As I’m talking today, feel free to take notes – but don’t feel like you have to. I would love to email everyone my slides afterward, so that right now you can focus on listening and thinking rather than taking notes. So everyone, please take out a business card and put it on the table in front of you. When I’m done, I’ll pick up the cards from everyone who wants my slides. So…Quick show of hands – how many of you have a blog? How many of you are thinking about a blog? Well for those of you still thinking, I’ve got some information that will just blow your mind away.
55% more visitors.
B2C companies – 88% more leads! Almost double!
B2B slightly lower, but still – I’d be happy with a 67% increase!
So why don’t more companies blog? Well, lots of reasons. You don’t know what to say. You don’t know how to say it. You certainly don’t have the time. And guess what? Blogging is not for everyone. But if you’re willing to make the commitment, we’ve seen that the results can be incredible.
You just have to know what you’re doing. So I’ve outlined 9 questions that every company needs to know before they can blog. Some of them might seem obvious – but they are still very important!
Why do you want this blog? Are you hoping to get more phone calls? Better ranking in the search engines? More sales? All of these are valid reasons to blog, but each one of those reasons might make you write your posts with a slightly different angle…so it’s important to know this up front, so that your posts can match your goals.
Why will someone read your posts? You don’t create a blog because you’ve got a lot to say. You create a blog because your customers have questions and you have answers. Remember, your blog isn’t about you. It’s about helping your customers!
So how will you find topics to write about? I’ve listed 4 ways here. Keyword research is a fabulous tool. There are many tools out there that will show you exactly what people are typing into search engines. So if you’re matching your blog posts with keywords and keyphrases that people are actually searching for, you’ll first of all improve your search engine rankings, and second of all, you’ll know that your posts are actually relevant to people! Wordtracker is my favorite tool – their subscription service is outstanding, but they have some fabulous free capabilities as well. Or in addition to figuring out what people are looking for on Google, ask the people in your company who are in the trenches and talking with customers every day. Or go directly to your customers and ask them what they’d like to know more about. Also, read a lot. You can keep your customers up to speed on what’s going on in your industry, to the extent that it affects them.
At the end of every post, what do you want your reader to do? What’s your call to action? Do you want the reader to download a copy of your latest special report? To read another blog post? To call you? To leave a comment? Every post should have a call to action.
How many of you know what an editorial calendar is? Magazine editors use editorial calendars to plan out the theme of each magazine for the coming 12 months. And it’s a helpful tool for bloggers, too. Pick a schedule that you can live with, do some research on your topics, and create a list of posts for the next several months – as far out as you are comfortable.
When you’re creating your editorial calendar, think about how to add some variety to your posts. It keeps your reader interested. I’ve listed a few ideas here, but I know you can come up with more!
Who will write your posts? Who will upload them? Who will track results? This is one of those “obvious” questions I mentioned, but it’s really, really important to know who is doing what so that nothing falls through the cracks.
How will you market your blog? This is not a case of “build it and they will come.” You’ve got to get the word out, to drive people to your blog. Make sure your blog integrates seamlessly with your website and is easy to find on your site. Include an RSS feed so that people can easily subscribe to your blog. Make sure your posts are optimized for the search engines so that Google will send you some traffic. Put the first few sentences of your blog into an email newsletter, as a teaser, and then have them click on a link that takes them to the actual post so they can read the whole thing. Every time you post to your blog, tweet about it – update your LinkedIn and Facebook status. The most retweeted tweets start out with “New Blog Post”.
Make each blog post like a Digital Dandelion! This is the flip side of the previous slide. Your blog can feed a lot of content to a lot of sources. Your blog gives you a reason to send out an email newsletter on a regular basis so that you can stay in touch with your customers and all those leads you’ll be generating. Your blog gives you lots of things to say on social media. You can create press releases out of blog posts, especially if you’re saying anything controversial, and send the press release out to the local media and see if anyone bites. You can compile blog posts into e-books and webinars. Really, the only limit here is your own imagination.
Traffic? Page Views? Comments? Phone calls? Sales? They’re all valid things to track – the important point is for you to know what you’re tracking and why, so that you can know if you’re meeting your goals or not. At the end of the day, that’s why we do anything, right? To get a return on our investment?
So the success of your blog all comes down to developing the right strategy. I’ve outlined 10 critical questions that you need to understand. Once you have your strategy down pat, managing your blog will be so much easier, and you’ll be on your way to achieving all those leads and all those sales! Thank you so much for your time today. One last thing – on the back of your business card, write down a 1, 2, 3. Now if you want me to send you my slides, circle the 1. If you found this helpful and you want to stay in touch with me via my email newsletter – one short article on marketing tips each month, circle the 2. If you want me to call you to talk about your blog, circle the 3. And thank you again!
How to use your blog to build your business
How to <br />use your <br />BLOG<br />to <br />build your <br />business<br />
Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors.<br />SOURCE: HUBSPOT, 2010<br />
B2C companies that blog generate <br />88% more leads.<br />SOURCE: HUBSPOT, 2010<br />
B2B companies that blog generate <br />67% more leads.<br />SOURCE: HUBSPOT, 2010<br />
We will measure our success by tracking _____.<br />
The success of your blog all comes down to developing the right strategy.<br />Still not sure what to do?<br />Contact me and let’s talk!<br />Beth Carter<br />630.637.0013<br />Beth@FreelanceWritingSolutions.com<br />