Is Blogging For Business The Write Stuff?

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By Carl Weiss

Blogging is one of the best ways to promote any business.  Unlike a website, which rarely changes, blogs are dynamic, in that they can keep prospects and clients current with what’s happening in your business and your industry.  It can also elevate a business owner to the level of an authority figure.  More than mere words, blogs can be enhanced with the addition of multimedia elements such as photos, videos, and podcasts. Best of all, it costs little or nothing to employ, since blogging platforms like Blogger are free to use.  That being said, why isn’t every business on the planet taking advantage of all that blogging has to offer? Here are the top five excuses most businesses give, along with the antidote to those excuses.

1. Blogging is Hard

In order to succeed, you have to be willing, ready and able to post at least a blog a week to make this a viable marketing method.  The “every now and then, when I feel like it, I’ll get around to it,” crowd need not apply.  The other excuse most often used when it comes to the reason why a business owner is NOT blogging has to do with the fact that they believe they can’t come up with enough material to write a blog a week.  To these folks, I can only say that for the most part business owners and managers literally trip over ideas for blogs every day.  The problem is they forget to note them.  Think about it.  How many times during the course of the day do you have something noteworthy happen?  Ever heard a funny story about a client or service provider?  Ever had a customer or employee relate something about your business to you that brought a smile to your face, or made you say, “I didn’t know that?”  Sure you have.
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Even if you don’t have a single noteworthy event happen today, remember that all you are looking for is the kernel of a story that you can relate to an audience every week.  Plus, don’t forget that even if you come up dry, the very same medium you are using to read this blog is the greatest research tool on the planet.  I can’t tell you how many times I have found inspiration for a blog from a Newsfeed or someone else’s blog.  As long as you don’t infringe on the writer’s copyright by copying the material word for word, there is nothing wrong with getting an idea for your blog from other blogs.  You can even include the occasional pull quote, providing that you provide a credit and a link.  (If it’s good enough for the NY Times, it’s good enough for you.)

2. Business is Booming

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Here is the mother of all lame excuses for not blogging; Being too busy.  In the first place, unless your business has a yearly growth curve that would make Google green with envy, the very nature of business is peaks and valleys. In other words, if you are swamped right now, chances are you won’t be in a few months. 

Secondly, the time when your business is in overdrive is the best time to blog.  When you are on a winning streak, this is the time to write about your accomplishments, as well as getting happy customers to post reviews and testimonials, which can also be incorporated in your blogs.  This way, when your business hits the doldrums, as most do, you can use the audience you created with your blog to troll for new customers.  (The other solution when you are too busy with business to blog is to outsource the task to a professional writer.)

3. Business is Bad


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The opposite tack also holds true when it comes to making excuses to avoid blogging.  When business is bad, many business owners revert to trench warfare, as if defending the gates against the marauding hordes.  Therefore, they cut back their marketing expenses in an effort to staunch the flow of red ink.  The problem with this theory is that when business is bad you need to spend more on marketing, not less. (Is it any wonder that 66% of businesses go under in the first two years?)

If your business is circling the drain, this is the best time to blog.  Blogging can be one of the most cost-effective means of drumming up new business that has ever been created.  Unlike search engine marketing that can take months and/or cost thousands of dollars to generate results, since blogging relies on social nets instead of search engines (where pay-per-click ads are much cheaper), you can kill two birds with one stone by growing your social following to feed your blog audience.

4. I’ve Built It & Nobody Comes


This is what I refer to as the “Field of Dreams School of Marketing.”  Just as there are hundreds of millions of websites out there, when it comes to blogging, your blog is just another drop in the ocean.  Particularly if you don’t feed it regularly, or you post nothing but advertorials week in and week out.

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Rule number one in the blogosphere is that it’s not about you.  It’s about your audience.  That means that if every blog comes off sounding like an ad, you will drive your audience away.  That doesn’t mean that your blog can’t revolve around your business, it just means that you need to provide your readers with information that is interesting, relevant, timely and useful.  Then you can drop a baited hook to reel in the fish. 

The other side of the equation is distribution.  What it boils down to is you can have the greatest blog in the world, but if you don’t know how to get the word out, then all you really have is a billboard in the desert.  The cure for this is to use your social nets to distribute your blog.  Of course, if you only have a couple of hundred followers, this is not going to make your blog a bestseller overnight.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t some cost-effective ways to distribute your blog.  You just have to be willing to spend a buck to make a buck.

5.   I have an Audience & but Nobody Buys 

This conundrum is more common than most people think.  Even those with successful blogs sometimes have problems converting their audience into customers.  This is due in large part to the fact that most bloggers do not have an offer or unique proposition that has a high value in the minds of their readers.  Either that, or they have an offer, but choose to beat their readership to death with it.

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The problem with selling on a blog has to do with the fact that you need to develop a subtle way of getting your audience to take the next step.  By this, I mean that you can’t have ten ads running throughout the body of your blog or you will fail in your task to convert readers to customers.  The best way to mix ads with prose is to use the sidebar for the ads and the main body for your blog. 

To be successful, an ad needs to provide an irresistible offer and make it easy to take advantage of the offer.  If the reader has to work too hard to accept your offer they won’t do it.  If they have to click to another page and fill out a long form, forget about it. 

If you are having trouble with the conversion factor, I recommend you take a look at a third party app, such as Social Slam Dunk.  Not only can a third party app make your life easier when it comes to fishing for customers, but the best of these apps also provides you with feedback that lets you know how your offers are doing.  (Social Slam Dunk even offers several different ways to fish for clients, including online coupons, scratch-off contests, and customer rewards,)

When it comes to being a success at blogging for business, the real secret is to think long term.  Our Working the Web to Win Blog generates between 20,000 to 30,000 readers per month and recently crossed the 1-million-page view threshold.  This is after five years of posting at least one blog per week.  If you want to experience the same kind of success that we have achieved, be prepared to look at your blog as an indispensable part of your marketing mix that can enhance both your reputation and the bottom line.  Now that’s what I call the “Write Stuff!”

In this article, I have discussed why blogging should be an important part of any businesses online marketing strategy. I have covered the five top excuses that most businesses give to not blog and why these excuses don’t matter if you use the right techniques to get the job done. Either way, if a business implements the items discussed in this article, they will not only elevate their credibility but also their income as well.

If you feel your business could use some help with its marketing, contact us at 
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904-410-2091. We will provide a free marketing analysis to help you get better results. If you found this article useful please share it with your friends, family, and co-workers. If you would like to learn more about this subject, visit the notes page on this blog for the BlogTalkRadio show dated 9/20/16. I recommend checking out "The Write Stuff – How to Blog & Make a Profit", "Marketing Your Blog in the 21st Century – Part 3 of Blogging 101", “The Magic Formula for Blogging Success: a Training Series for Bloggers“, or "Internet Marketing: Lessons Learned & Best Practices Part 4 – Content is King".  You can also search for other related articles by typing in “Blogging” in the search box top of this blog. Also, don't forget to plus us on Google+.  

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Carl Weiss is president of WorkingtheWebtoWin.com a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida that routinely works with bloggers and other online marketers. 

2 comments:

  1. Once you get started, it's not so hard to come up with ideas for posts. This was an informative post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The only excuse that a business can give is, they just don't want to do the work that produces the benefits of blogging.

    ReplyDelete