If you’re looking for advice on how to start a local business blog, you’re in the right place.
Times have changed. With the explosive growth of the internet, the way businesses market has shifted drastically. It’s likely that if you’re here, you’ve started a local business. Maybe you’ve started: a church, local accounting firm, local legal firm, bakery, salon, recreation center, a notary firm, a courier business, retail space, or other local business.
You may have noticed that businesses who have an online presence are getting many more customers than those who rely on word-of-mouth or offline methods solely, and you’re probably wanting to learn how to start a local business blog because you’ve seen that this is a viable and low cost option for getting a flow of new customers to your business.
In this article, I’ll be showing you how to start a local business blog. My goal is to give you the steps you need to begin attracting prospects from content marketing, and to convert them into paying customers using the internet. If this sounds interesting to you, let’s get started…
- 0.1 What is a Local Business Blog?
- 0.2 How does a Local Business Blog Work?
- 0.3 Local Business Marketing: The Traditional Way vs. The Modern Way
- 0.4 Why is a Local Business Blog a Good way to Get Customers?
- 0.5 How can you make money from a Local Business Blog?
- 0.6 How to Start a Local Business Blog – Step-by-Step
- 0.7 Conclusion
- 1 Get the Blog Starter Bundle (It's Free!)
What is a Local Business Blog?
A local business blog is an online resource center that offers advice to potential customers. The blog helps to demonstrate expertise, raise brand awareness, and boosts search engine ranking which helps acquire more prospects and buying customers.
How does a Local Business Blog Work?
A local business blog can be very helpful if you create a content plan that would cross paths with your ideal customer. Let me explain with an example. Let’s say that you’re a local notary in the San Antonio, Texas area and you’re looking for clients who need a notary to help them close their mortgage or refinance.
You’d want to:
- Put yourself into the shoes of a potential customer
- Think about what keywords they may type into Google when they’re looking for a notary
- And, create content around the keywords your ideal customer would be typing in
So going back to our example, maybe an ideal customer might be looking for:
- “Mortgage companies near me”
- “Mobile notaries near me”
- “Notaries near me”
- “What documents are needed when closing a house in San Antonio, TX”
- “How to get a home loan in San Antonio, TX”
- Or other keywords that would qualify a new home buyer in the San Antonio, TX area
Once you’ve identified the keywords your target customer would likely use, you’d want to do your research to validate whether or not that phrase is in demand, and begin creating content that would rank for those keywords.
Local Business Marketing: The Traditional Way vs. The Modern Way
Just a few years back, putting an ad in the paper, getting on the radio, attending local events, or passing out flyers were enough to have a steady flow of customers to your business. Now, that more people are using smart phones, and services like Google maps are heavily used to find local products and services, small businesses who don’t have an online presence (or a small one) are noticing a considerable difference between how many customers they get versus their internet-savvy counterparts.
It’s very common for consumers to use Google (or other search-related services) while they’re out and about to find gas stations, restaurants, stores, and other products and services on-the-go. If you’re easy to find online, you’re almost guaranteed to gain new customers if you follow the steps I’ll be showing you later in this post.
Why is a Local Business Blog a Good way to Get Customers?
With a blog, you can demonstrate:
- Your expertise
- Your character and culture
- What sets your company apart
- Why people should work with you
- And the value of your products and services
You can also automate your sales process so you acquire a customer, overcome objections, and close the sale using a blog–this can greatly minimize what needs to be done manually by people!
How can you make money from a Local Business Blog?
Added to the other benefits of having a blog, it can also serve as a way to diversify your income. For example, maybe you own a general contracting company, and make majority of your income from renovating houses, what happens when there’s a lockdown like COVID-19, or when you need to travel to see a loved one? Do you just see a decline in income?
You don’t have to with a blog.
With a blog, you could continue to build your pipeline with new prospects and potential buyers for when you return. You could also diversify your income, and make commissions from the sales of relevant affiliate products, digital products, physical products, and virtual services. A blog can really help to stabilize cash flow by increasing the ability you have to help people outside of your local area.
How to Start a Local Business Blog – Step-by-Step
If you’re interested in starting a local business blog, these are the steps I’d recommend you take…
1. Choose a Niche
First, you want to choose a niche or target audience. You can always get the highest prices and conversion rate for your products and services when you focus on a particular audience and make solutions that would be very helpful to them.
For example, a real estate agent who sells all kinds of houses will make less than a real estate agent that has “niched down” and focuses on high end real estate or investment homes for flipping and resale.
As a local business, it’s likely, you could service many different target audiences, but if you niche down, you’ll be able to increase the flow of relevance, and get a smaller audience to buy more, and make higher ticket purchases.
2. Build a Website
Once you’ve decided on the audience you want to serve, then it’s important to create your digital storefront, or your website. Your website will serve as the go-to hub for initiating the sales process for customers who come in contact with your business online. You can add capabilities on your website to make it easy to schedule with you, look thru your menu or inventory, see what services you offer, address common questions, concerns, and objections, and close sales, but don’t worry, setting up a website doesn’t have to be difficult.
In fact, using the website builder below, you can enter the website name you’d like and have a website built within seconds. Try it out.
3. Decide how you’ll monetize
I mentioned briefly before that by having a local business blog, you can diversify your revenue streams. With a blog, you can have multiple streams of income including income from the sales of your products and services, commissions from affiliate sales, and advertising. Before you begin attracting an audience, it’s a good idea to consider what products and services you’ll be selling, so you can create a content plan that will attract the right audience.
4. Get the Attention of Potential Customers with Content Marketing
Once you know what products and services you’ll be selling, then you can create content that attracts people who are looking to solve the problem your products and services help with. You can attract potential customers from content in search engines, on social media, thru video marketing or podcasts, and thru graphics. As a result of your content, potential customers can know what to expect from your products and services, your perspective on problems they might be having, and it builds trust overall.
5. Build an Audience
As you’re creating content, it’s important to turn those who engage with your content from viewers to subscribers to buyers. You want prospects to see your content, subscribe to your channels, get on your email list, and stay tuned for announcements from your business. As you’re growing a larger and larger audience of people on your social channels and on your email list, more people are getting to know you, your products, and your services, and your # of sales should be growing as a result.
6. Incorporate (if you haven’t already)
If you haven’t incorporated your local business, it’s a good idea to incorporate your business once you have liability you want to protect, and when you want to save on business taxes.Incorporation helps to separate you from your business legally, which means that if someone was to sue you, they couldn’t take your personal property as a part of the suit. Incorporation also has tax benefits and enables you to operate by a brand name aside from your own (if you want that).
You can learn more about incorporation, and even get help with it (potentially at no cost) when you check out Incfile.
7. Make Money
Once you have:
- A clear idea of who your ideal customer is
- A message that resonates with your audience
- A website
- And, products and services to sell that solve problems
Then, you’ll start seeing sales in your business and income growth incrementally–this is when you make money.
Starting a local business blog can be a great way to automate some functions that are normally done in your business manually. It can help immensely with attracting customers, overcoming objections, and closing sales if you use your blog to it’s potential. If you’re ready to start a blog that boosts online sales, check out my blog post templates for a headstart with your blog writing.