, , ,

Blogging for business – why bother?

You may think blogging is ‘old hat’. Or heard that blogging for business is “a waste of time”. Yet, there’s a lot of businesses who are growing their online visibility through blogging. What do you do? Why bother with blogging?

In our recent #inconversationwith business blogging expert Sarah Arrow, she walked us through how she’d taken her husband’s business website from no traffic, to 700 visitors a week, which led to a massive increase in sales. That’s how her blogging for business journey started. She, and Kevin, now help many business owners to write content on their websites to grow their business reputation and increase sales.

Why bother blogging for business?

in conversation with sarah arrow blogging for businessAs Sarah said so eloquently, “If you want to leave those customers for me to have, that’s fine. I’ll take them!” She went on to say, “when I asked my customers how they’d found us, they said, “I typed it in google” ” Simple as that!

Sarah told me how she wrote blogs, (or posts, or articles), whichever term you prefer that answered customer queries that she was getting on the phone. She wrote posts that helped her understand Kevin’s transport business. She wasn’t a writer, and didn’t want to write. However, she found that, when she wrote a post, (on BT Tradespace which is where she started blogging for business), that the phone would ring with a booking, or enquiry. Instead of writing 3 times a week, she decided to write daily, to keep the phone ringing every day.

The more you write, the more people are able to get to know you. They understand how your business works. They understand, know and like you as a business owner, and know they want to do business with you.

We discussed that many business owners are frightened of blogging, for all sorts of reasons. The main one I see and hear, is those businesses who aren’t wanting to be visible, or aren’t certain about what their business does, so aren’t able to talk about it. Others are scared that they’ll say “something wrong”.

What do your customers need to know?

If you’re ready to get started, and I highly recommend Sarah’s 30 day blogging challenge as a starting point, then start with talking to your customers about what they need to know:

  • About you
  • About your product or service
  • Why did you set the business up?
  • What can your product or service help them with? In marketing speak, what “pain” does your product or service “relieve”
  • What do you offer that they can’t get from another business which sells the same product?

And that’s just a starting point! Can you see? Whether you like the term blogging, or content marketing, all you’re doing as a business, is sharing your skills and knowledge with your customers and potential customers.

You’re helping your website be found by people searching for places to get a particular product, or fix a particular issue.

As Sarah said, when you’ve got water gushing everywhere, you simply need the first plumber that comes up in your google search who can come right now. If Joe Bloggs Plumbers who lives down the road doesn’t have a website, or is consciously promoting himself online, he’ll not be found when you search for ‘plumber’ in your area.

How to get started with blogging for business

I recommend Sarah’s 30 day blogging challenge. It’s focused on blogging for business & not only takes you through the writing aspect, giving you ideas of what to write about, but also how to set your website up to get maximum traffic.

The Business Cheerleading Club supports all aspects of business, and we’ve been exploring with some members the how to of blogging, and have even helped add a blog to a website to get them started. Each month we explore a business topic, but as a member you can ask questions, get support, and share your blog links to get extra traffic from club members.

In fact, the last two Action Spotlight Coaching sessions have focused on content creation and blogging for members. We talked through the types of content they could create, and how they could schedule their time to blog regularly, to “improve your writing muscle”, as Sarah said.

I like writing, and sharing my knowledge by blogging for my business. I know it’s increasing traffic to my website, as my stats tell me that too. I’m getting more potential customers find me and talk to me, and it’s growing my business.

Do you blog for your business? Or do you think you’d like to get started now you know a bit more? We’re here to help 🙂

Why a content marketing plan is useful

Do you use a content marketing plan?

Having a content marketing plan is one thing, using it can be quite a different thing! We know many clients that start off with all good intentions, and print off, or create a content plan, but then stop using it after month one.

What is a content marketing plan?

In case you’re not sure what a content marketing plan is, (and if you should have one & use it), here’s our definition:

A clear plan of action about the content you plan to create and publish to promote your business and/or your website.

A content marketing plan doesn’t have to be just about your website, but it’s generally thought of as a website content planner.

It can be created, and used, in many forms – created content marketing planner, a simple diary you use, an online calendar. Whatever works for you is good. You don’t need to buy a specific tool if that format doesn’t work for you. If you know how you work best, (online, or pen and paper), then start with that. You can create your own planner, with columns and tick boxes so you cover everything you need for your business. Or, you can buy one which best suits your needs.

“What does that mean?” I hear you ask:

It means, what articles, or pages are you creating to share your knowledge, wisdom, ideas, new products with the world?

As you can see from this, your website, is only one place to share your business knowledge and products. It’s likely you’re sharing ideas on your social media channels, or at your local networking group, or through the local media or in your company brochure.

Having a plan, (for anything), helps you get everything in the right place at the right time, to share the information you want with your customer/potential customer/existing client.

Do you see? You can share whatever you want, and each piece of information you share is likely to be for a different audience.

For example:

  • A sales page for a new product is likely to be written for new customers who haven’t bought from you before
  • An email to existing clients is likely to share some information about a product or service they’ve previously bought, and/or something that you think will interest them
  • A news item may share information of interest to your network to engage them in conversation about a new idea, and gather their views to help with your market research

Can you see how different content will be written for different audiences? And that’s why you need a content marketing plan!

How is a content marketing planner different from a marketing planner?

week to view content marketing planWell, that may well be a conversation for a different day, as we could then go on to talk about your business plan, and your PR plan too within the same chat!

For now though, let’s just say that your content marketing planner, is the detail behind the marketing planner you’ve created.

So, if you want to create a buzz around the May half term holidays, you’ll start creating your content marketing plan now, in January, to work up to ensuring your existing clients know what’s available for them in May, as well as sharing content in the right format to capture the attention of new customers who may be interested in your offering in the holidays.

This content marketing may well consist of email newsletters to your existing lists, press releases, articles on your website, social media posts and/or an advert in your local newsletter.

Can you see how this all needs to be planned out so you ensure you cover all bases with your information, to meet your customer & potential customer at the best place for them?

We can talk about where your customers ‘hang out’ another day, but for now, let’s just agree that we need to have a content marketing planner, and use it to promote the areas of work that are in our marketing plan to get the sales we want to support our overall business plan this year. Agree?

OK, so do you need any help with this? Or to put your thoughts in order now you understand the purpose of a content marketing planner?

We created a content marketing planner for you, to help take the strain off you, and all you need to do is fill in the boxes and then carry out your ideas. It’s 212 pages long, for 2018, and that’s just the basic template. You may find you need to print off more copies of some of the pages, to get your thoughts in order for a specific area of work you want to do, or a promotion you’re working on. That’s fine. We’ve created the template, (often the boring bit), so that you can just do the work (the exciting bit) 🙂

Buy it now & get your content planned for your awesome year ahead. (Once you’ve made payment, we’ll send you the planner for you to use as you want).