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Submit an article

Keen to contribute an article to Small Business First? First let's go through our guidelines...

The aim of SBF Learning Hub articles is:

  • to help small business owners solve specific problems relating to their business
  • to teach them skills they may need for their business
  • to educate them about latest trends/ technology/ best practices for their business

Here are certain elements and strategies to make sure SBF articles are achieving at least one of these goals and will in some way address the audience’s interests, needs, preferences or pain points:

1. The content should be unique and directly relevant to SME owners

Questions to ask yourself before writing a blog post:

  • What unique skills or experience do I bring that will add something new to the topic?
  • What unique opinion do I have that’s different than anyone else’s?
  • How will it help my audience?

2. Title should make it clear what they’re going to get out of reading this blog post

Our target audience is famously time poor and they should know straight away whether an article is going to be useful to them directly or not. Read this guide on how to write headlines that can increase engagement.

Popular headlines on SBF:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of online payments
  • Top 10 marketing tips for small business owners from small business owners
  • The most common types of business structures in Australia
  • 7 practical things to think about before you start a cafe business
  • 7 examples of online services you can provide with your small business
  • Small business health tips: How this busy mum manages work, rest and play  

3. Actionable tips

Instead of generic tips, the article should have clear, instructional tips, which can be followed to achieve a specific goal. Add step-by-step tips wherever possible and if relevant, give the readers a template they can download and follow.

Example of a good, instructional blog post from HubSpot: Sales Email Template: How to Write Emails People Want to Respond To

4. External data

Wherever possible, support your findings or arguments with data to increase credibility and trust.

Some ways to do this include incorporating or referencing:

  • customer testimonials
  • expert quotes
  • industry research or data
  • the opinions of influencers in your niche

5. Easy-to-read structure

While the structure for posts can vary, it should always be easy to read. This means short paragraphs, proper use of headings, subheadings, lists, bolds and italics, and generally anything that makes the content appear less intimidating to read.

6. Add a summary at the top

For people who just want to skim through and don’t have the time to read the entire article, it’s good to have a quick snapshot of the post in points. Or, the subheadings should be written in a way that gives the reader the key takeaways from the post.

Here’s a good example of adding a post summary at the top. It’s useful to have a ‘In this guide’ section.

7. Narrow down your audience

Small business owners form a wide category of readers and it is useful to break them down into sub-categories to increase relevance. Here are examples of categories to focus on:

  • cafe/ restaurant owners
  • financial advisors/ accountants
  • tradies
  • service providers

8. Share related links/ tools/ calculators

Add relevant hyperlinks into the copy so readers can access additional information as well as tools or calculators from other sites they might already be looking for.

When you're ready to submit an article, please send it to us at enquiries@smallbusinessfirst.com.au

 

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