Are you looking to start a business blog to promote and sell more of your programs, products and services? Or, perhaps you have already got one but it doesn’t bring you an iota of satisfaction to think about it. Worry not, I have compiled a complete guide on this subject which is sure to put your mind at ease and give you practical tips that you can implement today.
But before we jump ahead to the point where I give you all the good stuff – the action steps – it is highly worthwhile to spend some time (just a short amount) revisiting the fundamentals. Because, tactics may work even if you are not clear on your strategy, you will have a hard time when they stop working.
Let’s first take a look at the two biggest myths of blogging.
#1 You have got to become a popular blogger
This is something that causes the most frustration and angst in vast majority of small business owners, something which is totally unnecessary.
And let’s be clear here first, by small business owner, I mean somebody running a business all by themselves so essentially a solopreneur or someone with less than 3 employees. The rules become slightly different for those who are bigger in size than those I mentioned above.
So, if you are a one person shop, it is safe to assume that your resources don’t stretch far and wide. You have limited time and money to spend for promoting your business. Hence, you feel really excited at the thought of blogging.
You think your blog is an excellent tool to promote your business because it is cost effective, right? Until you come to this realization that you are supposed to become popular to reach great success. Let me reassure you, while popularity is nice, it is not the end goal. You always want to be profitable rather than popular.
Your business coach making multiple six figures income is highly profitable but not necessarily popular. Your next door neighbor makes gorgeous handcrafted gift items from home, is certainly profitable and by no means a popular blogger. If you start out with the notion that you need to become popular first, before you can grow your business, you are mistaken.
But that’s good news ever.
Now you don’t have to obsess about social media shares, inbound links and the number of comments you receive. Know that while all the social proof is important, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
#2 You have to spend endless hours creating content
No, you don’t. Unless you are running a magazine style blog, you can get away with updating your blog on a weekly basis. Awesome, right?
In this age of information overload, nobody is looking for more information. People are looking to connect with businesses and brands, form meaningful relationships where they trust them enough to become loyal customers. They are not necessarily looking to get bombarded by more information.
Inboxes are already overflowing. List owners are getting less and less open and click through rates. Subscribers clearly don’t need more content.
Know that you don’t have to add to the problem. Post less, create high quality content that is appreciated by the right reader.
Follow the Pareto’s 80/20 rule for when you creating your editorial calendar. Spend 20% of your time creating content and the rest in promoting it in the form of guest posts on relevant blogs, personally emailing your best content to the influencers in your niche and sharing your content multiple times across one or two social media platforms of choice.
Instead of creating content all the time, only create and publish your best stuff and spend the majority of the time (allocated for your blogging) for attracting more eyeballs toward your content.
Don’t worry about becoming popular.
Don’t spend hours creating tons of content for your blog.
Tell me, if that isn’t music to your ears than what is?
So let’s jump into the 7 step process for creating a bog that wins you tons of business.
This is what the blog marketing process looks like:
- Step 1: Identify your ideal audience. Who is most likely to buy from you?
- Step 2: Create a blog that positions your business as the right choice for your ideal reader. Fix all leaks on your blog to make sure that you are not sending these nice folks away.
- Step 3: Offer the right freebie to attract and woo the right person. Entice them to get on your email list.
- Step 4: Create your content strategy. Publish content that will appeal to your ideal audience.
- Step 5: Find new peeps through strategic promotion, writing on your blog is not enough.
- Step 6: Make offers via email. Keep your email list warm.
- Step 7: Fix your pages that convert and sell.
Let me explain why you need to have all these steps in working order to make money on your blog:
- You don’t know who you want to serve so you end up attracting the wrong audience. These people who have no interest in buying from you and will unsubscribe any time.
- You have no USP. People can’t see what makes you different or special. They won’t even bother to check you out.
- You have a generic incentive. You attract all sorts of people or not many. It probably doesn’t speak to your ideal audience.
- Poorly crafted content. People don’t think you know what you are talking about. They have issues placing their trust in you.
- You don’t promote your content. You don’t put yourself in front of new audiences, your list doesn’t grow. If you continue to make offers, your list will burn out.
- Your list grows cold. You don’t make any offers and when you do, people are not used to you selling. You see many unsubscribes.
- You have a weak sale page. You get low conversions. People don’t buy, meaning low sales in your business.
Step 1: Identify your ideal audience
This is the first step to starting and running a highly successful business blog (blog that brings you new leads and lots of business).
If you are not entirely clear on who your target audience is, it is worth working with a business or marketing coach to get this first step right. Often you are too close to your business to look at the issue with fresh eyes so this is something to think about.
I wrote a post which goes through the process of creating your ideal reader persona in great detail so go check it out. The trick is to go as deep as you can, way beyond your usual age, level of education and annual income.
You want to be able to picture this person sitting across you every time you place a single word on your blog – be it jotting down the idea for your next blog post, creating the headline, crafting a call to action or writing copy for your squeeze page (where you collect opt-ins).
You might find that you need to create a few personas and that is fine. As long as your content resonates with one person that you clearly see yourself talking to.
The problem starts when you start writing to anyone and everyone remotely interested in your topic.
Let’s say you are a career coach helping women find work who have been out of work force for a while. If you don’t have a clear description of your ideal audience, you will end up creating content, which is so bland and generic that it doesn’t appeal to your ideal audience.
Unless you start addressing this woman specifically, through your content, positioning and offers, you will attract anyone looking to find a job and when the time comes to make an offer, you will see people unsubscribing in droves.
In part two, I will talk about how to position your blog as the right choice for your prospective customer and how to create an opt-in offer that works like gangbusters.