A business blog is your opportunity to let potential clients know who you are and how you can help them.
The most immediate effect of a business blog is to provide a method of sharing free content that demonstrates your expertise. It shares information to establish that relationship.
When you use a business blog this way, you are specifically selling products and services, but not overtly. While it provides helpful information to your audience, the purpose is to highlight what your company does.
You wouldn’t blog about grooming dogs if you had a service that provided overnight delivery. You would talk about the important values, the things that your audience is concerned. They will see you as a source of helpful tips, tools, and ideas that will stimulate them.
A business blog provides a soft sell when it’s used in a business perspective.
Blog for exposure, as a way to tell people about your company, and to have links at the end that lead to sections of your web site for further contact.
Know, Like, Trust
The people with whom you wish to connect in a business sense should feel comfortable with you, know who you are, and what you offer. They like you, they trust you, and then they’re ready to move into a buying arrangement.
Who are you selling to? If you think about the people who walk into a store, that store knows that very specifically who are the people in that store, who are the people who are attracted to their merchandise. Are they women between the ages of 20 and 30?
I’ve had the experience of going into a clothing store in Massachusetts where I thought that the clothes were designed for children because the largest—and I’m a fairly small person—didn’t even come close to fitting me. But they knew that their audience was skinny teenage girls, and that’s who they were targeting, not skinny old ladies like me.
Who comes to your website? You can do online surveys, you can ask people about their age, their interests, and what are the most important challenges that they face.
If you have a service-based business, for example, you would want to know about the pain points. In marketing language, these are the things that are really challenging for people:
- What makes them worry
- What makes them anxious
- What preoccupies them
How can you help with these issues?
If you aren’t sure about this, assemble a focus group, asking questions, and do surveys.
These are popular questions:
- If you could ask me any question, what would it be?
- What is your biggest challenge about ___?
And please don’t ask, “What keeps you up at night?” It could be a sexy partner, indigestion, a twitchy bedmate or a fretful infant.
Gather information about their needs. You can go on forums that are made up of the people whom you’re targeting and find out what people are talking about. What are their concerns?
These topics form the topics for your business blog.
A lot of blogs are started and abandoned. As many as 50 percent of them never get launched in any consistent way. Pick a reasonable, realistic schedule for blogging. It might be once a month. It might be once a week. It might be every day, depending upon how many resources you have in your company.
What really looks bad from a business perspective is blogs that have dates on them, particularly when you are not regularly blogging.
Even though I blog routinely, I remove the date settings – just in case. I confess I look at other company blogs to see when they were last updated. If the last blog was 2 years ago, which I’ve seen, there are cobwebs on that site!
In summary, know the purpose of your blog, find out who your target audience is, and be consistent.
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