Blogging for Business

Businesses that blog get 70% more leads than businesses that don’t.

I read this in a marketing newsletter a few years ago. It surprised me and maybe that’s why it stuck in my head.

Since then I’ve learned that consistent blogging is useful for building your brand. It makes sense that the more you contact your customers, the more they trust you. Ideally they think of you when they need your product or service.

I put this to the test last spring when I teamed up with two expert gardeners to create a series of workshops on growing food. We were on a shoestring budget so we blogged every other day to start. Then we went to twice a week, then weekly.  It wasn’t too difficult with three of us contributing. (See www.GrowFoodCalgary.com.)

The results were amazing! Within days of launching our blog we shot up to the top of search engine rankings on many important keywords.

Of course blogging wasn’t the only tactic in our strategy but I became a believer in blogging. Now I counsel all entrepreneurs to blog.

5 Reasons to blog:
  1. Blogging is an inexpensive way to have conversations with your customers and potential customers.
  2. Blogging is a personal touchpoint. To build a brand (bond) with your customers, you need many touchpoints. Personal touchpoints like blogs outperform ads.
  3. Blogging helps you position yourself as an expert. Increased credibility leads to trust, which leads to sales.
  4. Blogging boosts Search Engine Optimization (which means people looking for you or what you have to offer can find you by inputting certain words into a search engine.) SEO almost takes care of itself when you blog. Save money on SEO by simply writing good content that is relevant to your audience.
  5. Blogging leads to more income. Better relationships with your customers translates into increased revenue.

Are you convinced to blog yet?

You’ve decided to start blogging, but how?

10 Tips on Blogging Successfully
  1. Brainstorm topics. Create a list on paper or your favourite device of all topics, catchy titles, questions, anything related to you, your art, and the people you’d like to buy your art.
  2. Select a blog provider. There are many. This blog is on WordPress. Choose from dozens of free templates and start almost immediately.
  3. Begin writing your first blog. Choose a topic that you know well from your list. Create an outline: Here’s one way: Grab your audience with a good title, hook them with a great opening, tell them an engaging story, make a  compelling  point, and finish by helping your audience apply it to their lives.
  4. Keep it short. 350 to 500 words is enough. The thought of writing a huge article can be daunting and cause procrastination and paralysis!
  5. Read it out loud. It’s amazing how stilted our written work can become. You’re having a conversation so keep it real.
  6. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit mercilessly, removing any words that don’t need to be there. Check spelling. Improve grammar. Choose stronger verbs.
  7. Enlist an editor/proofreader. A fresh set of eyes make a difference. (Your spouse or co-worker will do!)  We tend to get wrapped up in our work and we miss errors.
  8. Include a good quality image. Ideally you have your own pictures but accessing free and low cost images is easy. Readers are more likely to read blogs with images.
  9. Do not neglect the details. In WordPress, they provide a TAGS section where you can input keywords. This step is vital for Search Engine Optimization.  A well-written blog will include words and phrases that your audience will use in their searches. (See the tags for this blog below).
  10. Add blogging to your calendar. For example: make an appointment to write your blog outline on Thursday. Flesh it out Friday. Edit Saturday. Share with your editor/proofreader  Sunday. Post Monday. The most effective blogs are consistent. Adding blogging to your calendar helps you be consistent.
Blogging Bonus

Besides creating a stronger bond with your customers, positioning yourself as an expert,  and attracting new customers, here is another bonus to blogging:

If you were to blog weekly, (with two weeks vacation!) in one year, you have 50 chapters in your book!

Some of the best-selling books were born from the author’s weekly blog or email newsletter.

Writing a book is a great way to position yourself as an expert. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, blogging could be the push you need to get going.

Blogging is good business. Are you convinced yet?

 

Shelley Goldbeck is a partner in S2Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills. 

 

 

 

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