How to Plan Your Q4 Blog Strategy in 6 Steps

If you’ve been posting on your small business blog all year long and you already have a strategy in place, I’m so proud! You’re doing it right. If you haven’t been posting much on your blog this year but you’re ready to get started fresh, don’t worry— you’re in the right place. 

Q4 (the last quarter of the financial year) is a great time to plan and implement your blog strategy. Here’s your quick guide to planning your small business blog strategy for Q4. 

Why is blogging important? 

Let’s talk about why your small business needs a blog in the first place. A blog is a great place for you to tell your story and show off what you’re doing with your small business. Your customers want to see what’s going on behind the scenes, and they want to know who they’re buying from. 

Blogging is also really important for generating organic SEO traffic. The more content you post for Google and other search engines to find and serve up to potential customers, the better. According to HubSpot, companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog. Businesses that blog also get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t. That’s huge! 

Okay, so now that you know why you need a blog for your small business, let’s talk about how you can plan and implement your blog strategy for Q4. 

1. Make a schedule. 

The first thing you need to do is decide how often you’ll post on your small business blog and when you’ll post. Most businesses don’t need to post a blog per day or anything crazy like that. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by setting a massive goal like posting twice per week right out of the gate. I’ve found the sweet spot for the small businesses I work with is usually 3-4 times per month. 

It’s also important to note that we’re looking for quality over quantity here. It doesn’t matter if you post twice a week if the posts aren’t helpful or well-written. It’s much better to take the time to write one solid blog post per month rather than rush to push out multiple rushed, low-quality posts. 

Once you nail down a posting schedule that fits well with your lifestyle, write it down so you can stay on track. I suggest either physically writing it down on paper or using an online tool like Trello

2. Define your goals. 

The blog content you write and publish for your small business is going to depend on your overall goals and intentions. If you want to increase brand awareness and trust, you might want to focus on posting blogs that show what’s going on behind the scenes with your small business. If you want to increase sales and promote your products, you’ll want your blog posts to be more informative and highlight what you’re selling. 

3. Define your audience. 

You need to know who you’re talking to when you’re writing blog posts for your small businesses. This can be kind of hard to nail down, especially if you sell products or services that everyone can use and enjoy. 

My best advice is to look at your top repeat customers and see what they have in common. If the majority of your customer base is older, you might want to skip out on using lots of current slang. If your audience is on the younger side, you can probably get away with writing in a more casual tone and referencing current pop culture. The more specific you can get with your target audience, the more successful your blogs and overall blog strategy will be. 

4. Do a little SEO research. 

I know, I know. SEO can be intimidating, especially for small business owners who don’t have a background in marketing or writing. It doesn’t have to be, though! All you need to do is head over to Google and see what people are searching for. 

For example, if you sell candles, type in “candles” in the search bar and see what suggested searches pop up. You can also scroll down to the “People also ask” section to see what related topics people are searching for. Use your findings as inspiration for your top SEO keywords. I’d suggest just focusing on a handful (3-5) to start with. 

Here are two great resources for SEO keyword research: 

Click here to check out my post about SEO for beginners. 

5. Plan your content. 

Once you find a few keywords, you’ll use them to plan out your blog content. Let’s reference the previous example. If you sell soy wax candles, your top SEO keywords might be:

  • Handmade candles
  • Handpoured candles
  • Soy wax candles

Take those keywords and really think about how you can spin them into blog posts for your small business. If I wanted to focus on the “soy wax candles” keyword, I might write a post about the benefits of burning soy wax candles instead of other types of candles. 

You don’t have to stick to writing blog posts centered around your specific SEO keywords ALL the time. You might want to throw in a post every now and then that just talks about your sales, product launches, promos, giveaways, etc. 

You can also take a look at what your competition is posting and put your own spin on those topics. Of course, I’m hardcore anti-plagiarism, but there’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from others in your industry. 

Another great way to get inspired is by checking out monthly and daily holidays on National Day Today. For example, if you sell dog accessories and toys, you’ll probably want to post something in early April for National Pet Day. 

Here are a few Q4 holidays you can use to inspire your blog posts: 

  • October 10- World Mental Health Day 
  • October 16- ​​National Boss’s Day
  • October 31- Halloween
  • November 25- Thanksgiving
  • November 26- Black Friday
  • November 27- Small Business Saturday
  • November 30- Giving Tuesday
  • December 13- Green Monday
  • December 14- National Free Shipping Day
  • December 24- Christmas Eve
  • December 25- Christmas 
  • December 31- New Year’s Eve

If you’re really stuck, HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator might give you some ideas.

P.S. You can also look to your old content for inspiration! Don’t be afraid to rewrite and update a post you wrote last year. 

6. Write your small business blog content! 

Now that you’ve planned out your posting schedule and your topics, you’re ready to write. When it comes to how long each post should be, there’s really no right answer. It all depends on your small business and your goals. 

Yoast recommends that most blog posts should have 300 words at the very least. Anything over that is a huge bonus, but it’s not 100% necessary to write thousands of words in order for Google to notice your post. The supposed ideal length for a blog post is 2,100- 2,400 words, according to HubSpot, but I wouldn’t worry about trying to reach that length for every single post. If you can do at least one “long” blog post per month, you should be good to go. 

Remember: We’re looking for quality over quantity. Rambling on with 1,000 words of fluff is much less effective overall than writing a short and sweet post that gets your point across. 

If you’re completely lost and have no idea where to start with writing blog posts for your small business, HubSpot has a great guide for beginners

Make sure to use a tool like Grammarly to check your grammar and spelling before posting! 

Conclusion 

Making, implementing, and sticking to a plan for your small business blog can be overwhelming at first, but it’s a lot easier if you break it down step-by-step. It’ll make your life so much easier, and it just might boost your sales and engagement after a while, too. 

Need some help coming up with a strategy for your blog or writing the blog posts for your small business? Check out my services and contact me today— I’d love to work with you! 

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