Is Your Blog Earning It’s Keep?
How inbound marketing techniques can bring new, qualified business to your doorstep.
If you are new to blogging you may have experienced the deflation of having your great content fall flat.
It goes something like this…
You have an idea for a great blog article. You do the research. You come up with great stories and analogies to explain your points. You find the perfect photos to capture your readers’ interest and showcase your brilliance. You spend time on your title, subtitle and formatting. You post that article.
What happened? Where are the views, the likes, the followers, the warm leads? How is all this blogging helping to grow your business?
Blogging is a form of inbound marketing.
It is an effective way to publish and promote information about what your business does for clients. Your blog posts address problems your customers are having. And when your blog article is done right, it helps you attract new visitors to your store or website and gives you an opportunity to convert those visitors into leads and eventually into customers.
Everyone is just looking for answers.
You could say that most of the web traffic today is about strangers looking for answers to their pressing questions. Things like:
Why does my dog keep shaking his head?
What are the best tax breaks for 2019?
Why is my new iPhone acting this way?
Inbound marketing affords you the opportunity to be seen as a subject expert in your business vertical. Your knowledge and expertise is in demand. Once you understand how your customers want to receive that information, you are poised to provide it in a way that draws them to your website and products. Blogging is one of the best ways to draw customers to you.
Your blog increases your chances of being found by Google.
A great blog post doesn’t just inform and educate. By using back links and good SEO optimized keywords, search engines will apply Google’s algorithms to find your content. By including properly researched keywords, you will increase your chances of being found amidst other sites with similar offerings.
In a similar way, back links within your blog help give credibility to your articles, your website and help connect you with other experts, ranking you among those experts.
For example: If you are in the pet care business, your blog on keeping your dog’s ears clean should contain links to your website where you offer ear-cleaning products, as well as links to pet MD sites where your readers can get more information about pet care.
Don’t hide your content on your website- share it far and wide.
Sharing your blog postings far and wide is essential to your success. Postings on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, your email list and your own website ensures potential leads have the opportunity to read your work and follow you.
When you position yourself as a subject expert by effectively answering the burning questions of your most likely customers, other websites will link to your site and your blogs become the expert advice people want to share with others. You build trust with your readers when you effectively answer their questions.
Your blog posts can also be used to strategically promote offers on your website. Once you have addressed the issue your customer is grappling with, point to your product as an easy answer to their problem.
Customer: I thirst.
You: Click here for water.
It may seem like a subtle difference but remember that your blog posts need to be written about the customer’s needs-NOT your company’s offerings. Write about your industry and what your buyers’ problems are. Share stories and content that showcase how you can meet their needs. Then provide easy links and calls to action that help the reader buy into your offerings.
Here are the steps you need to follow to create a successful blog post for inbound marketing:
First: Pick a topic that is of burning interest to your customer.
Second: Format the post in an attractive way that is not text dense and offers photos, infographics, bullet points and charts that help explain your points and makes reading easier for the customer.
Third: Promote your offerings with easy, attractive links to your website or products. Make it easy for your customers to interact with you and do business.
Fourth: Optimize your post with search engine optimized keywords and share it with all your contacts and social media platforms.
How do you find topics that resonate with your customers?
There are many different strategies to help you determine what your potential customers are asking.
Your industry most likely offers a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Use these as a basis for creating a new take on the answers. Make your post funny (if appropriate) and engage the imagination with stories that show you understand the problems your clients are facing.
Take a look at what your customers have said is a problem for them. Show how their problem can be answered by your company’s offerings. Don’t forget to include testimonials from satisfied customers. These short words of praise from people who have had their problem solved by you lend credibility to your claims.
Consider what your competitors are talking about. Look on their websites, read their blogs, review their products. Use your creativity to put your own spin on the content and apply it to your business.
When crafting your blog, keep these tips in mind:
- Draft an introduction that captivates the attention of your reader with humor, shows empathy or creates a little cringe factor-show what is uncomfortable without totally grossing the reader out.
- Remember that long form content is often preferred-and HubSpot.com recommends that 2,100 words is the current ideal. Don’t drag an article out, however, if it can be effectively dealt with in less words. Your readers will appreciate not having their time wasted. Get to the point but do so engagingly.
- When blogging, white space is good. This isn’t your freshman English class where the essay with the highest word count gets the highest grade. Most blogs are read online. White space helps guard against eye strain and fatigue. Plus, readers are less likely to spend time wading through huge text blocks. Use bold lettering, H2 tags, color and numbers or bullets to highlight key passages and lead the reader through the text.
- Use multimedia content to supplement your blog. Nothing ranks a post higher in Google right now that web optimized video. If you have a video to enhance your blog, use it.
- Hyperlinked text and back links are important in the beginning and at the end of your posts to engage the reader and offer relevant calls to action. Some customers know right away they want to get to your website or product page. Others may take some convincing. Offering links at the beginning and end ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity to engage with your customer.
- Make your blog post shareable.
By using these tips and blogging consistently and frequently, you will see better results and more engagement with your posts. Need a hand with your blog writing? Check out my website www.BusinessWritingSolutions.org for more great information.