In either case, you’ve got to be able to justify the investment, but if you only measure your return by the number of people Google Analytics says have landed on your blog and then clicked a product link you’ll probably be disappointed!
Business results from a writing a blog can include more traffic, leads, and PR opportunities.
In fact, our new training division here at Write My Site was born out of all the speaking engagements that came our way as a result of conference planners reading our blog and inviting us to take part in their events.
Which leads nicely on to …
As Joey from Friends once said, “You always gotta think about the trail!” Tracking the opportunities that arise from your blog may be less dramatic than the way in which Joey helped Ross connect the dots between one night stand Chloe and girlfriend Rachel, but it almost certainly involves a trail.
After all, how often do people ring up your business and say, “I just saw your blog and now I want to give you money”? Probably never. It’s more likely they ring up and just say what they need.
It’s then up to you to establish how they found you. “Google” they may say. You need to know which search query they used (might it be worth writing a few more blog pieces around similar terms?). Did they land on your blog and then head to a service page, or did they start on a service page and then check out your blog to make sure you knew what you were talking about? This is all key business information that can be extracted with the help of a few friendly questions.
A lot of other business opportunities could also lead back to your blog if you follow the trail, such as:
- An invitation to offer an expert quote for an article in the local press
- A CV from a bright young graduate keen to work for a business at the top of its game
- A boost in Twitter followers after your blog link is retweeted by someone influential
- A referral by one of your regular blog readers to their friend who is in the market for your services
A blog is not a sales tool; it’s an all-of-business tool. Put simply, it is the best way for anyone without a seven figure marketing budget to establish their business as an expert in its field.* And, faced with a choice of suppliers offering largely similar products and services, from whom does the customer want to buy? That’s right: The expert.
*If you DO have a seven figure marketing budget, ignore this article and hire an agency to create a TV ad featuring a humorous animal.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of narcissism when it comes to your blog. You’re writing it – or handing over your hard-earned cash for someone else to write – so you should feel entitled to blow your own trumpet a bit. Or, to put it another way, you’re wasting your time/money on a blog if you do nothing to promote it.
‘Build it and they will come’ is partly true, in that blogging regularly does boost traffic to your website by approximately 55% (HubSpot) – but you can hugely improve on this if you publicise each new piece on your social networks and build a list of subscribers who are keen to receive your latest posts in their inboxes.
Death or glory
There’s no halfway house when it comes to writing a blog for your business. There is so much freely available information out there that you’ve got to produce something really good to get people’s attention. You don’t necessarily have to be the most prolific blogger or write the longest articles, but you do have to write something that stands out from all the ‘samey’ content that everybody else is putting on their blogs.
Not sure how to make your articles stand out? Take stock of what everyone else is doing, and ask yourself how you could create something better. You’re an accountant and someone just published ‘10 ways to save tax’? Publish 20. You’re a property developer and everyone’s posting highlights from the latest government announcement? Interview someone from one of the property associations for an in-depth feature. Always think how you can offer better value from your blog articles than anyone else can, and you’ll build a loyal following that will pay dividends for your business time after time.