A good blog article is well-written and either inspiring, informative or entertaining and, importantly, not obviously promoting your business. But blogging can be a great way of subtly promoting your business.
A blog article about something that interests readers will result in more people checking out your business via your website.
If your blog is in your own website, readers who enjoyed the article can check out your other articles or find out more about you from your website.
If you publish your articles in a different site (e.g. a social media platform) you should always end each article with a short blurb about you and your business, and a link to your website and other articles. That way, readers who enjoyed the article can check out your other articles in your blog or find out more about you.
If your blog article gives good information about what you sell and is actually about those goods or services themselves (not about the fact that you sell them) it can show your readers that you really know your stuff. This information-sharing is likely to result in the reader feeling like they've been given something for nothing therefore positive about you and your business.
Some of the topics I cover in my business blog are about what I sell: editing and proofreading, audio transcription, scribing and business writing. The main aim of my articles is to inform the reader about the subject (e.g. editing and proofreading). But at the same time as sharing information, the articles are showing the reader that I really know what I'm talking about when it comes to editing and proofreading. This may prompt them to click the 'editing and proofreading' tab on my website; or next time they need something edited or proofread, they might remember that article or my website and look me up.
A business blog about topics that have little relevance to what you sell can also subtly but successfully promote your business.
The benefits of publishing blog articles that have no direct relevance to what you sell are:
For example, many of my articles have no relation to what I sell - except, of course, that because I have written them, they all indirectly showcase what I sell: writing and editing. I write reviews of books, movies and events; articles about work-life balance, working from home and other issues around freelancing or managing online businesses, or blogging.
For the reader's benefit, at the end of the articles I include a little blurb that says who I am and what I sell, and provides links to related articles and/or my business website.
Whether or not your blog is related to what you sell, your business blog represents an aspect of your business.
If your blog article is presented clearly, easy to read and shows that you know what you're talking about, the reader will perceive you as someone who's not only good at writing and knows their subject but is also honest. They may discover that you're ethical, professional and/or reliable. They may be won over by you and your business.
But the beauty of writing a good article is that it doesn't really matter whether or not those readers turn into customers. If they have read, enjoyed and/or learned from and/or been inspired by your article you have reached one of the intangible goals of writing: to create a timeless link between you and your readers.
Sally-Anne Watson Kane has been owner/operator of her sole trader business On Time Typing since 2002. Over the past 17 years, On Time Typing has been providing report-writing, scribing, editing and proofreading services to clients across Australia. Sally-Anne has been blogging since January 2016. For more articles about business writing and blogging go to: Business Writing and Blogging