(This is part of a mini-series for writers, with marketing value to almost any small business. For related posts, click here: “blogging for writers.”)
In the last post, I talked about the benefits of a low-key, minimalist blog: one that functions as a mini-website, an online business card or directory listing. You post your contact info, bio, and services, and be done with it.
Except . . . hey, now your blog exists . . . and can be used for a couple of easy online marketing applications!
One is to post a public thank-you note, as a simple blog post, at the end of a project completed.
Here’s an example of a company that has a website-like blog that mostly is just that: Juxtaprose.
It doesn’t take long to write a short paragraph or two about a project, thanking the principal players and mentioning what was done.
But note: there are a couple of real benefits to you in that brief post that go far beyond what a traditional thank-you note would do.
1. You create a link to that company’s site.
This creates a little permanent linkage, for political benefit. If you praise the company or someone in it, you are doing that publicly. (And that person can share it by sending the link for that blog post to others in their company, which they probably will . . . if it speaks well of their company . . . and of that person in it . . showing them . . . and you . . . in a good and generous light.)
2. You get get to tell others specifics of services you offer.
By describing a bit of what you did for that company, you create search-engine terms in your thank-you post that highlight your services. It’s good to be both specific and general, so both types of terms appear.
In other words, you created a “press release for online use” (general service) and it was about the “independent bookstore scene in Milwaukee, and the economic challenge of running a small storefront business in the recession, and the growing awareness of the Buy Local / Shop Indie campaign” (which is in your area of expertise . . . or is now if it wasn’t before). Now you’ve created helpful key words to encourage search engines to notice your blog when someone is searching for info about that topic down the line.)
3. You get to reveal a little about how you work.
Are you cheery, experienced, detail-oriented? That can come through in your blog entry. What sort of tools are you in command of? How do you approach problems or concerns within a project (at the start or as things pop up). If you talk about those – briefly, positively, with pizzazz – you begin to build a better image of your business and its brand (what distinguishes it from the next shop down the Internet road.)
The ability to describe what you did in a positive, appealing way will help attract new potential clients who check out your blog. (They see it because you mention it to them; more about very simple ways to get the right people to read your blog in a later post in this series.)
Thank-you posts are similar in structure, which makes them easy to write. Just personalize them, add a couple of interesting details, and link to the client.
You may also want to send a hand-written note to the client . . . but the online blog post is a nice touch and doesn’t take long.
Let see now, did I put the right key words in this post? I’m saying this out loud for your benefit, to encourage you to realize that it’s a useful part of blogging. Business blogs, blogging, writers, small business, online marketing, branding, Litwave (my affordable coaching service to help writers, authors, and consultants set up effective, low-key, market-savvy blogs) . . . yes, I think I’ve hit the right notes.
(Next post: using blog posts as FAQ material.)