Are you a pet care advocate who struggles to write regular blog posts that showcase your small veterinary practice, pet sitting, pet grooming, or pet boarding business?
You’ve probably heard blogging is a low-cost way to market your business, but something has been stopping you.
Sometimes people are willing to start a blog and intimidated by the prospect of doing it at the same time. Is that you?
Let’s look at three benefits to blogging.
- You can increase your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) because you are regularly generating content. As a reminder, when you include relative keywords in your post they help search engines find and show your blog post to people who are interested in your topic.
- If you put social media buttons on your site readers can share your blog posts and you don’t need to be actively involved once you’ve published it.
- Your current customers like hearing from you. It makes them feel more connected to you. Plus, maintaining a regular blog enables you to attract more future customers or clients who may not know about you yet.
Now that we’ve established a few ways a blog presence can impact your business in a positive way, let’s look at a 5-step checklist for getting that blog post written and published.
5 Step Sequence
Step One: Choose a Topic
It might be a “no-brainer” but if you begin with an idea it will help you stay somewhat focused as you write your first draft. We’ll talk about editing and proofreading later after you’ve put some thoughts on paper (or your screen).
Step Two: Choose a Blogging Platform
You’re probably familiar with a few blogging applications such as WordPress (.org and .com), Blogger, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc.
Generally, you have the option of choosing either a free or paid platform.
Base your decision on at least one of these factors:
a) Do you want to concentrate on only maintaining a blog? or b) Do you already have a website or plan to create a site that includes a page that’s dedicated to your blog?
Since your budget could also be a consideration, here are a couple of articles that compare the pros and cons of free vs. self-hosted websites.
Finding Your Best Resource
Step Three: Write, Edit and Proofread Your Post
Once you have written your blog post make sure to edit and proofread it before publishing.
If you tend to get a thought, start writing and are all over the place that’s not the best way to write an effective blog post.
Unless you have a specific goal in mind, your post could touch on 4 or 5 ideas without focusing on your one main idea.
Aim to be clear in how you present your information and minimize confusion.
Keep in mind even if your helpful tips, advice, etc. are good ones, people will stop reading your post if they have to work to decipher your points. They will also not share your post for the same reason, which defeats the purpose you wrote it.
Follow this formula to stay focused:
a) Tell them what you’re going to say, b) say it, then c) summarize what you said to them
Step Four: Add Graphics or Photos for Visual Appeal
When you add graphics and/or photos keep your blog post interesting to the reader. Using an infographic to illustrate your point can also be included in your post for the same reason.
A few applications to consider are Canva, Venngage, and Visme, among others. I have personally used all three sites and they have free features, but Venngage requires you to pay a fee if you want to download your design.
(I made that discovery while working on a project late one evening. Since I didn’t want to feel like I’d wasted my time, I paid the fee and I have been a member ever since.)
If it works for your budget Venngage has lots of nice design options. Otherwise, Canva and others offer more good choices. Canva requires you to use the designs for your personal or business purposes. So no selling them to anyone else!
You can also use stock photos (free and paid choices are available). If you’re trying to save a few dollars, Pexels and Canva are just two sites that fit the bill for free stock photos.
Step Five: Publish Your Blog Post
After you’ve edited, formatted, inserted graphics. and proofread your blog post, it’s time to publish it, and share it on your social media channels.
Be sure to monitor any engagements your blog post receives since the more active you are in the conversation with potential clients the better they will remember you when they’re in the market for your services.
Blogging is a cost-effective way to market your business.
The 5-step process we discussed for publishing your blog post are:
1) Choose a topic
2) Decide on a blog platform
3) Write, edit and proofread
4) Add graphics and/or photos
5) Publish your blog post
I hope by giving you a step-by-step sequence I’ve made writing a blog post a little less intimidating and stressful for you.
Share in your next blog post idea, if you’ve decided already. If you were working on one when you read this post, feel free to add your link in the comments or send me a link once you’ve published it.
If the idea of creating or maintaining a schedule for publishing blog posts as a pet groomer, pet sitter, small practice vet feels overwhelming let’s talk about how I can help relieve some of that pressure.