There is no magic bullet
I know the hope is that you'll land here, read a few words and be off and running on making all sorts of money, right?
But here's the reality, like any good and effective tool, blogging for your business will require effort and discipline.
There are some shortcuts, for sure. But there are no quick three-step formulas you put on auto-pilot to make you right.
And if I knew them, would I share them with you?
Well, sure. Because I like you. As long as we keep it between us. Just us.
But since there aren't any of those, we don't have to worry about privacy. We can just step into the real work that is blogging.
That doesn't mean blogging is a waste of time
Just because there's no silver bullet doesn't mean that your business should ignore blogging as a strategy.
It's actually the reverse. Because it takes work, you can assume many other folks won't do it. And that means blogging can become a competitive advantage for you.
Not bad, right?
So what I want to do today is walk you thru four different ways you can make it pay off.
I've also shared with you ways to speed up your writing.
So today we'll just focus on the four ways you can make it pay.
1. Help people find you
A lot of people write blog posts to express their opinion. Heck I've even recorded a rant or two.
But no one goes to Google searching for a rant. They're a waste of time, regardless of how they make you feel.
The single biggest mistake we make when we blog is to assume we're writing for ourselves. Maybe if you're writing an online journal.
But not if you're blogging for business.
In that case, you need to start by asking, “What are my prospects wondering about?” and notice that it rarely is directly about your product or service.
It's often a lot more generic than that.
So if you're a business that sells services – and in this example, let's consider software coding services – many of your prospects aren't yet looking for you.
They're not even looking for WordPress or PHP developers.
They may start with the simple question, “How do I make sure I'm not screwed by the developer I hire?”
Or they may ask, “What is an escrow account?” because they've heard others reference it.
Notice those questions don't feel like the marketing you've been doing? Because you likely thought these questions were too simple or basic to spend time writing about. They didn't intrigue or challenge you.
But if you're blogging for business, you're trying to help people find you. And that means you go first to where they are. You find them.
And you write the content that answers their questions so that between you and Google, you help them find you.
In short: answer the simple questions that stand in the way of people making a purchase decision.
2. Save yourself time
Blogging doesn't just have to be for lead generation, like in the last example.
You can use the same tools as an efficiency play. Trust me, we've all been there before.
You get a call. You answer. And there, on the call, you get asked the same question you've been asked 40 times over.
You step into an explanation and wish there were a better way. Because honestly, this is impacting your ability to execute on other critical items on your to do list.
So instead, consider (and not just for you, make this a reality for your entire team) that after the call you sit down and write out a “tighter” or more “condensed” version of your answer.
You then publish this post. And guess what happens?
It becomes a resource that several internal folks send customers to.
You no longer live a life where you repeat yourself all day. Your customers get better answers. And your staff get a resource that can a) teach them and b) be passed on to clients.
That's a huge win that can translate immediately to savings if you let it.
3. Test out new services
When you read “test out new services,” you're likely thinking I want you to pitch new services on your site via blog posts.
What I want you to do is a little different. I don't want you to pitch new services at all.
Instead, I want you to write up case studies with some of your clients. Tell their story.
Highlight the way in which you've had a positive impact.
And while you're in the middle of that narrative, mention some of the services you did that you don't advertise.
People will naturally be pulled in by your case studies. It's a natural desire to want to hear someone else's story while simultaneously comparing it to our own.
But those that read your case study and realize you do more than what you say on your site – those are the folks that will initiate. And those are the ones you want to sell your new services to.
You'll grow your business without ever telling anyone that you're doing it. Competitors won't know. Many clients won't know. Even the ones hiring you won't know they're doing something that no one else has thought to do.
But the result is the same. People will initiate with you about a service you're not even officially “selling.”
All because you wrote some case studies on your blog.
4. There's always cross-promotion
I don't know if you know this, but on the used car lots of car dealerships, there is only so long that you can leave a vehicle there waiting to get bought.
So lets say you have four cars that haven't even gotten a second glance in 6 weeks. What do you do?
Well, here's what you do. You head down the street and talk to the guy running their lot.
As you chat you hear that it's been slow days there too. And they have four cars that have sat for 6 weeks, just like you.
So what do you do? You do the only logical thing.
You swap your four for their four.
Because even if it's a used car, it's new on your lot. And those naturally get second and third looks.
The same is true for your company's site. You can highlight the upside of one of your partner's products. They can do the same thing from their side.
And the result is exactly like swapping four used cars. Only it's faster, and easier than physical products.
So write some spotlight posts that shine past your own company or product and put it on someone else. If they do it back, you both might win big!
Want more help?
Can I suggest one of my favorite resources if you want to get serious about this?
It's Chris Brogan's Blog Topics Master Class (BTMC). I took the class. It helped me.
You can see the results on my own blog.