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To blog or not to blog

So you’re thinking about starting a blog for your store. Good! It’s a great way to informally share your expertise about a variety of relevant topics with your audience.  A blog allows you to reach customers and potential customers with educational, informative, and even fun content. It’s a great central location for you to tell a story, and then share it via your multiple social media channels.

Before starting, the first question you need to ask yourself is “Why do you want to start a blog?” Review your overall marketing goals, and your goals for the blog. A blog isn’t a great place to actively sell services or products. Rather, you’re looking to share information with your audience. While you’re not directly selling product, your blog posts will help build trust with your customers as you show your expertise.

While you’re answering this question, you can brainstorm what kind of posts you’ll want to write. What do your customers and potential customers want to know? You can brag about an award your team recently won, tell a story about a customer or employee, share tips & tricks related to your industry (recipes and cooking tips for those of us in grocery land). Think of it as a long-form version of your Facebook page. Each individual blog post doesn’t need to be a novel, just a few paragraphs can be enough. Take a look at other blogs to get an idea of what you’d like to post. A great place to start is the Whole Foods blog.

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-3-26-28-pmOnce you have some topic ideas, divide the topics into 5-8 categories. You’ll be able to tag each post by category, which will allow readers to easily search for content they are searching for.

How often you post is entirely up to you, but it’s best to try posting at least once a week to keep the content fresh and your audience coming back for more. Create a content calendar to plan blog post topics and when you’ll publish them. While this may sound daunting to tackle alone, you don’t have to write and manage everything by yourself. Invite others within the company to write posts, giving your blog different perspectives and voices to keep it interesting.

Finally, establish a way for your readers to subscribe so they have a way to know when you post. There are two ways to do this. The first is email, which will automatically email your newest posts either daily or weekly. The second option is an RSS feed, like Feedly, which allows readers to subscribe to multiple blogs and aggregates all those posts into a single place to read them. You’ll also want to share your new posts via social media.

It may seem like a lot of work, but if you split the responsibility, each person can dedicate a little time each week to share your brand’s story, becoming a helpful and trusted resource for your readers.

Why do I work at AWG? “I love being a part of a fun team that creates unique ways to help independent grocery stores grow their businesses. It combines a few of my favorite things: marketing, food, and fun. Who doesn’t want to talk about food all day?” -Jimmy