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  1. #1
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    Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    It's extremely common for me to be talking to a prospect and they'll say something like this:

    "So my previous SEO company used to post blogs for me every month, will you guys be doing that?"

    My answer is usually no. There are some exceptions. For example, I blog a lot and it works really great as a strategy because users actually follow my blog and read my articles. However, how many dentists are going to have their patients actually want to read 20 articles a year on how to make their teeth healthier? Probably not too many.

    Patrick Stox wrote an article on this recently and I couldn't agree more with his points: Everything Should Not Be A Blog Post: Start Using Silos

    Siloing content is exactly how I approach content for SEO for the majority of my clients.
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    I always say: Are you ready to generate (or pay for) content 3-4 months out and then continue that process for the foreseeable future?

    Then we talk about informative pages that will actually be useful.

  4. #3
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    Saw that too, and I definitely think that fits local better. Even aside from scalability issues when you've got a few clients in the same vertical, given the relative cost of generating good content, seems like it's either all in, or all out. If you aren't able to both come up with something good that's worth reading, and put in the time to promote it (both for backlink building, and to current customers) then all you're doing is padding your work to make yourself look better in the client's eyes, rather than actually delivering on something with results.

    The Silo method makes a lot of sense though, since it doubles as a way to organize landing pages and internal link structure for second tier services, keywords, and outlying towns and cities... makes sense to me. Plus, it's been much easier in the past to work with the client on getting good content made when there's a map you're filling out, vs just getting the monthly blog post done.

  5. #4
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    I think blogging is only important in a handful of cases and a waste of time for most.

    Blogging doesn't hurt, but, I often see clients killing themselves to be the 110th person to write a blog post about "hot water heater maintenance" or "tips for winterizing xyz".

    If you've got a good local angle, or some very shareable stuff, or if you like to write, then blog. . . otherwise, spend that money on something else.

  6. #5
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    I should (and probably will) create a new thread for this Q, but since we are talking content...

    For those of you that outsource content, how much does it cost to get a good article written?

    Also is anyone focusing very much on video content? I know video is red hot, I just don't hear many people in local talking about it.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  7. #6
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    Thanks Joy. I have been leaning this way for a long time now. In my vertical, it still makes sense to publish occasional blog posts for things like celebrating company anniversaries, etc. Also for opinion pieces, which some of our clients do, albeit sparingly.

  8. #7
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet
    ...For those of you that outsource content, how much does it cost to get a good article written?.. ...Also is anyone focusing very much on video content? I know video is red hot, I just don't hear many people in local talking about it.
    I've had pretty good luck with a few sources. The cost depends upon the subject matter, the expertise of the writer, and also whether or not the writer does anything beyond mere writing, such as actually uploading and scheduling the piece, selecting one or more images for the piece, etc.

    With that said, it usually costs me between $15 and $35 for between 700 and 900 words. I'll be curious to see what others have to say.

    Video has been tough for me. My clients are typically small businesses and they are virtually always in some distant city, so I have to rely upon them to either do their own video capture or else hire some local videographer. So far, it's been very hard to get videos from my clients. I'd love to hear from others how they overcome this.

  9. #8
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    I've spent upwards of $40 for an article and to me, it didn't knock my socks off. I think you need to spend double that amount to get a piece that is worth discussing and even still, I don't know how successful you'll be with it. What I mean by that is that the intent for your article will not deliver, at least in my cases.

    I've always had site structuring in my mind and remember silo's from many years ago. I just started working with a site where their nav was atrocious, so the first thing that needs to be addressed is exactly what this article is about. Perfect timing Joy.

    Videos, have been very tough for budgetary reasons. It's very difficult to find a company to shoot video, edit, produce and turn over a good product that is reasonable. The lowest I've found was $600-$700 per video. That is steep, even after explaining the benefits.

  10. #9
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    I think we should separate these two spinoff topics (cost of outsourced content gen and video content) into different threads. If we don't they will end up muddying the waters on Joy's original point, re whether small businesses should blog anymore.

  11. #10
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    Re: Should Small Businesses Even Have Blogs?

    I think another good point to take home from this article is logical content placement being a huge part of content strategy. A lot of our clients that come on with great content usually don't have it in the most accessible/logical place for users/search engines. Using the silos for relevant content is a great point but it's possible to have this sort of structure set up inside your blog roster but the benefits would not be so far reaching. I also think that it is entirely possible to have a strong silo and an active blog and use both to your advantage.

    For SMBs, people on a lean budget or those who don't want to dedicate time to content generation this is clearly the way to go to avoid having a anemic, ineffective blog.

    To answer Linda's questions, we do some outsourcing for our blogs and depending on the expertise it's usually about $40-$80 for a good blog of 300-500 words.

    We just started our year-long video marketing test internally to see if we can create a scalable, affordable way to get our clients engaged there. So far it is very inexpensive for us and is generating traffic and moving us up as far as visibility goes. We aren't sure how to scale this to clients quite yet since we know the challenges that exist is getting feedback in this industry but I am sure we will come up with something by the end of the year.

    Thanks for sharing, Joy!
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