Blogging For Business – How Content Plus Community Creates Currency

  • Are you wondering what a blog even is?
  • Would you like to learn how to make more money from blogging?

Blogging For Business

 

Ok so you’ve heard the term ‘blog’ being used to describe how clever business people are now using one, to communicate with their prospects and customers but I bet you’re like many of our clients who don’t quite understand what a blog actually is and how it can help you make more money!!

 



Before blogging, the most popular way of grabbing the attention of your target market (prospects) or existing customers was by either sending out print and/or electronic newsletters (which usually included a heap of ‘buy my stuff’ references throughout it) or by paying exorbitant fees to a Public Relations Agent to get you a write up in a magazine or newspaper or an interview on radio or TV.??  Now thanks to social media and blogging, communication and influence has become democratized and is no longer owned or controlled by the big media moguls. In fact its not uncommon for bloggers, to receive more readers than tradtional media.  For example, The Design Files (one of my favourite blogs), receives over 100,000 unique visitors per month and has a bigger readership than Melbourne’s Leader Newspaper with only 50,000 readers per month.??

Think about this…. the reason we pay such high fees to advertise on the radio, TV or print is because we’re paying for the privilege to ‘rent a crowd’. The more people listening/watching/reading these media channels, the more we pay. But imagine what money you’ll both save and make, if you attract and own your own crowd (community), to your own channels (for example a podcast/YouTube channel/blog)!!!??”

 So how do I make more money in my business, from blogging” I here you ask! Read on my friends, all you need to know, is revealed below…..

Step 1: Make Sure Your Website Can Accommodate a Blog

Your blog should form part of your website menu structure. Now thanks to blogging you can turn your static website (or as I referred to them “electronic brochures”) into a dynamic conversation, where readers can be connecting and communicating with you the blogger, and also with other readers who leave comments.

 Having an integrated blog, on your website will also help you with organic search engine optimisation. Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines reward websites, by bumping them up the search results, for having content that is regularly being updated (via blogging) and being referred to by other websites (known as backlinking).

I personally believe its a waste of effort having a blog, separate to your website. For example, lets say someone reads your blog post and loves your take on why marcoons and better than cup cakes. You’ve got them licking their lips, virtually tasting the salted caramel creamy centres on their tongue but then you jolt them out of their trance, because they now have to go to another website to find out more and place their order, instead of being able hit the ‘buy it now’ button, housed within the same site.

Step 2: Make Sure Your Blog Title Packs a Punch

If your blog has a boring title and is ambiguous, you’re likely to get very low readership and even less people commenting on the post. Think about how Bloxing Glove & Laptopnewspaper and magazine articles are written, its the punchy headlines that initially grab our attention. What you’ll also notice with my blogs, I start them with 2 questions, to grab the readers attention, that compels them to keep reading.  Also ensure your blog title and topic highlights what you want to be famous for, in business. For example, if you’ve positioned yourself as a ‘foodie blogger’ don’t blog about a new range of wagu beef that’s just hit the market, if you’re an organic green grocer whose target market are vegetarians.

Step 3: Make Your Content Useful and Unique

Ensure you’re customer and community-centric with your writing style. Be constantly asking yourself “if I was my customer, what content would I find useful and unique, what problems would I liked solved?” There are many different ways you can deliver useful and unique content. Here’s some examples:

  • Entertainment – light-hearted, fun, funny
  • Educational – you could provide formulas, steps, recipes, cheat sheets
  • Controversial – some bloggers like to pollarise the market and create a healthy debate
  • Curator – you might want to summarise the week that was in your niche and industry by referring to other people’s content
  • Make sure you also have a structure to your blog:
  • A punchy headline
  • 2 compelling questions that entices further reading
  • 5 – 7 main points that positions you as the expert and authority in your niche and industry
  • Summary of what you’ve written
  • Call to action
Step 4: Make Your Blog Shareable and Interactive

A blog is not a blog, unless people can comment on it and have open dialogue. There are 2 ways you can include commenting functionality to your blog:

  1. By including a comment form, where the comments remain contained within the blog and only those reading the blog, see the comments.
  2. By including a Facebook plugin (like this blog post has) enabling people to comment via their Facebook profile which means the comments are also readable and reviewable by Facebook friends outside of the blog post, on Facebook.

 

social-media-shareMy advice is to include the Facebook plugin to your blog; it makes commenting so much quicker (rather than having to fill out your details on a blog form) and you get the added bonus of others reading your comments on Facebook.

  I also highly recommend you use another social plugin, that allows your blog community to share your blog posts, with their social media community. You can also see how this works, by clicking on the share buttons, next to the heading on this blog post.

We’re moving from a world of just business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C), to a world of customer-to-customer (C2C), where our customers are recommending and selling your products and services, on your behalf. Don’t make it hard for your customer advocates to promote you to their community.

Step 5: Create a Community – Serve First, Sell Second

I see it time and time again, people have taken the time to leave comments on blog posts but the blogger has not bothered to acknowledge and respond. This is like having an ‘open for business’, in your front window, but not having any staff on board to serve those that enter your premises.

 If you’ve gone to the trouble of writing a blog, then make sure, you respond to every blog post as quickly as you can. Content without a community will provide you with zero results.

Writing blog posts that are stuffed with “buy my stuff, buy my stuff” will also provide you with zero results. Think of how you can serve and contribute to the community first. 

People buy from people they know, like and trust. I also know that the more you give people for free (tips, education, how to’s), the more they’ll want you to do it for them for money!! Look at the personal training industry, none of us really need personal trainers, we can look up on YouTube how to do push ups or crunches but we still pay a personal trainer to keep us accountable.

A perfect example of content plus community creates currency is the photo sharing app Instagram. Its a free app for enhancing and sharing photos with the world. Tens of thousands of people upload photos (content) daily and us the community, comment and like the photos. Instagram launched in 2010 and hadn’t turned over a cent, until it was sold in March 2012 to Facebook for 1 billion dollars!! Facebook paid a premium price to gain access to the community. Is that a big enough business case to get cracking on building a community!!!

Step 6: Have a Call to Action on Every Blog Post

If you’ve built a reputation for always providing great quality blog posts, the community will not begrudge you having a call to action at the end of the post. PeopleMake yourself heard love to be led. Now this does not mean you can go over board with “buy my stuff, buy my stuff”. You can have subtle calls to action to check out how else you can help your community, for a fee.

 My recommendation would be to have a call to action like “if you like what you read and you’d like to learn more, please provide us with your name and email address, in the box provided and we’ll sure to be in touch!”

Any great marketer will tell you “the money is in the list”. You should be, at every opportunity looking to grab people’s contact details so you can market and promote to them on a regular basis.

Another important call to action, is to ask your readers to leave a comment about what they thought of the blog post. You want to encourage your community to interact with you and those commenting, that’s the key to building a community.

I really hope you’ve found this blog to be both useful and unique. If you have, please don’t forget to share the love, with your community by clicking on the share buttons.

Until next time….see you in the social-sphere!

Kylie Bartlett – The Web Celeb
Social Media Strategist and Speaker