A few years ago, if you didn’t own a business website, many marketers would have described you as an old fashioned, technology-fearing dinosaur losing out to your competitors who were online stealing your customers. Now if you’re online, you have another challenge: to start a business blog because your competitor has one.
From your chair, you start watching them like a hawk and then realise that they’re actually superheroes to their customers. Everyone’s glorifying them and they’re engaging ‘lots and lots’ and buying what seems like everything you’re trying to sell… but from them, not from you. What’s going on?
Well, when Darren Rowse came to Perth to talk to WA bloggers, he reminded us why.
Darren is a successful Australian blogger making a living from blogging, mostly through his sites Problogger and Digital Photography School. With his background, this made a perfect topic to engage and inspire the many WA personal bloggers keen to use their blogs to go into business or just work with brands to make money, and business owners who wish to grow a business blog. Whatever their situation, I assume each business-owner-turned-blogger and blogger-turned-business-owner has at least one major competitor.
So, Darren made it clear in his presentation that even when you have competitors, and I suppose even when you envy them or are not impressed that they’re ‘stealing’ your potential customers, your main focus should remain on your blog while keeping in mind what they are doing. What does this all mean if you’re blogging for your business?
Every business blog has to start somewhere
Basically, the message here is this: don’t obsesses over things, don’t beat yourself up. Just do what would bring the best outcome to your business. Find strategies that can help you achieve what they’re achieving and more.
Become a superhero.
The way I see it, although many business owners know the benefits of blogging, love the idea of it, want to do it and are embracing blogging for business, some are winning more than others because they connect with their readers so well they get higher conversion rates. You don’t need to talk to each blogger to find this out, everyone knows that the more engagement the better the outcomes. I’ve experienced the same but I know why it happens to me. And although I’m not fine with that, I have to cut myself some slack because I know that the reason I haven’t blogged enough lately is I have to help others build their business blogs. That still doesn’t make it right, especially when I want to attract new clients! I guess I need to start to be a better role model!
Why businesses with blogs should want to become superheroes
Blogging is becoming more popular now with social media savvy sole traders and small businesses, because they realise the benefits blogging for business can bring. So gradually, everyone is starting a business blog.
Through business blogging a business can:
- Build communities to target and bring people to them both online and offline. By building an online community you’re creating loyalty and engagement, and you’re giving existing customers and could-be customers the microphone to voice their opinions and suggestions for your brand.
- Be more helpful through your blog content, by delivering the type of content that empowers, inspires and reassures the readers. Darren talked about becoming a superhero to your readers but to do it well enough to convert them, even when you’re not trying to directly sell anything. You can use readers as a sounding board when you need prompt feedback.
- Develop brand advocates who can distribute your messages across social media on your behalf and mention you over a cup of coffee. That’s free marketing right there. Small acts like ‘sharing’, ‘pinning’ and ‘liking’ can take your business a long way. Who needs expensive Sochi or Grand Prix advertisements, right?
- Increase visibility through shared and submitted content. As you continue to blog, your new content are shared on social media, are found on search engines and can be used to build backlinks from other sites. If you say something powerful enough, others might start quoting you as well.
If you want your blog to convert, look at its content
It means that if you’re trying to attract and convert readers into customers, you need to dig behind your content to discover the reasons our competitors’ blogs are capturing more engagement and converting more. But the question shouldn’t be: “why is it my competitor keeps getting so many comments and customers?”
The real question should be: “why aren’t my blog and website getting that many comments and customers?”
My answer: create content so relevant and meaningful they convert your readers.
“Look for problems and how to solve them…
write about it… Become the superhero.”
To sum up Darren‘s tips and tips received from businesses at the event:
- Blogging is a fantastic opportunity to create useful and converting content for your target audience, but it should be done in an interesting way to keep them coming back and to convince them that you’re the business to come to.
- Establish some key goals. Decide what you’re trying to get out of blogging and how you’re going to achieve it.
- Be sure to align your blog to your audience and their needs. Not the other way around. It would be harder to create content and then hope your audience appreciate it.
- Write quality content to show them that you know AND can do ‘epic sh*t’ because you are THE expert.
- Give them the chance to ask questions and then provide those answers.
- Be consistent with your blogging. If it’s once a week then keep it at that, as long as it’s manageable.
- Get out there and promote your blog both offline and online. Go to places, forums and sites where your potential customers live.
- Don’t try to focus too much on each social media account. Pick the top two or three that work best for you and focus there.
- Learn how to generate fresh and 100% unique content that would tell them a better way to solve their problems.
- When focusing on search engine optimisation, be sure you’re writing more from AND for human than robot.
- Start blogging, stop wishing you were.
What do you think makes a successful business blog?
If you would like to improve your business blogging or need help writing your content, please get in touch.