How blogging (and social media) can help your business

Why blog?

If your main aim of starting a blog is to capture more customers there are probably easier and less time consuming ways to do this (such as paid advertising); and blogging is of more value to some businesses than others. But people (and businesses) have different reasons for blogging.

Blogging has been good for my business since I started writing regular blog articles within my website blog in January 2016. My reasons for blogging were to:

  1. give myself deadlines to make sure I write regularly (e.g. I try to write one blog article a week).
  2. get better at writing about subjects that I don’t find easy to write about (e.g. trying to make an article about how to produce accurate transcripts interesting is quite a challenge).
  3. publish articles that include key words that indirectly (via search engines) help promote my business (e.g. audio transcription, scribing, editing, proofreading).
  4. provide an outlet for voicing my views about subjects I am passionate about (e.g. I have a ‘views and reviews’ blog section where I write about books and movies and topics that have inspired me).
  5. display my skills and knowledge in scribing and editing, and my writing skills, indirectly promoting my business.
  6. complement and add value to my website with the aim of winning new clients.

Posting on LinkedIn

Every time you publish a blog article I write and publish a similar one on LinkedIn.

Writing LinkedIn articles about topics that interest you, especially topics that are relevant to your business, displays your knowledge, skills and experience in those areas to anyone who cares to look up your LinkedIn profile. Your articles are part of your general profile: your ‘brand’.

For example, the sorts of people who might look up my LinkedIn profile are potentially people who need their policies edited, or need someone to scribe minutes of their meetings, or need audio files transcribed. They may want to find out what sort of person I am – my views and how professionally I’ve presented myself on LinkedIn.

Each time I post an article on LinkedIn I include a link to my blog page at the bottom of the article for anyone interested
in reading similar types of articles on my website blog. Obviously, each time someone clicks into my business website, that represents a ‘hit’ to my site which may help me get up further on the search engine list.

On LinkedIn, I write articles and join in discussions about things that are relevant to my industry, as well as subjects that may have no relevance to scribing or editing such as managing online businesses, juggling family and work, gender equality and Indigenous issues. I try to keep away from political issues but enter discussions about human rights and other ethical issues. When participating in these public discussions I always try to remember I’m representing my business and always behave professionally.

Has publishing LinkedIn articles helped my business?

Yes it has, indirectly. LinkedIn articles get my information and profile out into the LinkedIn network, and then out to other networks through people sharing my articles with  others. Some articles have provoked interesting discussions about editing, managing online business and other topics that may not have won me any new clients but which have given me new insights and information, and been helpful to me professionally and personally; and anything that helps my development is, indirectly, helping my business.

Has networking on LinkedIn helped my business?

Yes it has, directly: I still have a couple of regular clients
that found me on LinkedIn a year or so ago.

Sharing on Facebook

I’ve got a Facebook timeline (Sally-Anne Watson Kane) and a number of business pages including On Time Typing Australia; Online transcription and audio transcription; Wayward Words – grammar, punctuation, spelling; and On Time scribing, writing and editing.

Has sharing blog articles via Facebook been helpful to my business?

In a word, no. After sharing my website blog articles via my Facebook business pages over the past 13 months, I have not won a single client via Facebook. This may be because I haven’t learned how to use Facebook properly as a tool for promoting my business. It may be because haven’t got the right types of (or enough) Facebook ‘friends’. But it may also be because the types of clients that need scribing, editing or transcription services are not the kind of people who look businesses up on Facebook.

Has networking on Facebook helped my business?

Sharing and networking on Facebook has not directly resulted in any new clients for my business. However, a few clients who came to me via Google or word-of-mouth referral have, after becoming my client, then connected with me via Facebook. So I suppose being on Facebook has indirectly helped my business in terms of continuing a relationship with clients via social media.

Where I have had excellent value from Facebook is through my participation in Facebook’s closed group, ‘Secret Editors’ Business’ which is open only to professional editors who are members of IPEd. We discuss and share articles and information about editing, running a freelance/sole trader editing business, different editing courses that are coming up and other related issues. Being an active participant in that group is extremely helpful to myself and, by extension, my business.

Has blogging helped my business?

Looking at the reasons I started blogging in the first place, blogging has accomplished what I set out to do, as follows:

  1. Having deadlines to meet has got me into the habit of writing regularly; e.g. I write one blog article almost every week.
  2. I have become better at writing about subjects that I don’t find easy to
    write about; e.g. audio transcription, proofreading.
  3. I’m getting better at writing articles relevant to my business services and that include SEOs that promote my business; e.g. audio transcription, scribing, editing, proofreading.
  4. I get good satisfaction about the articles I’ve written about local or Australian issues or events that give people a different slant on the issues affecting their world (e.g. in the ‘views and reviews’ section of my blog), although I need to balance my wish to write these articles with the need to write articles that are more relevant to my business; e.g. scribing and editing.
  5. All my articles display my writing skills; but the blog articles about scribing, editing, proofreading etc. demonstrate my skills the best because they display not only my writing skills but also expertise in the areas of work in which I specialise.
  6. I am satisfied that my blog does complement and add value to my website so that visitors to the site are impressed by my writing, editing and proofreading skills and knowledge.

Attracting comments and ‘likes’

Whether your business operates predominantly online or is an actual shopfront in town, and whether you’re selling goods or services, it is really important that your business is liked by as many customers as possible. A person who likes you is more likely to walk through that actual or virtual door and have a look around and maybe buy your product. So every business wants and needs to be liked. In the online blogging world, it’s important that your articles are not only be liked but also to be ‘liked’ – to attract that ‘like’ click, and potentially that ‘share’ click, and potentially and best of all, an actual comment about your article.

I’ll be talking more about how to get more ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ and ‘comments’ about your articles, and how to make the best of them, in a future article.

This article is based on my own experience as a sole trader business which
has over the years evolved from an onsite scribing business into an online transcription, scribing, editing and proofreading business with clients across Australia.

Stay posted for future articles about  blogging and other aspects of freelancing and managing home-based businesses, especially online scribing and editing businesses.

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