Blog idea for small business and non-writers

Blog idea for small business and non-writers
Generating unique content for a blog for many small businesses can be an extreme drag and is avoided until it really, really needs to be done.

There are many times we review a customer’s website and it has been a year or two since they wrote their last blog article.  They are getting some good traffic from these old blog articles but there is nothing new to keep readers coming back to their website, or keep generating new links in Google to their website.

The benefits of unique content that people want to read are well documented with hundreds of articles telling you their success stories and the benefits they receive.  Not to mention Google encourages websites to build engaging and unique content.

However, what no one really addresses is how to actually generate content that is not only unique but is something that you’re passionate about, that relates directly to your business and that customers might be generally interested in.  Today, we want to introduce you to a new way to produce unique content on a regular basis that does not involve writing.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Today we want to introduce you to the video blog article.  What this means is that you take a video of you doing something you do every day in your business.  Then you get this video transcribed so that you have what you said as text.  There is a little bit more to it which we explain below but here is an example of a video and article we recently did for a customer.

Mark Brown Installing a power point

Mark is an electrician based in Sydney and found writing blog articles hard work, especially after a long physical day.  On the other hand, Mark doing an installation of a power point is something he does every day.  More importantly, by having a video of him installing a power point this not only allows the customer to get to know Mark a little but more importantly actually see how he works.  In addition, if you visit the article above you will see that what Mark says on the video has been transcribed into text which makes it easier for Google and Bing and other search engines to read and index.

By creating a video we also generate a new medium for Mark to get indexed from and find new traffic sources.  We have created a Mark Brown Electrical channel on Youtube and we then promote his blog first by creating a rich snippet in the blog (see the section at the bottom of the article) and then by promoting the blog articles on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus.

Now its very early days so there is no fantastic story to tell you at the moment in terms of lots of viewers to Marks website, however, we will keep you posted on this front.

More importantly, this is a tool that many small businesses can do if they don’t like, don’t have time, or have no desire to sit down and write a blog.

So here is how you can do this.

  • Smartphone – If you have a smartphone with a camera then this is all you need.  Mark did his first video in one take, however, in future videos, he is doing a number of takes which means he turns the video on and off at different stages to explain a product, then does the install and then complete the project.
  • Time-lapse – On your iPhone, you also have the functionality to do “time lapse” so if a certain activity you want to show customers will take some time (for Mark this might be installing a switchboard which can take some hours) he might set the camera to time lapse.
  • Phone stand.  Mark uses a stand to hold his phone while it is videoing.  This is great because he can use both hands to do what he needs to do and position his phone in a place to capture the action.  You can pick up a cheap stand for your phone on eBay or at a local photoshop.
  • Script – We are not suggesting you need to write a full script but it is worthwhile doing a little planning for each video you shoot.  Don’t forget what you say on camera is exactly what will be transcribed into the video so you don’t want to have lots of silent periods if possible when this could be filled with content useful to the customer.  The other reason you will want a script is you want to ensure you have thought about all the things you want to say about a product and what your doing and any tips you may have just to make sure you don’t miss anything.  For example, if you’re going to install a product you may want to make sure you have the name of the product correct, that you have the box to show in the video, that you explain the features and more importantly the benefits of the product.  As your doing the installation you may want to discuss not only what you’re doing but you may also fill in some of this time talking about alternate products that could have been installed and why this product is best or was chosen over these other products.  We would recommend writing out the points you want to talk about on a piece of paper off camera so you can refer to it but at the same time to keep the conversation flowing.
  • Time – you don’t want really long and boring videos.  Short and sweet is better.  If your video is long, use time lapse in sections to speed through parts of an activity or installation.
  • Video editing – Video editing does not need to be perfect.  Tools to edit your video such as iMovie if you’re on an Apple computer or as we use Wondershare Filmora on a Windows PC.  These tools will enable you to add titles, music and your logo or anything else you want to add to your videos.  These tools also help you to put each section of a video you have together.
  • Transcribing – This part is fairly easy once you have your video made.  We use a speechpad.com which costs about $1 per minute for transcription if you’re happy to wait a week (usually it’s less).  You could also get a freelancer to do the job for you.
  • Youtube – if you use Filmora, you can upload your video directly to Youtube once you have created an account.  The tools in Youtube allow you add some additional features to your video as well as provide a text title and description of the video.
  • Blog article – Once you have your video on Youtube you can click share and use the embed feature to create a link to your video.  This embed link you can embed into your blog article together with the text from the transcription (see Mark power point installation above as an example).
  • Promotion – in order to get your video and blog noticed you can promote your blog through different social media channels.

Once you have done your first video you can begin to play with this process to work out what is best for you, your business and the content your producing.  Most importantly you need to commit to doing a video on a regular basis, be it weekly or fortnightly or monthly.

If you do follow these steps add your blog links to the comments below so that others can see examples of videos and blog articles created.


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