Sara Bussandri, a good friend of mine, is a fantastic freelance writer and blogger. I asked her to share with us some secrets for a thriving business blog: here they are!

So you run your own business. You sell fantastic products or services online and everywhere you turn, people tell you that you need a business blog. But what type of content should you publish on your blog? Where are you meant to find time to write when you’re so busy with your customers or clients? Should you outsource the whole thing and pay someone to create that content for you? You need to find out what works for you and your business. But here’s the bottom line – if you run a business online, you need to become a content marketer. How? By following these five easy steps.

1. You create content on your business blog

If you’re not creating content on your business blog already, you’re missing a massive opportunity to forge a real connection with your audience. You may offer an amazing product or service, but remember that, first and foremost, people do business with people! You want to become someone that your prospective customers know, like and trust. And the more they see you as an expert and authority in what you do, the more your customers will come back to you again and again and recommend you to their friends and family. So how do you gain trust and credibility in your clients’ eyes?

You blog.

You create and publish written content on your business blog. And do this consistently and regularly. Publish new content once a week for six to twelve months, and you’ll slowly start to see results coming in.

2. You solve your customers’ problems

When you get started, you’re likely to be sitting in front of a blank screen with the intention to write a blog post and experience the so-called ‘writer’s block’. What are you going to write about? As a business owner and content marketer, your responsibility is to create content that will help your customers. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do my prospective customers want to know about my product or service? What kind of questions do they always ask me before they buy?
  • Can I identify their problems, challenges, needs or desires?
  • What transformation do they want to experience in their life, and how can my products or services help them with that?

Go through your emails or start making notes of the types of questions your customers always ask you. These are the topics you need to address in your blog posts. And if you’re unsure about your customers’ struggles, ask them! Do your research and your homework first. Because once you start thinking about how you can really serve your audience, you’ll never run out of ideas again. And you’ll wave goodbye to writer’s block.

3. You plan ahead

Publishing regular content on your blog doesn’t mean sitting down at the keyboard hoping for inspiration to suddenly strike from up above. You want to have a plan. If you’re serious about turning into the content marketer your customers need you to be, you have to be intentional and strategic about your blog. So carve some time out in your week to:

  • Explore and brainstorm a few of the ideas – aim for two to three in one go if you can manage.
  • In another session, outline them into blog posts – what are the key points you want to cover on that topic? Think about five to seven points that would really help your prospective customers. If you have a lot more to say, consider creating more than one post.
  • Draft your content – don’t worry about grammar or spelling at this stage. Just try to explain the points you want to make as you would to a friend who doesn’t know anything about this topic.
  • Edit, polish and publish your content. This is your chance to improve on your first draft. I suggest you do this a day or two after your original draft, as in the meantime you may come up with new ideas that make your argument even stronger.

4. You create a habit

Now you know why you should publish content on your business blog, what you should write about and how to do it. Maybe you’ve even done it once or twice in the past, and you should congratulate yourself for starting. Because starting is the hardest part! But in this case, it’s not enough. To reap the rewards of your content marketing efforts, you need to stick with the process and produce a regular, consistent stream of content. This is where motivation, commitment, and accountability really come in. If you are determined to make your content go a long way and work for you, you need to prioritise this process and make it one of your weekly (working) habits. How? Try to allocate regular slots to content creation. It’ll soon become a habit, and you’ll be rewarded with more targeted traffic heading over to your website.

5. Serve, serve, and serve some more

The best thing about content marketing is that it helps you spread your message, experience or expertise in a non-salesy way. You put some effort in upfront, but slowly but surely your content will start to work for you. Don’t believe me?

Okay, let’s say I want to take up gardening. I have no idea how to get started. You sell gardening products, and I happen to find your blog post on the five best tools every new gardener needs. In that piece you help me identify the products I need, you tell me what they do, and what I need them for. Your post is jam-packed with valuable information that I, the beginner, really need. While you’re having dinner with your family or tucking your children into bed, I start hopping from post to post. Before I know it, I’ve spent half an hour on your website, learning. Devouring your content. Becoming a fan. Of your experience, your expertise and the way you look after your customers.

I’m sold. You don’t need to ask me to buy. Putting your products in my online basket is the natural next step for me. All because you had your eyes on what I needed. You wrote all that content for me. With the intention to serve me. Just carry on on this path, and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors.

Who knew, right? When you started your business everyone said you had to become a salesperson. Instead, you’re coming from a place of service. You’re helping your prospective customers with what you know, what you do, and what you sell.

Congratulations, you’ve become an excellent content marketer.

About the Author:

Sara Bussandri is a mum of 3 boys based in London. She left her corporate job in 2016 (with a broken leg) to start a new adventure as a freelance writer and blogger. She’s now an indie author and passionate about helping small business owners getting started with blogging and content marketing. You can find Sara on her website mindyourmamma.comInstagramFacebook or Twitter.

Sara Bussanti