Why should you write a blog? If you are running your business online, then a blog is essential. You may be functioning on information overload right now. You have had way too many “systems” and “training” and “absolute must-have tools” for your business shoved in your face.
However, a blog is not one of them.
A few statistics from blog.hubspot.com:
- 61% of global Internet users research products online. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012)
- 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012)
- On average, we conduct 12 billion searches per month on the web in the United States. (Comscore, July 2014)
- The average click-through rate for paid search in 2010 (worldwide) was 2%. (Convario, January 2011)
- Businesses with websites of 401–1000 pages get 6x more leads than those with 51–100 pages. (HubSpot Lead Generation Lessons from 4,000 Businesses, 2011)
- 86% of consumers stated that using a search engine allowed them to learn something new or important that helped him/her increase his/her knowledge. (Pew Research Center, Search Engine Use 2012)
What does the above mean? It means one simple thing: people are searching for their products online before they buy! The importance of a blog is two-fold:
1. A blog will generate sales leads into your business.
When I hear about a product either through a friend or through direct marketing the first thing I do? Hit up Google. Go to Amazon. Check out reviews and videos and whatever else I can find on it. This means that if you offer a product online, having a blog will one of the places that is found when a potential buyer is searching for your item. If your potential buyer is interested in learning more about your product, they can enter their email to receive your newsletter.
2. A blog will differentiate you from your competition.
As described in (1) the buyer will be searching the internet for your product. If you are writing a blog and keeping it updated regularly, the user will stumble upon your blog. Here you will have included articles, photos, tips and other information about your product. You will also include personal details about yourself and your business. This puts a face to the name. This is called attraction marketing and it is the way that business is done online today.
Maybe the term attraction marketing is like a foreign language to you. Below I have listed 10 benefits you will enjoy in your business by maintaining a blog:
- Interact With Clients — Blogging gives you a hard and fast way to interact with your clients or customers. Through blog posts, you can post and receive comments on your content, and answer any questions or commentary that may come your way. It makes your clients and buyers feel like you care about their needs personally. And if you are a good business owner, you do!
- Help People — What is the reason for this interaction with your clients? To help them of course. If you are blogging to support your business, you are offering solutions to a particular problem or problems your clients are facing. Using your blog, you can help them with tips, strategies and instructions on how to utilize your products to the fullest.
- Build Relationships — By interacting and helping your customers and clients, you are building a trust relationship with these people where they will start to visit your place on the internet to find the answers to questions.
- Establish Authority — Posting daily content which answers questions and offers solutions to problems will highlight you and your Blog as the authority in the field. When your customer has a related problem, they know where to click.
- (Authority) Makes You The Expert — As mentioned above, you are now the expert in your field, thanks to all of your informative posts on your blog!
- Bring Like-minded People Together — Are you writing a personal fitness blog? Chances are people who are interested in personal fitness and staying healthy are going to be visiting your blog. And by drawing in those visitors, they will making valuable comments of their own and engaging in conversation with you.
- Marketing — A blog is more and more important in current day marketing. Consumers are out on the internet searching their own information about a product they are interested in. If you are offering a product, a blog is a way to market that product by offering valuable information about it, and what problem it is solving.
- Website Traffic — Drawing in the like-minded individuals and using your Blog for marketing, you will be drawing in traffic to your website. More Traffic = More Sales as well as…
- Search Engine Ranking — When you draw website traffic, the Google spiders are beginning to recognize your website as a source of authority. When Google recognizes your website as an authority, it will begin to move your website to the top of the list when relevant keywords are searched. How many of you scroll past the first or second page when searching for something??
- Generate Leads and Gather Emails — All of this marketing and traffic to your Blog can be meaningless if you are not gathering email addresses. The marketing list was and is still the most important thing. Your potential buyer will come to visit your Blog at will, but with your list, you can reach them at any time. This is especially useful when you have a new product to promote or have offers to share to draw them in.
Why Starting A Blog is Smart Business
Here is our practical step by step action plan to increase your visibility and attract more pre-qualified customers and business opportunity leads to your site.
No bells and whistles, no promises, just information from me, on what I have done to build my business to a full time, 100% online, successful venture.
If you are currently still trying to drive leads into your business by only posting pictures and frantic calls to action on your social media pages, you should stop immediately.
Blogs are a great way to increase your digital presence, making you more visible and “find-able” via Google, YouTube (the second largest search engine in the world) and to bring leads back from all of your social media channels.
Your blog can act like a machine that generates leads into your sales funnel. It’s a simple process:
- Create a piece of content — could be a blog post, video, audio or even a picture.
- Post the content on your blog
- Collect leads
Make sure that you give plenty of calls to action for your audience to share your content. The more traffic you attract, the more opportunities you’ll have for generating leads.
Having a blog with eye-catching social-sharing icons, particularly the big three: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, will provide plenty of opportunity for your audience to share your material. Having “share” icons encourages your visitors to share your content. This is where you are finding a way to reach 2nd and 3rd levels deep into your targeted niche of customers and leads. In addition, you, of course, will be sharing your blog material out to your social media audiences, as well as your marketing list!
Why Starting A Blog is Smart Business
What is the best way to get attention on social media through your content? To generate leads for your business?
Solve & Share. Your blog should focus on your customers. It should either solve their problems or share your resources.
- How can you determine what to write about?
- Focus on the problems your customers are asking about.
- Watch your social media feeds…
- What advice do they need?
- What problems do our products or services solve?
Also, check search engines.
- Log onto one of the big search engines and see what keywords people use when they are looking for information that you know you can solve.
- Doing your own research for frequently asked questions in your industry will prove tremendously valuable for understanding what to write about.
As readers opt in to your email list, you will be able to send them email updates and offers via your email auto-responder.
In addition to highlighting the solutions your product resolves using your blog, there are several ways to monetize a blog, a few of which are compiled below:
- Google Adsense — These are ad links that you can sign up to post on your blog through Google. You would choose products or services that make sense to the niche you are writing about. For example, if you are writing about health and wellness, you would post links to weight loss pills, or exercise videos.
- Affiliate Marketing — This is where you agree to promote someone else’s products or content for a commission. A lot of the time, especially in the digital marketplace, this can be quite lucrative because you can get up to 100% of the price.
- Write an E-Book — If you are creating your own product, you will get the entire sale. No commissions, no affiliate fees.
- Product Reviews — Amazon has a program where they will send you products to try, and you review them on your site. You can look at other affiliate programs and do the same thing and post the reviews on your websites. If someone reads your review, and is convinced to buy the product by clicking your link, you get the commission.
- Write tutorials and guides — This is similar to e-books. You can write free material and then also charge for more in depth material. Just be sure to do your research and charge a competitive price for it.
- Hold a paid webinar — You can also hold a training class in the form of a webinar and charge for it! There are simple ways to add pay pal buttons and charge a simple fee for joining your class. Everyone is getting their information from the internet, so this is a simple away to virtually teach people a skill.
A blog won’t magically drive business without active and ongoing promotion and participation. This will come naturally to you as you begin to assume the role of active owner in your home business instead of just another number on the web.
Are you convinced you should be writing a blog for your business?
We would be remiss if we did not include reasons NOT to have a blog:
However, there are some reasons why a blog WILL NOT work for you. And here they are….
- You’re Too Busy — I know I have talked a lot about Blogging and how important it is for your business, but it does take some work and some planning. Our current plan when blogging is to post 2 articles a week on a regular basis. This takes some research on our part — trending topics, keyword research, writing the article itself and the steps to post it into the IMU Blog.
- You Take Things To Heart — You get a negative comment on your article. Someone calls you out for a grammatical mistake. Oh well, sh*t happens. It’s not the end of the world! I find that when it comes down to it, you can’t please everyone! And, if you’re running a business, you’re looking for qualified buyers, so those who make comments like that aren’t going to buy from you anyway. There is a young man in my marketing group who gets so worked up. He’s 22. There’s also something to be said for life’s experiences and getting older. By the time you reach a certain age you just don’t care about that stuff anymore. Focus on the positive, supporting forces in your life and you will do fine.
- You Are Clueless — Who is reading this blog? Who am I even talking to? Spend some time analyzing your audience, via Analytics, Comments, what have you. The last thing you want to do is write a blog that is too broad. You have a specific person in mind as your customer, don’t you? Write the blog for that one person and it will duplicate naturally.
- You Suffer From Instant Gratification-itis — In today’s society, things come so fast and furious with all of the available technology that we naturally as humans expect results NOW. (Excuse me, where’s my latte?) Well, building readership and attracting people to your Blog takes time and research. You also have self-promote a bit…posting links on social media and LETTING PEOPLE KNOW you’re there!
- You Have No Plans To Do Anything With It — As I stated above, you have to put in effort to “do something with it”. Product content, share that content, track your results, make tweaks. You are running a business right?
My advice if all of the above rings true for you? Focus on training on how to make it better or hire someone more qualified to write for you. Try Fiverr or Upwork.com (formerly ODesk) to find cheap copywriters. Take care to try a few out though first to make sure they meet your standards.
Take pride in your products, take interest in building a thriving team, shout it out to the world that you are open for business! The easiest way to do this is through having your own blog.
Did this post help you understand how to increase your business leads? Know someone who would benefit from this post? Please feel free to share on your favorite social media site and share the knowledge!