What’s the point of blogging?
There are four main reasons blogs are good for your business.
• It shows your expertise to potential clients.
• It shows you’re helpful, giving away useful decorating tips.
• It helps more people find your website so you get more enquiries.
• It improves your site’s profile on search engines like Google.
Where do I start?
First, you need a blog facility on your website – it’s simple to set up.
You need to decide what to write about (see below), then get writing! I think there are two ways to write a blog – just start writing, or plan it out first. I prefer to just start, as it gets the ideas flowing. A short blog can take 10 minutes, a longer one an hour or more.
I use Google Docs to write everything, copy the text and paste it into the blog. Google Docs is useful as it auto-saves constantly and it’s free.
If you can, get someone to check your blog before you post it – not just for typos, but to make sure it makes sense to a non-decorator.
What can I write about?
Every single task you do is a blog idea. If you paint a kitchen, then you can blog about that – ‘How to sand a kitchen door’ the processes and products you used, with ‘before and after’ photos. My blog on ‘How to repair faux tudor beams’ is pretty niche, but got me lots of enquiries.
You can write about your favourite brush, or roller, or wall paint, or wood filler – just explain why you like it, people love to know this stuff.
You can write about your processes – everything from masking up, to sanding, to filling, to painting, to papering, it can all be turned into a blog.
Why not take five minutes to write down 12 ideas right now? That’s enough monthly blogs for a whole year.
Try to include a mixture of short, snappy blogs – which are easy for people to consume, and longer ones going into depth. Longer posts mean people spend more time on one page, so Google will rank it as having quality information, and some clients will love the details.
A few writing do’s and don’ts
Write naturally, and simply. If you use jargon which non-decorators might not understand, then explain what it means. Not every one will know what a mist coat or spray tails are.
Don’t stuff your writing full of keywords either. People used to do that to ‘game’ the Google algorithm, but Google is now wise to it and will downgrade your website.
Use short paragraphs, and a few subheadings (like this article), it makes things easier to read. Always include a picture, or better still a video (see October-November 2019 issue of The Decorator).
How often should I blog?
I’d say about once a month is ideal. If you get a job cancel or postpone, maybe use the day to write several blogs to put out gradually. Putting out one blog a month will help Google to know your website is fresh,and keep it higher in search rankings.
How can I get people to read my blog?
It’s mostly about titles. Write answers to questions people might ask, like ‘How to paint a door’ – simple stuff people might search for. And the more helpful and interesting you can be, the longer people will stay on your site, which is good for website rankings. You can also post links to your blogs on social media.
Make your blogs relevant to your business – especially if you specialise. One of my specialisms was resin repairs for old buildings. My blog on How to repair cast iron guttering still gets me more hits to my website than any other page – it’s had 1,000 readers in the last 6 months, closely followed by How to choose a paintbrush.
The popularity of my blogs helped to get me to the top spot on Google in my area. And several of my clients told me that they chose me after reading my blogs. This stuff works.
The more popular your website, and the more you can convince potential clients you’re good at what you do, the more enquiries you’ll have.