Whether you have built a ready-to-go business, your own e-commerce store, or a website, content is still going to be required. Like I have told people repeatedly, when they ask what I do for a living and what a blog is, your website is your home and it doesn’t go anywhere. It is static and never changes.
To get customers to your website you need a blog, or at least a social media page-which we discuss in our Social Media Marketing section-to talk about your business, link to it, moving your site into search engines and ranks you alongside your competitors. Your blog/social media page, unlike your website, is always being updated, and it is like your car you drive around the internet, directing people to your home-your website-where you have something to sell.
The ultimate content, when done right using search optimization techniques, (SEO) will rank you ABOVE your competitors in search engines like Google. All of this may sound to you like a foreign language right now, but believe me, it is not as hard as it sounds and will naturally come to you as you continue to learn and grow your business. I handle search optimization for clients if you find you don’t know how and don’t want to learn. Just leave me a comment below and we can get the ball rolling.
But for those of you who do want to learn how to create content that will drive traffic to your website or online store, below are tips for getting started and creating great content that readers will gobble up and head to your small business online ready to spend their money.
Creating Great Content for Your Small Business
The tips below are directed specifically toward those of you who are new to the internet and are just getting your small business setup and off the ground. If you are a more seasoned online small business owner and understand the critical need for content, I suggest you check out the following websites from what I consider the two best in the industry. Heidi Cohen and Neil Patel.
For Website and Blog Content Virgins, below are my best 4 tips gained from starting out myself as a content virgin and the decades of personal experience, trial and error, that finally made me a professional freelance writer and pro blogger. NOTE: These tips are not geared toward freelance writers, but only toward those of you who want to write content that directs to you small business, which is called SEO. Welcome to your new, very sought after skill!
- Write interesting, unique content that your audience loves and will come back to your site again to read. Well written content attracts more potential customers and Google also loves unique and well written content. Don’t simply promote your business, that’s considered spam after a few articles. Offer your readers helpful advice and links to other trusted sources in your niche. There are plenty of things to talk about in your niche besides your own product.
- Enter keywords in your content but do it in a very natural way. The simplest way I can explain this is by using an example. You sell dog houses online. You want to include the words ‘dog houses’ in the content you write so that Google will pick up up on that. But you CANNOT just throw those words around in the article.Just write a good, informative article and in the natural progression of writing, mention dog houses once or twice, and link one of those keywords to your website. If you are seeking more local business, your keywords might be ‘dog houses Dallas.”
- Check your content for spelling and grammar errors. This is really important. Most of you who are starting out or who already have a small online business are not professional writers. No big deal. However, your readers will expect the content you write to be free of errors, especially spelling and grammar. If you are blogging, there will be a spell check feature that will correct you as you write, but to check your grammar after you write an article, I suggest using this free software and run it through to see if you have mistakes. You will appear very unprofessional if your content is full of mistakes.
- Use free SEO tools included in your blog dashboard. My favorite SEO plugin is from Yoast SEO. A plugin is simple to install, just takes one click, and you will be directed by YOAST at the end of each blog post you write to add things like; a meta description, a keyword, title tags, etc. It is so easy and if you aren’t doing it right it will not show a green button until it is correct. This is crucial in blogging to give you a leg up when it comes to ranking in search engines.
These 4 tips alone will get you started on a good path to content writing. As far as content marketing, I could talk forever, so instead I am going to direct you to a resource I love and so do the pros who handle content marketing, MOZ. The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing.
You will learn that there will always be someone sending you offers that you pay for to get this type of information, but don’t do it! I spend a lot of time doing online research and subscribing to free newsletters that offer the best information. That article above is one you won’t find a better guide for those who are just starting out with content marketing.