Blogging. What’s the Big Deal?
Everyone is blogging these days. Some people even appear to make a living from it, but it’s definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme – it takes hard work and persistence – so what’s the big deal about blogging? Why should you bother to write a blog for your business? And how is it an essential part of making sales?
Blogging is the regular posting of articles on a particular topic hosted on a website where people can subscribe to receive articles to their email, or become part of a community by commenting on the article.
So why should you bother to write a blog?
Well, people on the Internet are searching for content. They’re looking for solutions to problems, and any free information that helps them along that path is a good thing. If a user stumbles upon your content and likes what they see, they might subscribe to your mailing list so they can keep up with your articles. This is a great opportunity for you as the blog author to continue to build trust with your new subscriber by emailing them directly with more valuable content, and also sales messages that may encourage them to become one of your customers. Having access to your prospects’ contact details is a huge deal. You get to communicate with them directly, and the good thing is – they’ve volunteered their information for this. You didn’t spam them. (Never spam them!)
Blogging allows you to establish yourself as an authority in your chosen subject. If your visitors keep coming back to read your content, they will get to know you and begin to trust your opinion. Trust is the most important element in any business relationship. We don’t do business with people we don’t trust.
Is blogging for everyone?
It may be that your online business is some kind of store where you sell your products – and perhaps they’re relatively low/medium priced items. Or perhaps you have a relatively expensive professional service that you sell through your website. The level of investment that the client perceives is required when buying from you is related to how much time you as the business owner need to spend building that trust. In other words, it doesn’t take much for someone who is looking for a particular product to buy it if the investment level is low and the conditions are good – your product and service simply need to check all the boxes that they’re after. They need to know that delivery will be timely and inexpensive and that any customer service is of a high standard, and that the product will fit their needs. Whereas if you offer a product or service that is more expensive, the customer is going to need to research it and makes sure that they’re making the right decision. The perceived investment is of a higher level, and they need to trust that your service or product is the right one. That trust is built by your website’s content and presentation and the value your blog provides in terms of free information.
Online stores can often utilise ad platforms such as Google’s AdWords with good results because paid search ads connect customers who are actively looking for a product with sellers, and therefore perhaps a blog isn’t the most essential of tools for bringing in business for an online store, but it’s still useful and any edge you can get your business in terms of authority in your area, is worth having.
Does blogging create traffic?
For those of us that run businesses that don’t have an online store as such, blogging is a great way to bring in traffic. But, it doesn’t do this all on its own – traffic doesn’t magically appear as soon as you publish a blog post. So how do we increase traffic to our blogs? With advertising! We use platforms like Facebook and Google to advertise our content and bring people over to our website to read our blog. What we’re really hoping for is a mailing list subscription from each visitor in order to help them move along the customer journey to the point where they’re ready to buy. The trouble is, people know their email address is valuable information and they’re reluctant to hand it over unless you can provide excellent value in return. Enter the lead magnet.
By now you will have come across maybe hundreds of lead magnets as you browse the web. They are essentially value-based bribes to get people to trade their contact details for some valuable content. What that content is is up to you. It could be an ebook, checklist, cheatsheet, report, survey results, or insider business information. It could also be as simple as a discount voucher. Make your proposition enticing enough, and you’ll convert your prospects to leads like a champ.
Here are some good tips to get you started blogging
- Choose a platform for your website that also supports blogging well. We’d choose WordPress every time.
- Come up with catchy titles that intrigue and excite. This is one of the most influential factors in getting your blog post clicked.
- Plan your blog topics in advance, so you’re not just splurging a series of random thoughts onto a page.
- Divide your blog into categories if needed to help divide up the content into areas that might be of appeal to different audiences. You can even segment your email marketing lists to market to different groups based on the categories of your blog.
- Divide your page content with subheadings that allow users to scan a blog post, and to make it more readable. This also helps with SEO.
- Use appropriate images that inspire curiosity. You can purchase images from stock photo companies or in some cases find free photos on the web – make sure you have permission to use!
- Enable commenting on your blog and encourage visitors to leave feedback at the end of your posts. You can even integrate Facebook commenting with some platforms which makes it easier for more people to join the conversation.
- Offer a lead-magenet in exchange for contact details. Provide a way for people to sign up and receive updates straight to their inbox.
- If you’re going to have a blog on your website, don’t post sporadically. Commit to providing content at regular intervals.
- Write your blog posts in a batch so you can schedule them to go out at regular times. No one likes an infrequently and randomly updated blog.
- If your website platform offers the feature, set it to automatically post your blog posts to your social media accounts.
- Promote your content on advertising platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others.
If you’d like help creating a website or blog that really grows your business, Deluxe Web can help. We offer incredible value packages with low monthly payments so you can get a professional website affordably. Check out our pricing and features for more information, or get in touch – we’d love to talk to you.