Have you ever wondered what stops you from blogging about your business or practice?
I reckon there are two big reasons that stop many of us, including myself.
The first is lack of information. We don’t know how to do it properly. This is surprising because we can now get information on almost anything, including how to blog, from Dr Google.
The second reason is more personal: writing a blog post exposes our vulnerability and this is just too painful. Method and motivation are both missing.
You CAN have a successful business blog
This blog post addresses the first of these reasons, lack of information, you don't know HOW to blog, hoping to convince you CAN blog. With a moderate amount of application and practice, you can overcome the hurdle of not knowing how to do it and blog successfully. You can use blogging to attract more people to yourself and what you uniquely offer.
And even if you think you know how to blog, you might learn something that adjusts your thinking just a little. I did.
Until recently, I thought I knew roughly how to blog - keep writing posts and send them to your list; add in some personal stuff where appropriate; include an offer and your contact details including a sign up for your newsletter.
Then a friend sent me a copy of An Introduction to Business Blogging: How to Use Business Blogging for Marketing Success by Magdalena Georgieva, published by HubsSpot.com. Reading this, I realised that my understanding of blogging was, indeed, rough!
Introduction to Business Blogging is written at the introductory level, meaning that it contains step by step instructions on the basics. A good place to start!
People come in different varieties and so do blogs
Did you know that with blogging, one size doesn’t fit all? On reading this ebook, I realised that I was very hazy on the different kinds of blogs, for example, media blogs and personal blogs.
A business blog, unlike a blog written to promote a hobby, must have a business goal - making money. Making money typically starts with generating qualified leads; in other words, finding people who need and want and are prepared to pay for what you have to offer. One way of attracting these people is to blog about topics related to your business.
Your business goals set the framework for what matters about your blog
The business goals you set determine how you will measure your success in reaching these goals. For example, if your aim is to generate qualified new leads - a central business goal - then the number of times one person clicks on your site makes little difference to achieving that goal because that person is only going to account for one lead.
Some vital statistics
- Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors.
- B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t.
- A successful business blog is well optimised, well promoted, rich in content and more frequently published blogs have been shown to attract more traffic and leads.
How a business blog can support your business
A business blog can expand your visibility on the web, enable you to influence your industry and increase your number of new leads. But it must be done properly! You need to find the right content for your audience, you need to optimise your blog, promote it and measure its success. Georgieva gives pointers on all of these including four blogging best practices:
Blogging best practices
- Think like a vertically integrated publisher. I was a bit puzzled by this one but it seems to mean simply that as business bloggers, we need to pay attention to a variety of audiences: our existing customers want value, meaning relevance to their issues; prospective customers need to be informed, entertained and wooed; and we need to blog within a structure that generates new leads to ensure the ongoing growth of our business.
- Focus on non-brand keyword content. Again I found this rather technical! What this seems to mean is that you should keep the bigger picture in mind when you blog. Don’t write about yourself and your services and products. Rather, focus on discussing things like industry best practices and answering customer queries relating to the industry. We can rephrase this as, remember the distinction between marketing and selling. Marketing is persuading someone of the need for something like your product (what you should, as a business owner, be aiming to do in your blog): selling, on the other hand, is persuading them that your product or service is what they will buy right now as the solution to their pressing problem (which, generally speaking, you shouldn’t be aiming to do on your blog).
- Ask readers what they want. Ah, I can make sense of this one! We all know how popular surveys are. Why not use a blog post to find out what your readers are really interested in learning? Georgieva suggests that questions should address topics for future posts and types of content readers prefer such as text, audio or video. Surveys should also include space for readers to include their own personal suggestions. Just click on Reply!
- Connect your blog with your website. This makes sense. Many websites allow you to create a blog on your site. Wordpress would be the outstanding example of this.
You may already be blogging. Keep going.
If you have never written a blog post, I hope that this post has inspired you to start. Find the resources you need to create a business blog that helps you grow your business.
In my experience, blogging can be fun and satisfying. Writing my blog has provided me with an outlet to talk about many of the things I am most interested in and passionate about.
What will you blog about? What do your prospective readers want to know about? What is the potential of the kinds of products and services you offer to transform these readers’ lives?
Whatever you choose, start now. Go to www.hubspot.com now and download some of their free resources. Write your first post. Choose a question that your customers often ask and answer it. It won’t be your best post but it will be your best post yet! Just do it!
Once you have written your first post, tell me what was the hardest thing about it and your biggest reward?
Dr Justus H Lewis is a Thought Leader and Mentor who works with people who want to make the world a better place, starting with themselves, their health, their relationships and their business or practice. Her personal motto is ‘Say Yes to Life!’