4 Effective Ways to Ensure You Post on Your Business Blog Consistently

If you are a small business owner who uses inbound marketing in their marketing strategy, you know how important it is to have a business blog. However; at the same time, it can be hard to post on the blog consistently. As a start up entrepreneur, you may have so many responsibilities that you may neglect some important tasks such as blogging.
I used to feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks I had to accomplish, especially since I write for two blogs. At one point, one blog was suffering since I could only manage to post for one blog and then I would find that I don’t have enough time to post on the other one. I realized that I had to find ways of posting on both blogs consistently and effectively or decide to shut one down and concentrate on the one I could manage. Since I didn’t want to give up any of them (I love sharing information about baking on my Bakery blog and I love sharing about business as well ^_^), I decided to find ways to solve my problem. I want to share four ways that I guarantee have helped me manage to post consistently on my blogs and still manage to run a small bakery business as well. I hope they help you out as well.

Amari Bakery Blog - a business blog is very important

Amari Bakery Blog – a business blog is very important

1. Create a content calendar for your blog every month
The same way you create a calendar of daily and monthly tasks to complete in your business or personal life; you can apply the same for all your social media and blogging activities. This is also very effective since you get a big picture of your blog posts for the month and therefore; you are able to create goals for the month for your inbound marketing strategies, come up with topics for your blog for the month and prepare to write them. I have found it’s best to create your monthly content calendar a week before the beginning of the month you’re planning for. Allocate at least two hours of your time to sit down and plan your blog. State your goals for the upcoming month for both social media pages and the blog, and then brainstorm on the post topics you will be writing about. Take it another step further, write bulletin points for your topics, and come up with a suitable headline for your blog post. Using your calendar, schedule the days when you’ll post each of the posts – at least twice a week or more. If you have extra time (or you can allocate another two hours the next day), write your blog posts out, ready for posting. At least get enough posts for two weeks ready to go, so that you’re always ahead of the game.

Have a content calendar to plan your posts (Image: amazon)

Have a content calendar to plan your posts (Image: amazon)

2. Create reminders on your phone calendar or daily planner about the blog posts
You might have your calendar well planned and even written out, but you’ll find that maybe you got busy and forgot to post on your blog. Since entrepreneurs can have very hectic days, it’s best to schedule alarms that will remind you to post the blog on a specific day and time. If you’re often online at specific times daily, like during the morning hours (maybe between 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.), make sure you schedule a reminder for that time so as not to forget. That way, you’ll just take five minutes to post on your blog and move on to other tasks. I have found it quite effective to set reminders, they work.

Set reminders for when you'll post on your blog

Set reminders for when you’ll post on your blog

3. Choose one person to hold you accountable
You may plan your calendar and posts very well, but find that you are so busy that you’re not able to post on your business blog. You might even postpone your posts every time telling yourself that you’re too tired, you’ll post tomorrow – tomorrow never actually comes. I know how it feels like; trust me I’ve been there. I found that when I asked someone to hold me accountable, I was making sure to post weekly without fail. The person who holds me accountable is my sister (even to this day), she’s my business partner and she blogs as well; therefore I found that she was up to the task. If a week goes by and she doesn’t see more than one post on a blog, she asks me what’s happening. You should make sure you do the same; find one person who you either work with, or live with; maybe your significant other or any family member who fits the bill. This will motivate you to post weekly for sure.

4. Make sure you write down monthly marketing goals to achieve for your business
If you don’t do this for your business, you should start doing it. Some entrepreneurs write down monthly goals they want to achieve for their businesses in respect to sales or income. You should also write down marketing goals, they are just as important. This is because effective marketing leads to sales in your business, therefore; if you make effective marketing goals and achieve them, your sales will increase. It also comes in handy if you don’t achieve your monthly goals since you will be able to sit down and find out where the problem lies and solve it before it grows into a crisis. This is one way to prevent closing your business if it’s suffering and finding a way out or a solution. I can personally attest to this method having almost closed my business, but I re-strategized and found a solution before having to close my bakery. When you have clear marketing goals every month, you realize that you have to post on your blog and social media pages to assist you in reaching your sales goals. Therefore, when you see your reminder to post on your blog, you are more likely to do it since it ties to your sales goals and with that, achieving success.

Write down your marketing goals

Write down your marketing goals

Those are a few effective ways that I’ve found to assist me in posting on my blog consistently. Do you have any other ways you would like to share?
Please feel free to do so below.

Remember keep on the hustle, keep grinding and you’ll get there for sure ^_^

5 Important Reasons Your Business Start Up Needs A Blog

As part of your inbound marketing strategy, it’s very important to have a business blog. A blog enables you to provide helpful information to your target audience and therefore, attract them to your brand or business. A lot of small businesses in Kenya have social media pages, some even have websites but have not started business blogs – they have the opinion that they don’t necessarily require a business blog. Some business owners are not sure what to discuss in their blogs; therefore, they do not start one. It is important to know that you NEED a blog for your small business, especially if you are online. I have found that it is not only helpful but necessary in my business. I love to share information about baking with people who bake in Kenya so I do enjoy writing in my bakery blog. I have also found that I attract people who want to learn how to bake, especially with charcoal ovens – which we use in our bakery. Since we offer baking classes now, I am able to attract and engage with potential customers who end up signing up to learn how to bake.

A business blog is important

A business blog is important

1. Your target customers these days are mostly informed buyers who search for information before making purchases for products or services
When you want to buy something or learn about a service you would like to hire someone for, what do you do? You most likely ‘Google’ it right? Well, so does everyone else who goes online. It makes logical sense then, that if you want your target market to find you; you should show up on the search results. They should find you in the first two pages when they search for your particular niche or product/service you offer. Therefore; you should create your blog and share information about your particular industry that will attract the kind of customers you are targeting.

Your target customer is already online

Your target customer is already online

2. It’s an effective inbound marketing method of attracting your target customers
As a small business that uses inbound marketing, having a blog is one of the most effective method of attracting your target customers. When done right, blogging can account for fifty percent and above, of your sales – it does for my baking classes. To succeed, ensure you offer helpful content and use effective blogging strategies e.g. keywords.

Blogging is a big part of inbound marketing (Courtesy: hubspot.com)

Blogging is a big part of inbound marketing (Courtesy: hubspot.com)

3. It’s a way of keeping your customers updated on your business events, news or updates in your products or services.
If you have a new service or product you have introduced in your business; blogging about it is a great and effective idea. You can explain the new product or service more to your customers and how it works. This can even attract potential leads, those who have never really purchased but follow your brand or business, to actual purchase a product or service from your small business.

It's a way to update your customers

It’s a way to update your customers

4. Improves your chances of being ‘found’ online by your target audience, especially if you have good, helpful content
A blog is not usually effective the first few months; you have to post constantly and consistently in order for your business blog to be effective. Therefore, the more you post, the more you increase the chances of your brand or business being found online. It should therefore make sense to get started now on creating your business blog.

Increase your 'findability' online

Increase your ‘findability’ online

5. Creates content you can share on your social networks e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.
If you have social media pages for your business but don’t have a business blog; you will find that you have an issue finding content to share on your social media pages. Blog content is perfect for that purpose. As much as having your blog found on search is a great way of attracting your target audience, sharing your content on social media is also as effective. It’s a great way of sharing new or previous content that your fans and followers may not be aware of. This will also help you be able to engage with your brand followers and get feedback on more information they might want or on the provided content. It also ensures that the more you post on your blog, the more content you will have to share on your social media pages.

Create content you'll share on social media

Create content you’ll share on social media

Those are a few of the top most important reasons you should create a blog for your small business in Kenya. They should be enough to convince you to create that blog as soon as possible if you don’t have one.
If you have more to share on small business blogging especially in Kenya, feel free to comment below.

If you found this post to be helpful, please share below so it can be helpful to someone else, spread the love ^_^

4 Reasons Why You Should Select A Target Market For Your Business

Before you start a business, you should write a business plan. A part of the business plan includes selecting a target market for your product or service. I have recently noticed that a lot of small business owners in Kenya, especially the youth, don’t have business plans. A lot of them don’t even have or really know who their target market consists of. Today I will state a few reasons why any business person in Kenya should select a target market or audience. By selecting a target market you are able to work on giving the best service or product quality to your customers and save money spent on advertising to the wrong people. Selecting a target market has helped me in my business especially when my marketing budget is very small or sometimes, almost non-existent.

1. You cannot satisfy everyone out there, it’s not possible
As much as a business owner, you would like to sell to everyone, you can’t. People are different and they have different habits, likes, dislikes etc. Therefore, the most logical thing is to find out what problem you are solving in your business, and then identify what kind of people are looking to solve the same problems in their lives and sell them your product or service. When you do that, you are able to create a marketing strategy that appeals and attracts your target market/audience. Which means you are in turn able to engage with them and make a sale.

Select a target customer

Select a target customer

2. To create marketing that appeals to your customers
These days the majority of business owners have discovered that they have to attract potential customers by providing helpful content and engaging with them. This is called inbound marketing. In order for inbound marketing to be effective, you have to create marketing that will attract your target audience – marketing that they will love. To create content that your audience will love, you have to know some characteristics about them. When you do, you will be able to create content that will help them in their lives, content that will appeal to them emotionally and lead them to engage with your business or brand. For any of that to be effective, you have to know your target and their likes and dislikes.

Create loveable marketing!

Create loveable marketing!

3. You will create a marketing strategy that is within your budget
If you are a small business or want to start a small business, your marketing budget will be smaller to start with. You should make sure you allocate money to your marketing budget; no matter how little it is to start with. You can then gradually work on creating a larger budget because marketing will always be very important for your business’ success. When you identify who your target market is, you are able to concentrate your marketing in the correct mediums that your audience uses. This saves you money and time that you may have spent on the wrong mediums or numerous ways of trying to attract anyone out there.

Stay within your marketing budget

Stay within your marketing budget

4. You will improve your product and/or service and therefore better serve your customers
By targeting a specific market, you are able to create a better product and service for your customers. As you engage with your target market, you will gain better insight on their needs and improve your product or service to fit them. You can also be able to create other products or supporting services to continue serving your customers. This will also open up another revenue stream for your business which is a good thing in the long run.

If you have a small business, especially in Kenya and you have not selected or identified your target market. I urge you to please sit down and figure it out today. It is imperative for your business’ success and in order for you to have happy, satisfied customers as well. If you have any questions on the topic please let me know.

These are just a few reasons why you should select a target market, if you have some other helpful reasons that you have discovered in your small business experience – please feel free to share below.  

Blog of the Month for July 2014

As a female entrepreneur in Kenya, I find that time management, efficiency and effectiveness are necessary in my life. Running a start-up in any industry or country is not an easy task. Therefore; start-up entrepreneurs such as myself have to find ways in which one has to be very productive in everyday life in order to run a successful business and have a well-rounded life ( or at least as well-rounded as you can manage ^_^). To do this, I’m constantly looking for apps, websites, blogs e-books and other resources that can help me be better and more efficient at what I do. This is in every aspect of my life as well as my bakery business

Topics that I research and work on vary from being a better blogger, more effective marketing strategies, creating great visual content, being a better baker among other things. When I find good content and resources, I love to share so that many other entrepreneurs, especially in Kenya, can benefit just as I do. I have therefore decided I will start a ‘Blog of the month feature’ to share and highlight the blogs that offer effective resources on different topics and are very helpful to fellow entrepreneurs. Suggestions and comments are very welcome as well ^_^.

For the month of July my feature blog is the Hubspot Blog. I can say that a lot of what I know and implement in inbound marketing is based on what I have learned while reading the Hubspot blog. Not only do they have great content, they are very helpful and share up to date and effective advice on inbound marketing. They also offer numerous e-books you can download in different topics and templates to help you with content planning for your business. If you’re an entrepreneur in Kenya, you need to subscribe to this blog and start reading it at least five times a week (and that’s my minimum recommendation – I read their content daily!)

Hubspot provides advice on Inbound marketing

Hubspot provides advice on Inbound marketing

7 Ways to Create Marketing that People will Love

Marketing has evolved drastically in the last decade. Traditional marketing consisted of TV, Radio and newspaper advertisements, billboards, spreading flyers and brochures outside to passer-bys, sending e-mails to random lists of people, calling random people in their home phones to sell them services, among other types of outbound marketing. This kind of marketing does not talk with people, it talks at people. This kind of marketing does not engage with its target customers and with time, people stopped listening. Businesses realized that this kind of marketing was not really effective so they turned to a different kind of marketing – inbound marketing. This kind of marketing focuses on attracting the right kind of customers and engaging with them. Inbound marketing asks for permission to engage with its target customers and to send them e-mails and texts. This kind of marketing has the potential to make your target customers love your brand marketing. It gives you the platform to create marketing that will have your customers loving your brand and wanting to engage with it. So how can one create marketing that people will love you wonder?

Well, it’s not very easy, but with a healthy dose of commitment, a scoop of research and testing, a handful of hard work and a pinch of working smart; you’ll have a perfect recipe for loveable marketing ^_^.

Create loveable marketing!

Create loveable marketing!

Select your target market/customers

Whether you’re a business selling products and services, an NGO, a school organization or a community; you cannot market to everyone. It’s like trying to please everyone out there; we all know that is not possible. Therefore, the best thing to do is to determine who you are marketing to, who your audience is and then create a strategy that has that target market in mind. You could be a young adult fiction writer; therefore your target would obviously be young adults. You could be a community based youth group based in Riruta, therefore your target audience would be youth between the ages of 18 to 35 years old who reside in Riruta, Nairobi. If it helps, you can even create target personas; that is, a person who is a dream customer for your brand marketing. A great example is if an online bakery in Nairobi is creating a marketing strategy; one of the target customer personas would be:

Online bakery customer persona

Online bakery customer persona

Jane, a 29 year old, Project coordinator for a company based on Ngong road, loves online shopping for utmost convenience, works 6 full-time days a week, accesses the internet at least 5 – 6 hours a day, bakes at home when she has time, has a sweet tooth.

With that persona in mind, the online bakery is able to create content for Jane that she will love. Every brand or organization that is marketing should make sure it defines it’s target market in order to attract the right audience and then create marketing that will resonate with that audience.

Create content that resonates with your target audience

After you have defined your target audience, you should then create content that will appeal to your audience. The best way to create content is by creating a blog for your brand or organization. You should post on the blog consistently and frequently to stay relevant. The blog should have content that is geared towards your target audience. Using the example above; the bakery blog would contain home-baking tips for Jane to use while she’s baking at home. It can also contain updates on important events, sales or tips that will help or involve customers of the bakery e.g. discounts on certain baked goods, improved payment or delivery systems or any events that are upcoming.

Content does not only include blog posts, it also includes pictures to be shared on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram pages, quotes to be shared on Twitter, short videos to be shared on Instagram and/or YouTube. Whatever the content you are creating, you should always have your target audience in mind.

Connect and engage with your audience

After attracting your target audience; whether they have already purchased products or services from you or not, you should make sure you engage with them. It is not enough to post and share your content on your social media pages; you should also talk to your audience and get feedback from them. Using the above example of Jane; the online bakery owner should not only post pictures of baked goods, tips on baking at home and recipes. The owner should also ask Jane what kind of recipes she would like posted on the bakery blog and her opinion of the products she has tasted from the bakery. When you engage with your audience, they feel listened to and important to your brand; they are likely to become brand ambassadors and may promote your business offline.

Make your audience smile or laugh

If you see a funny picture or a hilarious joke on your Facebook timeline or Twitter handle; you are more likely to share it to your friends, than a plain post about facts. As much as sharing factual content on your page is good, it’s also important to evoke positive emotion from your audience by posting posts, quotes, pictures or videos that will make your target audience smile or laugh. It also shows your audience that you are capable of having fun and that is definitely loveable. Make sure the content you share is not harmful or hurtful; don’t have a laugh at the expense of anyone.

Make your audience laugh ^_^

Make your audience laugh ^_^

Research and change your marketing strategy often

Whether you are a community-based organization or a business brand, it’s very important to know that the market changes often. What was popular or convenient last year has possible lost popularity this year or isn’t as convenient. Audiences change their preferences often in this day and age and your marketing strategy has to adapt appropriately. For a brand to keep up, you have to make sure you are constantly researching. Research should be on various things; current trends your target audience is following, new technology e.g. apps or websites, new inbound marketing trends and methods, to name a few. You should carry out this research periodically to ensure that your marketing activities are effective; if they have stopped being as effective as they were six months ago, change them.

Don’t oversell

If you’re a business that sells products or services, don’t start sounding like a salesperson. Find a balance, especially on social media; or use the 20 – 80 rule. Post content that is helpful and engages with your audience 80% of the time and post 20% content about your products and/or services. If you seem like your selling too much to your audience; they will not engage with you and they might stop following your brand. They will stop listening to you.

Give away free stuff once in a while

Who doesn’t love free stuff? I do! Sometimes people just love getting free products or services. Offer free items to your target audience in form of contests, raffles or trivia. This increases engagement on your pages and your target audience will just love you for it! This will increase your reach and popularity as well.

These are just a few ways of ensuring marketing love from your audience and we can all use a little love for sure!

If you have any other suggestions on spreading marketing love please share below.

* This post appeared originally on the Storymoja Blog.