Do you remember the time when blogging first became popular? The internet was filled with success stories. Teaching how to do it right became a big business. New internet marketing gurus spread their blogging for business prescription to everyone who would listen. It became a marketing staple. No one wanted to be left behind.
Unfortunately, many businesses didn’t see the success they first hoped for. Their writing didn’t seem to make an impact on the bottom line. Businesses started to search for other shiny new things. It’s how we got to the staggering number of abandoned blogs we see today.
Why didn’t it work?
Many businesses followed the advice of the new gurus to be more accessible. Their posts were about company culture, happy people and retreats. Others posted company updates and product improvements.
These things are great for employees and long-time customers. But regular prospects and first-time visitors of your website won’t care about Evelyn’s 10 year anniversary. They are only interested in solving their problems.
That’s exactly what the early bloggers tapped into. Making money has a strong pull and a gold rush attracts a lot of people. Possibilities were endless and everyone wanted to copy the early success stories. Just write a few articles and see the money roll in. Who wouldn’t be tempted by that?
The same thing happened during the gold rush in California. The ones who became rich were not the diggers, but the merchants who sold the shovels. The pioneers and new gurus wrote for the right people and connected to an audience that cared about what they had to say.
Since they merely stumbled upon their luck, they didn’t lie to the internet about their strategies. It just so happened that what worked for them doesn’t have to work for the rest of us.
Now, people say blogging for business is dead because they were burned. But the reality is that you can still be very successful if you do it the right way.
Like all projects we start, planning is essential. You can’t build a skyscraper without a solid foundation. You have to be clear about your goals and how much time you want to invest. Your topics should be backed up by demand and ideally not too competitive.
The article itself should be informational but connected to your solutions as close as possible. See it as a first introduction to a potential buyer. You’re on their radar for the first time and you have their attention. By providing quality information, you will have an edge on your competition. They know who you are and what you’re about. And, if the article is good, they’ll know who to call when your service is needed.
Let’s say you’re a mechanic. Think about what problems your customers have. Articles about changing oil and checking tire pressure will attract people interested in what you have to offer.
Most of the people interested in your posts won’t call you right after they finish reading. But that’s fine. You’ve planted a seed that will come to life when the time is right. As long as you stay on their radar.
Newsletters are a very effective way to do that. They are personal and allow for a continuing dialog. You can then send them discount codes, invite them to special events and so on.
The right topics
The terms we search for on Google depend on the frame of mind. If you know a lot about the topic, your search will look different than someone who doesn’t know anything about a topic.
Guessing the right terms can be very difficult. A better approach is to put your terms into a service like Ubersuggest. It will determine how many people search for a term and give you suggestions on topics you can rank well.
Use their suggestion in their headline and in your article but don’t overdo it. Shoot for two or three times in an article with 500 words, preferably once in your first paragraph. It has to sound like it’s meant to be there.
I get it if you don’t have time to write. You’re busy running a business. If you tried blogging for your business and you don’t want to continue, you should still make your old content works hard for you.
Abandoned blogs send a very clear message. It elevates your prospects anxiety and they question your ability to follow through.
Remove the dates from your blog posts and you turned an abandoned blog into a rich content library.
Don’t call your blog a blog. Instead, call it Resources, Knowledge Library, or something similar. It sends the message of evergreen knowledge, content that will still be helpful to your prospects in a few years.
Go through your old content and delete time-sensitive information. Announcements for your 2015 sales conference shouldn’t show up on your knowledge base. For every topic you delete, make sure to redirect your visitors to a closely related topic. This way, customers who follow the link will still get value. And Google will continue to bring you traffic through that link.
Blogging for business is still is a powerful marketing tool. It can provide not only new business but also new opportunities. But writing alone won’t do you any good. It’s important that your content is backed by a strong strategy that focuses on your business goals.