at risk. Another important data point to consider is engagement. How long are people spending on your site? Are they reading multiple articles? Or are they bouncing right back off?
Finally, you need to take a look at your conversion rate. If you’re not converting visitors into subscribers or customers, then all the traffic in the world isn’t going to help you grow your blog. This is where calls to action and internal linking can really help.
To increase conversion rate, include strong calls to action throughout your blog posts. For example, at the end of each post, you might include a CTA to subscribe to your email list. You can also link to relevant products and services throughout the text.
As for internal linking, this helps connect one post on your page to another. Done effectively, it creates the rabbit-hole effect you really want your blog to have wherein one post attracts a reader, who jumps to another and another because he found something interesting and wants to know what else you have to say about it.
16. Always be testing and experimenting
Any good scientist will tell you that a successful experiment requires careful planning and execution. The same is true of blogging. If you want to effectively experiment with your blog, you need to treat it like a test lab.
This means carefully planning your experiments, setting clear goals, and measuring the results. It also means being willing to fail. For example, you might try a new blog layout and find that it doesn’t work for your audience. That’s okay. The important thing is that you learned something from the experience.
The best way to approach experimentation is to start small. Test one thing at a time and gradually increase the scope of your experiments as you become more comfortable. Remember, the goal is to learn what works for your blog so that you can grow your traffic and engagement.
Even the most successful blogs are built on a foundation of experimentation. Without it, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t. So don’t be afraid to try something new.
17. Be patient – success takes time
Building a successful blog takes time, patience, and consistency. This is true regardless of the niche you’re blogging in or the strategies you’re using to grow your blog.
In most cases, it takes at least 6-12 months to start seeing significant results from your blogging efforts. And even then, your results will likely be incremental.
The biggest factors in expediting your success are choosing the right niche and target audience, creating high-quality content, and promoting your blog through effective SEO and social media marketing tactics.
And if you’re a small business owner trying to use your blog to generate leads for your product- or service-based business, high traffic counts may not even be your objective. You can goose your success by getting out in your community and making some offline connections as well.
Through patience and persistence, you’ll eventually see the fruits of your labor. But don’t expect big numbers and virality overnight. It simply doesn’t happen that way.
It’s easy to get frustrated when you pour your heart and soul into a blog post and see no results. That’s why you shouldn’t spend too much time watching numbers in the beginning.
Check in every few posts, but don’t watch the counter. You’ll drive yourself crazy that way.
Persevere through the ghost-town stages of your blog. What is the best way to do this? The answer is simple: don’t give up. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
Keep writing quality content. Keep posting. And eventually, you will start to see results.
It may take weeks, months, or even years, but if you keep at it, you will succeed. So don’t get discouraged if your blog feels like a ghost town in the beginning. Just keep creating content.
19. Celebrate your successes!
As a blogger, it’s important to celebrate your successes and shift the definition of success depending on your milestones. For example, if you hit a million page views in a month, that’s something to celebrate.
But don’t stop there. Keep setting new goals and reaching new heights. Remember that success is relative, so keep redefining it as you go. And success doesn’t have to be so lofty either.
If you’ve gone from 0 views to 100, that’s worth a pat on the back. Find a way to celebrate that’s proportional to how well you’ve met expectations, as well as to what your resources will allow.
(The $20 bottle of wine or the $5? You decide!)
20. Keep learning and growing
You may be an expert in your field, but even experts can learn more. They do it by continuing to closely follow their fields, seeking out other experts, and being willing to admit that they haven’t learned all there is to know.
What are some ways to expand your knowledge, even if you feel like you’re smart enough as-is? Read books, other blogs, magazines, and trade publications. Watch videos. Take online courses or classes through a local college or university.
By doing these things, you can ensure that you are always up-to-date on the latest information in your field and can expand your knowledge base. Never stop learning and always be open to new ideas, even if they conflict with what you already know.
21. Be connected even when outsourcing
A blog can be a helpful tool for small business owners who want to connect with their customers and promote their products or services. However, writing a blog can also be time-consuming.
As a result, many small business owners choose to outsource their blog writing. While this can be helpful from a time-management standpoint, it is important to stay connected to the content creation process. Why?
Because doing so can help ensure that the blog reflects the voice and values of the business. Additionally, staying involved in the content creation process can help SBOs to create a more robust and engaging blog.
Ultimately, while outsourcing blog writing can be helpful – and God knows, I’m only too happy to write your content for you – it is important for SBOs to offer ideas, review copy, and stay plugged into the content that’s being published. Some degree of hands-on will be beneficial to your audience, as well as any hired hand that you entrust to generate copy.
22. Demonstrate professionalism
If you’re hoping to use your blog to build a professional brand, ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and free of errors. This means avoiding slang or jargon and taking the time to proofread your posts before hitting publish.
It’s also important to maintain a consistent tone throughout your blog. Whether you opt for an authoritative voice or a more conversational style, make sure that each post reflects your chosen tone.
Considering that we’re approaching this from the standpoint that you’re a small business owner, you should probably avoid questionable language and talking about beliefs or politics as well. (Unless, of course, those elements are key to reaching your target audience.)
Finally, it’s worth spending some time on the design and layout of your blog. A clean and modern appearance will help to create a professional impression, while also making your blog easy to navigate. This will ultimately make the right impression on both current and future clients.
23. Remember why you started blogging in the first place
We all remember that initial enthusiasm we felt when we started our blog. Every day brought new ideas, new posts, and new visitors. But eventually, the novelty wore off, and blogging became just another task on our to-do list.
If you’re feeling burned out from blogging, it’s important to take a step back and remember why you started in the first place. Was it to:
- Share your passion for a particular topic?
- To connect with others who share your interests?
- To build a platform for your business?
Whatever your reasons may be, reconnecting with your original motivation can help you recover your enthusiasm for blogging. Additionally, taking a break from time to time can also help prevent burnout.
Step away from your computer and take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, read a book, or just spend some time offline. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your blog with new energy.
24. Embrace change and new opportunities
Change is an essential part of life, and embracing change can help you to grow and thrive. When it comes to blogging, change can come in many forms.
For example, you may start out writing about one topic, but then find that your interests change and you want to write about something else entirely. Or, you may find that new opportunities arise, such as guest-blogging for another site or being featured in a magazine or newspaper article.
Embracing change means being open to new possibilities and being willing to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the blogging world. By staying flexible and adaptable, you can ensure that your blog remains fresh and relevant.
So, next time something new comes your way, don’t be afraid to embrace it. It just might be the best thing for your blog.
25. Don’t just blog about your successes
When it comes to blogging, it can be tempting to only write about your successes. After all, who wants to read about someone else’s failures? However, there are actually several good reasons to discuss your challenges and setbacks with your audience.
First of all, it helps to create a sense of connection and relatability. If you only share your successes, your readers may feel like they can never measure up or that you’re not trustworthy or too boastful.
Secondly, discussing your failures can help you to gain empathy and support from your readers. They may be facing similar challenges and will appreciate knowing that they are not alone.
Finally, being open about your struggles can help you to gain insight from others who have been through similar experiences. So don’t be afraid to open up about the challenges you’re facing in your blog. You may be surprised at the response you receive.
Service Business Blogs Can Establish You As ‘The’ Authority
If you’re looking for a way to grow your service business, attract new clients, and deepen the relationship between you and your current ones, consider starting a blog. Blogging is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field, connect with potential and current customers, and provide valuable content that helps them solve their problems.
Not sure where to start? With over a decade of experience creating engaging content for businesses of all sizes and industries, I am eager to help you get your business blog off the ground or take it to the next level. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help in any way.
[Featured Image by PxHere Creative Commons License]