Major Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses

Blogging is hands-down one of the best small business marketing strategies. A blog that regularly posts high-quality, useful, relevant, and enjoyable content draws in readers, builds community, earns trust in the eyes of customers, and leads to sales.

When small business owners picture a business blog, they often think of a series of advertisements. Perhaps you know of a business that has a “blog” that’s really just a list of sales or event dates. In reality – and with a good content writer – blogging for small businesses can be way more engaging and exciting.

I’m Rosemary, a professional content writer, and this post will outline all of the benefits that blogging has for marketing your small business. First, I’ll go over what purpose a blog has for a small business. Then I’ll show you how a good blog marketing strategy will increase traffic to your website, encourage engagement with your customers, and increase your sales.

What is the purpose of blogging for small businesses?

Frank’s Discount Furniture has a blog that features information about the Friday sales alongside pictures of Frank sitting on sofas. The last time it was updated was three months ago, and the post before that was from ten weeks prior.

It’s great that Frank is keeping his customers up-to-date about sales – that is one of the purposes of blogging! But Frank’s small business blog could be doing so much more.

A blog that draws readers in and converts them to sales features content that is interesting, readable, relevant to people’s lives, and related to your business in some way. Talk about information your readers are interested in, share skills they’ll find useful, provide tutorials for things they want to learn. Spotlight people who are important to the success of your company.

Why publish all this information? What’s the point? Perhaps you understand people coming to a blog to learn about how to use products and hire services, but why would they care about, for example, the various mistakes someone made when starting a business?

Sharing content builds trust in your brand – I’ll we’ll get into more detail about that later in the post. But for now, we’ll just say: because people are looking for this information, and they enjoy reading it.

Frank’s Discount Furniture’s blog could have many purposes beyond advertising. It can share information about interior decorating and home remodeling, including tutorials and tips. Since people shopping at a discount furniture store are probably into bargains, the content could be geared towards DIY methods and upcycling.

Even though not all of the content directly relates to Frank’s sofas, it draws in the type of people who might want to purchase a nicely-priced piece of furniture once in a while. When that time comes, they’re more likely to purchase from Frank, who taught them how to paint one wall in a room with a vibrant accent color, rather than another store they just found on a Google search.

Blogging Helps You Find Potential Customers

For your small business to succeed, you need to reach people who are likely to buy your product or service. You can do that by appearing in search engine results pages.

People are constantly looking for information using search engines like Google. Just think about how many times in the past week have you’ve fired up Google and asked it a question, either for business purposes, to satisfy a curiosity or both. The answers people are looking for appear in the search engine results pages.

When people are searching for information related to your business, you want to appear on the search engine results pages. Furthermore, you want to be listed as close to the top as possible – just think, when was the last time you scrolled and clicked on a website at the bottom or on the second page of the results page?

Any website has the potential to show up on search engine results pages, but the ones that show up at the top do so because they’ve been optimized. What does that mean? SEO optimization – as it’s called in the content writing business – is complicated, but basically, it means that your content answers the questions people are asking and provides the information people want, and it does so in a way that it’s easy for a search engine’s algorithms to pick up on that.

You can SEO optimize a website, but even the most fully optimized website can’t hold a candle to the power of a blog when it comes to appearing at the top of search engine results pages.

A blog that regularly produces meaningful, quality content increases the chances that your business will answer the questions and queries of people who are looking for information.

The reason why blogs are the best way to find potential customers is because half of all search queries are four words or longer. People are looking for information like how to decorate a small bedroom and how to use a French press. When your blog provides this information, people will find it in the search engine results pages. Then they’ll read it, like it, and share it.

The way that people search for information is changing. People aren’t just typing into the search box on google.com; they’re asking search engines questions using their voice. In fact, industry leaders like comScore estimate that by the year 2020, 50% of online searches will be voice searches.

A blog’s friendly, conversational tone mimics the casual language people use when conducting voice searches, opening avenues for your content to reach people via voice search. When someone says “hey Google,” you want your content to be what answers their question.

Blogging Engages and Builds Trust With Potential Customers

Statistics from 2019 show that marketers who prioritize blogging are thirteen times more likely to convert traffic and page views into sales. Thirteen times more likely?! That’s a huge return on investment!

By engaging your customers, you build their trust in your business. When it comes time for them to make important decisions about where to spend their money, they’re more likely to choose a business they trust.

Let’s say a young couple receives a French press as a wedding gift. They love coffee, so they’re excited to learn how to brew using this method. They ask a search engine how to use the French press.

A local coffee shop has a blog and they’ve employed a content writer to ensure that their posts are not only engaging and informative but also optimized. So when this young couple types how to use a French press into Google, this shop’s blog displays as one of the first results. The post includes clear, step-by-step instructions on how to use a French press, along with some pictures and a short video.

At the end of the informative blog post, there is a quick description of a couple of the roasts the coffee shop offers and a link to a different post that goes into more detail about the origins of the coffee beans and their roasting methods. There’s also a link to the rest of the shop’s website.

After reading the blog post, the couple brews some delicious coffee. After a week of enjoying their new French press, they run out of coffee and need to purchase more. They remember the place where they learned how to use the French press also sells coffee.

The couple finds the coffee shop’s website again, and this time they go to the post that describes the different roasts. The one described as aromatic and chocolatey catches their eye. They see that the shop is only a fifteen-minute drive away. They decide to make the trip to the shop and come home the happy owners of a pound of coffee beans.

Giving out free information through blogging is a great way to build trust, which is one of the biggest benefits of blogging for a small business. By giving people information they want to know for free, they’ll be familiar with who they trust to buy things from when the time comes.

Not sure what your business could write about? See this list of 40 blog post ideas to inspire you. There’s also some small business blog examples at the bottom of this post.

Blogging Builds a Community Around Your Business

The comments section of a blog acts as an open dialogue between your business and the customers who keep it alive. By listening to what they say in response to your posts and your products, you can get a feel for what they like, what they want, and what they’re willing to pay more money for. This kind of customer research is super valuable and is another one of the biggest benefits of blogging for business.

When customers thank you, express gratitude. When someone asks a question, answer it. This makes your customers see your business as what it really is: the collective effort of the people involved.

Dedicating time to this type of dialogue with the individual customers shows them they’re valued. After all, you couldn’t operate without your customers – you really should be listening to their feedback.

Feedback from customers also helps you see what questions they frequently ask, which in turn guides how you can improve the way your business operates and how you deliver information.

Your small business community can also be informed of changes to your hours or availability, upcoming sales, events, and promotions, and new products and services. Occasionally including sales posts sprinkled throughout plenty of other useful and relevant free content converts traffic into sales.

An engaged community around your blog is so important that I recommend specifically delegating the task to someone. Virtual assistants and social media managers can do this for you. However, chances are one of your current staff members would love to represent the business and be paid to engage with the comments section on your blog – especially if they’re a millennial and already used to social media interactions!

Presenting your business not just as a product or service, but also as a community, enhances the customer experience. Blogging provides so many ways for you to build and maintain this community.

Your Blog Helps Establish Your Image as a Brand

If I have a coffee shop, I want to be known as the best in my neighborhood. But what else do I want people to associate with my shop? Do I want to be known as a place where artists display their work? Do I support my local art scene by hosting open mics once a month? Am I focused on the most ethical sourcing? How do I encourage my staff to buy in to their employment besides just clocking in and clocking out?

All of these things can factor into a coffee shop’s, and they’re all ideas that can be illustrated through blogging.

A blog shares your voice and personality. It shows what your business cares about, stands for, and how it operates. Your image builds trust with the people who are most likely to purchase the products or services you offer.

Active blogging also establishes your business as maintained and relevant. The customer knows they’ll get a response from you.

By sharing your expertise, your small business blog shows your relationship to the product and your passion for it, and that you aren’t simply driven by profit. This will pique your readers’ interest in the product as well. 

You’re passionate about your business – that’s why you started it, right? Passion can be infectious. Share it with meaningful, engaging content on your blog.

Blogging Showcases Your Expertise and Builds Your Industry Reputation

Industry leaders are such for a reason: people are willing to pay their prices because they have established their brand as trusted experts. They’re also looked to by their colleagues as sources of information and guidance.

Baristas at other coffee shops might share your Ten Creative Latte Art Designs post. Your story called What Happens When You Provide Your Office Staff With Free Coffee on Mondays could lead to a call from an HR representative at a downtown office requesting a quote for a weekly catering order. Your series and photo diary covering the shop’s partnership with Guatemalan farmers lands you a keynote address at a conference focused on agriculture.

The sky’s the limit when you think about the ways that your small business could share expertise through blogging.

Blogging is Powerful Marketing for Your Business

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing strategy for any business. I know one small business owner, a physical therapist, who owns a private practice based completely on word of mouth advertising.

When your blog contains quality content, your readers will share it with others. When you provide easy ways to share your content through email and social media, you will reach even more potential customers.

Lots of shares can also be personally validating because it shows the stock that people place in your information. People will share information they trust with their friends, families, and professional networks.

It’s super easy to make your blog posts shareable on social media outlets such as Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as any email lists you operate. Share your own content on your social media outlets and engage your followers when they’re online. Encourage readers to re-share your content so that your audience can widen.

How do I go about writing a blog for my business?

Writing a blog isn’t a small task, but the benefits make it obvious that it’s a task you should delegate. You can either write your blog yourself or you can hire professional content writers to do it for you.

If you want to write your blog yourself, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – successful business models are out there. You can learn the ins and outs of writing a blog for your business from a number of courses taught by successful bloggers.

If you’ve already got a blog set up but you’re looking to learn how to produce better content, you might benefit from a course on SEO writing. I took this course from Inkwell Editorial and I highly recommend it! If you have any questions about my experiences with the course, please email me! I show you how at the bottom of this post.

Write my blog for me 

If writing isn’t your thing, hiring a good content writer is a great investment in your blog marketing strategy. My company, Writing Rose, can produce high-quality, unique, engaging, and informative content about almost any topic. As an added bonus, all writing can be SEO optimized with unlimited keywords. Learn more about hiring a content writer here.

What are some examples of blogs for small businesses?

You are also reading a small business blog right now! Writing Rose is an independently-owned writing, editing, and proofreading business.

This blog is my way of finding potential customers, engaging and building trust with them, teaching them how to be better writers, editors, and proofreaders themselves, and keeping them informed of what’s going on with the services we offer.

Another example of a small business blog comes from one of my favorite breakfast and lunch restaurants, Kate’s Kitchen. Take a look at their articles about everything having to do with food.

Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not your business should have a blog, I’ll leave you with some final statistics from Lyfe Marketing

  • Publishing regular content on your blog can bring in 8 times more traffic
  • Blogging can reduce your overall marketing budget by 60% or more
  • Blogging bring in 3 times more leads

If you’re not sure what your thoughts are on starting a blog for your small business, just send me an email. My name is Rosemary and I run this blog as well as lead operations over at Writing Rose. I’m always happy to share my story about my success marketing my own small business with blogging. You can reach me at email.

Share the love of the written word!

Editing versus Proofreading – What’s The Difference?

Companies like Writing Rose offer separate services for professional editing and proofreading. But how does a writer like you know if they need editing services, proofreading services, or both? Is there a difference between editing and proofreading?

Whether you’ve been writing and publishing for years or are simply a hobbyist looking to get your ideas out to the world, you want your writing to be completely free of errors in the eyes of your readers.

It can be difficult for a writer to edit and proofread their own writing. As the author of the ideas, you know what you are trying to say, so you are not always able to see small errors that may confuse people who aren’t inside your head. This is where professional editing and proofreading services come in.

So what is the difference between editing services and proofreading services? For most people outside of the professional writing industry, what they think of as proofreading actually refers to the process of editing. Confused? Don’t worry! By reading this post, you will know the similarities and differences between editing and proofreading services. Then, you can examine your needs as a writer to know which services are appropriate for your document. At the end, I’ll show you how you can hire a professional proofreader or editor.

Bloggers, novelists, journalists, cookbook authors, copywriters, administrative assistants, company executives, doctoral students – to name a few – all use professional editing and proofreading services to different degrees. This article will help you decide which services are right for you.

What does editing look like?

An editor makes your writing shine. They help you write your own words, but better. Your editor is a proactive supporter of your voice, offering suggestions and alternatives that help you improve the overall readability and quality of your writing.

Here are some things a good editor might do for you:

  • Explain possibly confusing ideas and passages, offering alternative interpretations so that the author can clarify their ideas
  • Point out where background knowledge might be missing and more explanations could be necessary
  • Ask questions when the meaning of the text is unclear
  • Correct inconsistencies, such as in the spelling of names and places or in the descriptions of physical objects
  • Eliminate redundancies, such as when something has been described more than once or an idea has been brought up over and over
  • Correct for the appropriate use of passive voice and active voice
  • Comment on the use of language and tone as appropriate for the intended audience (for example, use of slang may not be appropriate on a blog post intended to be read by retired persons, but could add relevancy to one aimed at people in their early 20s)
  • Ensure use of appropriate language and the use of slang and dialects
  • Include conscious and inclusive language

Editing Example

To give you an idea of what editing could look like in a document, check out this example. In this blog post for a travel website, the author is telling a story about a hike. The author’s intention is to paint a picture in the reader’s mind that will inspire them to go on the same hike. Knowing this, the editor is looking for good storytelling elements such as strong imagery and a believable timeline. In one paragraph, the author rushes through part of the timeline, which could possibly confuse the reader.

In this case, the editor has inserted a simple comment to the author noting the break in the timeline. From there, the author can decide how to proceed.

What does proofreading look like?

Proofreading is the final search for errors, the last step before a document is published. It’s a fine-toothed comb: seeking out the smallest and slightest spelling errors, punctuation mistakes, commonly misused words, and incorrect formatting.

A proofreader goes through the document and corrects these errors, however, they do not make any suggestions or changes to the text except where a language rule is broken or the sentence does not make sense. 

Overall, proofreading is a faster and less intensive service, and this means it is also less expensive! However, just because it’s less intensive than editing doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Writing that is going to be published in any format should be completely free of errors so that the author’s message is conveyed the way they intend, clearly and completely. 

Here are some things a proofreader will do for you:

  • Fix spelling and grammar mistake
  • Correct typos
  • Query obviously confusing or repetitive passages (but not offer suggestions for how to correct them – that’s an editor’s job!)
  • Ensure consistency in spelling of proper nouns such as character or place names and the numbering of figures or images
  • Cross-reference the table of contents, index, appendices, footnotes, and endnotes
  • Adhere to style guides such as the Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, MLA, and/or a house style guide

Proofreading Example

Let’s look at another blog post to see an example of proofreading. Here is a summary of the corrections made:

  • Use of commas, colons, semicolons, and dashes – the rules for this are nuanced, so it’s good to have a professional look at them
  • Incorrect use of a homonym: using band instead of banned. The word processor’s spell check won’t pick up on this error!
  • Eliminated some extra spaces between words
  • Corrected abbreviations (U.S. to US, U.S.A. to USA)

What’s the difference between editing and proofreading?

To really see the difference between editing services and proofreading services, let’s examine one sentence through the lens of each. This sentence is completely grammatically correct and does make sense as far as the rules of the English language. However, you can see that the order of events is a little confusing.

  • Walking through the door in a tizzy, the woman got mad at the clerk when she wasn’t able to help, bumping her toe on the edge of the table.

Because there is nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence, a proofreader wouldn’t change anything about it, nor make any comments. They’d just keep on proofreading and this sentence would be published.

To contrast, an editor would comment to the author about the order of events presented in this sentence, as well as remark about the overall delivery of the message. Here’s an example of what that might sound like:

  • The woman is acting out a number of simultaneous actions – while she is walking through the door, she is also getting mad at the clerk, as well as bumping her toe. Are all these actions happening at the same time? What happened first? Did she bump her toe on the table in reaction to something, such as her anger at the clerk?

This comment is also an example of how an editor preserves the author’s voice. Instead of rewriting the passage, the editor asks clarifying questions. This leaves creative control in the hands of the author of the work.

Who should use a proofreader?

You might be thinking to yourself, who cares about these tiny little errors that escape the eye of most people? Yes, the majority of the error in the example above would never be noticed by the average person. As I said before, the difference in the proper use of commas, colons, and semicolons is nuanced – so why should I care?

Even if it’s only by some readers, small errors are noticed. Mistakes can have an effect on the message of the writing.

Some readers might chuckle if they notice the use of a comma instead of a period as the ending punctuation mark of a sentence (a common error that proofreaders catch). If your message is serious, you might not want your message to be interrupted by someone chuckling at an easily correctable error.

As a writer, you might find it unimportant and frustrating to use the correct version of affect or effect. If you use the wrong one, most people are going to know what you mean. However, using the wrong one would make your writing lose credibility in the eyes of some readers.

While some errors are relatively harmless, others can completely change the meaning of the text. Check out these examples to see what I mean. By the way, these are all errors that spelling and grammar checks may not see, (but a human proofreader will).

Errors that obscure meaning

  • Let’s eat grandma! versus Let’s eat, grandma!

Oh my – is the author talking about cannibalism or are they telling grandma it’s time for a meal?

  • I like cooking my family and my pets versus I like cooking, my family, and my pets.

Another slightly morbid example, but the point is illustrated completely: the proper use of commas is important.

  • Let’s meat at the office after lunch versus Let’s meet at the office after lunch. 
  • I thought it was a waist of time versus I thought it was a waste of time.

Simple errors like the last two examples are incredibly common when a writer is working quickly, and since they don’t necessarily obscure the idea being conveyed, can easily be missed by the author.

A writer’s success depends on the widespread enjoyment of their work by many people. If errors in spelling, punctuation, and word usage put off some people, a writer loses credibility to potential readers. While oral language is brightened and colored by accents, dialects, and other forms of slang and inflection, published written words conform to a set of standards. Because writing is a one-way discourse, it is important that the meaning is clear the first time.

It is not important for everyone to learn the minute details of the rules of written English. That’s what proofreaders and editors are for! These writing professionals help you write your ideas, but better. A one-time investment in a service like this can have lasting impacts on how your writing is read and received. 

Any document that is intended to be read by a large number of people should be proofread by a professional. This includes novels and stories, articles, blog posts, company documents, dissertations and theses, biographies and histories, website content, press releases, catalog descriptions, recipes – and more!

If you don’t use a proofreader, you’re bound to one day get an email from a reader who points out a mistake or few you’ve missed. Professional proofreading services like Writing Rose offer package deals for clients to submit multiple documents for proofreading at a discount.

Who should use an editor? Should I hire a separate editor and proofreader?

Whether or not you should hire a separate editor and proofreader depends on what kind of document you have.

Fiction stories and novels

If you are writing fiction, you can consider going through rounds of developmental editing first. Developmental editors help you shape your story into something that people will enjoy reading by assisting in the development of the build-up, climax, and conclusion of the story.

After the book is finished, a line editor or copyeditor (such as one of the professionals at Writing Rose) will take the sentences line-by-line, making queries such as those in the examples above and making extensive suggestions to improve readability.

Once you’ve got all that situated, the proofreader ensures that no mistakes were able to make it through all those rounds of editing.

Are you looking for a developmental editor for your novel or fiction piece? A good place to start might be the member directory of the Editorial Freelancers Association, one of the largest professional associations of editors. Check the box for “Developmental/Substantive editing” to find people who specialize in that kind.

Nonfiction, articles, website content, etc.

If your document is anything other than fiction – an article, a paper, a blog post, company documents, website content, or a piece of informative or persuasive writing, to name a few examples – it is your choice whether you will first seek out editing and then proofreading, or simply go for proofreading. To make this choice, consider a few things:

  • How complex are my ideas? Do I assume a level of background knowledge in my readers? Is there anywhere that background knowledge needs to be explained?
  • Are there any cause-effect relationships that could potentially confuse the reader?
  • Do I present a timeline or an order of events that is important for understanding the overall message?

But wait – if I hire an editor and they’re good at their job, why would I also need a proofreader? Wouldn’t a good editor find all the mistakes? What’s the point of hiring a proofreader as well?

When an editor is reading a text to ensure that ideas are presented truthfully and in the correct order it becomes easy to miss small mistakes. Since the proofreader is only reading for grammatical rules, they are able to spot the tiniest of mistakes before publication. While a good editor will catch a lot of these small errors, anything that is meant to be published or widely read should still use a proofreader to ensure that it is completely error-free.

How can I hire an editor or proofreader?

All of the examples of editing and proofreading in this post come from actual client documents from Writing Rose, my professional writing, editing, and proofreading service. 

Read more about Writing Rose services here, and contact us for a custom quote for your document!

My name is Rosemary, and thank you for reading. Do you have any more questions about editing and proofreading that I didn’t answer? Something confusing or not clear? Feel free to send me an email: email and I’ll get back to you. A faster way to get a response is to leave a comment below.

Share the love of the written word!