Extra, Extra, Blog All About It
I will admit, when blogs first became so popular I thought they were just a trend and took no interest in them. At this time, they hardly resembled the blogs of today, and were set up more like no-frills, text-based chat forums. I mean, who cared what the writers had to say, much less their commenters? Were these just ramblings of some unknown numbskulls? Why were their websites so plain and uninteresting? Yes, looking back, it’s hard to believe there was a time before the ubiquity of social media where we weren’t so interested in what everyone was doing every minute of the day.
Well good thing I’m not a gambler, because little did I know that not only would blogging be here to stay, but that I would find a plethora of blogs I really enjoyed. Like many other things that started out as strictly consumer-centric ventures, blogging quickly became a respectable business tool. Why? People and search engines alike are information hungry. It’s no secret that people generally do not like or respond well to lengthy Power Point presentations and pushy sales pitches.
So how can we use blogs to give the people (we will address search engines at a later time) what they want and avoid the things they don’t want? We must follow the unspoken but now written blog rules.
1. Do not, not, not directly sell anything in your blog.
It’s true, we are all technically in sales. In fact, humans are salespeople by our very nature. Whether selling an idea to your kids, your boss, or a prospective customer, we were born to influence others so we can, in turn, get what we want. So why no direct sales pitches in the blog?
2. Your blog is meant to inform, educate, and build rapport with your audience.
When a customer arrives at your blog, its obvious that they are actively seeking the information you are sharing. Now that you have them at your front door, you must show them that you are the Einstein of your industry. Now is your time to show off and let the world know about the true savant that you are. Now that you have a blog that conveys what you do, why is it so important to become a trusted source using a blog?
3. It often takes around 7-8 visits by the same user before the user converts.
A phone call, a form submission, a donation, and e-commerce sale are all considered conversions to different businesses. Consumers have become raging research-aholics since the advent of the interweb. With the massive crop up of shopping comparison sites, the ability to read reviews, and the Better Business Bureau going viral, research has gotten not only easier, but much more accessible. That consumer power combined with the sheer number of choices available means that nobody has to buy from you. But, how will they get to know you and your business better through your blog?
4. Your blog gives you the opportunity to show your collective business personality.
People buy from people (and companies) they like. And yes, customer service, competitive pricing, and product quality all still matter, too. But all other things equal, Mr. & Mrs. Consumer are buying from the one they like and trust over the others, usually because they just doesn’t know the competition well enough. So, how can we make our blog known in order to get people to like us?
5. Share, share, share.
Link to it, allow people to sign up for it, share it with everyone you know including your grandmother (she knows a LOT of people by now). Keeping your blog a secret will turn it into a hobby, which in business terminology is called “a waste of time”. And we know you aren’t one of those people who just likes to hear yourself talk. You are amazing, smart, and here to seize the day!
Go forth and blog all about it!