The Blogosphere is here and it is not going anywhere. It’s not just for people talking about what they’re eating for lunch or the next celebrity tabloid. Blogging is big business for entrepreneurs and business owners. CEO Blog Nation recently launched a directory of business blogs and we regularly blog for entrepreneurs and business owners and there are numerous reasons to blog.
Rescue a CEO asked some businesses how they use blogging to help their business.
1) Announcements & Company News
My company uses our blog to announce new product features, improvements, partnerships, and any announcement that we'd like our audience to know about. We email our 1.8 million users our monthly newsletters, which include the biggest news of the month, which is linked to different blog posts further expanding on that news item. We also use our blog as a vehicle to showcase our partners and our partnerships, mutual promotion and collaboration via company blogs has been very effective.
Thanks to Leeyen Rogers, Jot Form!
2) Key Component
Blogging is a key component of our startups growth strategy. Since April we've been putting out 3 blogs per week and sharing them on Twitter regularly. This has helped us obtain over 25,000 visitors from Twitter alone in June and thought the blog posts are relatively new they're now starting to rank in Google which will begin getting us more organic traffic soon. We're going after competitive keyword phrases like: “How to get more Twitter followers” but it's beginning to work. Blogging is so important and should be a part of everyone's marketing strategy.
Blog post example: http://www.socialquant.net/get-more-twitter-followers/
Thanks to Mike Kawula, Social Quant!
3) Educating Business Owners
The TrustFile blog is used as tool for educating small business owners about the reality of sales tax compliance. We cover everything from fundamental startup basics to advanced tax compliance strategies for ecommerce sellers.. Our goal is to reduce the frustration business owners experience navigating the complex world of sales tax management.
Thanks to Ryan O'Donnell, Avalara TrustFile!
4) B2B & Consumer Efforts
At FranchiseHelp we have relationships with both franchisors and potential franchisees who we seek to connect. As a result we have two blogs that we operate on our website – one for our business to business efforts and another for our business to consumer efforts. The business to business blog gives advice to franchisors on how they can improve on their lead generation efforts based on our own experiences. We believe that providing them with advice and best practices based on our own experiences helps them but also shows that we have substantial expertise. Our consumer facing blog operates on a different strategy. It is designed to provide users with as much information as possible about opening a franchise so that they will be more inclined to pursue franchising. Ultimately both blogs have the same general goal – they provide users with high value content that makes them more interested in using our services.
Thanks to Tim Gilboy, Franchise Help!
5) Awareness & SEO
We use our blog to create and build brand awareness for LawnStarter, as well as aid in SEO efforts. Good content has the potential to become viral when shared through the right channels, whether that be social media or an authority site. When we post, we typically write about industry trends or tips that homeowners or consumers would enjoy. If used effectively, a blog can help drive your content to thousands (sometimes millions) of people for just a little bit of your time. If you have a business and aren't using your blog to grow your brand, you need to rethink your marketing approach.
Thanks to Ryan Farley, LawnStarter!
6) Lines of Communication & More
Our blog is an important line of communication with our customers, potential customers, and tech community. We blog to inform customers of happy news such as new feature rollouts, event sponsorships, and customer success stories. But, we also use it to transparently post not-so-happy news, such as a service interruption. We blog to bolster SEO and inbound marketing, sharing tips with our potential customers— anything from small business management to finding the right conference phone for your meeting room. And finally, we are huge open source software proponents, so we blog about new code contributions for developers in our field. It's thought leadership, but it's really thought collaboration that benefits our offerings at the end of the day.
Thanks to Rob Wolpov, OnSIP!
7) Showcase Entrepreneurs on TV
We use our blog to showcase all of the amazing entrepreneurs that have been on our TV Show, through writing articles and posting their video interviews. We have created a trans-media opportunity that creates a show, then gets it places over 100 different places with TV, radio, articles, press releases and social media. We have been able to get businesses tremendous exposure, including ending up on USA today.
Thanks to Bonnie Ann Bruderer!
8) Feature Products
We use our blog to feature products. With 350+ brands we have millions of products and in the day and age of info overload and furniture sourcing frustrations clients rely on us to pull out great options. We have a focused editorial calendar that uses this tactic but incorporates in several manors. For instance on Mondays we feature makeovers and talk to designers, decorators, architects, stagers even DIYers on what products they used and love. Tuesday is all about travel so we go around the world and look at the inspiration created by a design team to create a hotel or other property look, and of course we supplement it with with trends, new products and out favorites the rest of the week. One of my personal favorites is going behind the scenes on Fridays for our Fab Friday series to look at our vendors and how they got started …sort of a then and now. Despite being heavily involved in the furniture business myself, there is a such a storied past at each and every company and it usually involves family — having a lot of fun with that one.
Blog post example: https://remotestylist.com/the-va-coopers
Thanks to Kelly Fallis, Remote Stylist!
9) Cornerstone for Marketing
We use Blogging as the cornerstone for our Marketing. Blogging provides us with the opportunity to demonstrate, potentially on a global level, the passion and knowledge that we have for Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars. This in turn helps to re-assure our customers that we really do care about what we do. When done genuinely, Blogging helps to build and maintain the relationship between ourselves and our existing and potential customers to the point that, very often, our services require little, if any, direct selling. The interface that high quality Blogging can provide helps to break down, if not eliminate, the barrier to sales efforts. Once we have created a Blog piece, we use various online platforms to reach our audience, bringing them onto our site to read the Blog and then explore the services we offer. And because we act as a portal we are able to attract potential customers from all persuasions, Dealers, Buyers and Enthusiasts.
Blog post example: http://legendsoftheroad.co.uk/rolls-royce-models/wraith/
Thanks to Jeff Firmin, Legends of the Road!
10) Interview Successful People
I'm founder and CEO of Silverback Social. I use my blog to interview successful people that I can learn from. I have a section on my blog dedicated solely to success. I interview the most successful people I know. The interviews help my readers find success in their lives. They inspire me as well.
Thanks to Christopher Dessi, Silverback Social!
11) Share Messages
At C4 Belts we just started our blog recently! We wanted to have a place, other than in our social media to share messages with our fans. Most importantly, we wanted to be able to post videos, images, press releases, news and more that were searchable and permanent for our fans!
Thanks to Maile Cabral, C4 BeltsWebsite!
12) Position Myself
I use my blog to position myself as an expert, not to promote my business. I write two blogs weekly and then repurpose that original content on other social media platforms. I look for other bloggers that focus on my area of business and comment on their blogs. I find online forums that concentrate on my area of expertise and insert myself into the conversation. My goal is to get people interested in me so they start to mention me on their blogs. I also offer other bloggers my original content for their blogs, as well as asking others to be guest bloggers on my blog.
Blog post example: http://business360nw.com/are-you-a-game-changer/
Thanks to Barney Cohen, Business 360 Northwest!
13) Promote Community Partners & Friends
At Accent Inns we like to use our blog not just to promote our own product but even more so to promote our community partners and friends. Yes you'll see articles that relate to travel and ways you can involve an Accent Inn in your trip, but more often you'll see articles promoting one of our community partners events, talking about an event that we've had the pleasure of attending or just a repost or press release of one of the charities or sports groups that we support. Our logic behind this revolves around using our social media channels to help these groups reach an unexpected audience. Followers of their own blogs are already fans but followers or visitors to the Accent Inn blog in most cases will be new to the subject matter or the cause. In theory this should help them expand their own audience and hopefully gain more followers, supporters and donations. The Internet, via blogging and social media in general, has allowed us one more opportunity to give back to our community.
Blog post example: http://www.accentinns.com/blog/2015/6-didnt-bc-spca/
Thanks to John Espley, Accent Inns!
14) Generate Leads
An essential part of making sure that a blog generates genuine leads for us is to make sure that it is shared across social. Whilst a very small proportion of active LinkedIn users scroll through their news feed, we have had business leads generated from publishing blog posts through LinkedIn which can then be viewed via Pulse. Not only does it help establish credibility but also aids cross selling to current contacts.
Thanks to Simon Ensor, Yellowball!
15) Details about Various Things
We are a real estate/ architectural firm in Tulum, Mexico. Our blog posts give details about the region, its beauty, things to do, provide practical advice on choosing the land, constructing your house and decorating it, and also inform the readers about the benefits of real estate investing in Tulum. Our main strategy is a variety of different posts and topics in order to give a full range of interesting information for our readers. For example, we can write about turtle nesting season in one post and about the annual increase of real estate prices in Tulum in the next. We believe that by using this strategy we are giving the full panorama of what it would be like to live and invest in this beautiful region of the world, because owning a piece of real estate is not only about numbers.
Thanks to Raminta Lilaite, Riviera Maya Property Consultants!
16) Authority, Visibility and Engagement
Every entrepreneur entering a new market with a new product needs to establish three things very quickly to be successful: authority, visibility and engagement. In our experience at idio, we have found our blog is the best way to do this. A good volume of quality content enables entrepreneurs to be much more visible online, especially in search engine listings and in sharing on the major social networks. Need a first page ranking for relevant keywords? Content is the answer. Creating relevant content builds connections with prospects, and positions the company as an authority in its field. Every company has a huge amount of tacit knowledge in its marketplace, and the simple process of starting to turn this into simple, small posts can be a great way of building authority. Finally, content provides the foundation for entrepreneurs to have a deep and long engagement with potential customers. It requires little of the end-user, and should meet their informational needs. This engagement forms the basis for initiating customer relationships on a larger scale such as email newsletters featuring your blog posts, or using blog content in pay-per-click campaigns.
Thanks to Andrew Davies, idio!
17) Grow my Business
Blogging is the number one way that I've grown my business is through LinkedIn. I write a blog multiple times a week. From marketing tips to owning a business. In my blogs I dish out free information and tips to those in the business world. I want to take my knowledge and share it with anyone who can benefit from it. I've gotten prospect calls from across the country because they have read my blogs on LinkedIn.
Thanks to Kyle Reyes, The Silent Partner Marketing!
18) Articles Related to the Industry
We also have a blog, that we post articles on relating to the world of general aviation and private pilots. The blog has become extremely popular, and has become the number one traffic source for our business site. In addition, the blog has helped us secure jobs with companies such as Pilatus Aircraft, Keystone Aviation and the Recreational Aviation Foundation, as they were familiar with our business through the blog.
Blog post example: https://disciplesofflight.com/pilot-shortage-where-did-pilots-go/
Thanks to Jim Hoddenbach, Disciples of Flight Media!
19) A Couple of Goals
We utilize our blog with a couple of goals in mind. The first is to create compelling enough content to get people coming back to read. The second is to showcase our expertise on the topic of online reputation management. There are plenty of people out there who would like to learn how to manage their reputation on their own, and we provide the tools on the blog to make that happen. There are also people out there who may think they need to work with a professional, and we let those contacts come in organically.
Thanks to Bill Fish, ReputationManagement.com!
20) Humanize Your Company & Show Your Personality
A blog is a great place to humanize your company and show your personality. Business websites are typically very informational and, as a result, fairly dry in tone. A blog can be a great place where it's appropriate to show the human face of your company and make it so people feel like they're not just dealing with a big corporation. Talk about what activities your firm does together, what charities you're involved with, and tell stories about helping customers. You can communicate your values and show what makes you're company different — not just in terms of products and features, but from a personality standpoint.
Thanks to Marc Prosser, Fit Small Business!
21) Thought Leaders
As Founder and CEO of Company Folders, an innovative presentation folder printing company, I use my blog to establish myself and my company as a thought leader in print design. My goal is to provide print designers with tips and tricks that can help them do their jobs better and give them tangible results. People want to work with someone who is knowledgable; since my blog establishes my expertise, it creates confidence in my company and in me.
Thanks to Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders!
22) A Transformation
After becoming a mother, I decided to write a book and start a public speaking small business on the surprises and challenges of parenthood. However, after doing some research, I learned that most publishers would prefer to spend their money on a “sure thing”—someone who has demonstrated they can write, produced multiple publications, and who already has established a large following. So I started the Mama Lovejoy blog to transform myself into something closer to what a publisher wants. Currently, I publish articles 1-2 times per week mostly based on interviews with postpartum or pediatric experts or parents. The blog has turned out to offer so much more than I’d expected. It’s helped me to find a voice and it’s connected me in-person and electronically with thousands of incredible experts and parents. Old friends and colleagues have also come out of the woodwork to offer various marketing opportunities, ranging from a writing program sharing my “success story”, to my high school offering to include info on my blog in a class update, to publication in a magazine and on several other large blogs.
Example Blog Post: http://mamalovejoy.com/?p=372
Thanks to Cary Lovejoy Lawler, Mama Lovejoy!
23) Various Things
Blogging has become instrumental to the future success, visibility and legitimacy for businesses large and small. Blogs are no longer categorized as amateur or as merely opinion pieces, they are now viewed as the go-to information source for businesses. Blogging is so beneficial that we have made it a requirement that our marketing team blog every day of the week. Besides sharing information about new products and features, our blog serves as a forum for industry trends and expert advice. On a practical level, publishing these articles improves our SEO presence and helps drive organic traffic to our website. Blogging also supports our social media initiatives, as we repurpose the content on social channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Perhaps most importantly, blogging lets us engage with prospective customers outside of the sales arena. The added benefit of having our team members blog is that we discuss issues and topics that are relevant to our prospective and existing customers, which gives us the opportunity to develop our brand identity and build trust.
Thanks to Ted Hulsy, eFolder!
24) Reflects our Vision
At aboutLife, we are all about challenging the status quo, introducing new ways to manage personal finances and plan for the future. Our blog reflects our vision to challenge preconceived ideas that personal finances are boring, complicated and inaccessible. So we turn financial topics upside down. We use our blog to share these ideas with our customers and help them think of new ways to manage their own finances. To make financial toppics interesting, we give them a completely new and fresh angle that the financial industry has beaten to death. We also challenge the traditional way of managing personal finances by introducing out-of-the box ideas that support our company vision. Our latest blog post “How Keeping Up With The Kardashians Can Help You Save Money” talks about how we are using Behavioral Economics and Peer Comparison data to help people identify easy ways to trim their household budget. That way, we can introduce concepts that were once boring and difficult to understand and transform them into things that our readers can relate to in a fun, light-hearted way.
Thanks to Lidia Shong, aboutLife!
25) Source of Information & Resources
At the company I work for, ONTRAPORT, we have evolved our blog to be an effective source for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Having a blog full of resources and outstanding information for our clients and potential clients is valuable to our business as it relates to a major part of our company's mission – supporting entrepreneurs. Articles and posts on our blog vary from ways to build a better business, everything there is to know about entrepreneurial life, automating your business, marketing and entrepreneur and small business success stories and show others anything is possible. Doing this helps us to better support thriving entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Thanks Julia Anghel, ONTRAPORT!
26) A Unique Way
I have a very unique business model as I blog to my followers, teaching them how to find, organize, enter and win sweepstakes, contests and giveaways. However, my clients are companies and agencies that want to market to my readers and have them enter their giveaways. I like to use examples from my own life to teach combining that ideas and questions that are sent in.
Thanks to Carolyn Wilman, Contest Queen!
27) Our Blog is our Business
LittleThings.com was started because there was a real void of feel-good, uplifting content on the Internet. People are routinely bombarded with negative news. The vision of LittleThings was to offer an online respite to make readers smile. Whether it's a funny anecdote, an inspiring tale, or a touching performance, the primary goal is to brighten peoples' day. We recognized that the media was turning more negative through intense sensualized headlines, topics, and imagery. Our goal was to turn that trend on its head and offer the world something unique, refreshing, and inspirational. LittleThings has now accomplished that with more than 15% of the total digital population visiting monthly.
Thanks to Mark LoCastro, LittleThings.com!
28) Leveraging our Blog for our Business
Our company focuses quite a bit on leveraging our blog for our business. We offer incorporation and LLC filing services as well as annual business filing services. On our blog we talk about business ownership and entrepreneurship. We share details about small business industry, growing areas in business, tips on how to start and run a business, and opportunities/experiences of entrepreneurs.. We find that providing informative, engaging content via our blog is a great way to educate customers. Our blog is a great way to learn about being a business owner, and also provides business owners an opportunity to leverage our services or get questions answered about starting a business.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, My Corporation!
29) Multiple Use for My Business
My blog produces multiple uses for my business including consumer relations and brand promotion. Blogs create several opportunities for brand expansion. From creating a buzz to promote a new product, or posting opinions and expertise articles to engage a particular audience, my blog is an extension of me. Blogs are also a great way to generate advertising revenue. Selling ad space not only generates funds but it also forges business relationships. Blogs also deliver a personal side to the business where as a website is just general information. With a blog you are able to engage your audience, which increases customer potential. Blogs are great additional tools for business.
Thanks to Chantelle Fraser, Flawless-living.com!
30) Thought Leaders
At OneReach, the goal of our blog is to position ourselves as thought leaders by presenting the newest, most innovative ideas about communications and customer experience. We aim to inform and educate more than market because we have found that if visitors see value in our message, connect with our ideas and get to take away even a nugget of something new they have learned from our content, a strong marketing call to action isn't needed. Ultimately, we use our blog as a resource for anyone looking to learn more about communications or the customer experience, and showing them what they need to know to be successful in these industries.”
Example Post: http://www.onereach.com/blog/?p=1667
Thanks to Rich Weborg, OneReach!