So you've built a blog, and you've been blogging away twice weekly for the past 6 weeks. But you've not seen one single sale yet as a result. Should you give up?
Absolutely not ... but maybe you need to adjust your expectations. Blogs are not a short term proposition. THEY TAKE TIME to work their magic. Here are a few tips for making a blog successful, and a better vision of what a blog can actually be expected to do for you:
1. Add Content Frequently - So keep blogging away, creating as many resource/educational type posts as possible (of course, please do inject personality into them ... which you're great at doing btw). Add in news stories too, though make sure you don't merely repurpose the news. Instead, add value by answering what this news means to your readers.
We'll then use all this content you've created to attract people to the site. But they're not going to buy your products/service just yet ... be patient.
2. Encourage Sharing - We need to add some social media sharing buttons ... to get those who read and like the content ... to share it. In most cases, I'll suggest Twitter buttons, Facebook like buttons, the "share this" tool. I'd also want to add a "Email to a friend" link. This will help current readers of the blog, attract more readers to the blog ... which means more potential clients.
3. Encourage Following - We then need to add:
a. follow us on Twitter
b. friend us on Facebook
c. subscribe to our email newsletter (if you're willing to commit to write one every month ... for those potential clients not into social media)
4. Win Them Over - The goal here is to attract people with content, but it doesn't end there. We also want to get new site visitors to subscribe to receive updated posts/information in the format they prefer (RSS, email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). This gives us a better chance to truly engage with them, and permit them to connect with us. Why? As I like to say
"attract with content, win on experience!"
In essense this means; people don't buy based on content alone (unless its an impulse purchase). Typically, they buy based on their own experiences (which lead to trust), or the experiences of others they trust. Experience as it happens, helps to limit exposure to risk, so potential clients will look for:
1. signs of a company's knowledge and ability - can you do what you say you will?
2. signs of honesty and integrity - will you do what you say you will, or are there hidden catches?)
Some of the specific cues and signals potential clients look for are:
a. are friends or other trusted sources buying from you?
b. who else is buying from you and how do they feel about the experience?
c. are you associated with large trusted brands?
d. is your company philosophy consistent with their philosophies?
e. do the company's employees seem to really care?
This means that the more they see the company's content, the more they learn about the company's people and philosophy, the more they see how the company responds to problems ... the more experience and trust they get. Again, people buy on experience, either the experiences of themselves or of trusted sources. Repeat content exposure then becomes EXPERIENCE, so long as your blog posts continue to reinforce the key messages (without being outright promotional).
Other Benefits To Blogging:
Aside from "attracting with content, and winning with experience", blogs have a couple other benefits to be aware of:
1. people link to content they like. Of course, links help sites rank better within the search results of most major engines, and not just for the page in question. As we like to say, all ships rise with tide, meaning the site will rank better for all terms across the board as the site's authority is higher.
2. increased rankings, mean even more traffic and potential clients. At the same time, if everywhere potential clients search, they see your company, then your odds of getting short listed and ultimately getting the business is increased substantially.