July 14, 2015
Today we are operating our business in a world of relationship marketing and content marketing. Gone are the days of ‘push’ marketing where big advertising campaigns were an effective way to get the word out about your products and services.
Now it’s all about ‘pull’ marketing where we want to pull our potential clients into our world and allow them the opportunity to get to know, like and trust us before they do business with us.
One of the best ways to develop the benefits of relationship marketing is through blogging. This is nothing new; many marketers have been saying this for a few years now.
So why are so many entrepreneurs and business owners not bothering with blogging?
I encourage every client I work with to blog but only a few actually do. Instead of fully embracing the business benefits of blogging, I get a lot of excuses like:
- I don’t have the time;
- I can’t write;
- I can’t be bothered; it’s too much work;
- I don’t know what to write about;
- I don’t know how to blog;
- I don’t see the value, my target market doesn’t read blogs.
And so on…
While some of these reasons can be quite legit in their minds, when it comes down to it, the biggest source of resistance is the unwillingness to make a commitment toward this very effective marketing strategy.
What they don’t realize is once that commitment is made, it’s amazing how the know-how appears and suddenly there is time and knowing what to write about does materialize. It happened to me and it can for you too.
For many years, I used a lot of these excuses myself. If you’ve been a client of ours over the long haul, you may recall my first newsletters were not only far and few between (I was lucky if I got one out every four to six months) but they were also epic novels.
I was literally setting myself up to not do them very often. They took way too much time, effort and energy — something I didn’t have a lot of, so I did them as rarely as possible.
It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t have to write about EVERYTHING in EVERY newsletter. After all, there is something to be said about overwhelming the readers. I bet only a fraction of all that I wrote ever got read…
But in my defence, because one of my Sacred Gifts is the gift of knowledge, I was strongly compelled (and still am) to share all of my knowledge with each and every newsletter.
Since then I’ve become much wiser and strategic about blogging and newsletters and for the past year have been posting a minimum of two blog posts a week and sending out a weekly newsletter.
By the way, I mention newsletters because the two are very much intertwined – blogging and newsletters go hand-in-hand. I’ll explain more in a bit.
First let’s talk about why you should be blogging.
It’s important to understand there are two entities that you want to read your blog posts: Search engines and potential clients.
With that in mind, here are 10 reasons why blogging should be at the top of your marketing to-do list:
1. More SEO Traffic
Keywords pertinent to your industry will bring qualified traffic back to your website that is looking for solutions in those areas. This is what search engine optimization is all about — getting picked up in the search engines so people who are looking for your type of product or service actually find you.
You want to ensure you use pertinent keywords and phrases that your potential clients are using when typing in their search query. So putting yourself in your prospect’s mind is necessary when creating topics, categories and keywords for each article you write.
2. Higher Search Engine Standings
In order for people to find you in the search engines, your blog post needs to be seen as high up in the search results as possible. If you’re showing up on page 5, then the odds are very slim anyone will find you.
The goods news is that fresh content tells the search engines your website is still alive and well and you will be rewarded as such. So the more often you blog the more likely the search engines will boost you higher up in the results.
Aside from frequency, popular content also tells the search engines your website is worthy of higher positioning. The more people that get engaged in your blog posts, the more you benefit from this popularity.
This is why you want to encourage your readers to post a comment at the bottom of your blog and get some conversation going. (After you finish reading this article, please post a comment below and tell me your biggest takeaway from it.)
Another search engine benefit to blogging is the ability to create inbound links within the content of your post. These links can click to other pages within your website that you want the readers to reference.
Inbound links signal to search engines that other pages on your website must be popular since they are being linked to; therefore, your website will be rewarded with higher standings.
3. Gain Credibility
Each time you write a blog post that shares your knowledge and expertise, you are positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gaining more credibility as someone that can be trusted by your readers.
Blogging also gives you the opportunity to position yourself as someone passionate and knowledgeable on the topics you write about. That passion can be a very compelling reason for people to do business with you.
It also provides you with an opportunity to share your ideas, personality, values and beliefs — all of which help build your credibility through the eyes of your ideal target market.
4. Build Community
The more you write about topics that relate to your target market, the more they will feel like they are a part of your community… your inner circle, where you have a prime opportunity to develop the “know, like and trust” factor with them.
The more this happens, the more they will trust you to do business with. So when writing, you want to share stories that people relate to and feel like you understand them to keep building that trust.
5. Create Sharable Social Media Content
With every post you write, you can share it to your social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ etc. This can be done automatically if you use WordPress but I don’t recommend that. Instead, ensure you have the social sharing plugin installed and manually share your articles. This way you can add in a personal note and intentionally share the post at an optimal time.
Each post can also be shared to article curation services like Buffer, Feedly, Spunge!t, Scoop!t, Digg, Stumble Upon, and many others.
And of course, your readers can also share your blog posts to THEIR followers, which expands your brand reach considerably. So go ahead and use the controls on the left and share this post to your social media peeps, it would be greatly appreciated.
6. Provides Newsletter Content
As mentioned earlier, your blogging efforts are closely intertwined with your newsletter. When I send out our weekly newsletters, they include a “feature article” which, you guessed it, is the blog article I wrote that week.
So all you need to do is write your blog article and then in your newsletter, write a quick introduction and then a brief teaser to the article so that your subscribers will then click on the “Read more” link and are sent back to your blog to read the whole article.
7. Build Better Customer Relationships
By writing on a consistent basis and sending those articles to your list of existing clients and customers, they will feel like you didn’t abandon them.
Your articles will help them feel you continue to support them and their needs, that you continue to be a source of information for them to turn to and receive guidance from. All of which builds a stronger and ongoing relationship with them.
You also have an opportunity to share what is new not only in your business but also in your industry. Blogging provides an ability to keep your customers and followers informed.
Lastly, writing articles allows your customers to get to know you on a more personal level. Don’t be afraid to share past struggles and how you overcame them or current stories that relate to a teaching lesson. These all help solidify the feeling that you are all in it together.
8. Generate Leads and List Building Opportunities
Never write an article that has no purpose.
Before writing and aside from wanting to share your knowledge, think about the purpose of your article. What do you want people to do after reading it?
If that purpose is to generate business leads, then add a call to action at the bottom of each post asking people to either contact you for more information, or build your list by having them sign up for your newsletter and receive a free give away.
If they continually enjoy what you are writing in your blog posts, it will be a natural progression for them to want to get notified by e-mail via your newsletter each time you write and add a new post to your blog.
9. Repurpose to Article Directories
Once an article is written for your blog, that doesn’t mean that’s the only place you can post it. There are several websites that are literally a directory of articles. These article repositories take submissions from anyone and if approved, will display your article in their site.
Some example directory sites include many great directories. You can also repost your article in LinkedIn Pulse and Medium for more exposure.
10. Opens New Doors for Opportunities and Global Networking
Lastly, because of the above factors, your brand visibility increases a huge amount when you blog on a consistent basis.
This means more people will get to know of you, which opens up a lot of potential opportunity to create JV partnerships with those that complement your business, being a guest author on other blogs, being invited to expert interviews and more.
There you have it! Are you ready to get committed to blogging now?
Blogging is one of the strongest long-term strategies that you can do for your business. If you aren’t consistently writing on your blog already, you shouldn’t ignore its benefits any longer.
So I suggest getting past the excuses and do what it takes to not only get a blog installed in your website but create a consistent editorial calendar in order to reap the financial benefits for your business.
What are your biggest challenges about blogging?
As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River's University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General's Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program. http://evisionmedia.ca