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You may have ended up on this page typing into google “Does my business need a blog?” and I’d love to give you a black and white answer to that, but the truth is a blog is a long term-commitment that takes a lot of time, effort and thought.
But the benefits of a blog far outweigh the work put in because they have the power to double, even triple your revenue.
Think of a blog as a net cast out into the sea of people surfing the web, that only catches users with an interest in subject matter related to your business.
Now consider that this net doesn’t ever get pulled back in, it will continue to exist out there forever providing you with a stream of traffic for an indefinite period of time.
Now imagine you cast out hundreds of those nets.
Now before you hastily run off to set up a blog, you may want to first qualify whether a blog is right for your business – you’ll want to know if it’s going to be manageable, useful to potential customers and within your allowed resources.
To help you along, I’ve provided you with some questions you can consider before making your decision:
- Does your business serve a niche audience? What is it? Write it down.
- Are you knowledgeable on the topic and you have time to spend writing posts?
- If not, are you able to hire a writer?
- Do you currently use social media and do you have time or resources to dedicate to it?
- Have you got any SEO knowledge, or do you have someone on hand who does?
If you answered yes to any of these, you can probably benefit from having a blog.
What are the benefits?
According to Hubspot, businesses who blog average 55% more visitors to their websites than those who don’t. That’s a pretty exciting statistic.
One of the biggest challenges of any online business is getting traffic with an interest in your niche onto the site. There’s all sorts of methods of doing this, and you can read about those methods in our resource centre, but one highly effective tactic that costs more thought and time than it does money is starting a blog.
By doing it well, you can secure yourself with a long lasting flow of traffic from your target audience.
Here’s a few things having a blog does for your business:
- Drives more targeted traffic to your website.
- Increases conversions by use of calls to action in your posts.
- Builds a stronger relationship with the community.
- Gives people a reason to keep coming back to your site.
- Boost’s your search engine visibility (organic traffic).
- Builds your email database for direct marketing.
- Strengthens your overall marketing strategy.
So you’re ready to get started? Ok! Here’s our top tips for generating revenue using a blog:
1. Know what to blog about.
Research, research, research. I can’t stay it enough.
Take the time to research your niche and write a long list of potential topics to blog about. Need ideas?
Think about your most frequently asked questions, think about some things you’d like to know yourself, see what other businesses and bloggers in your niche are doing and think about doing it better. Brainstorm and give yourself lots of options to reach out to.
The key to having a successful blog is by having exceptional content. And to have content in such a category is to make sure that content serves a purpose.
The 3 questions you should ask yourself when creating content in your niche topics are as follows:
Got some ideas? Good. Now it’s time to bring them to life.
Usefulness: Does the content answer a question?
Interest: Is the content engaging and interesting?
Entertainment: Does the content entertain in some way?
Try to answer yes to all three, but often two is enough to have a successful piece of content.
2. Create content that is the best of its kind.
- A strong, compelling title.
- A good choice of image.
- A well written article.
- Article is broken up by images/graphs/screenshots, titles and subtitles and is presented in digestible chunks of information.
- Features a call to action of some kind (e.g subscribe, download, contact).
3. Give people the answers they’re already looking for.
Every day, 6 billion queries are typed into Google – an inconceivably large amount of queries!
Considering that an increasing number of these queries are direct questions, then it’s not hard to understand why so many businesses are catching onto the information-age and providing pages with answers to those direct questions so that the many anonymous google users can find an answer to whatever weird and wonderful queries they may have.
Consider what questions people might ask about the topics in your niche. Type them into google and see what comes up – can you do better? Of course you can.
Use search engine optimisation techniques to make sure your page is sending all the right signals to google and other search engines so that it may come up in search results when people ask those questions.
4. Promote your blog using Social Media
Now that you’ve got great content in your business niche that is the best of it’s kind, that has been optimised for SEO – it’s time to get the word out.
How many times have you been scrolling through your Facebook feed when you come across an article you stop to click on and read?
Social Media is often the starting point for viral content – someone shares it, their friends see it, they share it and so it goes.
But the key to having content that travels is to have useful, interesting or entertaining content that is the best of its kind. You really need to hit that nail on the head before you can expect your content to do the rounds.
The last thing you want is to waste your time creating content that people don’t want to look at. So if you’re confident the content is ready to go, then it’s time to introduce it to your existing following.
Get things started by using your business’s social media profiles – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc. – to share your content with fans.
Don’t forget to install social media share buttons on all of your posts and make it as simple as possible for them to re-share your content.
If you’re using a WordPress site there’s all sorts of plugins that can do this for you. Here’s a list of our favourite blog plugins for blogging on WordPress.
If you don’t have many fans or followers, or your posts just aren’t getting seen by enough people, then you can use Facebook advertising to boost your post, or use advanced targeting to serve your article up to an audience you can specify yourself.
5. Use Influential bloggers to reach an extended community.
Leveraging influential bloggers that already blog in your niche is a good way to forge relationships with the blogging community and help each other.
By referencing other blogs when you are writing your own posts you are adding value to your blog post by linking your audience out to useful supplementary content; and you’re sending a digital nod to the blogger you’ve linked to.
This is a great way to start a relationship with other bloggers in the community. Being friendly with other bloggers means you can earn links to your own blog opening more traffic channels to your site.
It’s also possible to approach influential bloggers with articles you’ve written in that match the subject matter of their blog.
You can ask them if they’d consider posting your content as a guest post on their blog.
This is a benefit to the blogger in that it gives them great content to post that they think their readers will enjoy, while it also gives you access to their readers.
You may be asked to provide a payment for the privilege of guest posting, or you may be able to negotiate some other agreement.
The best way to go about it is to be polite, honest and helpful to the blogger. After all, they are masters of making meaningful connections with their readers, so you’ll need to be sincere in your offering.
Oh the joys of the digital age! Great features like Facebook’s post scheduler and WordPress’s CoSchedule plugin allow you to plan your content ahead.
You can choose the days and times of posting, and select which social networks the post should be shared on.
This gives you more time to keep focusing on other things, while also giving you the freedom to choose optimal times to post content.