You have a business blog. Is it getting business for you?
While there are many benefits to creating and maintaining a blog (credibility, find-ability, trust), few businesses bite the bullet and commit to getting business via their blog.
Let’s look at how you can put your blog to work.
1. Write About Your Products and Services
Whenever I get a new blogging client, I check the blog to see how tightly the blog’s integrated with the business.
Many businesses do this brilliantly, but there’s always room for improvement.
Do this now: check your customer service reports. What questions are your customers asking? Answer the questions on your blog. You know your products. Help your customers to get the most from them.
2. Get Sponsors
Why not offer other businesses the chance to advertise on your blog, by sponsoring content?
There are sites which automate sponsored posts. However, it’s better to get sponsorships yourself. Sponsored content is a form of native advertising.
“Native advertising” has been hot for the past year. If you’re not sure precisely what native advertising might be, there are many definitions. It’s a slippery beast to try to nail down, because there are so many varieties.
In essence, I agree with Ian Schafer, that native advertising is old-school advertorials revamped:
The loudest such critic, Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer, considers native advertising in this case just a re-packaged version of advertorials, a timeworn ad format for print media. Schafer’s definition is a bit different: “Advertising that takes advantage of a platform in the ways consumers are actually using it.”
Do this now: offer allied and related businesses the opportunity to sponsor content on your blog.
3. Increase Your Reach: Multiply the Effect of Your Content
You can multiply the effect of your content to get traffic and sales by repurposing your content.
Turning your blog posts into an ebook (or a series of ebooks);
Creating presentations from popular posts;
Creating YouTube videos based on blog articles.
Do this now: compile blog posts on a theme into an ebook. You can offer this free, in exchange for contact details.
4. Collect and Cultivate Leads (Inbound Marketing)
Are you collecting leads from your blog? Encourage blog readers to:
Sign up to your mailing list;
Call you for a product demonstration;
Visit your Facebook and/ or Google+ pages, follow you on Twitter, visit your Pinterest boards.
Do this now: add social media buttons and widgets to your blog.
5. Use Your Blog to Differentiate Yourself from Your Competitors
Think about your competitors. Your blog offers you the perfect opportunity to differentiate yourself.
Do this now: make a list of ways you’re different from your competition. Next, make another list on how you can expound on those ways on your blog.
Blog traffic is hard-won. When visitors do arrive, make sure that your blog’s doing its job, which is getting business for you.