If you’ve been looking for easy, affordable ways to boost your home services website’s online presence, there’s no better method than blogging. It’s a simple way to engage with clients, it bumps up your rankings on search engines, and it gives you something to promote on your social media platforms. The most difficult part of a home services blog is just getting your blog started! So if you’ve been thinking about getting a blog going for a while now, here’s how to get started in just 8 simple steps:
Step #1: If you don’t have one, get one
The first step to building a blog is ensuring you’ve got the platform for one. If you already have a website but don’t have a blog, chances are you’ve got a spot for one somewhere in your site. Talk to whoever manages your website, or go into the backend yourself if you’re the admin, and it should be fairly simple to set up.
If you don’t have a website, then you’re starting a bit from scratch. You’ll have to purchase a domain name, and set up a website that can handle your blog. It’s good to know that you can do most of this for free if you want to, from a variety of hosts and companies. If we had to pick a favorite, it’d definitely be WordPress. It’s super user-friendly, free, and quick to set up.
Step #2: Start small
Once you have a platform for your blog, it’s time to get started! One of the most common things we see with home services blogs is that the owner burns out in just a few weeks. They’re really excited to get their blog up and going, and they publish 10 blogs in the first week. After that though, the posting sort of peters out, until you see that they haven’t posted in over two months. This is exactly the type of thing you want to avoid.
When you’re building up your home services blog, it’s important to start small. It’s better to post one or two blogs a month consistently than it is to post 10 blogs at a time, and then not post again until months down the road. So pick a number that seems really easy for you at first, say one blog a month. If you stick to that for the first few months and think you can do more, then you can decide to start posting more, but it’s important to remember that your number one concern should be consistency.
Step #3: Create a calendar
To help with that consistency, we find it really useful to create a content calendar. For us, this is just a calendar that lists the titles, topics, and post dates for all of the blogs we plan to write in a year. Now, your calendar doesn’t have to be a year long, but it is a good idea to get one started, because the calendar will keep you on track. When you know far in advance what you’re supposed to be writing about and when you need to post it, you’re more likely to remember to actually write the blog, and get it done in a reasonable amount of time.
Step #4: Blog about questions you get all the time
When you’re working on your calendar and those first few posts, it can be hard to decide what exactly you need to write about. The best way to create content that people want to read, is to write posts around the questions you hear the most from your clients. Do they want to know what color roof is most energy efficient? Do they want to know how often to clean out their gutters? Or maybe you get the most questions about landscaping around a deck or patio. Whatever home services questions your clients ask you the most are the best topics to start writing about.
These are topics you know home services clients are asking, which means there’s definitely an audience for your blog out on the internet. So long as you can answer those questions thoroughly, and in a way that genuinely helps out your clients, you’ll have an excellent blog post on your hands.
Step #5: Include photos as often as you can
A great way to keep internet readers interested is to include high quality pictures in your blogs. If you have stunning photos of your most recent deck project or roofing job, it’s a great idea to incorporate those into relevant blog posts. People love seeing before and after photos, and what’s more, by showing those blog readers photos of your actual work, you’ll be building a lot of trusting relationships. The more your readers trust you, the more likely they are to call you when they need a home services professional, over anyone else in your area.
If you don’t have photos of your own work, stock photos are a great alternative option. Just make sure that if you’re grabbing photos off the internet, you have the photographer’s permission to use them. We’re big fans of creative commons sites like Pexels and Unsplash, who offer free high-resolution photos with no copyright worries.
Step #6: Always link to another blog
The best way to build a following is to keep readers reading. That’s why it’s best to link to at least one of your other blog posts in every single post you write. Even if you mention at the bottom, “If you liked this article on roofing, be sure to check out my latest post on gutters,” you’re doing a lot to keep people on your website and surfing your content.
If you have longer, gated content offers, like how-to’s or an ebook, it’s a good idea to include a link or button that takes site viewers to that landing page. If they’re already reading one of your blogs, chances are they can easily be persuaded to read another. By making sure links and buttons are visible and easy to find, you can keep that person on your site even longer, upping the chances that they turn into a great potential lead.
Step #7: Include a CTA
The last thing to do when actually writing your home services blog is to ensure that every blog post offers the reader some way to contact you. We call this a call-to-action or a CTA. If you’re not savvy with your website yet, it’s as easy as listing your phone number at the bottom of your posts. If you’re a bit more advanced, include a button that takes prospective leads to a landing page where they can request a free service quote. Whatever you do, make sure it’s very clear to the reader where, and how, they can contact you.
If you got them to read your entire post, it would be a shame to lose them just because they couldn’t find your phone number. By making it as easy as possible for blog readers to reach out to you, you’re likely to up your qualified leads in no time.
Step #8: Promote, promote, promote
Finally, before you put that brand new blog post to bed, remember you need to promote it. You just spent hours crafting the perfect blog with corresponding pictures, right? After all that work you wouldn’t want it to just sit on your site and never be seen. It’s just as important to promote your posts as it is to write them. Alert your Facebook and Twitter followers that you’ve just created a new blog post, and put that blog up on your Linkedin page to let your professional connections know.
If you’ve got a Houzz account, which most home services pros should, make sure clients and other professionals there know you’ve got a new post, or better yet––post the blog on Houzz! The more places you can put that blog, without being spammy, the better. The more eyes you get on your blog, the more people you’ll have coming to your website. And with more traffic, you can be sure to expect more leads, and more jobs.
Once you get your blog up and running, it should be fairly easy to maintain. It’s just a matter of creating new, compelling content on a regular basis, and promoting it to platforms who care about what you have to say. If you still have questions about starting your blog, or boosting your home services company’s online presence, be sure to contact us here at HA. We’re more than happy to help answer any digital marketing question you throw at us.