Terry, a house painter with 20 years of hard work under his belt, liked to do things the old-fashioned way, especially when it came to marketing. He’d launch ads and promos, join trade shows and call prospective clients out of the blue. He believed that this way was the only way and that the modern, new-fangled online methods were just flashes in the pan, fads that would quickly fade.
Sadly, his business went under because the money he spent on traditional marketing tactics ran out and he didn’t know how to get started with online marketing. In fact, he thought he was just getting too old to bother, so he opted instead to retire.
The thing is, Terry still had at least 10 years of business he could have used to turn things around, and if he had understood the value that digital marketing could bring to his business in terms of cost savings and growth, he might have made a different choice.
There are a lot of business owners out there like Terry.
(And, yes, while the name was changed this was based on a true story)
Lessons from small business resistance to blogging
I get why that happens. It can be hard to get your head around new ways of doing things, especially when you’ve been in business a long time, but if you stick your head in the sand while everything changes around you, you’ll stay stuck and never adapt.
Your resistance towards new experiences may be what’s truly preventing you from unlocking your business’s true potential. Your resistance to blogging is, quite frankly, costing you business.
Many people experience the difficulty of adapting to new marketing practices, especially blogging. Afterall, if you’re a small business owner, you didn’t sign up to be a journalist or a publisher.
In today’s post, I want to help you break through your resistance to blogging because, while you sit on the fence with your blogging, your customers are searching online for what you offer. 82% of consumers research everything online before they buy and blogging is one of the primary ways you can improve your chances of being found, liked, trusted and invested in.
What is a blog?
Blogging, in general, is the practice of creating and publishing content on a specific topic or theme, on a regular basis. You can blog for leisure, pleasure, awareness raising about important issues and trends for business growth. This post is about blogging for business.
While you can blog on a number of different platforms, including Medium, LinkedIn Publishing, Facebook Notes and Instagram, your blog is usually contained on your website and it’s the home of all of your updates, case studies, thought leadership posts, competitions, and product launches.
Think of your blog as the central portal where your customers can access all of your online information in one place. In the case of business blogging, you showcase your knowledge and expertise about your business in the hopes of increasing your website’s authority in your industry.
How your business benefits from blogging
One of the biggest issues preventing businesses from making a seamless transition to blogging is how they perceive blogging.
Blogging is not a fad. In fact, it’s a marketing technique that can build incredible value for your business over time.
Blogging attracts new prospects
For one, blogging allows you to attract people to your content using SEO and social media. Hubspot research shows that business websites with a blog attract 126% more inbound leads that websites without blogs.
This approach, known as inbound marketing, is the exact opposite of traditional marketing, which requires you to spend a lot of your resources and make a concerted effort to reach out to people. This can be very expensive and is only effective so long as you pour money into it. As soon as you stop spending money on your ads, you lose the value they’ve created. However, inbound marketing is more akin to investing in a high-interest bank account and watching your value steadily grow. Inbound marketing is a more efficient and affordable way to drive your target audience to your blog and convert them into customers.
Blogging helps you build trust
Another benefit that blogging brings to your business is its ability to build relationships with your audience so that they trust you. Through your blog posts, you can share your insights, expertise and customer case studies.
Readers who like your content a lot, then share it on their social networks or comment on it, which gives you the opportunity to interact with them and build rapport. By showing concern for people and sincerely helping them with their problems, you will be their go-to person when they need help and you make it easier for them to choose you when they are ready to buy.
Blogging is scalable
Lastly, blogging is a sustainable and scalable technique that you can measure and tweak to produce the best results for your business. You can track how many people read your post, share it on social media, and click on a link from your post. The same cannot be said about traditional ads. With traditional marketing, you often cannot measure how effective it truly is.
How to develop a blog that raises your business profile
Now that you are aware of the value that blogging brings to your business, it’s time to show you how to develop a strategy using this inbound marketing tactic. Even without any blogging experience, it’s possible to get started. The tips below will help.
Identify your target audience
This step should be easy if you already have a profile of your target audience. If not, then you need to spend a little time digging into who you are aiming your content at. Look into the age, gender, salary, hobbies, needs, wants, and other factors that come into play to help you define the audience that you want to target with your blog. Brainstorm content ideas
Having a well-defined audience will make it easier for you to come up with topics for your blog. However, you then need to take that understanding about your ideal reader and use it to brainstorm topics that will resonate with them.
Develop a content calendar
A big challenge many bloggers face is how to be consistent. It can be difficult to keep up with the demands of writing blog posts on a regular basis when you have many competing priorities. To combat this problem, it helps to plan your content ahead of time by creating a content calendar. Through a calendar, you develop a publishing schedule that your readers can follow and expect from your blog, which could build your readership over time. A great tool that can help with this is Co-schedule.
Accept your role as expert and communicator
The actual writing process is arguably the biggest obstacle businesses face, especially if you don’t feel confident as a writer. You can outsource the writing process to professionals, but this is an expensive proposition for the long-haul and when you have deep domain expertise to share and you want to share it in your own voice, you may find it’s better to write your blog posts yourself.
That’s why Writally was created, to help subject-matter experts express their expertise in a variety of ways, easily and with confidence.
Track and measure blog performance
You will want to gauge the effectiveness of your blogging efforts to see if blogging is converting visitors into leads and eventually buyers. Using free tools like Google Analytics and Search Console will help you unravel your blog’s progress based on the metrics you are tracking. This will help you see what’s working and not working in your blog strategy so you can adjust it accordingly to improve results.
Over to you
Marketing your business in the 21st Century requires openness and a willingness to publish. While blogging may like a trend, it’s a tactic that’s proven helpful for businesses that want to increase their authority in their industry and attract more leads and sales.
By following the steps above, you can adapt to the needs of your audience and create targeted, relevant content effort to grow your business.
Have you started a blog yet? How about now? Now? If you need help with getting started, Writally offers a short online course on Teachable showing you how to build your content calendar step-by-step. The course covers how to build an in depth ideal client profile, and then how to brainstorm the right topics for your audience and create a 12-month content calendar.
Find out more here and get 50% off when you use the promo code GETBLOGGING.
Writally Recipe For This Post:
Here are the ingredients we used for this post: How To | Beginner’s Guide | Guest Post | 800 to 1000 Words | Encouraged | Leader | Evergreen
Blog Post Edited by Cas McCullough