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Everyone seems to have a blog nowadays, and almost every book, website or marketer that offers advice to small businesses tells you to have a blog, or is trying to sell you a miracle plan to earn money in blogging, and telling you how to increase online sales. However, the more honest websites and books, will tell you that a lot of times blogs don’t make money, or not enough to make it worthwhile. Why is this?
Well, quite honestly, if you don’t have a plan of action, you will not earn money by blogging. Trying to figure out keywords, making articles that will attract people, learning how to increase your sales online with a special article, is not easy. When you combine it with everything else you have to do running your business, blogging your business can become a time waster and a huge source of stress.
Fortunately there are things you can do to have a great small business blog, that doesn’t require lots of time, resources or stress.
With your business, unless you want to be very friendly and relaxing, your customers don’t care how you feel or about your day to day life. Every post you put up should focus on your business, product or advice that your clients need.
If you offer landscaping services, write five posts about common infestations, what the signs are, and ways to stop them. When people are trying to find out why their trees are dying, they’ll see your helpful post, and will see that you’re knowledgeable, helpful and offering free advice. It automatically raises your appeal much more than if you said ‘I can fix your problem, hire me today!’
For online sellers, offering advice on hacks and tricks people can use to improve the product or use it better are the obvious choice for posts. But if you have some products which are very similar, do an honest review comparing them, if you can make a video at the same time. You can post it on YouTube as well as your blog and make it very interactive, while expanding your audience.
So before blogging your business, make sure it’s really about your business.
This is related to the above, but often you will see businesses talking about politics, hot button issues, and other things that are in no way related to their business.
You may feel very strongly about an issue, but unless your business is directly related to that issue, there is no reason to talk about it. One personal coach, in their blog very clearly stated they had no interest in helping people who supported a large political party in Canada. Others have said quite openly how they feel about gay marriage, abortion and other things. This is a way to get clicks on your website, and start a controversy, but is the worst way to increase sales online.
Don’t do this.
First, an evergreen article is a post that will be good for years. Talking about what one of the Kardishian’s did last week could be related to your business, but it’s soon going to be forgotten when someone else does something more interesting or outrageous.
Instead you want an article that has people wanting to read it now, a year from now, and ten years from now. This is where offering advice to your clients and customers is really useful. Plumbing problems aren’t going to change to any great degree in the next decade, so writing about how to avoid getting a clog, how to find the best plumber, etc, are going to draw clients and customers for years, and help you earn money through blogging for just as long.
You’ve probably seen this before, an article offering advice about something, but every sentence or two is just a strange phrase that just doesn’t fit, or that you’ve already read fifteen times.
Keywords are great to use. For those of you who don’t know, keywords are words that a search engine uses to find articles related to your search. So if type in “Blogging my business”, Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine will look for that phrase, or ones like it and post them up in order of relevancy. Years ago, the more times you used a keyword the better. Now, not so much.
When you’re planning your article, think about what phrases you’d use to find a similar article and write them down, this is where having very specific business related articles is useful. While writing your post, put the best phrases into your article once or twice, as naturally as possible, and don’t worry you can change the phrase a little bit. This will get attention from the search engines, doesn’t require a lot of extra work, and doesn’t confuse your customers.
Think of yourself as a customer looking at your business. Would you rather have one hundred hard to read articles that jump randomly from one thing to another with little rhyme or reason, full of questionable information, or ten high quality articles that offer real, usable advice?
The answer should be obvious, but it’s missed so often when people are making business blogs.
Rather than wasting time writing five, ten, twenty blog articles a month, write one or two. Put the time into getting a good one, use some keywords, give good long term advice to your readers and clients, and put a few links between your posts so people can easily read your other articles and get to your main website.
Quite honestly, having a few very useful articles will help increase your sales online, by attracting potential customers, and impressing them so much that they want to hire you. It’s all about first impressions, if your blog looks like you’re desperate for a sale you will lose more customers than you gain.
You can make money blogging about your business. You don’t need to know any special tricks, or hire a fancy writer to do it either. Follow the advice above, make a plan of what you want to write, and take the time to do it right, and customers, clients and money will follow.
Just remember it does take time, but within a few weeks or months, you will see an increase in your online income.