Happy New Year! This is my second attempt at being a transparent writer. Here are five FAQs that green businesses ask me about content writing:
Question: How do I find a writer who understands my industry and my locale?
Answer: I used to get this question a lot. It’s not easy finding a content writer who specializes in the green industry. But we’re out there. You can find green content writers on Linked In’s many green business groups: World of Landscape, World of Hardscape, PLANET, GreenMark, etc.). Of course, Google, Bing, and Yahoo are great places to search using terms like “landscape writer,” “lawn care writer,” “hardscape writer,” or “garden writer.” You can also find writers through the Garden Writers Association (www.gardenwriters.org) or through the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (www.toca.org).
Question: Why should I have a regular blog, e-newsletter, or a podcast? If I put too much information out there, my prospects will end up doing their own land care and won’t need to hire my company.
Answer: Those are valid concerns, and I’m sure that there may be some folks who’ll regularly read your wisdom for their personal gain. However, here are four counter-arguments to your concern:
- There’s a plethora of information out there for people glean from. The purpose of your blog is to get your business on the virtual map and establish yourself as a trustworthy lawn care or landscape professional in your region. Think of it this way: Your competitors, who regularly use social media and regularly update their web content, are more of a “threat” to your business’s success than the guy, two towns over, who reads your blog to help him build a deck or fertilize his lawn.
- In addition to the above, remember that the DIYer may have a neighbor, an adult child, or an elderly relative who could use your services, and he may provide a referral for you.
- By regularly blogging and updating your web content, you can establish yourself as a localized business and put yourself on Google’s map. You also can address lawn care or landscape issues that directly affect your region’s property owners.
- Finally, and probably most importantly, you blog can be used to help your clients maintain their properties in-between service appointments. You’ll enable your clients to take an active role in maintaining their lawns, as well as develop credibility for your business.
Question: Why do I need to update my web content or regularly post updates to my blog when I’m happy with what’s already on there?
Answer: Fresh and updated content helps your Google ranking, as well as continues to bring prospects to your door. Besides, would you trust someone whose website information was two years old? Some of you may say, “Yes, I’d trust them.” Yet, you need to think about your customers and the verdict is that they won’t trust old, outdated information.
Question: What topics should I cover on my blog?
Answer: The topics that matter most to your clients and prospects. You can ask your sales team what they see as your clients’ needs. You can also analyze which programs and products are popular with your clientele. Think about your region and its particular needs, such as xeriscaping and irrigation during the summer. These ideas can get you started, and once you have a following, you can ask your readers what they’d like to read about on your blogs.
Question: How much do writers typically charge for writing web content?
Answer: Writer rates vary. Some writers like to be paid hourly or on a quarterly basis. Plus, writers base their rates on projects. You may be able to get a deal if you’re willing to commit to your writer for six months to a year versus hiring them on a piece-meal basis. Also, don’t be afraid to shop around and interview a couple of writers. See how much they know about your niche, read some of their samples, and compare and contrast their fee schedules.
What questions do you have about hiring a writer to keep your web content fresh and relevant? Drop me an email at email@example.com.