Small Business editor of the NZ Herald

Small Business: As easy as falling off a blog

It was after some prompting by her now-husband that Caitlin Taylor decided to combine her two loves - writing and fashion - and start a blog. Photo / Supplied
It was after some prompting by her now-husband that Caitlin Taylor decided to combine her two loves - writing and fashion - and start a blog. Photo / Supplied

It was after some prompting by her now-husband that Caitlin Taylor decided to combine her two loves - writing and fashion - and start a blog.

That was in late 2010. Now, the Auckland personal stylist attracts about 20,000 unique visitors a month to her style blog Chasing Cait.

Taylor points to a symbiotic relationship between the two elements of her business - personal styling and blogging.

Having a blog is a point of difference in the personal styling market, she says, and gives potential clients an insight into who she is. And working with clients heightens her awareness of real-life style issues and common questions women have about fashion, which provides fodder for the blog.

"My business is split about 50/50 between my personal styling work and my blog, and the two absolutely support each other," she says.

Taylor says maintaining her authentic voice, creating posts that inspire, educate and entertain and using social media to drive more traffic to the blog have all helped build Chasing Cait's audience.

Debbie Harrison is an owner of PR, marketing and copywriting consultancy Casual Fridays and says there are a number of benefits small businesses can gain from developing a blog.

"I'm like a scratched record because I'm always going on about how blogging is a great way to build on the Know, Like, Trust triangle that's essential to doing good business. The more a customer knows, likes and trusts you, the more likely they are to become fans and remain loyal customers," Harrison says.

A blog can also help put a human face to a business, attract new website traffic, boost search rankings and keep you top-of-mind among your network, she says.

Angela Cameron is managing director of Consult Recruitment, which has about 6000 subscribers to its blog.

Since the firm started blogging at the beginning of 2014, Cameron says the company has had a 400 per cent increase in traffic to its website. Seventy per cent of people who enter its website do so through its blog.

"So I don't think it's a coincidence that during this time our revenue has increased by 265 per cent," she says.

"I think blogging has also been a brilliant way to build goodwill and loyalty with our candidates and clients. When they get a blog update in their inbox or see our updates on LinkedIn, they feel connected to the business and it keeps Consult front of mind."

Cameron highlights three elements of a successful business blog: good writing, a regular publishing schedule and content that's about the audience, not the business.

"We rarely talk about ourselves on the blog. Instead, we spend a lot of time thinking about what's going to be helpful for the type of people we engage with and we aim to deliver that."

- Herald on Sunday

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