How I Blog For My Business
Originally published at ibraininc.com
I’m not a problogger by any stretch of the imagination, I blog to support the WordPress Technical Support business I run here at WPDude.
After four years of blogging I’ve been able to switch off all paid advertising and support a team of two (soon to be three techies) in more work than they can handle, all because of blogging. This post talks about how I’ve done this.
It’s Sure As Hell Not Get Rich Quick
Flip back to the previous paragraph. Four years of blogging to get where I am.
If you think blogging is going to generate a ton of leads overnight, I’m sorry to upset you, blogging is a slow but sure marketing method. Once you get traction, and the search engines have a body of work for you, it’s a very low impact, always on and free form of marketing.
Blogging is passive (except the actual writing part) so I can market to people without actively being engaged, I can prove the expertise of me and my teams in WordPress through my posts and hopefully be in that persons mind when they need to engage a team to help with their site.
You need to be into blogging for the long haul, if you are still with me then please read on.
Blogging And SEO
As I write this I have 299 posts published on WPDude, that’s 299 chances to lure people into my site with a bite sized piece of my knowledge and a chance for me to expose them to my sales page.
I’ve written about a broad spectrum of WordPress topics so I can bring people into my sphere of influence and hopefully help them with my free content, and if they need it, help them on a paid basis too.
The large number of posts match to a large number of search queries and a wider range of people’s WordPress problems.
I have a couple of posts that bring me a lot of traffic, but I also have many many posts that bring a small trickle of traffic. I’m pretty sure that the large body of work I have has contributed to my sucess with the search engines.
As I have blogged for such a long time, I’ve established authority with Google (I think – who really knows what they think) and it looks like I get good rankings for most things WordPress I talk about.
I’m not going in depth about seo in this post other than to say I use WordPress SEO by Yoast. I write for people first then tweak slightly for search engine happiness. Which leads me nicely to …
Who I Write For
Whenever I write a new blog posts I’m always thinking “Will this benefit the type of people who buy my services?”. So for this posts for example I’m thinking, my clients have blogs, but they also have businesses, so they are using blogging as a lead generation strategy, bingo a match I can provide you free useful information and keep my name at the front of your mind.
I made the mistake in the early stages of this site of writing technical articles about WordPress, I was getting great traction with the WordPress development community, but they are not the type of people who want to do business with me, they can fix their own sites.
If you have one take away from this post, always think about your client when you post a blog.
What I Write
I write about things that will keep my clients informed about WordPress, show them what can be done with their sites and keep them abreast of the latest developments.
I always write from experience. This is important, everything I write about I’ve used or done for real in my business of for my clients. There is not theory, it’s all experienced based.
I like to write plugin reviews of new and interesting plugins I find that may be useful to my audience.
I also write articles on fixing the types of problems I see in the field, I call these case studies and they are great. They showcase my expertise while informing the reader, an under the radar marketing technique.
I write how to articles which will step you through fixing a problem. These are good for showing your expertise and also showing your reader what can be done on their site. If it is slightly technical it also shows your reader their knowledge gap, a gap they might like to plugin with expertise for hire,
I write direct sales articles when I’ve got a course or a special offer on. This is where investing in you blog pays off, you have an audience willing to read your stuff, then when you have a sales or offer to give, your people will be engaged. For example every year I run a holiday sale. I’m based in the UK and we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving so I run a sale to plug that gap when I usually don’t get any work.
I also go off topic sometimes and write about online business, something I’m passionate about.
Blogging And Email Marketing
My blog feeds my email list too. It makes being on my list a worthwhile thing. I send out free updates to inform and educate then once in a while I send out a marketing offer.
Another thing with email and blogging is that it keeps your name and business in the fore front of peoples minds, Whenever I send out an email broadcast about a new posts I usually get a reply asking for a quote or two to fix a problem on someone’s site.
I blog not only on my own site, but I guest posts on other people sites too in an effort to increase my profile. If you guest posts for someone with a bigger audience it’s a great way to expand your reach. Busy bloggers or business owners are always happy to accept a high quality guest post.
This is something I’ve picked up again with a passion, tapping into someone else’s already established audience is a great way to boost your own profile.
I also accept guest posts here if you are interested.
Exposing Your Sales Funnel Through Blogging
This is where I’m spending a lot of my time at the moment, I’m analysing my traffic and finding ways to introduce people new to my blog to my sales page (It’s up at the top right in big red letters Hire Me, just in case you were wondering.)
It’s no good having a ton of traffic if people are completely missing the fact this is a business blog not a hobby blog or a pro-blog looking for advertising clicks.
Here are some of the techniques I use.
- Constant reference, in a subtle way to my service. I’ve done this in the first paragraph.
- Differentiated menu items.
- In posts ads. I’m testing a plugin at the minute that inserts ads after x paragraphs.
- Banner ad at the bottom of my posts.
- Sidebar banner ads.
- Reference to my services in the email update I send out about posts. I have image banners.
- RSS footer links to my sales page.
- Hello bar, popups and welcome gates oh my (these may or may not be active when you visit due to split testing)
Frequency Of Blogging
I post once per week, and a little more if I’ve got some sort of launch on. That’s all I need. I’m not running a magazine style site where I need constant eyes on my sites for advertisers, I need a constant trickle of people into my sales funnel to keep me and my team busy.
I like to write longish posts so it takes me a couple of hours to write up, check and send out an email alert about a new posts. Not a bad time to results ratio in my opinion.
I made a couple of blogging mistakes in my early days, here are a few:
RSS over Email – I just presumed that because I like RSS over email that everyone else will too, and I put off starting an email list for about 18 months (fool of a wpdude). Get your email list up and running now.
Losing momentum – as the work starts to come, blogging gets dropped off, I had too much work for clients and my blogging efforts dropped off, big mistake. When the projects are done I had to turn back to paid advertising rather than have a steady stream of leads ready to turn into projects.
Blog on home page – I know I’m still making this mistake but your home page should advertise your business not your blog. I’m working on this at the minute.
Giving a damn about non-clients trolls – I used to get caught up in criticism about my blog posts from people who would never buy my services (other techies for example) or from out and out trolls. You need to spend your time on clients, not these type of people. Actively direct them away from your blog, these are not paying your way they are wasting your time.
I would love to hear you blogging mistakes in the comments.
All of my business comes from new clients finding me via my blog or from referrals from people who have used my services, this is a great place to be in. It takes a long time and perseverance, but it’s well worth the blogging journey.
Can I leave you with a tongue in cheek quote
Advertising is Like Sex: Only Losers Pay for it. – Chris Guillibeau $100 Startup
Image by 66356408@N07