Should I blog for business?
Do I need a blog for MY business?
All these questions are very valid ones.
There is no right or wrong answer.
Beware of anyone who says you “have to blog for business”.
Let’s dive in to how to blog for business.
1. You need a business before you need a blog
Let’s get this straight – a blog is a TOOL, not a business.
Before you start blogging you need to get clear on what your business does.
- Who are you helping?
- What services/products are you selling?
More often that not, people need a business model, not a blog. You need to get clear on what your goal is.
If you have an existing business and want to blog then read on.
2. Get absolutely clear on what you want to achieve with your blog
Blogging for the sake of blogging is only going to get you so far.
If you are blogging for show and not for dough that’s fine but be clear in your mind.
Otherwise you might wake up one day to a tough reality.
You need to focus your efforts with your blog so that it helps your business.
3. Create content that provides value to your CUSTOMERS
Yes, write for one audience, and one audience only; your customers.
Y’know, those people with the money to pay you?
A common mistake I see (and yes, I have done it in the past) is writing posts that are for your peers, the people who are in the same niche as you. You get comments, you get shares, you get that delicious spike in traffic but does that = money? Rarely.
Before you hit publish ask yourself ONE question
“How will this help my reader become a client?”
Go back to basics, use the same skills you were taught when you were about 13:
- Answer the question. (the questions your customers have your products and services)
- Never assume your reader has prior knowledge of you or your subject.
- Keep your content simple, easy to follow.
- Don’t assume your reader will dig deeper into your content to find out more about what you are talking about.
- Expose a problem in the industry you serve.
- Offer a solution.
The last point is probably the most important.
Bloggers like to rant. We all love a good rant but how does that help your customers?
Got that? On to business side of this and some secret marketing fairy dust:
- Do not overload the reader with information.
- If you can chop something up into several posts DO.
- Be demonstrative of your skills and the benefits of your reader.
- Make sure you have a call to action, what do you want the reader to do next? Share? Subscribe? Buy?
4. Don’t get distracted by the tools
I’m passionate about getting the MOST out of the tools.
I also love getting results on a budget, actually, I LOVE getting that champagne taste on a beer budget 🙂
- A blog is a tool. Remember that. It is NOT a business. It’s a part of your business.
- DO go for a wordpress site. It’s easy to build on.
- DON’T waste your time with a fancy Flash site – not only are they annoying, they are unfriendly for your mobile phone readers and search engines will hate you (and not rank your awesome content in searches)
- If you are small business owner or a solopreneur you don’t need to worry about fancy all-in-one systems for a while, maybe never!
5. Don’t call yourself a blogger
If you want to blog for business then don’t call yourself a blogger.
It’s like calling Picasso a painter. Yes, Picasso painted, he also sculpted, made ceramics, he made drawings, and so much more. He was an ARTIST.
Know the difference. Make the distinction.
Keep your job description clear in your mind (fill in the gaps below).
“I am __________ and I do ___________ and I am blogging to grow/enhance my business.”
Freeing yourself from the title of “blogger” will stop you feeling like you have to post everyday, or every week.
Instead, focus on creating valuable, timeless content that can be referred to for months and years to come.
You are not a daily newspaper, you are a business with a different goal.
Write what your customers need to read in order to become customers.
6. Don’t get distracted by your audience
If you are blogging for dough, and not for show you need to listen up.
Social media gurus and experts will tell you that you have to create a community, you need to be social.
My opinion? It goes back to your goal. The only question you need to ask is “How is this going to help my business?”
Who are you writing for?
For your peers? Guarranteed to build an awesome community; a community of people doing the same stuff as you.
For comments? Can you pay your bills with comments? Is replying to your comments an effective use of your time?
For traffic? Focusing on traffic can hurt your business. Focus on quality vs. quantity, ONLY.
The only person you should consistently write for are the people you want to attract to become customers.
You need to concentrate on differentiating your content as either:
- Solving a problem by giving a solution
- Providing something wonderful, self gratifying, and downright hilarious.
Now go, make some dough or make me laugh, or maybe do both 🙂
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