Posted on Sep 13th 2016 under Marketing Tips
Back in the late 1990's, when the Internet was in its adolescence, a phenomenon took hold that would forever change the way businesses reach their customers online.
That phenomenon became known as "blogging."
Nearly twenty years later, everyone from stay-at-home moms to Fortune 500 companies operate blogs for a multitude of reasons. Today, HubSpot reports that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
For a business, blogging does more (or should) than let followers know about recent company news and events. When done right, it can establish you as an authority in your field, give people an inside look at your workplace culture, and boost your SEO.
By crafting posts that educate your customers on your product or service and the industry it's in, you position yourself as a go-to resource in your audience's time of need.
Not only that, the more valuable pages you publish, the more favorably search engines like Google look at your website. As a result, you'll attract more visitors via search.
In fact, companies that have embraced blogging receive 97% more links to their site. And, as we all know, inbound links are one of the most important factors Google takes into account when ranking your website.
If you blog, blog the right way. As experts, we made a list of 7 tips to help you get massively more sales leads from your business blog.
7 tips to turn your blog into a lead generating machine
Blog Tip 1: Have something to say that's worth reading
People have never been busier than they are today. Equally, there has never been so much choice regarding what they can read. For a blog to attract readers and then retain those readers, it needs to offer something, which is meaningfully different. The majority of blogs don't do this. They are predictable. They have no distinct voice. They simply add to the noise.
The key is to tell us what you think. Give us your opinion. Not an echo of what everyone else is saying. Allow your personality to shine through your words. Only by embracing your unique perspective can you hope to stand out, grab people's attention and then inspire them to keep coming back.
Blog Tip 2: Show up regularly
We can't expect people to return to a blog, even a well-written blog, if there's seldom any new content for them to read.
If you want people to visit your blog regularly, publish new content regularly. Keep your blog fresh. The more often you publish useful content, the faster your readership will grow.
When a new reader arrives on a blog, which has been regularly updated over a period of months or years, they get a powerful message. They can see that the blogger can be relied upon to stick with a project.
Blog Tip 3: Create a powerful initial impression
It has never been easier or less expensive to have a professional looking blog. Despite this, many small business owners use ugly, outdated blog themes. As a result, they look amateurish. People tend not to treat information on amateur looking blogs very seriously. We expect professionals to look professional.
Publishing useful ideas on an ugly looking blog, is like a restaurant serving you a delicious mealâ€¦ on a dirty plate.
Think about it: There are only 2 reasons why a business would operate behind an amateur looking blog:
They think it's OK to allow poor quality work (design) to represent them and their values.
They can't afford a professional looking blog.
Neither of those options reflect well on the blog owner.
If your blog looks tired or dated, invest in a new blog theme. One that creates a powerful, positive impression. This sets a professional tone for what your visitors are about to read.
This leads on nicely to the next point.
Blog Tip 4: Be visible on mobile devices
An increasing number of people view the internet using their phones or tablets. If a site is hard to read on their mobile device, they leave. Despite this, an alarming number of business blogs are still not mobile friendly. In other words, they are hard to read or navigate when using a mobile device.
Almost all modern blog themes are mobile ready. However, if your theme is more than a few years old, it's worth checking how it looks on phones and tablets.
If your blog doesn't perform well on mobile devices, you will lose visitors before they even start reading what you have to say. You could be offering a bad user experience to 80% or more (and growing), of your potential readers!
Blog Tip 5: Stop selling
Most limo business bloggers turn almost every post into a sales pitch. Instead of being interesting and offering useful information, these posts read like a series of thinly-disguised advertisements. The challenge with that approach is that people are not interested in reading ads, linking to ads or sharing ads with their friends.
Instead, focus on contribution. Be generous. Provide answers.
Remember that the process of giving and receiving, starts with the giving part. Offer valuable information, which people will want to read, link to and share. Then, when they need to hire an expert, they already know who you are. They're also massively more likely to work with you, because they're familiar with you and your expertise, via your blog posts.
Blog Tip 6: Make blogging a high priority business activity
Most business bloggers regard blogging as a low-level marketing activity. So they starve their blog of the resources it needs, in order for it to be a lead generating machine for their business.
They'll happily spend time every day using Facebook or Linkedin, yet they invest very little time building their blog. As a result, their blog never gets the momentum it needs.
In addition, business owners will often place their blog on a cheap hosting account. This can lead to lots of down-time. Cheap hosting usually causes blogs to run slower too. People won't hang around for a blog to load. So get the best hosting you can afford.
Treat your blog as a high priority business asset. Invest in it correctly and you'll end up with a powerful marketing asset. One that grows in value all the time.
Blog Tip 7: Play the long game
A key reason why so many potentially great blogs fail, is that the owner quits too soon. Their expectations are unrealistic and it's not always their fault.
Even if you are doing everything correctly, it takes time for you to attract (and keep re-earning), the attention of a sizeable, growing readership. Business blogging is not an overnight success proposition, so play the long game.
We really hope you found these tips and ideas useful. More importantly, we hope they inspire you to get the most from business blogging, so start now. We will be happy to share with you our expertise, so give us a call.