The Truth About Blogging for Business

Posted on January 27, 2015. Filed under: Blog, Business, Marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

The-Truth-About-BloggingThere are many advantages to starting a business blog.  In fact, I talked about one of the major benefits of a business blog in my blog post, How to Use Blogging to Build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor  for Your Business,  but what most people don’t necessarily talk about is the “truth” about blogging.  So in this blog post I will uncover some of the truths about blogging for your business:

  1. Blogging for business has become very popular in the last five years or so, which has created a crowded blogging world and with so many things grabbing people’s attention, it takes time to get results from your business blog (it can even take years),  so if you think blogging for your business will bring you a ton of clients quickly, think again.
  2. Creating content for your blog takes time.  You have to think about the content you want to post, then you have to create the content, and then you have to promote the content, this can take a lot of your time and effort.  For example, on average it can take up to two hours to create the blog post, it may take an additional 10-20 minutes to promote the posts on your various social networks, so one blog post can take almost three hours, so depending on how many blog posts you produce per month, this can be very time consuming
  3. A large percentage of business owners, coaches and consultants manage all aspects of their blog themselves.  According to coSchedule, 58% of business bloggers are solo bloggers.  That means they are the content manager, the copywriter, the graphic designer, the promoter, and everything else for the blog, which can become overwhelming because of the different elements of running a business blog as well as keeping up with running a business!
  4. Many blog posts go largely unnoticed.  You put all the time and effort into creating content for your blog, and then nobody reads it.  That is why promoting your blog post is an important part of blogging for your business.  You can promote your blog posts to your email list, on social media, etc.
  5. A large percentage of business blogs die after a few months because many business owners, coaches and consultants can’t find the time to keep up with the blog.  In fact, according to a recent survey by coschedule, 22% of respondents said their biggest challenge when it comes to blogging is finding time, which makes it easy to see why so many business blogs end up in the blog grave yard.
  6. Most people will not comment on your blog.  One of the great things about blogs is the ability to create conversations, because people are able to comment on your blog posts, but the statistics show that the majority of people who may read your blog, will not comment on your blog post, which can make it hard to gauge if you are engaging your audience.

So, if you decide to start a business blog, keep these truths in mind and check out my blog post The 5 C’s of a Successful Business Blog.

Do you have a business blog?  Are you thinking about starting a business blog this year?

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The 5 C’s of a Successful Business Blog

Posted on December 22, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Educating, Marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The 5 C's of a Successful Business BlogAs a small business owner, blogging can play a key role in your marketing strategy.  As mentioned in my prior post, How to Use Blogging to Build the Know, Like and Trust Factor For Your Business, blogging allows you to build those key factors that can allow you to have an advantage in the marketplace.

In order for your blog to be successful, you need to follow the 5 C’s of Blogging:

  1.  Content-  The first and most important part of your blog is your content.  You should decide on the main topic for your blog (i.e. business, gardening, etc.) and then decide up to three sub-categories for your topic (i.e. business- marketing, leadership, productivity; gardening-  fruits, vegetable, flowers; etc.).Once the topic and sub-categories have been decided, then the next thing is deciding whether you are going to come up with original content or content that you curate.  In order to show your expertise in your particular area, having original content is very important.  That is how you showcase what you know and show your knowledge in your area.  However, coming up with original content consistently can be a difficult task, so sometimes it helps to curate other people’s content.  Use what they have posted about your area or expertise and write a response or a differing opinion to the original article, or just reposting what they have written also works too.  As long as the content is relevant and will resonate with your audience then using other people’s content is fine.  The biggest thing when it comes to curating content is giving credit to the original source of content, your goal is not and nor should it ever be to take their content as your own, so always give credit where credit is due.  This is especially important when it comes to copyright infringement, you do not want to plagiarize, so be sure to site where your content is coming from.
  2. Community-  Your blog posts should be targeting a specific community.  Your goal in blogging is not just to add value by informing your readers, but to also create followers which become your community.  Having a community of people who are like-minded and enjoy your content can do wonders for your business.  When you create a community, you create loyal followers who can become loyal customers, so knowing that you are creating a community for your blog is also helpful.
  3. Conversations-  You want your blog posts to create conversations.  The great thing about blogs compared to articles online is the fact that blogs allow people to converse about the particular topic that you have posted.  You want to create conversations around your topic, so it is not a one-way street, but a two-way conversation with the writer of the blog and the audience.  The ability to have a conversation, adds another level of connection with you and your audience, so make sure that your blog posts create a level of conversation around your industry or topic.
  4.  Consistency-  I believe there is a Blog grave yard,  so many people have good intentions to start a blog, but couldn’t or didn’t keep up with blogging consistently, so their blog died!  When you make the decision to start a blog for  your business, you have to be consistent with posting on the blog.  You have to decide what makes sense for your business.  If you are able to blog weekly that’s great, if you can only blog bi-weekly that’s fine too, the least amount of commitment would be blogging once a month.  Of course there are benefits to blogging more frequently especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and people finding your content online, but you want to take on a frequency that will be able to fit into your business.  Blogging on a daily basis is not viable for the average business so you have to figure out what frequency works best for your business.
  5. Convert-  As a small business owner, one of your blogging goals should be to convert your followers to customers.  By sharing your content with your readers people start to view you as knowledgable or an expert in your field.  Once they have that level of trust in your knowledge and your blog talks about solutions, if they are in the market for what your company offers, they will naturally see you as a solution and become a customer, which ultimately is what you want.  Having strong call-to-actions (i.e. click here, sign-up now, learn more, etc.)  on your blog helps with converting people to your website pages, or sales pages for your product or service.

Are you currently blogging for your business?  If so, what other C’s do you think are an important part of blogging?

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How to Use Blogging to Build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor for Your Business

Posted on December 8, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , |

Blog Post-  How-to-Use-Blogging-toAs an entrepreneur or small business owner, standing out from your competition is really important.  Creating a unique statement that tells why you’re different is good, but as we know, people really like to buy from people they know, like, and trust, and a simple statement as to why you are good, may not be enough.

A great way to establish the know, like and trust factor is by blogging.  Blogging is a great marketing strategy because if you consistently blog and promote your blog posts you will build an audience who will begin to know, like and trust you based on the content that you publish.

So let’s break down the way you can use a blog in order to establish the know, like, and trust factor and grow your business:

KNOW

Your blogging goal as an entrepreneur or small business owner is to become known as an expert in your field.  People like to buy from people who are knowledgeable, helpful, and show that they care.  Through your blog you can become known for providing valuable tips, tools, and techniques in your industry. If you consistently put out good content on your blog and that content is shared, this will help you to grow your “Know” factor.

LIKE

Another blogging goal is for people to get to like you.  Your tone, writing style, and the content you provide on your blog should help with the like factor.  Keep in mind your goal is not to be liked by everyone, but to be liked by your ideal target audience.  When you know who you are talking to, and what their needs are, then you will be better able to create content that resonate with your target audience.  Therefore, they will end up liking your content, and therefore, liking you.

TRUST

And lastly,  your blogging goal is to build trust with your audience.  This is a big one because people may buy from people that they don’t know that well, and may even buy from people they don’t always like, but they have to have a level of trust in you, your company, or your service in order to buy from you, so building the trust factor is really important.  You can build trust with your audience by practicing what you preach, by doing what you say you are going to do, by being professional, by being reliable and consistent.  When you show up on your blog consistently and provide good information, you are helping to build the “Trust” factor with your audience.

There are many factors why you should consider blogging in your marketing strategy and growing the know, like, and trust factor is just one reason why entrepreneurs and small business owners should be considering blogging.   Are you currently blogging for your business?  If so, do you feel blogging helps to build the know, like, and trust factor for your business?  Share your opinion in the comments below.

 

 

 

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The 3 R’s of Relationship Marketing

Posted on September 23, 2014. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 3 R's of Relationship MarketingIn my previous post, How to Grow Your Business with Relationship Marketing, I defined Relationship Marketing as the activities involved in building a greater connection with your clients, prospects and partners.  This strong connection often leads to the sale of products or services, and also increases loyalty to your brand or company.

The benefits of using Relationship Marketing strategies in your business include the following 3 R’s:

  1. Referral Business-  Referral business can be one of the best ways to get business, because a referral basically comes with an endorsement from the person who is doing the referring.  A great source of referrals comes from current clients, partners, and even your prospects, so building a strong relationship with your clients, prospects, and partners becomes vital for your business.  In order for someone to feel comfortable referring you, they must know, like and trust you.  When you use online relationship marketing strategies including, email, blogging, social media, etc., these activities help people to get to know you, like you and trust you, which in turn gives them confidence in referring your products or services to others.  Referrals can be a great source of new business and can be a large percentage of where you get your business from, so nurturing your relationships with relationship marketing is a great way to grow your business through referrals.
  2. Repeat Business–  Once a person becomes your customer by purchasing a product or a service, your next goal should be to stay top of mind so that they will purchase that product or service again if they need it, or they will consider your company for other products or services that they may need.  That’s why conducting relationship marketing with your current customers by practicing activities to nurture the relationship and stay top of mind will help with getting repeat business from your current customers.  Some relationship marketing strategies you can use for current customers include; Customer Appreciation Events, Sending Cards on special occassions including: Birthdays, Holidays, Anniversaries, Offering VIP discounts for current customers, etc.
  3. Retain Business–  It tends to be more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain the customers that you have, so it is important to nurture the relationships that you have with your current customers to make sure that you keep their business.  Some relationship marketing strategies to retain business include, showing appreciation for their business by sending “Thank You” cards, making follow-up calls to make sure they are satisfied with the service they have received or are receiving from your company, providing an excellent customer experience.  The customer experience includes pre-purchase, during purchasing, and post purchase.  How are you making sure that each step is a good encounter for your customer?

Are you using Relationship Marketing strategies to retain business and get repeat and referral business?  What are some other relationship marketing strategies you can use to grow your business?

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Do you need a Business Blog and a Business Website?

Posted on June 23, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Educating, Marketing | Tags: , , , |

Blog v. WebsiteIt may seem like a silly question, but what is the difference between having a blog and having a website?  And when it comes to your business strategy, do you need both?

With the popularity of blogs and social media, some companies are thinking they may not need a website.  Although a business can be successful without one, I feel it is important to have one.  Your website is your home base, the place on the internet where your company/brand lives.  All other places on the internet like blog platforms, or social networks are places that you rent space, so if you are serious about your business you don’t want to just RENT, you want to OWN!

According to dictionary.com, “A website is a connected group of pages on the World Wide Web regarded as a single entity, usually maintained by one person or organization and devoted to a single topic or several closely related topics.”  Your website really is the place where people will go to learn about your company.  Since people go there to learn about your company, your website should include the following:

  • The story of your business, including the who, what, where, when & how
  • A showcase of your products and/or services
  • Appropriate messaging directed to your target audience
  • A way to capture leads by offering an email opt-in form
  • A way to convert your visitors to purchases with the use of links to sales pages 
  • A way for people to contact you
  • Connections to your social media networks
  • Connection to your blog

So what is a blog and how does it differ from your website?

According to dictionary.com, “A blog is  a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.” Your blog is where you express your opinions and share your insights about your particular topic with your audience.  Your blog should be used for the following:

  • To show your expertise
  • To offer advice, tips, techniques related to your products and services, or your industry
  • To build an audience
  • To subtly promote your products and/or services
  • To build a community
  • To spread the word about your business
  • To capture leads when people subscribe to your blog
  • To convert visitors to purchase your product or service by using links to sales pages

So now that you know the difference between your website and your blog, do you need both?  It depends!  If you want to be known as an expert in your industry and you are committed to consistently blogging (posting articles) on your blog, then blogging should be included in your online marketing strategy, but if you are not sure you will have the time to consistently blog and be committed to maintaining your blog, then you should not start a blog.  Although it has many benefits, blogging is not for everyone!

On the other hand, having a home base for your business/brand is important, so I feel having a website is a MUST for a business while having a blog is OPTIONAL.

So what do you think, does a business need a blog and a website?  Do you have a business blog and a business website?

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The best way to get people to know, like and trust you online!

Posted on June 9, 2014. Filed under: Blog, Business, Business Development, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , |

The best way to get people to know, like, and trust you onlineWe’ve all heard the saying, “People do business with people who they know, like, and trust“.  I find one of the best ways for people to get to know you, like you, and trust you ONLINE is by BLOGGING.

So what exactly is blogging some may ask, according to dictionary.com, a blog is a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.  I will also add that a blog allows others to communicate with those writer’s by commenting on what they have posted!

First let’s take a look at a brief history of blogging.  The first “blog” started in 1994 and was known as Links.net, and the term “weblog” was coined in 1997, a few short years later “weblog” was  simplified to just “blog” in 1999.*

So how can blogging help your business?  Well, the fact that a blog allows you as a business owner to write about your experiences, observations, and opinions,  helps people to know more about you, your business, your business style, and the culture of your company.  Therefore, helping you to build on the “know” factor in the know, like, and trust formula.

In addition, the content that you post on your blog helps people to figure out if they “like” your style, your information, your point of view.  This helps with the “like” part of the know, like, and trust formula.

And thirdly, how consistently you post, how much you care about providing valuable information to your readers, and how knowledgable you are about your topic helps to build the “trust” part of the know, like, and trust formula.

In addition to helping you build your know, like, and trust factor online, blogging also helps you to become known as an expert in your field, which can lead to more business for you.

There are also technical reasons to blog for you business which includes Search Engine Optimization.  Now I am no SEO expert, but the basics of how blogging helps with your SEO is:

  1. It allows your website to stay current.  Search Engines prefer to share up to date information with the people searching for a particular topic, and if your blog is posting current information about a particular topic this could help you to rank higher in the search engines like google, yahoo, bing, etc.
  2. The use of keywords in your blog can also help with your SEO.   If someone is searching for a particular keyword and your website ranks high for the use of the keyword organically (existing on the page), then this can help you rank higher in the search engines.
  3. When people find the information on your blog useful and link to it from their websites, this creates backlinks to your website, which is great for SEO.

This is a short and simple list of how blogging helps with SEO, as SEO is a whole other topic that could be a whole blog itself (and as I mentioned, I am not an expert on SEO).

So what do you think?  Do you think blogging is one of the best ways for people to get to know, like, and trust you online?  Are you using blogging in your business?

 

 

*  Source-  New York Magazine

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