If you’ve missed previous Biz Success Series posts, you can find them here:
Today’s post is another way to market your business.
Because here’s the thing: once you know who is your ideal client, you need to go and FIND them. Don’t be sitting around, waiting for them to find YOU. You’ve got to be proactive. You’ve got to find the people out there that you were born to help and serve.
But before we dig in…
Want to listen to the companion podcast for this post as you read?
What’s a blog?
So just in case you’re feeling totes clueless about all this tech stuff, let’s get back to basics for a second: what’s a blog? It’s a website that includes regularly updated content on a range of topics. Most websites also have static pages (i.e. an About page and Contact page) as well as some form of blog or regularly updated articles or news, as well as pages dedicated to free + paid for content.
Over the years, there’s been a bunch of talk about “the death of blogging”. Which to this day, still make me gigglesnort through my nose hysterically. There will always, always be a need for websites. And those websites should be updated often (i.e. with a blog).
Social media can feel like the be-all and end-all but I don’t think you should look at having a social media presence (i.e. Facebook page) as your only online home. In fact, I think it’s pretty dang foolish to do that. Here’s the thing: social media outlets will always go in and out of fashion. You do not own the environments they are in, and it’s not easy to create an archive of the content you create there. What’s more, as business owners are discovering, the rules within those environments are constantly changing and NOT in businesses’ favour. Social media platforms aren’t there to help YOU make as much money as possible… they are there to make you pay as much as possible to THEM. Social media is definitely a more temporary, ephemeral arrangement.
Here’s some reasons why you need to consider a blog:
- It shows you are a freaking professional with an actual business
- Have an online space you can craft as a guided journey for people to discover your work and dive deeper into it with you
- Teach people more about what you do
- Use it as a place to cross-publish content you share elsewhere online
- Have lots of great free content so they get to know you and trust you and understand what you have to offer
- Have a searchable, linkable archive of all the great content you post (whether it’s articles, photographs, videos, etc) – this is HUUUUUUGELY important
- Get better results for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Have your own domain name that is yours to keep, forever. You can keep on promoting with that baby until the end of time.
You can use your blog to:
- answer questions people have
- teach them why your products/services are important
- demonstrate how it will help them
- educate them about why they should invest
- build trust in you and your business
- show the behind-the-scenes of the company
- create a story that is powerful and loved by your audience
Your blog can become the linchpin, the sanctuary, the place where:
- prospects are turned into customers
- customers are turned into raving fans
- your loyal audience is born
How To Become a Blogging Pro:
- It is really easy to get caught up in blogging and looking at measurements of success that aren’t helpful. If you’re blogging to build a business, you absolutely should be using it as a central funnel to get people on your mailing list. It’s that important. It’s damn important. When you have a mailing list, it becomes a major business asset, far more than having blog followers or a certain amount of Facebook likes on a post. People on your mailing list are much, much more likely to buy from you than anyone else. It’s a way for you to keep in contact with the people who are interested in you and your offerings and are waiting for the right moment to dive deeper into working with you. So: make sure your blog is doing its job of getting people onto your mailing list.
- Make it as easy as possible for people to share your blog posts along – have social media share buttons at the beginning or end (or both!) of blog posts
- Answer people’s questions in your blog posts
- Use photos as much as possible in blog posts to break up text and appeal to both folks who like words and peeps who like pictures.
- Use images with the header title on it at the top of the post. This way when people share it on social media (i.e. Facebook or Pinterest), it’ll automatically show up with a great visual that’s easy for people to read.
I get asked about this a lot, so let me answer it here: it’s up to you whether you want to have comments or not on your blog.
Unless you really, really enjoy the interaction you get there, or unless you have a business model of selling advertising on your blog, I’d suggest not having comments.
Why? Because in my experience it adds an extra level of admin to your business, and you can get writer’s block if you feel like you’re not getting enough comments or the right kinds of comments.
My suggestion is to experiment with turning comments on and off and see what works for you and your business. If you feel like you get a lot out of it and so does your community, go for it. Otherwise, nix ‘em.
(If your primary business model is selling advertising on your blog, you will want to have comments on and a commenting policy in place. Why? Because you’re in the job of increasing your page views and traffic as much as possible. And commenting increases page views. Especially if people start arguing in comments. Weird right?)
Try out a mixture of posts to see what’s a good fit for you to create (or your team to create for you) and what your peeps digs.
For example, try:
- Short posts
- Long posts
- Posts where you answer questions
- How-To tutorial posts
- Behind-the-scenes stories
Trust your gut about how and what you would like to share.
Some people want to share only information directly related to their industry and offerings. That’s totally fine. Some like to weave their own personal story and sharings in there too. It can be a powerful way for people to relate to you and grow their trust in you (plus be a wonderful way of practicing vulnerability and authenticity in your life). Go with what you are comfortable doing right now. It can always change over time. You can always experiment and see how it feels.
Further Resource On This Topic: What You Need To Know About Privacy And Personal Safety When Blogging For Business
Want a worksheet to help you figure out what to blog about?
How I’ve Used Blogging In My Own Business:
I’ve been blogging since 2004. It was the thing that really started my business. I started sharing my writings and art online as a creative outlet for myself. I was astonished when I discovered other people (besides my best friend) read my blog. Through the process of blogging and feedback from my small but growing list of followers, I started finding my own voice and what I wanted to share with the world. My offerings organically evolved from that process.
I began using my blog to:
- Promote my offerings
- Direct people onto my mailing list (After switching to Active Campaign from Kajabi, I’m at about 50,000 people.)
- Find my peeps and build the trust so they become customers
- Build lasting connections (I’m amazed at how many of my current colleagues and friends and fans have been reading my blog for over a decade now! That’s a pretty solid, loyal connection right there!)
Seventeen years (!!!) on, those four results continue.
I write at least one post a week. How much I blog has varied hugely over the years. At the moment I tend to write quite a few shorter blog posts, and one longer “pillar article” to share with my newsletter.
I make sure my one “pillar article” per week is designed to be as useful as possible, and shared as much as possible.
I do this by:
- Making sure it’s got a fantastic heading that draws people in
- Keeping a long list of questions people ask me that can be turned into blog posts
- Using images within blog posts
- Making sure I used headings, bullet points and bolding in blog posts to make them as easily readable as possible
- Giving quality, useful content that actually (GASP!) helps people
- Being as authentic and honest as I can
- Speaking in my own voice + flying my own freak flag. (If you find yourself copying other people’s style too much, ban yourself from reading their blogs until you get comfortable with your own voice and how YOU want to create, write and appear in the world.)
My blogging type mix-up tends to look like this:
- Mostly longer written blog posts (I tend to prefer writing).
- I occasionally do video blog posts (I used to do them more when I was active on social media)
- I occasionally do larger list types of blog posts (i.e. top books + my goals for the year)
- I started “Leonie Dawson Refuses to Be Categorised” (I do a companion blog post for each podcast episode)
- My weekly pillar article is designed specifically to help my target market (usually on a topic like self development, productivity, money and business).
- I also write more personal posts sharing the soul lessons of challenges in my life (for example, my Autism story + resources).
- I trust my gut about what I want to share from my personal life. Over time, it’s evolved and will keep on changing. I just keep checking in with myself about what I’m happy to share.
- I do use blogging as a way to promote my programs and products. For example, if I have an upcoming program that I want to promote, I will write blog posts around that topic for the month leading up to the launch. On each blog post during that month, I will include an ad image for the program, or write a postscript like this:
“P.S. Want to dive deeper into this work and get your business earning you more moolah? Sales Star Masterclass is your next step. Click here to find out more and sign up!”
Extra Blogging Resources:
- Marketing Without Social Media – my new course!
- Sales Star Masterclass – how to improve your sales pages & emails to make you more $$$
- Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business – Handley and Chapman
- Pillar Blog Posts – an oldie but a goodie from Smart Passive Income
- How To Make Blog Posts Viral, Compelling + Fall In Loveable! – I wrote this one years ago, it still applies!
And remember, you don’t need to niche yourself.
You don’t need to bracket yourself into one topic or one area; I write about about business, marketing, art, life, my experience with being neurodivergent, mental health, family and everything in between.
You’ve got this.
Share your voice. Make magic in the world. And whatever you do, start now.
With a sprinkle of glitter,
✏️ Daily-ish writings
💌 Weekly love letters
📣 Podcast: Leonie Dawson Refuses To Be Categorised
💞 A library of free treasures
🌟 Sales Star
🥳 Marketing Without Social Media
💸 Money, Manifesting & Multiple Streams of Income
📕 40 Days To A Finished Book
🗣️ 40 Days To Create & Sell Your E-Course