Are you confused about the purpose of your blog in the grand scheme of your business success? This is an extremely common situation that many business owners find themselves in, and it’s often stressful and frustrating. Even if you spend hours upon hours researching proper blogging practices and tools, somehow you become even more confused and lost. For this reason, we wrote this blog post to provide you with clarity on where blogging fits into your overall marketing strategy.
Online business success combines a variety of essential marketing tools including your blog, social media platforms, and your website. Think of your marketing materials as the foundation of your brand image. The combination of these materials creates an image in the prospect’s mind that enables him or her to perceive your brand in a certain light. If you are active on a platform that you are not using correctly, your brand image will be perceived differently than you intend.
Only when each of these tools is utilized effectively will you see stellar business success. That is not to say that every business needs to have a blog or be on the most popular social media platforms. But, if you do have a blog or are on some of the popular social media sites, do it right.
In terms of blogging, there is no point in creating a blog that reflects your company in an inaccurate light. Therefore, if you’re not willing to put the effort into blogging and harness its viral power, you shouldn’t create a blog for your business.
What a blog really is . . .
- A peer- and client-attraction tool.
- A place to illustrate that your attitude is compatible with your target audience.
- A place to share your business personality.
- A resource for industry information.
- An extension of your brand message.
- A place to engage and connect with others.
But what does that mean? It means, don’t use your blog as . . .
*A direct-selling tool. To understand this concept, we must first analyze the origins of the blog. Born in the mid-90s, the blog was created to reflect personal-life accounts and interests and to build conversations and relationships from the sharing of that information. Today, the blog has evolved but has still kept its same purpose: to share valuable information with others in hopes of starting a conversation and building relationships. Can you see now why selling a product on a blog would not be compatible with the delicate nature of the blog?
And, when we refer to “blogging for business,” we’re not saying “blogging for sales.” Rather, blogging for business requires you to form opinions, inform the public on current industry events, share industry tips without being paid (yes, it’s called sharing), and have conversations and fun with your blog target audience.
When your blog readers get to know the person behind the blog (you) and begin to like and trust that person, they’ll associate the company behind the blog with the person writing it.
In a nutshell, your blog positions your company in the market as an industry expert; it does not sell.
*A business-formal and rigidly professional resource for clients. Touching on what I said in the previous bullet point, a blog is not a sales tool; it’s a positioning tool. Therefore, it doesn’t act like other sales tools such as brochures, advertisements, pamphlets, and commercials. Those sales materials should have a business formality and professionalism to them. Your blog should not have the same tone as these sales materials.
In order to keep your readership’s attention, your blog should be engaging, fun, interactive, and personable. This will also help position your company in the market.
*An information base that’s all about you. No one cares about what you’re trying to sell or what your company is doing 24 / 7. Save that for the sidebar and the About Us page on your website.
Now, I must tell you that there is a fine line between telling a story that involves you and talking about yourself. When you can apply your personal story to valuable information or tips, that’s when you connect with your target audience. For example, you might say something along the lines of “I’ve made this mistake before, and I’ve learned a lot from this mistake. Here are five tips to avoid this same mistake.”
But when you’re simply talking about your company and how great you are, how does that benefit your readers? It doesn’t. So why would they care to visit your blog again?
*A useless information hub. What else is there to say but that your blog would be a boring, useless site, and a waste of your time?
Now that you know what a blog is and what it isn’t, it’s time to understand how components of your blog interact with each other.
There are two main elements to a blog that shape the way readers perceive you as an expert: the design / layout and the content. If one of these elements is missing from your brand image, you risk losing valuable readership.
Below are some tips to ensure that your blog’s main elements remain at their best:
Make sure your blog content is one of the below:
- Interesting to your audience.
- Engaging (whether through captivating words, interactive elements, or photos).
- Written so that it speaks directly to your market’s needs / desires.
- Truthful and authentic.
- Consistently stimulating.
Make sure your blog design is all of the below:
- In line with your brand image.
- Visually pleasing.
- Organized properly so that readers can easily find contact information and navigate your blog.
- Quick to load.
Do you now have a better understanding of how a blog fits into the overall picture of your business success? Let us know in our comments section.
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