A good business blog article is one that's well-written and inspiring, informative or entertaining and not obviously promoting your business. Blogging about different subjects that are either only vaguely related to what you sell through sharing views, information and ideas can be a great way of subtly promoting your business.
A good 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 blogging site or LinkedIn or another social media platform - that is, your articles are not housed within your own website - you should always end each article with a short blurb about you and your business, and a link to your website and other articles you've written. That way, readers who enjoyed the article can check out your other articles or find out more about you from your website.
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 and very subtle method of promoting your business 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 as long as your articles are about subjects that are likely to interest people who have the potential to become customers.
The benefits of publishing blog articles that have no direct relevance to what you sell are: 1) the reader will perceive the article has been written purely for information-sharing; that there is absolutely no ulterior motive, 2) if the article is inspiring, informative or entertaining the reader will feel they have definitely been given something for nothing, and positive about the experience, and 3) the reader may then take a quick look at who's written the article and maybe check out your other articles and business website at the same time.
For example, many of the topics in my blog have no relation to what I sell - except, of course, that all my articles indirectly showcase what I sell: writing and editing services. 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. I write about blogging. Just for the sake of sharing information and through that, developing strong social and business networks.
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 is potentially a showcase for 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. Depending on what the article is about, they may even be convinced that you're ethical, professional and/or reliable. You have won over that reader - that potential customer.
But the beauty of writing a good article is that it doesn't really matter whether or not those readers turn into customers. The fact they have read, enjoyed and/or learned from and/or been inspired by your article counts for that intangible goal of writing: to create a timeless link between you and your readers.
What that link is worth depends on the value you place on it.
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