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When You Don’t Know What To Blog About

Are you struggling with what to write about on your blog for your small business? I’m going to give you a little tip today for what to write about when you just don’t know what to blog about! Maybe you are feeling a bit lost for blog topics or are feeling unfocused. Do you put off writing blog post until you can come up with that perfect thing to blog about? I see many small business owners struggling with generating content for their blog for their creative small business. The conversation is always the same:

Me: Why did you write this blog post?

Them: I have no idea, I was just looking for something to blog about.

Does this empty feeling regarding your blog sound familiar to you too? Do you sit down as your computer and just stare at a blank screen? Do you keep putting off writing blog posts, because you feel like you have nothing to write about? Does blogging just keep getting shoved farther and farther down the list of things to do?

Photo Credit: Red October Photography

Blogging As A Business

Before we get started, there is one point to make clear. I’m not talking about blogging as a business. I’m talking about blogging when you earn a living doing something else. You are a creative small business entrepreneur, and you have a blog to support whatever that other business is that you do. In my case, I design stylish wedding garters and I have a blog, which you are reading right now, that supports my wedding garter design business. My blog is where I talk about things that are going on in business, I share new garter styles and more about my business. (I also share lots of small business blogging tips like this one you are reading right now!)

Hey, This Is What I Do!

OK, so to the topic at hand: blogging struggles. What should you blog about when you just don’t know what to blog about on your small business blog? When you don’t know what to blog about: Blog about what you want to get hired for.

Yes, it is truly that simple: blog about what you want to be paid for. Ding, ding! Hello, light bub! Your blog for your business should be about the business that you do, the business that makes you money and pays your bills.

I know that blogging about what you want to be hired to do seems like a really simple solution and I don’t mean to be flip. So stick with me as I attempt to explain why blogging about your business is so important.

When you write a blog post, it says to the world and the Internet: Hey, this is what I do! If you don’t tell the world what it is that you do, how will the world know to hire you to do that job? In life and on the Internet, you must put out there what you want to get back. Your blog is one of the greatest vehicles for you to tell the story of your business. You can and should use your blog to promote your business and talk about topics relevant to your business and the work that you do.

Stay On Message

If you want to be hired to design flowers for a wedding, well then, blog about designing flowers for weddings. If you want to be hired to do branding for other creative small businesses, well then blog about branding for creative small business. If you are a wedding planner and you blog about a favorite new recipe that you just tried, that tells the world that you want to be hired for testing out new recipes. Why would you do that?

Why would you blog about something way off of your topics when they chances are high that you might not have time to write another blog post again for another six months?

Sure, you might have just learned a new skill or you might be really excited about your home renovation project and you just want to share it with the world! Sharing personal stories or off-brand topics is what Facebook and other social media sites are for. You might even want to start a new blog about your new found topic! But, stay on track with your blog for your small business and keep it to posts about your business and what you want to be hired to do.

The goal of any small business owner with a blog is to write long-lasting blog posts that are going to deliver for you over and over and over again. We know that what you want to be hired for is going to deliver for you, because it is what you do. Its just that simple!

I see many small business owners struggle with content generation and it forces them off track. You are not a professional blogger, you don’t need to general new and different types of content. You own a small business doing what you love, so you already have a built in topic for your blog. Blog about your business. Stick to the topics of your business and what you want others to hire you to do.

Again And Again

With your blog for your business, stay on message. Don’t look to create new things or new ideas, unless you want to be hired for those new things or new ideas. Blog about what you know, what you want to get hired for. And then when you are done blogging about your business topics, do it again, and again and then again. Just keep asking yourself: What do I want to get hired for? That’s what I’m going to blog about.

Now, there are creative ways to give the similar advice in new ways, or provide new content within the same categories or come up with creative solutions to repetitive blog posts, but those advice posts and tricks to the trade are for other days!

If you stay on track and dig a little deeper, I bet you’ll be shocked at the number of blog posts and topics that you can generate on just what it is that you do. I am still amazed at all the different topics and ways that I can tell my wedding garter story through my blog and I’m not even close to being done yet!

In summary, when you don’t know what to blog about: blog about what you want to be hired for.

For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject. You can sign up for my email newsletter to get more blogging tips and be the first person to know about any blogging workshops that I have coming up.

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The 2nd B.Y.O.B. Workshop Photos & Recap

I can no tell you how excited I am to share the pictures from my second small business blogging workshop that I recently held here in Washington, DC. At The B.Y.O.B. (Blog Your Own Business) Workshop, I took a little break from sewing my stylish wedding garters and hosted 13 creative small business owners from the DC area at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown and we talked about all things blogging, like how to start your blog, why blogging matters, what to blog about, how to blog the right away, how to grow your business through your blog and so much more! It was a jammed packed day full of cupcakes and lots of blogging. The attendees left with tons of blogging knowledge, a huge to-do list and lots of fun swag to make it all better!

Here are the photographs from Anna at Red October Photography. Let’ start with one of me in the room all set up, because why not!?

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At the workshop, we talked about all things blogging, but what I was most excited to share was my tips and advice on how to fit blogging to your work day. Attendees also had the honor of hearing from my friend Myrna of Mezzohead Media. Myrna talked about SEO (search engine optimization) and the world of online marketing and what all of it means for those of in the creative small industry space. The online world is changing so fast and the old, marketing techniques don’t always apply in the age of social media. It was truly a gift to talk with Myrna, hear her perspective and listen to her talk about SEO in a language that we all could understand!

BLOGGING SWAG

The room at Sprinkles was very modern with its white tables and chairs and pink floor. So, I went with the same gray and yellow theme as my first blogging workshop in Maryland and I loved how it all turned out! It was so bright and fresh, perfect for blogging all day! For each attendee, I made them a tote bag to take home all of their swag and blogging materials. (These tote bags were the same that I made at my last blogging workshop and you can find the DIY tote swag bag instructions right here!) On each bag, I made the name tags using my new (and very rough!) brush stroke skills that I learned from Michelle at Meant To Be Calligraphy at her modern brush stroke calligraphy class.

At each attendee’s place setting, they received my custom blogging workbook to take notes and follow along with the presentation, a few pencils, a blank notebook, and their personalized blog and website review in a gray folder. For the favors, I made a custom yellow, gray and white sprinkle mix in a jar with a sticker that said “Sprinkles Make Blogging Better,” because well, they do! (Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing my DIY instructions for how to make your own custom sprinkles mix!) Each guest also received a little glass milk bottle with a sticker that said, “Blog. Sip. Repeat.” I also put little signs in the bowls of chocolate kisses that said, “Kiss Your Blogging Mistakes Away.” As a little to-go treat, the guests also received custom cookies made by Tiffany at Sugar Studio Co. She was able to hand pipe the icing onto the cookies in the different blogging phrases of “Your Blog Is Like Really Pretty,” “Blog It Like Its Hot,” and “You Can Totally Blog With Me.”

Running your small business and your blog, it all about the sugar and hydration! Here are the rest of the pictures…

 

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Photo Credit: Red October Photography

So, there you have it! You can clearly see that I’m all about the sweets, the hydration and the blogging!

Thank you so much to Red October Photography for taking such beautiful pictures and really capturing the workshop. A special thanks to my friend and DC area wedding planner, Janice, at Bellwether Events, for helping me to plan and execute the workshop. It takes a village!

If you want more small business blogging advice, you can check out my posts on the topics. You can also sign up for my email newsletter to get tips and be the first to find out about my next workshop.

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Easy Logos For Creative Small Businesses

Are you looking for a logo or branding materials for your creative small business? I have found the answer to your dreams with Ribbon & Ink’s new collection of pre-designed logos and semi-custom branding packages. When I was developing The B.Y.O.B Workshop about how to blog for your small business, it would have been so great (and a lot easier!) to go with one of these logos kits. I had the idea for the workshop, but it was all the other details that I needed to get people to attend the workshop that was the hard part!

For my blogging workshop, developing the course materials and the blogging workbook was a total breeze – at least for me! It was everything else, such as the branding materials, the logo and the business collateral that I needed to have the workshop look professional and get other creative businesses to attend, that was the hard part – at least for me!

Ribbon & Ink is a graphic designer and artisan branding company based here in the Washington, DC area and she was so great to help me out with the first blogging workshop. She helped me with my blogging workbook and designing the blogging phrases that I used for these super fun DIY swag bags that we made! But, it would have been much easier – on both of us – if I had a solid suite of branding materials to get us started on the workshop. That’s why I was so excited that she is offering these super, simple, yet super pretty, pre-made branding kits!

Here are few a pre-made branding kits that I love:

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Photo Credit: Ribbon & Ink

The pre-made branding kits from Ribbon & Ink include all of the essentials to get started building your brand:

  • Logo
  • Patterns
  • Icons
  • Business card design
  • Email signature, and
  • Note card and envelop design.

Even in the early days of my wedding garter design business, The Garter Girl, it would have been amazing to go with one of these pre-made branding kits. When you have an idea for a creative small business, you want to get going on the idea and hit the ground running doing whatever it is that you do! You don’t want to get bogged down in the details and the design process of having to have everything perfect right from the start. You have to see if you even have a viable business first, before you invest in all the perfect branding and marking materials, am I right!?

If you purchase a pre-made branding kit from Ribbon & Ink, she will work with you to tweak the colors to really make the logo and the branding collateral your own, perfectly suited for your business. And, the best of all is that each pre-made kit will only be sold once! Does it get any better than that!?

For 25% off of your branding kit purchase, you can use the code: garter25off 

Check out Ribbon & Ink’s semi-custom pre-made branding kits for creative small businesses here on her website. For more small business blogging tips, I hope you’ll look through my posts on the topic and find helpful information for your business and your blog.

For more of my wedding ideas and inspirations, be sure to check out my Garter Girl Loves blog series and you can see all of my wedding garter designs right here.

With love, The Garter Girl

 

 

 

Some of the above product links are affiliate-connected and purchasing through these links helps to support the blog.

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Help: I’m Embarrassed By My Blog

Are you embarrassed by the blog for your creative small business? Do you hate your blog so much and wish it would just go away? Or maybe you actually do love blogging for your business, you just can’t ever seem to find the time to do it! Regardless of the reason, if you are embarrassed by the blog you maintain for your creative small business, you’ve come to the right place! All judgement aside for how it got your blog got to this point, the goal of this post is to move your blog forward! I’m going to give you a few practical things that you can do right now, as in today, to get your small business blog back on track and not allow it to be something that you are embarrassed to share with the world.

As I’m prepping for my upcoming small business blogging workshop here in Washington, DC, I’ve been to many, many business blogs. And, I get the “I’m embarrassed” reaction quite a bit from small business owners about their blog. They don’t want anyone to see their blog. Maybe they have neglected for months, even years, and it so it is horribly out-of-date. Maybe they don’t like design of their blog or maybe the posts that they do have up on their blog isn’t the best reflection of their work. Yet, their blog is still linked on their website, right up there in their website’s main navigation with the about their business page and the page about the services that they offer.

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Photo Credit: Red October Photography, Styling: Marigold & Grey

I hear hear often from business owners when I say that I’ve been to their blog to check out their work. They respond with, “Oh please don’t look at my blog, I’m so embarrassed!” If you are embarrassed by your blog for your business, what kind of message are you sending to potential clients? Are you going to tell them not to look at your blog? That you are embarrassed about your blog? Are you going to be embarrassed about the work that you do for them? How are they supposed to trust you, if you show them things (i.e. your blog!) that you are embarrassed about?

What Your Blog Says

If your blog is linked up on your website and visible to the world it says to your potential clients: Look here! A blog on your website says:  Come check out this page out as a representation of my work and get to know more about me and my business.

You don’t get to tell website visitors what pages to go to or not on our websites. So, if you have a blog up on your website and you are embarrassed about it, I’d suggest doing something about it. Fix it, solve the blog embasrassment! And, quickly. If you are a wedding florist and you created flowers for a couple’s wedding would you walk out of that reception room with work that you are embarrassed about? No! You’d stay there until you fixed it and got it right. Why? Because your work is a reflection of you and of your business. Just the same, your blog is a reflection of your work and of your business.

If you are embarrassed by the blog for your small business, it is important to recognize your situation. Don’t spend to much time thinking about the past and how you got to this point, instead use the solutions I’m about to provide as a motivation for the future. Here are few quick things that you can do to cure those horrible blog feelings. Your blog is your businesses’ biggest cheerleader, give your blog a little love and it will love your business right back!

Here are four things that you can do to cure blog embarrassment:

#1 Take Your Blog Down

If you are truly embarrassed by your blog and you can find no other solution, take it down. You shouldn’t have anything on your website that isn’t the best reflection of your work and if your blog isn’t where you want it to be, then consider taking it down. I don’t mean delete your blog, that’s a whole other post for a whole other day, rather, I mean unlink your blog from your website. If you unlink your, the blog is still live out there on the Internet, but it isn’t associated with your website’s homepage. So, new potential clients coming to you website won’t be able to easily find your blog.

You’ll need to fully weigh the options with unlinking your blog to determine if ultimately it is the right solution for your business. But, unlinking it might give you a little breathing room to develop a solution. And, can’t we all use a little less pressure on our shoulders a business owners?!

#2 Update Your Blog

If your small business blog is horribly out-of-date and you are embarrassed by it, update it. It sounds so simple, I know, but maybe it really is that simple. Just update your blog. Write a blog post and get it up there. Stop what you are doing, stop with the social media, stop with the emails, stop with the excuses and take 15 minutes to write blog post. You’ll feel so much better after you’ve updated your blog.

Start with an easy blog post, maybe about a press feature that you had recently. Your blog doesn’t have to be epic, it just has to be updated. Epic can come later when you have some time to think about a schedule and defining your blog’s voice.

If your blog is out of date, for now just focus on getting your blog updated. One simple blog post will help to alleviate those feelings of guilt that small business owners tend to feel when their plate gets too full.

For more on how to get your blog going quickly and easily, check out this post that I wrote about the 10 blog posts that you already have written. And, also check out my three best blogging tips.

#3 Admit Why You Are Embarrassed

If you are embarrassed by your blog, take a minute or two think about why it is embarrassing to you. What exactly is the source of your embarrassment? Once you know what the problem is, it might be easier to get your blog under control.

Give your business a hard look to the inside and try to find out what is frustrating you about your blog. Is it because your blog is out of date? Do you not like the design of your blog? Are you frustrated with having nothing to write about on your blog? Do you love blogging, but you can never seem to find the time to blog? Do you just not like writing at all? These are all curable situations. You can solve all of these blogging problems.

There are so many reasons why business owners let their blog slip and allow their blog to develop into something that they aren’t proud of. If you are better able to determine what it is that you don’t like about your blog, then you’ll be that much closer to solving the problem.

#4 Develop A Realistic Schedule

Sometimes business owners have an blog that they are embarrassed about because they just don’t know where to start to fix it. I see it often that the business owner is overwhelmed about where to start and so they just leave the blog empty or out-of-date. Not knowing where to start or not knowing how to fix is a problem is a very real feeling and it can be paralyzing.

If your blog hasn’t been updated it a while, and you don’t know where to start, I suggest starting with a schedule. That’s right, come up with a schedule for your blog that is manageable for you that you know you’ll stick to. Blogging is like trying to drastically change yourself after the new year with an unrealistic resolution that you know you’ll never keep.

Give your business a “win” and commit to a blog schedule that you know you’ll keep. Is that one blog post a month? Is it two blog posts a month? Can you manage more blog posts than that? Maybe not, and that’s OK! You don’t have to blog every day to have a blog that is successful for your business. Your blog schedule must be unique to you, to your business and what is possible for you. Once you have a realistic schedule, it will be easier to stay on track.

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Those are my four tips for what to do if you are embarrassed about your blog for your creative small business. What did I miss? What do you to avoid having a blog that you aren’t proud of? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Your blog can do so much for your business. If you give your blog just a little bit of attention, and your blog will give that back to you and so much more!

If you want to learn how to blog for your small business, check out my upcoming workshop in Washington, DC on February 28th. I’d love to see you there! I will be talking all about how to build a blog that you are proud of, and also how to blog properly, what to blog about and so much more!

For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject.

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3 Things Blogging Does For Your Business

Do you have a blog for your creative small business and are you wondering what it can do for you? Are you frustrated with writing blog posts and trying to find a way to get it all done? Can you never seem to find the time to write blog posts? As small business owner, there are so many things competing for your time, including accounting, billing, social media, staffing and actually doing your job or service! It is really hard to prioritize writing blog posts when there are so many other things calling for your attention. If you are ware wondering just what blogging can do for your creative small business, then this post is for you, because I’m going to give it to you for real!

If you want even more personal attention to fix your blogging mistakes and struggles, check out my upcoming small business blogging workshop where I’ll go into what blogging can (and can’t!) do for your business, and so many more topics to teach you how to get control of your blog!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

I’m a small business owner myself, so I completely understand the challenges that other businesses face. It is hard even for me to find time away from sewing my wedding garters and helping my clients to write blog posts and keep up with everything on social media. I’ve talked to countless small business owners and the thing that usually sticks for them and is when I tell them specifically what blogging can do for their business. If you understand why something is important, it is easier to make it a priority. I can’t give you more hours in a day to get it all done, but hopefully I can help you blog faster and more effectively with the time that you do have.

Blogging takes quite a bit of time, we know this, but the benefits far out weigh the time that it takes. Writing consistently and properly on your blog for your small business can do so many incredible things for you business. Here are my top three things that blogging can do:

Blogging Keeps You Fresh

Search engines loves fresh, or new, and shareable content. A site that is updated regularly peeks the interest of the search engines and keeps them coming back for more, which pushes you up higher and higher in search rankings.

If your website and your blog are just old and stale, the search engines will skip right over it and it won’t do anything for you. An old website that hasn’t been updated regularly is just there. Doing nothing. Just there taking up space.

The fastest and easiest way to create new and shareable content is through your blog.

Blogging Books You Clients

Not only does blogging bring potential clients to your website (See above!), it helps to book those clients too. Blogs have the power to seal the deal! Potential clients want to hire busy people who know what they are doing. An active, updated blog shows (1.) that you are busy and (2.) that you are an expert. 

Blogging lets you go deeper into topics and to show that you are an expert. It allows people to get to know you more and feel more comfortable with you. Potential clients can and will “pre-interview” you through your blog! 

You can use your blog to write about advice topics to help answer their most challenging questions, you can use your blog to talk about your successes or you can use your blog to help potential clients find inspiration. Regardless of what you write about, and an active blog for your small business books you business. (For more, check out the 10 blog posts that you already have written!)

Blogging Prepares Your Business For The Future 

Blogging prepares your business for the future online. Blogging allows your business to ride whatever the social media waves are happening within your industry.

Allow me to explain:  The only eyeballs, readers, followers, likers etc. that you own are those on your website and your blog. You don’t own your followers on Facebook or Instagram. So, if social media changes the algorithms or suddenly isn’t popular anymore, you will be left in the lurch. Blogging is an investment in what you own. (Read more about this topic in my blog post about why blogging is important and still matters!)

If you are consistently putting effort into the core of your business, i.e. your website and our blog, it doesn’t matter that Instagram changes its algorithms or that younger clients aren’t using Facebook anymore. You own your blog and the users on it and no one can take that away from you or change up that algorithm.

Blogging allows you to ride the social media waves and be prepared for the future online, whatever that may be!

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So, those are three things that blogging can and will do for your small business. What did I miss? What does blogging do for your business? 

If you want to learn how to blog for your small business, check out my upcoming workshop in Washington, DC on February 28th. I’d love to see you there! I will be talking about what blogging can for your, and also how to blog properly and what to blog about and so much more! 

For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject.

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3 Best Blogging Tips

If you are blogged right along with me last week in my small business blogging challenge or you are just looking for some great tips from someone who has written over 5,ooo blog posts, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share my three best tips and pieces of advice for blogging.

Remember, you can check out my blogging challenge right here and one week to get your blog under control in the new year. You can also check out my upcoming workshop where I’ll show you how to blog for your small business.

If you have a blog for your small business, then listen up! I’ve blogged for my stylish wedding garter business for over nine years. I also I started another blog about weddings in the Washington DC area and I grew it so much, I was able to sell the blog. I’m not a technical expert or a computer coder. Instead, I’m a small business owner who hand makes modern wedding heirlooms. I’m just like you! Everything I learned about blogging, I learned first hand by writing, writing and writing more blog posts.

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Photo Credit: Red October Photography

I know how to use a blog to grow a small business. I know how to use a blog to bring in potential clients and make sales. I know how to use your blog to promote your business when no other media outlets or publication will return your call. Back when I started The Garter Girl, no wedding media outlet or magazine would write about my wedding garter designs. My only way of getting the word out to brides about my bridal garters was to either pay for tons of advertising or start my own blog. I didn’t have a marketing budget at all. So, blogging it was!

Your blog is your small business’ biggest cheerleader. No one will yell louder out into Internet that your own blog. Your blog is not subject the opinion of editors, style setters and advertisers. And, unlike social media, like Instagram and Facebook, the only person who can mess with the algorithms of your blog is you. In no other space is it completely acceptable, in fact encouraged, to shameless promote your business as much as you want.

So with all of that said, I bet you are wondering where those tips for blogging are!? Here you go, my best bits of advice for writing blog posts from one small business owner to another.

THREE BEST TIPS FOR BLOGGING

#1 – Block out the time.

Blogging only works if you block out the time in advance. As a business owner, there are so many other things competing for your time. You have to preschedule the time on your calendar for blogging. Otherwise, it will get kicked off your to-do list and the next thing you know, it has been a a year (or more!) until you’ve prioritized your blog again.

Block out the time on your calendar right now for blogging. Make it a lunch date with your blog, if you need to. You can designate one day a week, or one day a month, or one hour per day. Whatever works for you. Just schedule the time in advance and you are more likely to keep your blog on your priority list.

If you don’t block out the time and commit to it in advance, the blogging will never get done.

2 – Don’t make your posts too long.

Not every blog post needs to be lengthy and epic. You don’t have to break new group and shatter the earth with each blog post. Give the basic information to your readers and then be done with it. Aim for around 400 words with at least one photograph. If you have more or less than 400 words, that it is OK.

Technical experts and SEO professionals will probably tell you that you have to have more words in your blog post. But, as a small business owner, I can tell you that it is really hard to come up with that much content. And, it is even harder when you don’t consider yourself a writer.

I operate under the motto that “done is better than perfect” when it comes to my blog. I would rather have posts written consistently than none at all because they weren’t long enough.

3 – Write for your ideal clients.

Think about who you want to hire you and then write your blog posts for them. Solve their problems and use language that they would understand. What do you want your ideal client to know about your business? What do you want them to hire you for? Write on your blog what your ideal client wants and needs to know.

Each blog post should be written directly to the ones that you want to hire you. Before you start writing thinking about what your ideal client wants, what he or she needs to hear and what would be the most helpful them.

For example, if you are wedding planner and you want to write a blog post about a recipe for lasagna. Is that helping your business? Is that what your ideal client wants to read about? Do you want someone to hire you to make you lasagna?

Only you, as the business owner, can answer those questions. But, if the goal of your blog is to get your business more business, then write your blog for those that will give you business.

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Those are my three very best blogging tips for your small business blog. What did I miss? What are you blogging tips?

Remember, you can join the blogging challenge right here and take this week to get your blog under control in the new year. You can also check out my upcoming workshop where I’ll show you how to blog for your small business.

You can find more small business blogging tips on my blog.

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Featured: Rising Tide Society

Are you wondering if you should still keep up with your blog for your small business? Do you think that social media is so easy and why do you have to blog anymore? Does anyone even read blogs? I recently wrote a blog post on The Rising Tide Society’s blog about the importance of blogging in this day and age of social media. The Rising Tide Society is an educational community for creative small businesses.

Blogging takes so much time, especially when you have a million other things competing for your time as a small business owner. It can be really hard to fit blogging into your schedule. But, I’ll give you a hint: blogging matters. It is really important to keep up with your blog for your business because, even though social media is so easy, the only online real estate that you own is on your blog and your website.

Head on over to the Rising Tide Society’s blog to read my full post about why blogging still matters. Check it out and let me know what you think. Are you convinced? Will you start blogging for your business?

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

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If you want to take your blogging for your business to the next level and find out how to blog the right way, be sure to check out my small business blogging workshop coming in Washington DC and Maryland in February. I’ll show you how to blog harder, smarter and more effectively.

For more press and praise of The Blogger Girl, check out my blog posts on the topic or find more small business blogging tips too!

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Challenge BYOB: Day 5

You did it! You made it to the last day of the small business blogging challenge! There is just one more task to do for your blog in this course and then you are done! If you did all of your blog posts in real time or if you pre-scheduled them for a little bit later, you can take a little blogging break after today. You’ve put in quite a bit of work this week and that should give you some time to rest and focus on other things. But, don’t rest too much! Keep up the blogging motivation that you learned with this challenge and don’t let your blog slip off of your to do list!

This is the last day of the challenge, but you can go back through and look at any of the challenge days at any time. Within each challenge day, there is a task as well as the reason behind each task. I love giving you the explanation for why I chose each task, because I think it helps to do something when you know why it matters. It is easier to keep things on your to-do list if you fully understand their importance.

I know how powerful my blog is for my stylish wedding garter design business, so I never let it go. I keep up with my blog and I am constantly sharing bridal garter advice with my potential clients. And, you can do the same for your potential clients too. Your blog is the biggest cheerleader for your business! It is an amazing, free marketing tool!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

Ok, on with today’s blogging challenge task…

TODAY’S TASK: DAY FIVE

Today is Friday, the fifth and last day of the blogging challenge. Cheers to the weekend and to making it to the end of the blogging course. On this last day, it is a writing day. I’m not going to hide it! You’ve had two other writing days during the challenge this week and hopefully today’s writing task will the easiest of them all.

Not all of blogging is about writing, there are plenty of other things that you can do to keep up with your blog (check out day two and day four!), but at some point you will need to do some writing. And, that brings us to day five! Here is the information and tips for today’s blogging challenge:

Writing Day

For the last day of the challenge, I’m calling it a “brag day.” I want you to give your business a little pat on the back today and write one blog post celebrating a success from the past year. Did you get featured somewhere? Did you make it onto a “best of” list? Are you particularly proud of something?

Write a blog post about one of your successes from the past year and use your blog to brag on your business.

Why

You’ve heard the expression that starts, “If a tree falls in the woods…” If you don’t tell your blog readers (i.e. your potential clients) that you’ve achieved something or had success, then no one else will! Your blog is your chance to brag about your business and no one can stop you or will judge you for it!

In fact, your potential clients want to hear about your success. They want to know that you are good at your job! It makes them feel more confident about their choices and that you will do a good job for them too.

Remember, there are no judgements on your blog. Your blog is your one and only chance to fully, unapologetically promote your business and talk about your business with no filter and no editor. So, use it!

Also, talking about your successes shows potential clients that you are active and busy. And, people love to hire busy people!

You can post your blog post right away or pre-schedule it for another day.

To Do

Once you’ve written your bragging blog post, share one photo of your successes on social media. Use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl). I want to share in your success too! Most importantly, I want to congratulate you on making it to the end of the blogging challenge.

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You did it, you made it to the end of my Challenge BYOB, small business blogging course for creatives! I hope that you’ve had a good time and learned a few things along the way about blogging for your business.

You can check out the full challenge and blogging schedule anytime on my blog. I hope that you’ll pay particular close attention to the reasons why for reach blogging task. I spent quite a bit of time explaining why doing certain things on your blog is important. Hopefully, if you know why it is important, you’ll stick with it for the rest of the year!

If you want to catch up, here is a list of the challenge tasks that you missed this week:

  • Day One: Monday Work It Writing Day
  • Day Two: Tweak It Tuesday
  • Day Three: Work It Wednesday
  • Day Four: Thursday Oldies, But Goodies
  • Day Five: This is the post that you are on right now!

Come on over and check out the hashtag #challengebyob to see what everyone else is bragging about on their blog on today, the last day.

The Workshop

If you want to truly kick your blog into gear and learn a little big more about SEO (search engine optimization), I hope that you’ll check out my upcoming workshop on how to blog for your small business. This is a very intimate workshop designed to help you get more business from your blog and show you how to use your blog to grow and expand.

Congrats on making it to the end of the blogging challenge! For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Challenge BYOB: Day 4

Welcome to day four of my small business blogging challenge, called Challenge BYOB! This is a week long boot camp for your blog for your creative small business. I designed this course to give your blog a little boost in the new year and give you a little motivation to keep up with your blog for the rest of the year. Your blog is the biggest cheerleader for your business! Your blog will work so hard for you, as long as you work hard at it!

If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still plenty of time to join the blogging fun. This is a free and you can jump in the blogging challenge anytime by joining the Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here. You’ll be notified of the blogging task for each day. You will also get information about why each task was selected, because it is important to not just keep up with your blog, but to understand the importance of it all.

If you join the blogging course this week, you’ll get a discount on my upcoming workshop on how to blog for your small business. At the workshop, I’ll go through all of this and so much more to help you truly get your blog in tip-top shape!

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Photo Credit: Michelle Lindsay Photography

Onto to today’s blogging task. For those that don’t love writing, then you will love today! Today is not a writing day. There is so much more to blogging for a small business than just writing blog posts.

TODAY’S TASK: DAY FOUR

Today is Thursday, day four of the blogging challenge. You are so close to the end! Only one more day after today. And, luckily, today is not a writing day.

Here is the information for today’s blogging task:

Your Task

Today in the blogging challenge is all about updating the oldie, but goodie blog posts. I want you to find at least one (but, hopefully more!) of your old blog posts and update it. This should be a blog post that you love or that brings you more traffic than other posts.

Updating the blog post can be adding a new photograph, fixing any broken links, rewording the advice or adding more information. You should’t re-write the post, just update it. Give it a little refresh and breathe some new life into it.

You can update as many old posts as you want, but I recommend that you start with one and see how long that takes you. Whenever I do it, I always get really excited and want to update all of my posts! But, that’s another subject for another day!

Why

Updating old blog posts is so important. Why? Because you don’t know what page or blog post will attract your potential clients to your site. And, because of the way search engines work, potential clients don’t always come your website or blog via your home page. More likely than not, they will find you through an old blog post.

You want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward no matter how potential clients find your business. The search engine did it’s job by bringing a potential client to your website, now you need to do everything you can to book them.

To Do

Once you’ve updated at least one blog post with one photo, share your photo along with what you updated on social media. Use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl) so that I can check it out and give you a little pat on the back!

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This is day four of the blogging challenge! Come on over and check out the hashtag #challengebyob to see all of the old blog posts that everyone else is updating on their websites and blogs.

Who is with me?

If you haven’t signed up, be sure to  join the free Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here! If you want to catch up, here is a list of the challenge tasks that you missed so far:

  • Day One: Monday Work It Writing Day
  • Day Two: Tweak It Tuesday
  • Day Three: Work It Wednesday
  • Day Four: This is the post that you are on right now!

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Challenge BYOB: Day 3

It is hump day in the small business blogging challenge! Congrats on making it this far in my mini one week blogging course. I promised that it really wasn’t that hard to keep up with your blog, you just needed the motivation to do it, and hopefully this week is proving it to you. If you do a little bit at a time, it is possible to keep up with your blog for your creative small business.

If you haven’t signed up yet for the challenge, join the Challenge B.Y.O.B. and get moving! You’ll be notified each day of the new blogging related tasks to keep your up-to-date in the new year! If you sign up for the challenge, you’ll also get a discount to my upcoming workshop on how to blog for your small business.

This challenge was created to inspire you, educate you and help you blog your own business for the rest of the year!

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Photo Credit: Joy Michelle Photography

TODAY’S TASK: DAY THREE

Today is Wednesday, the third day of the blogging challenge. This is a writing day. Yes, I know! I can hear the grumbles now! I know that if you own a creative small business that specializing is something else, like a craft such a making wedding garters (!) or a service such as a wedding planner, you probably don’t think you are a good writer. Maybe you lack a little confidence when it come to the written word. I totally understand!

While today happens to be a writing day, there are only three writing days total in this blogging course, because blogging isn’t just about writing. There are plenty of other things that you can do to keep up with your blog that don’t involve writing and we’ll get into that on days two and four of the course.

Here is the information and tasks for the third day of the blogging challenge:

Writing Day

Your job today is to write a blog post that answers the number one question that your clients ask you. What are you sick of answering over and over again? What do you wish your clients knew before they contacted you? If you could implant the answer to your most common question in the brain of your potential clients, what would it be?

The questions that your clients ask most often makes for great content on your blog. If one person has the question, then chances are there will be others asking the same thing! (And there will be others searching on the Internet for those answers to common questions too!)

If you are stumped for what to write about or what question to answer, check out this blog post that I did on the 10 blog posts you already have written. Your advice post can be a question and answer format, it can be a general, subject matter post – it can be anything that you want as long as you provide some type of helpful information to your potential clients.

You can post your common question advice blog post right away or pre-schedule it for another day.

The Why

It is good to write answers to common questions on your blog. Why? Because it shows you are the expert! If you can’t show you are an expert in your field on your blog, where else can you do it!? You need to show your blog readers that you know what you are talking about and that you are here to help them. Don’t wait for them to ask you a question. Answer it before they ask.

Answer their toughest questions before they ask and they will be more likely to hire you, because now they know you are the expert. After all, you just answered a question that they didn’t even know they had!

With this advice post, I can’t promise that your potential clients will stop asking you these questions, but you can at least put it out there that you know what you are talking about! So, use this as a chance to show your potential clients that you are the expert and you are here to help them.

To Do

Once you’ve written your blog post, use a photo to go along with your piece of advice in your blog post. Then, come on over to social media and post that photo. In the caption, tell us what your most common questions is and that we’ll have to come over to your blog to find out the answer. (Do you see how I am helping you to create a little traffic to your website through your social media account?!)

Please use the hashtag #challengebyob and tag me (@gartergirl or The Garter Girl), so that I can check it out and see what you are an expert in! Also, I want to cheer you on in your blogging challenge.

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So, that is day three of the small business blogging challenge. You are halfway to the end. Are you hanging in there and doing OK with all of it?

Come on over and check out the hashtag #challengebyob to see what everyone else is sharing as their number one piece of advice. And, you can check in on my blog a little bit later to see my advice post. It is a good one!

Who is with me?

If you haven’t signed up, be sure to  join the free Challenge B.Y.O.B. right here! Here is a list of the challenge tasks that you missed so far:

  • Day One: Monday Work It Writing Day
  • Day Two: Tweak It Tuesday
  • Day Three: This is today, the blog post that you are on!

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.