Thinking about a blog for your business website?
Businesses are publishing a lot of posts and the reason is because 79.2 million people read blogs last year.
That’s a lot of people and it’s a big audience.
So starting a blog is a good idea, but do you understand the strategy behind blogging for your business?
It can be a little tricky. A blog post is different from an advertisement.
Let me explain how business blogging works to bring new customers to your business.
Website = Online Salesperson
In the real world you’re the salesperson for your business. People come to you, ask questions and you sell them your product or service.
And the great thing is that your website is exactly the same as you.
Instead of a person coming to you in person or calling you on the phone they’re going to your website. The trick is providing your website with the knowledge you have in your head to turn the visitor into a customer.
Different Content For Different Moments
Let’s say you sell cars and you’re in the supermarket parking lot. You see someone struggling to slide groceries into their SUV. You walk over and offer to help. You show them a little trick for arranging the bags so they all fit. They offer a relieved “thank you”. You tell them that it’s no sweat. You’re in the car business and know a few little tricks like that. They reply with a little intrigue and ask for your card. Maybe a month or a year later they call you up because they’re in the market for a new SUV. They come in to the office. You ask questions. They ask questions. The discussion turns to SUVs and financing options and finally the sale is made.
That seems like a normal way to handle those interactions.
Now, let’s say you see someone struggling to put groceries into their SUV. You walk up and the first thing you say is, “I sell SUVs. Here’s my card. Call me.” Then you walk away.
That probably wouldn’t happen, right?
Different content or different words are right for different situations.
Blog Posts Are First Interactions
When someone is struggling with something it’s helpful and valuable to provide the answer especially if you’re an expert on the topic. It’s a way to help others and to build connections. Those connections are a form of trust and people buy from people they trust.
Blog posts are answers to questions.
For businesses that sell to businesses, the best blog posts are ones that answer questions people have about their jobs. For example, an owner of a small business would have questions about running their business.
For businesses that sell to consumers, the best blog posts are about daily life questions. For example, a person wonders if there is a better way to put groceries into their car.
Blog posts are the first interaction you have with potential customers. You publish blog posts that are answers to questions people have. It’s the best way to attract potential customers to your website through a variety of channels including search, social media and email.
Another way to think about this is dating. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. It might work one out of a million times. But you’ll get slapped in the face and build a bad reputation. The same is true with blogging. You don’t want to ask for the sale on the first date (or interaction).
Earning Respect & Building Authority
Many bloggers are interested in keywords. A car salesperson might say that they need to rank for the term “used cars phoenix” or something like that. They want to create a blog post around that keyword.
However, the real goal that they want to achieve is to be known as the best source of used cars in Phoenix. They want their homepage to rank for that term, not a blog post.
How do you get your homepage to rank for important terms?
You build a respected business that sells the best used cars with the best service and all that good stuff. But you also have to earn respect and build authority online. You have to show Google that you’re the best result for important keywords.
One of the ways to help do those things is to blog. And really what you’re doing with a blog is answering questions that your target customers have. You answer all the questions used car people have about buying cars, selling cars, maintaining cars, storing cars, traveling in cars, etc.
Let’s say you commit to answering three questions every week. That’s ~150 blog posts or answers a year. After a couple years you’ve got a pretty solid collection of content and you’ve probably helped a lot of people.
That alone will earn you some customers in all likelihood because when you help people you earn their trust and when they’re in the buying mode for what you sell they’ll likely come to you.
But what you’ll also find is that your entire website will grow in authority. Your homepage will start ranking for important terms like “used cars in phoenix”. You have do a couple basic on-page things like adding the right information on your homepage like a headline saying: Bob’s Cars: Used Cars Sales in Phoenix.
Some Home Runs, Lots Of Singles
Not every post needs to be a home run. Sometimes you will hit on a topic that people really care about and that post will bring you lots of traffic over and over. But mostly your posts will be more like singles. But those singles add up. One post may bring you a few visits a week, but that adds up over time because the post never goes away. Do that 50, 100 or more times and you’ll be getting a good amount of traffic to all the posts you have on your site.
So blogging is kind of two-pronged for bringing new customers to your website.
First, each post earns traffic through search, social, email and more. That adds up over time and really never goes away, which is unlike advertisements where they stop showing as soon as you turn off the money.
Second, you build your reputation online by answering questions with blog posts and that helps your homepage and other pages rank for important selling keywords.
It’s important to understand how to approach business blogging. Treat it like that interaction in the grocery store parking lot. You’re looking to help people with the questions they have as it relates to your industry, their job or their life. That’s your goal with blogging. If they’re asking specifically about your services and things like that then they’re already interested in buying your service. That is the content you want on your homepage, services page and things like that.
Approach blogging the right way and you’ll be in good shape for bringing new customers to your site…consistently.