Do you have a blog for your business?
Have you wondered about the most effective way of generating new clients?
Are you confused about the best platform for you and your business?
Nowadays there are many different places you could build a platform online, especially on a social media site. But, almost certainly, the best way-by a country mile- is by blogging.
That’s been my experience. Let me explain…
Building your platform on someone else’s website-be it Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest-carries enormous risks-risks of these big companies changing their rules, their terms and conditions, and wiping out your hard work spent building an audience.
Starting a blog on your own self-hosted web hosting account is your insurance against this. All your hard work benefits you.
A blog allows you to position you and your business as an authority in your area of expertise.
Ultimately it will allow you to build a relationship with your readers, one which will ensure that they come to know, like, and trust you.
The biggest barrier to selling anything online is trust, or the absence of it. And the reality is that almost nobody will buy from you or your business the first time they encounter you online.
No, that will take multiple interactions over a period of time which allows you to demonstrate your authority and build the necessary trust.
That’s why blogging, combined with email marketing, is a lethally effective online marketing strategy.
Don’t confuse “blogging”, though, with the early days of blogging when bloggers tended to use the “web blog” as a personal journal. Many people continue to do this and this personal blogging is not unlike keeping a diary, except it’s online.
Business blogging is slightly different and could also be described as “content marketing”.
This involves publishing good quality, informative, unique content on your blog which educates, informs, and helps your target market. The goal, and outcome if done correctly, is that you will position yourself as an authority and thought leader in your particular industry.
The cumulative effect over time is that people will come to know, like, and trust you-and most importantly recognise that you are actually an authority in your field of endeavour.
Content marketing is not restricted to writing text on a blog; you could also produce great, helpful, unique content with video, audio, powerpoint, interviewing leaders in your industry, podcasting, etc.
So, if you accept that your visitor will not buy from you on their first encounter with you what should be your strategy for your blog?
Your blog is a conversation starter. You provide a unique voice, one which resonates with your potential new clients, and which demonstrates that you know your stuff and are a worthy mentor to help them solve their problem.
Your client then becomes the hero of their own story, with you acting as trusted mentor.
Starting your blog-2 routes
Once you decide to start a blog you are faced with where to locate your blog:
- On your own hosting account or
- On one of the big blogging platforms such as Typepad.com, Wordprss.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr.com.
Hosting your blog on your own hosting account is almost certainly the best route to go, but these other blogging platforms offer some great benefits too. These include the simplicity of setting up your blog and the security you will enjoy against viruses, bugs, malware, and so on, thanks to the resources of the owners of these blogging platforms.
The blogging platform is not critical
The blogging platform you choose is not critical.
You can use any of the options referred to above.
What is vitally important is that your “blogs” or “posts” are ultra useful for your target market.
That you are genuinely helpful, informative, and sometimes even inspirational. And that you write in a way that is easily understood by the greatest number of people who might become a client of yours.
You don’t need to show how clever you are, or how deep your vocabulary is. You need to show you care and can help, and you have genuine expertise.
Showing passion and commitment can work spectacularly well too.
So, why not start now? Start simply by mapping out the most pressing questions and problems your target market face on a daily basis.
Continue by thinking about the external and internal pressures they face, and picturing in your mind your typical client.
Write for him or her.
You’ve got to get started first, though.
Get blogging, be consistent, and you will find that your blog will become one of the best, if not the best, marketing tools in your business.