How to blog for business

how to blog for businessShould 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.

I don’t call myself a blogger – yes, I blog, but I blog for a specific reason; to create valuable resources to attract clients for my marketing consultancy and my brand identity visualisations.

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:

  1. Solving a problem by giving a solution
  2. 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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21 Responses to How to blog for business

    • And calling me a Southerner because I live in the South.. wait. I think something is lost on that one.

      Great advice here Ameena, there are too many people trying to be a blogger while the company is going to hell! Love that you help us all see it is a TOOL, only a tool.

      Love it all.

  1. Ameena,
    I read through this post and found myself nodding at many of the things in it that i have been guilty of.
    writing for my peers and commnent was one that i found i have done way too much of. I recently made a description of my idea customer and always think of that person when i am creating content and how i can help that person and what services i can offer them. I’m not quite there yet but it helps to have that person in my head as i work through it all.
    ps
    would love to know your thoughts on my recent video series about moving and living abroad when you have time.

  2. Hi Ameena,

    I’m starting to understand what I should be doing in order to focus on business. The reason I started slymarketing was first and foremost a way for me to learn blogging and more about marketing. Now I use it as a way to connect with people, keep learning and teach what I have learned.

    And, I want to continue to do that and I’m not seeing slymarketing as a business tool (well, sort of, since I’m getting a lot of connections this way), and that’s the reason why I am starting a new blog in Norwegian for my business. This blog will be all about business and I’ll separate the two blogs, because they’re focusing on different things.

    Have a great weekend Ameena.

      • That’s what I’ve been working on lately. I started slymarketing in order to learn marketing, and share what I’ve learned. Now, that I’m starting my own business, I’m thinking that it should be a business tool. But, my business will be a Norwegian business, on the other hand I can get international customers, and my Norwegian clients can read English, so hopefully they’ll look at slymarketing as proof that I have some interesting knowledge and can help their businesses with marketing 🙂

        I’m not quite ready with the business plan yet, that’s why I am so vague 🙂

  3. It can be SO easy to get caught up pointing out problems and ranting, but any fool can do that. The difference blogging and business blogging is intent. The intent should be to report on why the business exists (to solve said problems), how the business solves said problems, and what those dealing with said problems can do to enjoy the benefits of working with the business.

    And if the business truly puts making a difference ahead of making a profit? Next level, right there. Bam.

  4. Ameena, your straight-forward, spot-on descriptions always make me laugh because they are so true! I am guilty of 1, 4, and 6! I’m so excited about what my business blog will be like, that I occasionally forget that I have to create my business first. Pesky detail!

  5. I’m with you on all these points, but would add that sometimes – just occasionally – the blog CAN become the business! I started mine to promote another business and it has ended up being a business in its own right, with much more of a pay-off than the primary business it was supposed to promote.

    • Wow Linda, Thanks for sharing your experience. As you rightly said, it doesn’t always work that way though – your initial intention was not to make your blog into a business which I think is important to remember. All too often I see people setting up blogs thinking that’s how they are are going to make serious money – and usually it doesn’t.

  6. Hi Ameena,
    I just discovered you through comments on Marie Forleo. I have been focusing so much on starting a blog, that I have neglected to sit down and plot out my business IN DETAIL. I have lots of ideas floating around, but I have yet to figure it all out. Like Tammy said Pesky Detail! You are right though. The purpose of my blog will be to attract clients, so I need to have something to attract them to! I’m blogging for a little show and hopefully a lot of dough! Many thanks, I’ll be certain to contact you regarding marketing once I have something to market!!
    Fiona

    • Hey Fiona, yeah, a blog for the sake of blogging is cool if you are doing it for fun – if it’s for business it’s a rather annoying detail you need to get clear on before you start creating content! You are in a great position right now that you’ve not actually started – it’s really hard to change direction once you’ve started and then get the reality check that your business needs to have a goal before you start communicating!
      Good luck and keep me posted – sounds very exciting!

  7. This is exactly what I discovered recently that I do not like to call myself a blogger. And I do wanna concentrate on writing and not blogging. And I agree with Linda that sometimes a blog is the only platform where you can do business, reach out to people.. like travel blogging I guess. Thanks for this post 🙂

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