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 tribe 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 (right now, I have about 75,000 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 five to ten years! That’s a pretty solid, loyal connection right there!)
15 years on, those four results continue.
How Much Workbook Sales Have Grown Over The Years:
How Often I Blog
I write at least one article a week. How much I blog has varied hugely over the years – I used to blog multiple times a week. For a while I attempted to blog five days a week (which led to a big ole burnout). Now I prefer to write one longer, well written, well thought out article every week.
I make sure my one “pillar article” per week is designed to be as useful as possible, and shared as much as possible.
How I Make Sure My Blog Articles Are Shared As Much As Possible:
- 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 aim to do more of this)
- I occasionally do larger list types of blog posts (i.e. top books + my goals for the year)
- I’ve dabbled in podcasting
- My weekly 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, Post
- 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.
How I use blogging to increase sales
I 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 find out even more about how to build your own team? My Shining Six Figure Team System starts February 1 and will guide you through the exact system I use in my own business to hire, train and keep a six figure team. Click here to find out more and sign up!”
I also sporadically use guest blog posts in a way that will promote my programs and products. For example, during a promotional period for my courses a while back, I asked a number of clients to write a blog post sharing the biggest business lesson they’d learned from me. I try to make sure the guest posts are as helpful and useful as possible for people to read.
Now let’s talk about how to use blogging to grow YOUR business!
A WORD OF WARNING:
Don’t Ignore The Online Or Offline Worlds And Think They Don’t Apply To Your Business!
Now let’s get this straight – you can NOT ignore the online world even if you have an offline business!
There are two worlds to find your tribe in – online and offline. Increasingly, these babies are overlapping.
Just because you have a bricks-n-mortar business, doesn’t mean you should ignore the online world of finding your tribe – in fact it’s more important than ever that you have this part covered too.
If you run an online business, you can be a bit more selective about what offline activities you get involved in to find your tribe, but it’s still ding dang useful to get out there, meet people face to face, and really “get” who you are helping on the ground level.
You Don’t Have To Do All The Kinds Of Marketing, But It’s Useful To Add More Arrows To Your Quiver!
The more of the marketing practices you do, and the more you perfect each one, you witness something beautiful called COMPOUND EFFORT. It’s just like putting more cashola in the bank – all that compound interest starts multiplying.
The more you do, the more you get back. By getting better at one technique, and also applying different techniques to finding your tribe, your business will grow exponentially quicker. By making one small change in a number of areas, you multiply your results.
Don’t be sitting around waiting for customers 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.
You’ve got to be out there, finding them and helping them.
And creating a blog is one way of doing that.
Wait: WTF is a blog? And should I really have one? Can’t I just use social media?
So just incase 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 now have static pages (i.e. an About page and Contact page) as well as some form of blog or regularly updated articles or news.
There’s been a bunch of talk about “the death of blogging”. Which makes 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 is growing, yes – but you should NOT just have 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 (i.e. how Facebook ranks
business pages and content.)
Social media is definitely a more temporary, ephemeral arrangement. It’s powerful, yes, and of great use. But I don’t think it’s a basket to be putting all your online eggs in.
Why blogs kick butt over social media:
- It shows you are a freaking professional with an actual business!
- You have an online space you can craft as a guided journey for people to discover your work and dive deeper into it with you.
- It can teach people more about what you do.
- You can give lots of great free content so they get to know you and trust you and understand what you have to offer.
- You’ll have a searchable, linkable archive of all the great content you post (whether it’s articles, photographs, videos, etc).
- You will better results for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
- You will have your own domain name that is yours to keep, forever. You can keep on promoting with that baby until the end of time.
Here’s Why Blogging Is Powerful For Your Business:
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 tribe.
Your blog can become
the linchpin, the sanctuary, the place where:
prospects are turned into customers
customers are turned into raving fans
a tribe is born.
How To Grow Your Biz With Blogging
- 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 tribe digs.
For example, try:
- Short posts
- Long posts
- Posts where you answer questions
- How-To tutorial posts
- Behind-the-scenes stories
- 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 to improve SEO.
- 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.
How much should you personally share in blogging?
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 READING ON THIS TOPIC:
Should You Have Comments On Your Blog?
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.
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.
And… success secret alert!!!!!!!! If you don’t have comments open… people usually do one of two things – will either share it on social media (YAY! Sharing your work along!) or commenting on the article on Facebook instead (YAY! Increased comment activity on social media posts will end up making your posts rank higher.) I’ve been experimenting on this for the last 4 years, and the evidence points to no comments = posts being shared further. AWWWW YISSSSSSSSS.
So! Some bloody good reasons on why you need to be blogging + what you should be blogging for your business in order for it to grow!
Hope this helps possum! Use it, implement it and see the results!