Take Your Business Blog from Yawn to Wow!
You spend enormous time and energy drawing people to your business’s blog. They take one look and simply click away …
The idea of a business blog is to create content that will build your brand’s image and eventually help you increase sales (get more clients, sell more product, etc.). It’s the platform we use to host our amazing content so it can be shared around the web.
But, if reading your business blog makes your target market want to take a nap, here are a few easy ways to revitalize your site and help it become a valuable part of your business.
No one wants to be sold.
A business blog is a tricky thing. You have to promote your business in a way that isn’t obvious or overbearing. It can’t be all about you.
Jenny Blake, the author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, obviously wants to sell more books. That’s the author’s dream. Yet, in August Coffee Talk: Mind, Body, Business & Books (#41), Jenny barely talks about her book’s launch. Instead, she shares a link to the Ultimate Startup Bundle Sale (which doesn’t even include her book!), then shares 36+ links to stuff she thinks is valuable (nothing to do with her).
Sure, she mentions her newest book, but that’s not the focus of the post. The post shares information she believes her readers will enjoy. This builds her brand, increases her value among her followers, and will probably sell a few books along the way.
Stop selling and start creating content any reader would find interesting, entertaining, engaging and valuable.
Set a Goal
Although we know the reason for our business blog, it’s important to set a short-term goal. This lets you focus on one area of your business to improve. For example, you may want to grow your email list or increase your number of Facebook likes. And since we live in an amazing technical world, you simply choose the technology that helps you reach your goals.
Increasing Email Subscribers
Hello Bar converts 0.5% of your site’s views to email subscribers. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s 50 new subscribers for every 10,000 views. So you get 50 new prospects just from one stationary bar at the top of a page.
Increase Social Sharing
Let’s say you want to increase social sharing. People love pictures. Visuals are shared more than any other content, so make it easy for readers to share your graphics. Image Sharer is a simple plugin that allows you to choose where to put the sharing icons. Use this for your products, infographics, sale info, etc.
Set a goal and then find the technology to match. You can also try GetResponse for email marketing or add Google Analytics if you want to understand your site’s statistics better. There are great widgets and plugins to match whatever your goal may be.
Change Your Blog’s Focus
A business blog is just empty real estate unless it’s adding value to your business.
When you have a firm goal in mind, consider what type of blog would best suit that goal. Do you want to showcase your brand’s image? Perhaps change from a self-promoting tone to something more valuable to your readers. Maybe your business is better suited at showcasing the accomplishments of your customers. Sharing their stories of success may be the best way to achieve your overall business goals.
The eCommerce platform Selz recently launched a new business blog called FounderU. Selz formerly had a standard business blog that highlighted various things, including sharing success stories, announcing new features and how-to-guides. This strategy was okay – but who want’s to be okay? The new blog has an entirely different purpose with an emphasis on education and value. Because when Selz’s customers grow their businesses, Selz shares in that success.
Champion a Cause
Every time I talk about the power of supporting a worthy cause, I share the disclaimer that you can’t just pretend to care. On the other hand, you can definitely share something you’re passionate about with your customers. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, 90% of Americans trust brands that support social causes.
Just remember there’s a right way and a wrong way to champion a cause. Think long and hard about the causes you choose from. Stay away from controversial policies and organizations, political races, and anything that may be perceived as offensive to your target market. You’re obviously free to support those causes in your personal life, but your goal is to do something good and increase your goodwill.
After a local McDonald’s was shut down for a few months for renovations, the grand re-opening featured a fundraiser for a local school. Not only was it for a good cause (kids and education), the event was shared by the school’s PTO, parents, and teachers. Win-Win all around.
Spice Up Your Visuals
Nothing says stale, boring business blog like outdated pictures. Or incredibly dull pictures like this:
This is the most boring picture I’ve ever seen. And it’s crazy because there are so many great ways to spice up drab visuals. Canva is one of the easiest and most versatile graphic platforms, with tons of templates and free pictures. Here’s an example from their social media templates that can be customized with your business info:
Unsplash is my new favorite graphics site, where amazing and engaging pics are completely free. Here’s the same drab coffee cup dressed up:
Don’t skimp on visuals for your business blog. Always use something that catches the eye. Because no one on the planet is going to share a picture of a plain coffee cup.
Get Serious About Social Media
Sure, you may already be sharing great stuff on social media. And you may even have thousands of followers. But that doesn’t matter if you’re missing the number one goal of social media – engagement.
Throwing out random Tweets into the atmosphere isn’t enough to actually impact your blog’s relevance. You need a strategy and a way to easily manage social media. Try MavSocial or Hootsuite for social media management. And check out their mobile apps, like this one from Buffer.
Creating awesome content is obviously key, but you also need a sharing strategy. There are many credible social sharing apps and platforms that you can use to increase the number of eyes on your blog. Try any or all of the following: BuzzSumo, ViralContentBuzz, JustRetweet, and Dlvr.it.
Give Your Business Blog a Makeover
Maybe you set up your business blog because everyone else was doing it. Maybe a so-called guru told you that it was important. So you set it up and then watched it do absolutely nothing for your business.
But that doesn’t mean your business blog is dead or useless. It just means you need a makeover. Start fresh and remember the following:
- – Help instead of sell.
- – Talk with customers, not at them.
- – Get personal. Share your passions.
- – Share your message in your own way.
- – Showcase the people behind your brand.
- – Be real and have a little fun.
With the right plan and attitude, you can turn your business blog from an obligation to an asset.
Images: Author’s Own
Liesha's a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. She's the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks freelancing adventures at Microbusiness Essentials and grassroots movements at Kat TalesRead Full Bio