If your blog is small, trying to get on the bandwagon of some major current event might be a waste of your time.

Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example. There was so much content published about COVID-19 by so many people that your tiny article would simply be drowned in the torrent. Attempting to leverage some major global event for your content is never a good strategy for companies with small blogs.

It is a decent strategy for companies with plenty of subscribers, providing the information you’re writing about is of use to them. Writing about current events might very well increase your clickthrough rate for regular readers.

If you’re small, your best option is to write about it in a general form and then only mention the event in passing.

The best SEO strategy for small blogs is to focus on long-term traffic

You won’t get sudden spikes in traffic because of one article if your blog is small — you just won’t. A newspaper or a company with a million newsletter subscribers works differently. They already have channels on which their communication travels. Within seconds of publishing something, people are reading it and sharing it, writing their own blog posts about it, referencing the original article with links of their own.

All that sharing and linking is the very stuff of which SEO juice is made — and the article goes viral.

This simply isn’t going to happen with your small blog. And, if you do see a sudden spike in traffic, it’ll likely die down quickly and bring you little return.

The best SEO strategy for a small business is to focus on long-term visits, on building links slowly and over time. If the article you write covers the topic generally, then it will never go stale.

Examples of how to cover the COVID-19 pandemic generally

So let’s talk about the pandemic and how you could write about it within your niche, and write about it in such a way that the information would never go stale and would have value for people in the long-term.

The trick is to write what you know, which is the first rule of good writing, whether that writing is fiction or non-fiction. So, let’s imagine your business is selling flowers. Here are some articles you could write, leveraging the current event, and which would stay useful in the long-term:

  • How to Find Fresh Flowers during a Lockdown
  • Ingenious Ways to Deliver Bouquets When All Businesses Are Closed
  • Can’t Find Flowers Because All Florists Are Closed? Do This Instead.

Let’s say you run a pizza business. You could write articles such as:

  • How to Turn Your Home into a Fine Pizza Restaurant during a Lockdown
  • 3 Tips to Make Your Pizza Taste like One of Ours during a Lockdown
  • Missing Our Pizza? Dine Virtually with Us Using Zoom!

There are so many potential angles for each of the suggested articles above, not to mention new business opportunities that you might’ve never thought of before.

Dining virtually using Zoom? My goodness — the possibilities are endless! You could offer this service moving forward and even charge for it. Cook with them in the kitchen? Offer a virtual server who is entertaining and funny and speaks with an accent? So many ideas, so many opportunities, turning lemons into lemonade.

As for the “3 tips” article, you should certainly add something like this to the end of the article: “We know this is no substitute for our award-winning pizzas and one-of-a-kind ambience, but you can rest assured that we’ll reserve a table for you the second we are open again! Did you follow these three tips? Send us a photo and get 10 per cent off next time you visit us!”

You could then send them to a page on your website where they upload the photo and give you permission to post it on social media. More SEO juice.

Don’t be afraid of losing business

The most frequent business blogging mistakes I’ve seen are:

  • Self-promoting too heavily, making your articles sound overly “salesy”, thereby turning the reader off
  • Afraid of promoting (or even mentioning) your competition

Promoting your competition!? Yes, of course. Your purpose as a business blogger is two-fold:

  1. Get people onto your website
  2. Then show them that you’re honest and helpful, not afraid of telling people useful things that might assist them even if it means promoting your competitors. You’ll stay in their minds after they read your article, believe me, and they might very well become clients.

Above all else, be helpful in your articles. That’s the way to build long-term traffic. And when writing about some major current event, take a general approach to it so that the article never goes stale and can continue to bring you search engine traffic long after the event itself has passed into memory.