“We’re Going to Need a Bigger Blog”: How to Use Blog Content to Increase Sales
No Matter Which Business You’re In, Marketing Will Always Be a Key Component.
Yes, the almighty blog: a practical piece of web content that can market a business’s products or services. We’ve seen blogs as customers, so let me paint you a picture: You find a new product or service and for the sake of this example, let’s say it’s a new ice cream store that has opened in your neighbourhood.
It’s been all that the community can talk about and you want to know what the buzz is about. You decide to Google it to see their hours, available ice cream flavours, etc.
As luck would have it, your Google query lands you on the search page with the link for the shop. They have a cute little meta description below sending you into a clicking fury to see the goodies that are behind the link. You open it.
What you find there is what you were looking for, i.e. the store hours and ice cream flavours, but there is nothing enticing to keep you there.
There is an option in the header for a blog but it resembles a place where posts go to die. They may have one or two short posts within the last few months before opening, but that’s it.
Enter: a tumbleweed being blown across the page. Don’t feel too bad for the little ice cream store though, they aren’t the only business that struggles with this problem.
Okay, but why is this important? Here are a few reasons why having a blog is imperative to your business:
No Matter Which Business You’re In, Marketing Will Always Be a Key Component
It doesn’t matter if you are a new tech company offering an innovative new software or our little ice cream store selling a double scoop for the price of one, marketing in any business will be your best friend.
A handy tool I’ve found is Ann Handley’s book “Content Rules”. She explains in the first few chapters the importance of a business having an outlet for website content to increase customer engagement. She describes having web content as being similar to creating and retaining a relationship with potential clients, as well as improving relationships with existing clients.
“Content drives conversations. Conversation engages your customers. Engaging with people is how your company will survive in this newly social world. In other words, online content is a powerful envoy for your business, with the ability to stir up interest…” (Handley, 9).
How to Profit From Having a Blog and Getting the Most Out of It:
Tip #1: Be Engaging
The first thing a reader will see when they look at your blog post is the title — make it a good one! It needs to be engaging to hook the reader into the rest of the post. A great blogging resource I’ve found is Quicksprout’s How to Write a Blog Post: 22 Actionable Tips.
This post offers great tips on how to write your blog post the right way and it speaks to the importance of having an enticing title and a hook for your readers: “You have only a few seconds to grab people’s attention. If you can’t grab someone’s attention within the first few sentences you write, you have lost them”.
You want something that will stop readers in their tracks (the title) and have them want to read more of the whole post from the first few sentences (the hook).
Tip #2: Consider Your Audience
You should always be considering who you are writing for. To bring back our little ice cream store for a moment, imagine you are a parent who has the kids at home when school is out or even a babysitter working their summer job. When you are in either of these positions, you want to keep the kids entertained and preoccupied. History has also shown that kids coincidentally love ice cream.
These are the type of people your business caters to and who your marketing should be directed towards. With this in mind, some potential blog post ideas could be:
- How to Plan the Perfect Beach Day
- Swapping the Computer Screen for Sun Screen: Getting the Kids Outside for Summer Vacation
- Surefire Ways to Have a Spill-Free Drive Home from the Ice Cream Store
Tip #3: Be Consistent (!)
You may have noticed that I put an exclamation point at the end of this one and left it for last. It’s because this is arguably the most important piece of advice when trying to keep traffic coming to your blog. You have content on your website to hook customers and draw them to your business but you need to keep up the momentum so they return.
Customers go back to your blog to see if there are any new and interesting things going on in the world of your business that may pertain to them or pique their interest.
If they keep returning to find time and time again the same blog post they’ve been seeing whenever they go to your website, eventually they won’t come back because you’ve set their expectations by not keeping the content flowing.
Oh, and that last blog post that they loved so much that made them want to come back in the first place? There’s now a bitter taste in their mouth about it because when they return for new content, they are disappointed in seeing that the same post they once loved, is now a letdown.
It is similar when you go to the post office expecting a package. Your hopes are high that it finally came in only to discover that the clerk just has letters for you instead. (Some of them aren’t even bills)! That doesn’t matter though, because while they aren’t bills, they are still not your package.
But how often should you be contributing to your blog when you have other areas of your business to consider? Quicksprout encourages businesses with a blog to post at least once a week and never skip a week. If your income is primarily from blogging and not season-dependent dairy products, then you can expect to write more than one blog post a week.
Quicksprout also stresses having the mindset of “how can I make this better?” when writing a post. Do your research. Look at what other people have done and see how you can contribute new ideas or points of view than just rehashing what has been done in the past. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel on every blog post.
If the customer has left your blog learning something new and wanting to come back for more content later, you’ve done your job.
With any business venture you come across, marketing yourself will always be imperative to get your products and services out there. A blog platform can do just that.
So there you have it, a few solid ways to get your blog up and running while keeping customers coming back for more. Are you a follower or owner of a blog? What are some tips that you have being in either position that worked for you? Let me know in the comments!