The history the Internet has been one bait-and-switch after another. A decade ago, we were all convinced that our blog was going to be the key to riches. People would flock to our sites, and we’d either sell them stuff or sell ads and turn it into a money machine.
Yeah, not so much. A few managed to rise to the top, but most of us gave up long ago on the mass-traffic business model. But if you run a business and have some expertise to offer, it can still help you make money. Here are some ideas for using your blog to help build your business.
Show your stuff. Your blog gives you a place to talk about that big project you just completed – especially if you incorporated some new wrinkles that might apply to prospective customers. You can show how you took two or three old ideas and combined them in a new way that opened up new possibilities for a customer. The best way I know to sell is to point to something good you’ve done. Some folks will want to implement something similar. Or they may have an entirely different idea and decide you’re the person who can make it happen for them.
Build a library of relevant topics for marketing use. I’m a PR guy who specializes in helping auction companies. Some folks think I’m pretty good, and they call me for advice on promoting their companies, improving their image, or drawing attention to the assets they’re selling. So I write articles about those things. Then when somebody asks about a service along those lines, I can easily send the person a link to a post on that very topic. It saves times, establishes me as an expert on the subject, and gives them something tangible as they make a decision on whether to enlist my services.
Promote your business on social media. Your blog posts allow you to put something meaningful and useful on social media. (You know, something besides pictures of last night’s dinner.) This causes people to take you seriously, and it drives traffic to your web site. Sometimes, when I haven’t had much time for creating new posts, I’ll go back to an older one and post it again. (Why not?) Link them from your Facebook business page and invest in some boosted posts. Instead of just saying, “This is the name of my business. Please buy something from me,” you’re actually offering something useful.
Build your SEO with new content. Google loves sites that are constantly changing, so if your site has the basic five or six pages of promotional copy that never changes, your SEO is probably in a world of hurt. As you add new articles to your site, Google sees it and moves your site higher in its search rankings.
No, your blog won’t make you famous. But it’s a very inexpensive tool that you can use in numerous ways. Take it seriously. Invest some time in it. If you’re not a good writer, hire somebody who is. Most of all, use it. Go back and update past articles. Get relevant posts in front of customers and prospects. If you do it right, you’ll have one of the most versatile sales tools around.