Hey, Barb here!
About this handbook (ok, newsletter)
It was not really something I planned on creating, a newsletter that speaks directly to business owners who have a blog page on their websites that just doesn't have a lot going on. Why do I care? I have to tell you that I spent the last few days taking a lot of flack about what blogging is really all about - and I am focused specifically on a blog that supports a business, NOT a business that is a blog.
So I decided to create this newsletter to support business owners who need more traffic to their websites so they can share their products, services and expertise with a loyal, identified group of potential customers. These blog owners (and that means those whose website has a "blog" page on it), want and need to connect with people at every stage of the buyers journey. A blog helps you do that and at the same time it drives social media content, service and product support, sales and more.
What I don't believe is that blogging is about plugins, platforms and learning to use tech that you're not interested in (or have the time or energy to maintain). Your business blog is so much more than an annoyance to you and website. I'm talking about leveraging the only breathing page on your website... I hope you're ready for this journey.
Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now, and I'll welcome you to the first issue of the Business Blogging Handbook. I'm so glad you're here!
Is a business blog going to work for you?
Let's talk about the benefits of business blogging. There has to be a reason why you'd consider spending time and effort with this particular type of media...make no mistake, it is a form of media. The thought of creating and maintaining a busiess blog can be daunting, I often get asked if it's worth it. The answer is Yes, definitely! So here are a few benefits that will help you reap rewards this year:
1) A well constructed business blog attracts new leads. It helps you form new relationships with your website visitors. Often, there's not much point to visiting your website - how often do you update content currently? What would be bringing visitors back to your site to hear your message? What we often see is a static, billboard type page. A blog post provides something for the visitor to connect with, to ask questions about, and to get to know you and your business.
2) Build trust with your customers Businesses who blog help keep the connection with their current customers. Regularly posting valuable content shows these visitors that they can come back time after time to get expert advise from someone knowledgable about your industry.
3) It helps your brand stand out, and shine! Brands who blog get new visitors to their website when they improve their search rankings by appearing in natural search results. Blogging regularly helps search engines recognize that your site is alive and active. Blogging helps you to get found online because of the fresh content being created by your posts. Search engines ignore "dead" or inactive sites so it's in your best interest to have activity on your site. Blogging helps in this area.
What types of content can I have on my blog?
There's a myth that to blog, you've got to write 2 thousand word epistles, 3-4 times a week and if you can't do that, then you're not doing it right. That is so far from the truth, it's quite sad. You can blog using any medium you like. Prefer on screen video? Great! Enjoy writing? Absolutely. Find it easier to use the spoken word? We can call that podcasting, or audio blogging. Enjoy creating attractive graphics? Definitely needed to help get your message across.
What works the best? Mixing it up on your blog. Providing different ways to take in your content means you get a bigger bang for your buck (something we'll talk about in another issue).
Is it worth it?
This is a question that comes up all the time. There's a key to your business blog being successful. The key is to make your blog a large part of the way you market your business. How does that work? Well, think of your blog as the centre of a wheel that is your marketing efforts. Because it will house your expertise, supports your brand reputation, educates your visitors, and maintains your online presence it is extremly powerful in helping differentiate you from your competitors, and get you closer to your audience/buyers.
I find that once my clients understand this, and recognize the power they have available on your own website, totally within your control, it becomes easier to see how it can be used, successfully. It truly can be your hidden jewel.
Before you go
I hope you enjoyed this intro issue to Business Blogging Handbook, and that it gave you something to think about. Do I believe in business blogging? Definitely! It doesn't have to be a scary prospect, and the pay off to your marketing efforts will make all the difference to your success on your own terms.
If you have questions about blogging for your business, or suggestions of what you'd like to see in this newsletter I'd love to hear from you. Drop me an email here and let's talk.
Do you know someone who would enjoy what this newsletter is all about? Let them know. We'd love to have them join us!
I'll look forward to talking to you in our next issue, coming up in two weeks. Ciao!