Content Strategy

Blogging Vs. Blogging For Business

You’ve started your business blog with the goal of driving traffic to your site, converting traffic into leads and generating sales. You may have seen the stats on how successful blogs do this: if not have a look at my recent presentation on What’s The Point Of A Business Blog. You’ve understood the basics of blogging for business: add value, no hard sell, engage with your audience. But nothing’s happening. No increase in leads, no spike in sales. Are you blogging for the sake of blogging, or are you blogging for business?

How To Blog For Business

First off have you taken the advice “no hard sell” too literally? Are you avoiding mentioning your products or services so you don’t appear too “salesy”? While an overpowering salesperson is never an attractive proposition, if you don’t promote yourself just a little, it’s no surprise that your blog isn’t making you any money.

It’s all about getting the balance right; providing that engaging, informative, relevant content and educating potential customers about your products or services. Subtly, and persuasively, citing your offering in the context of your post, where relevant and appropriate. This is acceptable practice, when your “plug” also adds value.

How might you do this?

  • Use images of your products to illustrate your posts with a link to their product page.
  • Add a call to action such as “if you need help with your business blog leave your questions below or contact me directly”.
  • Include your product or service as one of the solutions to an issue your blog post is addressing. Make sure you also have plenty other options for impartiality.
  • Provide links to further information about your service, if relevant to your post, this page will naturally be pitched to generate leads.
  • Use your blog to direct readers to your email list through free downloads, follow opt-ins, newsletter emails etc.

Have You Pitched Your Blog At Potential Leads?

One common mistake people make is to write for the wrong target audience. For example if you are in video production you may share a post about new developments in video technology. But does your target audience want to read about this? Are they searching for “video technology”? Probably not. They are more interested in how your services can help them, not whether your new camera can do the job or not.

It’s tempting, and easier, to write for your industry peers, your blog then becomes a forum for discussing your field of interest but this doesn’t generate sales. However there can be a fine line between a peer and a potential client. For example one of my clients is a renewables expert; his target audience are homeowners and industry professionals (architects etc.). He has to strike a balance between both audiences, ensuring that he pitches posts at a level both his peers and potential customers can engage with.

Include Your Blog In Your Sales Strategy

Business blogs need to be integrated into your sales strategy, not a freestanding channel with no direction. Your sales strategy should influence your blog strategy, it should include:

  1. A well thought out schedule for blogging on key subjects relevant to your business and customers.
  2. An agreed strategy for generating leads. Everything from the widgets in your sidebar for signing up or visiting other areas of your site, CTA in your posts, links to relevant pages of your site, targeted promotion of your posts, email follow up, and how you respond to comments on your blog.

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