Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blogging - If you build it, they will come.

Unfortunately, this isn't Field of Dreams and you're not Kevin Costner.  Blogs are a lot of work, and they aren't for everyone.  Every SEO and inbound marketing guru seems to be pushing this notion that "content is king."  You're not cool unless you have a blog to bring traffic to your website.

Assuming you still want to blog for you business, here are some pointers.

  1. Blog about your industry.  A blog about funny cats may get visitors, but I don't imagine very many of those visitors are interested in car parts.  Your blog has to be relevant to your business.
  2. Appeal to the correct side.  A blog about your industry and business can either attract customers or competition.  The ideal blog answers your customers' questions, not your colleagues'.
  3. Build a distribution network.  Too often, companies start a blog and become disenchanted because nobody reads it.  At the end of 2011, there were over 180 MILLION blogs!  Start with a list of personal contacts, then reach out to other successful bloggers.  You can use Twitter, FB, email, etc. to promote a blog, but having a network of people who will promote them for you, is the real key.  (Like the church calling tree.)
  4. Don't hope for conversions.  When a visitor comes to your site to read a blog, they are interested in information.  It's a pretty big leap from reader to customer.  Before publishing each post, think about the steps from the blog topic to a conversion and offer a clear next step.  You can't just hope for conversions, you have to lead the convers(at)ion.
There is plenty of other good advice; be creative, be original, be entertaining, be consistent, etc. etc.  My main point is: a blog isn't a sure-fire way to be found and attract customers.  Blog because you have something to say, not because everyone else is doing it.