One of the biggest traps with business blogging is doing too much selling.
There is so much pressure to close a deal that much of the sales process is forgotten.
Rarely will somebody read a blog post then read about your product and then purchase.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a business blog is the opportunity to build awareness that you exist. The more people that know about you the more business you’ll get. It’s a little difficult to attribute this type of business, but you don’t want to ignore awareness strategies because they’re not as easily tracked.
If you’re looking to blog for your business and want to avoid the trap of writing about yourself, your products and your services, you might be better off thinking about the blog as more of a personal blog.
Here is how you can use a personal blog to increase business.
1. What To Write About
Throw out all the ideas of writing about your product and services. Then to get away from the gray areas throw out all the topics that are in your industry. Obviously these would be good topics if you’re looking to do a business blog. You can come back to these. But if you want to use the personal blog approach then leave these alone for now.
Let’s say you’re a dentist, for example. A gray area topic might be, 5 Tips for Brushing a Toddler’s Teeth. Obviously a great topic, but for now we’re focusing on the more personal aspects.
Instead, focus on areas that are of interest to you in your personal life. Hobbies, interests, local activities, sports, family, friends, etc.
As that dentist you might write titles like:
- My Experience At The New Pizza Restaurant In Town
- Our Family Went On Vacation To Hawaii…Things Got Interesting
- My Football Game Routine Every Sunday
- A Secret Shortcut For Getting Downtown
- My Latest Woodworking Project
Those don’t have anything to do with dentistry. But they are still interesting to a lot of people. They let readers get a little insight into you as a person. So you’re knocking off two big aspects of the sales process right there:
- Small talk and getting to know each other
Let’s say you’re moving to a new city. You’re probably googling for information. You’re probably reading blog posts. You find and read the post on the shortcut for getting downtown. Then you read more. You get to know this dentist and who they are, what they like, etc.
When you move to town, what are the odds that you choose this dentist…
2. Setting A Schedule
The secret to blogging (and any content strategy) is consistency. Consistency in your schedule. The idea that quality is better than quantity is disingenuous. You can’t get to quality without investing in quantity. And if you are creating something that people like then they want as much as you can give.
Too many blogs start with about 10 posts. Then the ideas start to trickle. The schedule falls off and just like a workout routine, it’s abandoned after a few months.
Commit to at least one post per week. Brainstorm 10 ideas. Put it on a spreadsheet. Use that to write the post each week. In 8 weeks, set aside 1-2 hours to brainstorm more ideas. Put 10-12 more on the spreadsheet.
Repeat that process.
One great thing about doing a personal blog is that you’re more likely to be engaged in the topics. It might seem more interesting than writing about what you do for work all the time. But it still won’t be easy to stick to that schedule. But if you want success that’s what is required.
3. How To Gauge Success
I’m a fan of getting into blogging and forgetting about the analytics on the website for at least a year. Commit to creating content for a year. That’s your measure of success. If you can make it.
It’s so much like working out. Imagine working out and measuring progress every time you workout. You’d get very frustrated with the lack of initial results. But if you forget about weighing in all the time and just workout for a year you’ll be surprised at the results when you finally do check.
Traffic is the easiest way to measure success after a year. But also pay attention to social shares and engagement, feedback from colleagues via email, feedback from guests and those kinds of things as well.
I like to experiment with a wide range of topics when starting. You never know what will hit home. Find a few themes that work. Expand on those, but keep experimenting so you’re always opening yourself up to new opportunities.
If you’ve been struggling with a business blog then the right strategy for you might be to go fully into a personal blog. Don’t write about anything related to your business or even industry. This isn’t new. Soap companies created soap operas to sell soap. But they didn’t create infomercials. They just wanted attention and they found a way to get it and they sold soap.
Try doing a personal blog on your business website. It can work just as well or even better than the traditional approach.