I have worked with many companies who are taking the time out of their busy schedules to blog. They all tell me they do it for different reasons. One is for marketing, another for SEO, another because they like to write, and so on. But when I sit down and read these blogs, I understand they all blog for the same reason: because they are an expert in their field.
When you are a small business owner, you know the ins and outs of your business. You are the one and only expert on what you do, and chances are you don’t even know it. Which means when you do write a blog post, and it’s about your industry, you are positioning yourself as an expert. But like I said, most people don’t realize this until I point it out to them. So, in order to spread the awareness among small business owners that you are an expert and you should flaunt it, I am listing several ways to position yourself as an expert:
1. The Instructional Blog
This comes into play when you can teach others a skill you have mastered. For example, a florist would write a post on how to make a perfect rose bouquet, or how to take the thorns off roses using only a spoon and some masking tape (I don’t think that’s possible). In this type of post you are not only positioning yourself as an expert, but teaching your readers as well.
2. The Review Blog
This is all about reviewing products that help out in your business. For example, a lot of professional bloggers review plugins for blogs, or a chef could review culinary tools, an accountant could review the newest edition of some accounting software. Again, you’re using your expertise to add value to your readers’ lives. Win win.
3. The Rant Blog
This is one that needs to be used as sparingly as possible. But if you discover something about your industry that you know is wrong, because you are an expert, feel free to let the world know as well. Would you like an example? Sure thing. If I was reading a well-known blog and they said that blogging is bad for SEO and a waste of time, it would be my prerogative to say this is wrong, and if I’m a ranting type of person, rant about it. I am letting readers know not to trust this person, while letting my own opinions and knowledge shine.
4. The Hunter and Gatherer Blog
I think of this type of blog as a service to your readers. This is a post where you gather and write about all kinds of information that will help your readers. If you are a blog aimed at graphic designers, you may take the time comb the web and find the best examples of flash graphics, or amazing headers, or anything of the like, and post it for others to see. If you are a cook, you may gather the best chocolate cake recipes and post them. Just remember you are giving whatever you are posting your seal of approval, so make sure you really stand behind it.
5. The Advice Blog
I would say the advice blog is what I’m writing right now. This is a blog where you know something about something that other people will (hopefully) find some value in. This is a bit of a combination of the other four types, but it also can have a very generic feel. If you are a healthcare company and you want to share information on how the new healthcare laws are going to hurt or help, then you would write a post on it. If you’re a dentist and you just saw five patients in a row who have never flossed a day in their life (gross), write something reminding every person who visits your blog why they need to be flossing. Use your knowledge to wow them.
There are many, many more types of blogs that position you as an expert. But I think these five are a great way to get small business owners started and to prove to anyone reading who didn’t think they are an expert that they really are.