Our friends at Roundpeg have released preliminary results from their 2017 small business survey. They asked owners of companies employing 100 workers or fewer (most, they say, have 50 or fewer), how they’re doing their digital marketing this year and what they plan for next year. A couple of surprises: the resurgence of Facebook and the fact that half of business owners are writing their company blogs.
Another 40% or so have an employee doing the writing. Only 16% have an actual professional writer doing their blogging.
So how’s that working out for them?
Almost three quarters of the respondents say they blog less than once a week. That’s not much of a blog. 32% blog rarely, or only for special events. We see that a lot — a web page that’s called a blog, but it actually just shows ads for special promotions.
Is that a blog?
Modern consumers go out and get the information they want. I searched for the price of turkey in my neighborhood this week. Two local markets had that information online and findable, so I’ll be shopping for my Thanksgiving dinner with one or both of them. Transactional information has to show up when people search, whether in the form of ads or in some other way.
But that’s not what your blog is for. Your blog establishes authority, provides value for consumers at every stage of search along the path to purchase, and increases the value of your website from the point of view of search engines. It answers your patients’ or clients’ questions, provides thought leadership, and does more for SEO than anything else you can do.
The respondents to the survey are often using their blogs just for company updates and promotions. “Come read our ads,” they’re saying to consumers. Modern consumers look for promotions when they need them. They don’t peruse ads in their free time.
Should the owner write the blog?
I write my company blog most of the time. I’ve been a full time professional writer for most of my adult life, I come from a long line of writers, I taught college writing classes for decades. If you had me on your staff, you would certainly choose me to write your blog. But most business owners aren’t professional writers.
Even if they write well, they probably don’t have a strong background in SEO writing, something I’ve been doing since 2008.
Roundpeg points out that a few years ago interns were a popular choice for blogging, so having the owner do the blogging is a step up. But the owner of a small business has a lot of work to do, little of it related in any way to writing. It’s not wonder that the blogs aren’t getting written.
How do you find a blogger?
If having the owner do the blogging doesn’t work, and it’s too important to give to the team member with the most free time, then where can you find a blogger?
If you don’t want us to write for you (we can’t imagine why, but we respect that choice), you can reach out to freelance bloggers at marketplaces like Upwork or by contacting your local university. Make sure you’re getting a writer who produces good content and SEO-friendly posts.
A professional blogger will produce good content in less time, making the professional writer a more cost-effective choice.