Keep your small business at the top of people’s minds through blogging. Get tips from other solopreneurs who have found success in their blogs.
We recently asked small business owners about the benefits of blogging in 2023. While some mentioned SEO, web traffic, and sales (and those are important!), most said it went far beyond “bottom lines.” In many cases, blogging proved to be one of the best ways to create and maintain a larger sense of community around a brand.
That could mean building momentum before the launch of a new product. Or it might be about building and growing a healthy and engaged email list. For Morrisa Jenkins, the Owner and Founder of the health and beauty shop Freedom Apothecary, blogging allowed her to connect with customers and share much-needed wellness tips during the pandemic and its aftermath.
Now, heading into 2023, the Freedom Apothecary blog offers an accessible point of entry for people to learn about self-care at home before visiting the brick-and-mortar shop in New Orleans. “Blogging is essential to our business because we’re all about education,” Jenkins told us. “We like to use each post as a tool to start a conversation that we can continue in our store.”
With help from nine small business owners who’ve mastered the art of blogging, we put together this guide for solopreneurs. Their ideas will help you elevate your brand.
Provide Value by Blogging
Blogs are about more than just marketing your products. First and foremost, they’re about making your customers’ lives easier.
“Writing blogs only about your products is a mistake,” said Mfon Ekpe-Dancy, the Founder of Ziggy’s Pudding, a vegan and cruelty-free skincare company. “Of course, we want our customers to purchase from us, so we want to use our blog to teach them and sell them our products. But at the same time, the most converting blog is the one that provides a ton of value and establishes your brand as an authority in your niche.”
The Ziggy’s Pudding blog, for instance, includes recent articles on preparing your skin for winter, managing baby eczema, and treating cradle cap at home. All of these blogs provide solutions to problems potential customers have in real-time.
Collaborate and Cross-Promote
Along with how-to articles, interviews provide evergreen blog content, so consider reaching out to your network. Allison Ullo, the CEO and founder of Leaves of Leisure, a luxury herbal tea brand, runs a regular series on her blog called Ladies of Leisure. Here, she interviews fellow women entrepreneurs about their morning routines and advice for women in business.
“It’s a great way to connect with other brands and uplift them,” she told us. “They also usually promote the post on their own social media or newsletters, so I get more eyeballs. I advertised that I was starting the column in some networking groups and got over 50 responses from women who were excited to meet, chat, and be featured. A few of them even turned into larger collaborations and partnerships.”
Use Your Own Voice
Keywords are helpful, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of being readable and relatable. Write like a person, not an algorithm.
“Add personality,” suggested Nicole Van Lun, the CEO of Gorgeous Confidence, a skincare brand designed for busy moms. “Your blog should not be corporate and outside of strategy. There are no rules, so be yourself, and don’t be afraid to have strong opinions.”
Subjects that matter to you are likely to resonate with your audience. Recent blogs for Gorgeous Confidence, for example, have covered all-too-relatable topics like stress management during the holiday season, travel-friendly beauty tips, and the importance of treating yourself.
Share Your Values
Fire Department Coffee, a veteran-owned coffee company, has been blogging since the beginning. Today, their blogs contain articles overviewing their Coffee of the Month Club and Spirit Infused Coffee Club, plus general coffee topics and tips. But they also use their blogs to highlight the Fire Dept. Coffee Charitable Foundation, which they created to support ill and injured first responders.
Blogs pose the perfect opportunity to share more about your brand’s story, mission, and values. If your work supports a cause that’s meaningful to you and your community, highlight that.
Make Messaging Timely
“It’s important to plan blog topics in advance around what will be trending during a specific time—for example, Giving Tuesday,” said Derek Turner, the copywriter at Fire Department Coffee. If you can schedule your content based on seasonal events and holidays, you’ll be more likely to attract customers when they’re looking.
“There’s a lot of room for creativity these days, and customers appreciate feeling part of the discussion,” said Caroline Jones, the Co-Founder of MadeKind, a UK-based natural cleaning brand. “Giving tips that customers can utilize, having a call to action at the end of the blog, or adding a comments section keeps customers involved and reaches them on a personal level.”
Your blog is for your customers, so let them have a say in what you cover and how you do it. Keep an eye on what your customers are saying on social media. What questions do they most want answered? Consider a poll or a survey to help gather more insights.
Incorporate Images and Video
As you grow your brand, consider new ways of connecting with and engaging your audience. “If there are questions you answer for customers regularly, turn those answers into blog posts, and provide as much helpful information, images, and videos as you can for them,” said Greta Jines, the Head of Content Creation at MIMOSA Handcrafted, a Louisiana-based jewelry shop.
Some of MIMOSA Handcrafted’s most popular blog articles have included a how-to guide for cleaning and caring for bronze jewelry. It features video demonstrations and an explainer on gold-filled jewelry with educational infographics.
Consider original photography, curated stock photography, or a combination of both.
Set Realistic Goals
Solopreneurs are busy, so it’s important to stick to a (manageable) schedule and set yourself up for success. “Stick to topics your customers want to learn about and what is possible for you to create consistently,” advised Johana Gutierrez-Griffiths, the Founder of the stationary brand and creative studio JJ Paperie & Co.
“If you start off trying to blog four times a month, and you aren’t a big writer, then you might do it here and there, but you probably won’t be super consistent. So instead, I would focus on what feels achievable for you. It’s okay if that is just one blog post a month.”
Repurpose Great Content
You work hard on your blog, so feel free to use that content on social media too. “You can turn one blog post into ten social media posts and fifteen-plus Pinterest pins,” said Poy T. Granati, the Founder and Designer at Summer Space, a handcrafted paper flower studio in New York.
“The blog can encompass the ‘big idea’ and explore it in depth. You can then slice that information into digestible pieces to share on other channels. This can save you time, and you can batch the content. That way, you can spend your time on other areas of your business.”
Tools like Creative Flow by Shutterstock make it easy for you to design and format text and images for use across a variety of formats and social channels.
License this cover image via christakhova.