Image credit: Carolyn Coles (Flickr)
It’s annoying, isn’t it? You know that a blog is good for your writing business. It does wonders for your SEO (provided it’s updated regularly and has valuable information for your prospects), establishes your writing expertise and is also a good lead generator.
The first two are relatively easy to achieve. But the last? Not so much. Well, at least, that’s what we hear from writers or anyone running a business. Experience also tells us that the last problem can be easily remedied by implementing the three tips below.
1. Have an objective for your blog
In general, most businesses know that having a blog is good for business, for the reasons described above. However, the reason they struggle with the lead generation bit is due in part to a lack of objectives on what their blog is meant to achieve. And objectives are important, because that’s the only way to measure performance.
So, if you want to get those leads, before firing up a post for your company blog, first define its objectives:
- Is it a thought piece that’s meant to showcase your expertise (e.g., Why I Think the E-publishing Trend Has Reached Its Nadir) or a general commentary on industry trends (e.g., Insights on E-Publishing Trends)?
- Is it meant to promote your latest service? If yes, then use a mixture of content types (video, images and text) to showcase its awesomeness. And be sure to invite people to test it for themselves by using a strong Call to Action (CTA). For example, Our enhanced blogging service now comes with content marketing as standard. Sign up and get 20% off your first order
- Is it meant to increase sign ups to your mailing list? Here’s a tip: instead of using ‘Sign up’ at the end of your post, use ‘Get’. ‘Get’ has the promise of a gift (and who doesn’t like free gifts?), while ‘Sign up’ sounds like a lot of work, not to mention the fact that most people don’t like signing up for anything nowadays, as they fear being bombarded with marketing emails.
So, once you decide on your objectives, fire up your post. This way, you’re more likely to get the leads you want if you define your objectives from the very beginning.
2. Write for a person
You might be writing a business blog, but your blog will be read by humans, so make sure it’s personable.
First, start by writing to a persona. Your persona might be ‘Anna’, a mid-level marketing executive in an Small-Medium Enterprise struggling with a company restructure that’s left her with minimal staff to write the content she needs for her marketing campaigns. Or, it might be ‘James’, an IT manager who has been tasked with updating the company’s IT system within a very short timescale, and needs help with updating the documentation.
Writing a post for Anna and James is a lot easier than writing for ‘an SME with marketing or IT upgrading issues.’ That’s because a persona makes you more empathetic to your customers’ needs. Just by virtue of knowing Anna’s history, you know she’s concerned about meeting her targets. You know lack of time is a serious issue for her. You also know that these are the things that keep her up at night, so your blog post would showcase how people like her have benefitted from your writing services. And because it’s a blog, you would write it in a way that’s not too salesy, which would people put off — not the result you want.
Second, use ‘your’ and ‘you’, instead of ‘one’ and ‘she’. ‘Your’ creates a sense of intimacy and reassures your blog readers (for example, Anna), that you understand the pressure that she is under, and even better, have the solution to help her do her job quickly and efficiently.
Following these steps will make your posts better targeted and more likely to generate leads for you.
3. Promote your blog
Once you’ve done all the above, the next step is to promote your blog. Contrary to what people think, you do not have to be on every social network is for you. You only have to be on the ones that deliver the best ROI for your business and it takes time to find out what those social networks are.
Here’s a quick guideline:
- If you specialise in food/lifestyle writing, most of your target customers will be on Instagram and Facebook, so best to consolidate your marketing on those networks
- If your writing services are geared towards businesses, then market your blog on Twitter and Linkedin, because your ideal customers are on those networks
This is not an exhaustive list. You could try marketing yourself on all the major platforms for about a month, to see which ones deliver the best ROI for your business. You can use Hootsuite (a social media management tool) to help you with this.
With these three tips, you should be well on your way to turning your blog into lead generation machine.
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Originally published at Writing website.