blogging-business You’ve heard it. You know it. You’ve been told that you need to start a blog for your business – for many reasons: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), to connect with your clients, to become a resource in your industry. You know it, but you just don’t know where to start.

Starting a business blog can provide many different benefits: create a personality for your business, create a tone of how you deal with your clients, lend insight to the problems that you solve and demonstrate how you provide value to your customers. But without the commitment and dedication to making it work over the long haul, you may as well not even get started. So, what can you do to better your odds at success?

Understand your strengths – and weaknesses

If writing is not your forte, then line up a copywriter to do some or all of the work: from proof reading your articles to doing the actual writing. You provide the topics and inspiration, they’ll help you better connect with your audience and provide a meaningful dialogue with your followers. Realize that you may not succeed without getting the right people in place to make it happen.

Demonstrate solutions

To be successful, your blog needs to highlight the solutions you provide to your clients. Demonstrate you know the problems facing your clients – and provide meaningful tips and guidance to solving those problems. Though this may seem like you’re giving away the farm, understand that without providing something meaningful, your blog won’t be read, nor followed. And really, can someone else – just knowing what needs to be done – actually accomplish that task the same way you can? Knowing the steps and doing something right are two completely different things. Understand you are providing the guidance and know that this information you provide can keep you in their mind when it comes time to needing help.

Focus on business topics of general interest

I understand how hard it is to take the step to begin blogging. I know there’s a huge resistance to getting started – and the added stress of the constant time it takes to do it right. It’s a job that never finishes and is always on the calendar. But doing a little bit of research before you begin – defining an overall goal to your blog and the specific topics to discuss will make the job easier to accomplish.

What are some of the business struggles your client deals with? Maybe you can find interesting articles on Business Insider or INC magazine that can inspire your own writing. Those articles deal with general topics – your clients are a niche of that general population. Provide an article with a slant to your clients.

What are some of the struggles that your client’s deal with before they hire your services? Understand your value and provide a list of topics you can discuss that provides relevant and useful information to keep you top of mind to the reader. Then write about those topics. If the reader relates to your article, they will be much more likely to remember you when it comes time to hire your services.

How this helps your SEO

Google keeps a guarded secret to how they index websites, and how they determine who to bring up on the search engine results page (SERP). Last year (2012) they updated their algorithm and placed more emphasis on content and continually updating content. To make the most of this in your business, writing about the problems you are solving, using language that your clients use, will make sure you are telling Google what your business and services are all about. Your content shouldn’t be forced, but should contain the keywords that people use to search for your services. If you are unsure of how to get this right, I advise you to hire an expert to help you better understand this.

But know this: your consistent blogging, writing interesting articles geared towards your clients pain points and on topics they would like to learn more about, in words they naturally use to search for your services will – over time – help you connect with your clients. The challenge is how competitive is your industry and how large is your networking connections. Getting your articles in front of your social media connections is one way to gain a readership. If you want more precise results, hiring someone with SEO services may be what you need to kick your blogging campaign up a notch.