As a copywriter who helps business owners write blogs you might be surprised to hear me say that not everyone needs a blog section on their website.
In fact, it’s a conversation that I have with almost all of my new blogging clients. These are some of the most common answers that I hear to my question “so why do you feel you need a blog for your business?”
Because Everyone Else Has One
Ok. This takes me right back to my teenage years and “if everyone else jumped off a cliff because they thought it was cool, would you follow?” Sadly, my thirteen year old answer was probably yes. Thankfully my forty two year old self knows better, and I’m guessing so do you.
There are a number of things to consider before deciding if a blog is right for your business.
For example, there are some industries in which word of mouth provides the main source of referrals, with a minimalistic online presence to lend legitimacy to the business.
People might do an online search for a local tradesman but many plumbers, electricians and decorators tell me that the majority of their work comes through friends and family passing on trusted recommendations. It is often their opinion that writing a blog is not the best marketing strategy for them.
I tend to agree. Unless you are just starting out, and then it might be a useful tool that gets the ball rolling.
Other important factors are time and enthusiasm. Or lack of it. To engage the reader you need to care about your subject. Don’t think that you can just copy and paste content from elsewhere on the web.
Firstly this is illegal, and you run the risk of a large fine for intellectual property theft.
Secondly, and even more importantly to your readers, a lack of enthusiasm and bland content turns potential customers off. By all means do your research to see what other people are blogging about and how your opinion differs from theirs. But use this to inspire your own, unique work.
Me, Me, Me
Your blog is not about you. Persuasive copywriters always keep the client, or in this case the reader, uppermost in their minds when producing content.
Whether you are writing with commercial aims or for creative expression, a writer cannot be successful without a willing audience. Expressing a professional or even personal opinion is great, but will the topic resonate with the people you want to attract?
Remember who you are writing for. Explore the ways that you can create a content plan that will help them engage with you and your industry, encourage them to share their experiences and ask questions. Make them the hero of the piece.
Sell, Sell, Sell
Blogging is all about relationships.
It enables you to create regular content that will keep readers coming back to your website. Blog posts should seek to educate, inform and perhaps even entertain. If you are achieving all of these things then you will be forgiven for adding in the occasional ‘buy from me’ type post.
Of course every blog should have a strong call to action, but don’t behave like a sales rep knocking on someone’s front door. As the brilliant copywriter Jacey Lamerton, Editorial Direct of Killer Content says – seek to engage, not interrupt.
A Quick Fix
All of this takes time and patience. I encourage clients to commit to at least 6 months of consistent posting before making a decision as to whether blogging is working for them. Traffic will increase over time; but you can’t expect it to happen overnight.
This is a not a quick fix for immediate sales, it’s more a brand building exercise. It will hopefully increase awareness amongst your ideal clients and demonstrate why they should care about engaging with you and your business. This should lead to an increase in sales.
Before you start give some careful thought as to why you want to write a blog and whether these objectives are realistic. Also consider what else you are doing in your marketing plan that will complement your blog content and schedule.
It’s Not the Only Answer
Blogging does not have all the answers. It needs to be one part of a larger marketing plan.
Don’t starting writing a blog post once a week and expect an immediate audience to find you. Let people know that you are creating this fantastic content, share the links and encourage readers to comment. Use it to add value to your social media accounts, regular newsletter or training course.
Every business needs to utilise a combination of marketing avenues to reach their objectives. Look at how your new blog will complement the ones that you are already using. While blogging is a useful tool, it should never be the only one.
Add your comments below or drop me a line on claire @greedywordsmith.com if you are thinking about setting up a blog and would like some advice and support.