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These days nearly everyone has a blog. They range in content from the serious to the downright bizarre. For bloggers, amassing a collection of followers can sometimes lead to much bigger events than thought was ever possible from writing their views online. This reason alone is why business owners and entrepreneurs should look at blogging for another boost to business. Gathering followers, sharing with other bloggers and keeping your customers engaged in your brand is becoming a major trend in its own right. So how should you blog to help your business the most? Below are some thoughts from several entrepreneurs.
Sharing why you do what you do
Through investing effort and time in to writing on behalf of your business you are given an opportunity to evince why it is you do what you do. Considering the generally less formal nature of blogging brands are able to include personality, passion and quirk, which encourages your customers to subscribe to how your company works and why you do what you do what you do. If we are to subscribe to the thoughts of Simon Sinek the why is key, as it is the driving force behind your customers spending habits, alongside price and need. Blogging is a great way to meet with customers who are in the early stages of their conversion cycle, and introduce yourself as a brand. Writing evergreen and instructional content for potential customers means they are empowered to move closer to the buying stages of their cycle, whilst simultaneously introducing your brand. Split the content up in to a series and you can even make them sign up for the remainder of the content to be accesible, giving you access to their inbox and establishing their needs based on the nature of the content; win,win,winning!
Thanks to Tom Gregan, Yoda
Answering questions from customers
Many companies hesitate in creating a blog for their business because they’re not sure what to write about. But one of the best ways to identify that is to make a list of the questions that you typically hear from customers and prospects. This would include questions that are being asked of the customer support team, of the sales team, of top-level management, and of other areas inside your organization. If your customers and prospects are turning to the web and search engines to find answers to those questions, do you want them to receive the answer from your competitor’s website? Or from yours? By having a blog that consistently provides content that is relevant to your audience and that provides guidance & answers, you will start to see real, business-oriented results from your company’s blog.
Thanks to Jason Pinto, CBG Benefits
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A reason for your customers to come back without feeling like you're selling to them
A blog is a great way to promote your business and be of service. It provides a fresh stream of content that a static website can't. People sometimes need to warm up to your business before they are ready to purchase. Your blog is a reason for them to come back without feeling like you are selling to them. Ways a business can use a blog is: providing a tutorial on using your product, you can do case studies on clients that have gotten spectacular results with your business or you can provide free content that compliments your business. I run a web design business, and I often provide wordpress or photoshop tutorials. Once people get a taste of how the public reacts to simple tweaks, they are more open to having a professional remake it.
Thanks to Trinidad Pena, Trinidad Pena – Branding + Design
A smart way to distribute your company news
Blogging is a smart way to distribute your message: whether it's announcing a new product or campaign, sharing insight from your CEO or starting a conversation about a trend in your industry, blogging is a great way to create buzz. Plan an editorial calendar so topics vary from week to week. Encourage contributions from several employees, so the writing varies but maintains a clear brand voice. Include links to your site and other companies you mention. When they search for their company and pick up your blog, they will likely link to it, creating a new traffic venue for your company… Promote different blog posts different ways. Some may be more Facebook-friendly, while LinkedIn may be a smarter promotional tool for other topics.
Thanks to Hassan Bawab, Magic Logix
Centralizing your social media presence
My website is also a blog and the way I centralize my social media presence. I realized that clients would stay tuned to the alternative health classes I provide and new client services if I blogged. Gluten-free cooking is only a minor part of my business, but it's central to the blog because recipes are more transferable to clients than personalized health advice. In today's business world, clients rarely return to a company's website unless new, useful content is available, and email newsletters aren't quite as useful as they used to be either–it's not like any of us are receiving less spam these days.
Thanks to Melanie Angelis, The Grecian Garden
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Giving answers to the tough questions
If you're just starting blogging or looking for ways to be more effective do this: write down every question any customer asks you. Then blog about them. If one customer has that question, the chances are very high that your website visitors also have that question. And don't shy away from the tough questions. Every industry has questions consumers ask that all your competitors are ignoring – these should be the first ones you answer. For example, most companies shy away from the question “How much does [insert your product or service] cost?” Even if the answer is “it depends,” you should be blogging about it. What does it depend on? What's the average cost? What's the high and low end cost? Answer your website visitor's questions with real, valuable information like that and it'll grow your business. Guaranteed.
Thanks to Ben Kalkman, Rocket Media
Strengthen your brand loyalty
For businesses looking to increase their online presence and influence blogging can be a tremendous opportunity. Blogging allows businesses to strengthen their brand loyalty by continuously providing updates and niche information surrounding their business. Not only does this allow businesses to communicate with their current customer base, but it is also a tremendous advantage in increasing their online presence. Companies that use a flagship website can create a blog page to internal link throughout their site. Internal linking or using blog posts to link to other pages within a website can strengthen the authority across a domain, and allow link juice to spread to multiple pages. Blogging also increases the size of a website allowing more pages to potentially rank on search engines for different keywords, thus increasing the traffic coming to a website. With search engines like Google awarding websites for fresh content and usability the trend towards blogging will only increase in the future. If you aren’t currently blogging or haven’t implemented a blog on your website, building one could be a great marketing opportunity for your business.
Thanks to Mark Bechtholt, Seorce
Consistently engage customers
Business owners and entrepreneurs should use blogging as way to consistently engage their customers. Blogs can establish business owners and entrepreneurs as experts in their respective fields. Those blog posts becomes content that can be used to engage their customers (and people like their customers) through social media channels. The reason is simple: use the blog posts as a way to continually drive traffic to a website by providing valuable content. That's the key because the content has to bring value to the customers and potential customers, or it will be ignored. Successful bloggers understand the needs of their customers, and they take time to consider that before they write.
Thanks to Carisa Miklusak, tMedia
Showing yourself as an expert in your field
A blog positions you as the pre-eminent expert and thought leader in your field. Adding fresh content to your website keeps you in Google's good books, which means your website is more likely to appear on page one of Google search for your niche. Email the latest blog post to your list. This keeps you top of mind so they are more liketly to come to you when they are ready to buy. Use an email marketing platform so you can track who opens, who clicks on a link, number of unsubscribes. (I use iContact but there are many good ones to choose from.) An attention grabbing subject-line increases the open rate. My home page has an online form for people to sign up to receive the newsletter; so it's attracting new sign-ups, exceeding the number of inevitable unsubscribes, and building my list. Frequent communication (every one to two weeks is fine) creates a relationship with your readers, so they get to know, like and trust you. Over many years my list has grown to nearly 8000 contacts of prospects and clients. Writing in short bursts of 250-500 words is not only do-able but mentally satisfying. I'm writing a book series one blog post at a time.
Thanks to Nina Sunday, Brainpower Training Pty Ltd
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Show that your business is on the forefront
Blogging is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert in your industry and to show that your business is as at the forefront of trends. As a small business, you need to build credibility to compete with larger businesses and developing a reputation as an expert by producing high-quality content that you share through your blog is one of the easiest ways to do that. To get started, make a list of the most frequently asked questions that your potential customers have and then begin to create a post to articulately answer each of these questions. Add a new educational post to your blog at least once a week (optimized for your keywords, of course) and you'll begin to be seen as a resource to your potential customers, not just as a salesperson, and to improve your SEO at the same time. For the best results, remember to share your posts through your social media channels to reach the largest possible audience and be responsive to questions and comments posted on the blog.
Thanks to Cate Costa, Venture Catalyst Consulting