“Can a blog post really get people through the door?” Short answer, YES.
Hear me out
A few months back I was interested in some personal training by a really experienced and really EXPENSIVE trainer. He and I got to talking and soon after got on the topic of a possible work-trade agreement. Me, always interested in a good collab opportunity dove into some of the ways I could help him by blogging on his website. “Can a blog post really get people through the door, though?” he asked..like he didn’t believe it could be done. I told him, “Yes, absolutely!”
Like many small business owners, he was using social media and a nice looking website to market his services, but he was missing the one thing that marries them together, a blog. And because of this, in my opinion, he was not using his online marketing efforts to best of its ability. Part of having social media is using it to drive followers somewhere IE a website, and part of having a website is to secure leads. This small business owner was missing the main part where he brings interested folks and converts them into actual leads, the crucial element to actually make a sale. Not to say that blogging alone is the only way to get more business, but in this case, he is definitely letting a lot of missed opportunities pass him by. Don’t get me wrong, blogging, like all inbound marketing, is a long-term strategy, it takes effort, but when done properly a blog can:
- Increase website traffic
- Build your email list (highest conversion rates)
- Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry
- Build authority and credibility
- Increase customer engagement and word of mouth referrals
To give you a little more background on how a blog works with social media and a website here is a quick breakdown:
A website is where your blog lives. Duh, okay you already knew that. Super easy to add if you don’t already have one, either call your web developer or shoot me an email and I’ll help ya out. Your website is the place you want to drive people. because it is where people will learn more about your product/services, opt-in for your newsletter and if you’re like Tony, it’s the place where people can sign up for a free training assessment.
A blog exists to provide helpful information for people, and or to entertain people, regularly. A blog should be where you deliver actionable lessons time and time again. Keeping with my gym owner example, articles could be something like: ‘7 Healthy Fats to Blast Belly Fat’, ‘How to get Sexy Summer Legs’, ‘Why Eating More Can Make you Weigh Less.’ At this level you are getting noticed, you are creating an audience, you are building trust, YOU ARE HELPING or ENTERTAINING. A blog is where you use keywords to bring your Google using prospects to your site a practice known SEO which it provides qualified prospects directly towards you. These are your warm leads, theses people want to buy, they have questions and you have the answer.
Social media is where you can share your blog posts. I don’t know why people operate one without the other, but I’m here to tell you that you can make a much greater impact if your main objective is to share your own content through your blog. Mix your regular social media posts with your blog posts and that should do the trick. One thing that drives me crazy is when a business owner, brand, or entrepreneur work to building a social media following without any follow through. Like where do you plan to drive these people? What’s your next step on monetizing them? Sponsored posts and ambassador programs will only get you so far before you start hitting a ceiling. And of course, a large/ engaged social media following is important, but that alone is not a good long term idea. A robust social media audience often overshadows the fact that you don’t own those followers. Whether the business owner knows this or not, it’s a true fact and why I always encourage people to keep a well-functioning website, blog, and email list.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whoever owns those followers, not you. And if they decide to close the doors one day (like Vine did), you’re screwed. On the other hand, you own your website, you own your blog, and you decide how it works.
You see these three elements are all encompassing. To maximize your business efforts by providing helpful resources is the way to a consumer’s heart theses days, once you’ve built that trust, that’s when they are more likely to open their wallet and purchase from you. Get them hyped on what you have to offer, be resource, push them, have the answer, and stay in touch with them as much as possible (without annoying them). Bottom line, your main focus should be to help them and by doing so you will be on the receiving end of some serious raving fans… and that my friend is where the online magic happens!
Businesses that don’t have active blogs have trouble attracting new clients, they fail to reach new and interested people resulting little to no growth. These businesses often grow stale and get left behind by others forward thinking enough to adopt these new age tactics.\\
Starting a Blog
If you’re ready to beef up your online marketing I’ve got some good news. I’m going to personally hand you the blueprints to a success business blog, all you have to do it is put the effort in. With my guidance and these step-by-step instructions, you will be on your way to writing blog posts that will generate more traffic, grow your email list, create community and ultimately lead to more sales. You ready? Let’s dive in!
#1 Create your Blog Idea List
I like to keep a running list of blog topics and ideas. Some days I draw a blank and need some help getting started writing, that’s when my blog idea list comes in handy. So where do you get these ideas from? I suggest joining a few Facebook groups where you can find potential customers. Use the search bar in the right-hand corner to type in keywords. This will guide you to questions and comments related to your topic of expertise. I like to copy and paste their exact phrasing into a doc that I can consult later. TIP: When writing your blog post, try using some of their language, this will help grab their attention and really “speak to them”.
#2 Research & Write
This where you get down and dirty with the writing process. Do a little research if you need to and get to work. Depending on the depth of my blog post, it could take me anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours, so plan accordingly. Shoot for at least 1000 words and opt for smaller paragraphs. The attention span of people these days is shockingly short, so keep it concise and to the point as much as possible. Be actionable and provide a solid takeaway, and don’t forget your call to action. IE: “Book you free training sessions today” then direct them to where they can complete that task. People online need to be told EXACTLY what to do and how to do it. So when you think you’re being redundant, you know you’re doing it right.
#3 Keyword Research
Time to optimize this baby. Head over to Adwords.google.com. Hopefully, you already have a Gmail, sign in and click ‘Keyword Planner’ under the ‘Tools’ tabs. You will be brought to a screen where you will then choose ‘Search for keywords using a phrase, website, or category.’ Type in a phrase, keeping with my gym owner example, you might type in something like, “how to get abs”. You want to keep in mind what your blog post is about of course and make sure the keyword is in sync. So for this example, let’s say the blog post is about getting abs. According to the research I did, the phrase “best abs crunch” could work for this article. You want to place this keyword (long tail keyword as it’s known) in certain areas of your blog. This is the SEO part of blogging and what is going to drive the organic traffic to your website.
#4 Publish and Share
Just like that, you’re publishing online. Now is your chance to share this amazing piece of content with your peeps. For me, this means sharing to my Facebook Page and Instagram. I like to swap out customized links on my Instagram profile using bit.ly to draw more attention.
I hope you find this helpful! I know how powerful blogs can be to any online marketing initiative, that is why I really encourage you to dive head first into your own. Business blogs are much more than just a few paragraphs and personal opinions, so follow my steps here to get you going in the right direction. If you’re looking for the next step, click here to read SEO for Small Business Owners, definitely some good nuggets there too!