There are a lot of different ways to make money either directly or indirectly from a blog, but using a blog to promote services is often an overlooked option. When it comes to the subject of blog monetization things like advertising sales, AdSense, affiliate marketing, and even product sales tend to be more popular topics and approaches than offering services.
One of the reasons this subject is so important is that there are already a lot of people out there offering services that could benefit greatly by making effective use of a blog as a marketing tool. Web and graphic designers, photographers, and consultants are just a few examples of the types of services providers that can experience a significant growth in business with the right approach to blogging.
And if you’re not already in a service-related industry, a popular blog in just about any niche has the potential to be monetized through services of some kind. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 8 things that you can do to use blogging as a way to promote your services.
#1. Focus on Establishing Your Authority and Name Recognition
If you’re offering services, essentially you are selling yourself. People need to be able to trust you and believe in your abilities in order to be a successful service provider. Blogging is a great way to grow your authority and name recognition because the high-quality content that you publish will be an excellent advertisement for your expertise.
Any blogger who is offering services or planning to offer services should be focused on developing the trust of readers and establishing authority and credibility within the industry. Having authority will not only make it easier for you to attract clients, but you’ll also be able to demand higher rates for your services.
#2. Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is often overlooked when deciding on blog post topics and titles, but it can be very effective for allowing potential clients to find you. Use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner or a paid tool like Long Tail Pro to find what people are searching for in relation to the services that you offer.
With a little bit of keyword research you can find out a great deal about the searches of your potential clients, and you can use that data to create posts for your blog that will have a chance to rank for long tail searches. Use your blog posts to answer common questions of people in your target audience and use that content to mention the services that you offer.
For example, if you’re a photographer you could use keyword research to see how many searches are being done for phrases like “how to choose a wedding photographer”, Use the keyword research data to find related topics for potential posts, and use the search volume info to create titles for your posts that match up well with common searches.
#3. Publish Case Studies to Show Results
One of the best ways to promote your services is to show real-world examples of how you have been able to help other clients. Of course, you’ll need to get permission from the client and depending on the specific services that you provide you may need to hold back some details for privacy or confidentiality.
As an example, if you offer social media marketing services you could publish a case study showing the stats of one of your clients before the campaign as well as the stats after your work. You could also cover the things that you did to achieve the results, or the approach that you took. The level of detail that you share here will depend on the situation.
In creative industries like web design or photography sometimes just publishing visual examples of your work is enough. For example, a photographer could publish a post that showcases photos from a recent maternity portrait session or a web designer could post screenshots from a recently-designed website.
#4. Promote Your Services Within Post Content
Getting potential clients to your blog is only one step in the process. In order to get the business you’ll need to promote the services that you offer. Most service providers will have a link in the main navigation to a “Services” page or something similar, but you can also promote your services from within the content area of the post. Check out Consumer Insurance Report for example. Their entire strategy revolves around blogging.
Most readers tune out the links and content outside of the post area, so adding some promotion within the post can drastically increase the amount of exposure that it receives. If your promotion doesn’t fit well within the context of the article you can use a callout to set it apart from the post text, which clearly marks it as a promo or an ad. You can briefly mention the services that you offer and link to a contact form or a page with more detail.
#5. Build an Email List
In my opinion, all bloggers should be building an email list, but it is definitely a good practice for service providers. Having an email list will allow you to stay in touch with potential clients as well as past clients, and you can continue to develop a relationship and build trust. Most people will not hire a service provider until they have developed trust and credibility. An email list allows you to stay in consistent contact with a targeted audience, and over a period of time you can increase the chances that they will hire you by providing value to them.
With an email list you can also promote your services at any time. If things are a little slow and you’d like to pick up some new clients you could send an email to your list with a special discount or an add-on service or product at no additional cost. A good email list is an invaluable asset for promoting your services at any time.
#6. Clearly List and Describe Your Services
This one is pretty obvious, but many service providers could improve in this area. Make sure that you have a page on your site that lists and describes the services that you offer. Not all of your visitors will have a clear understanding of what you have to offer unless you spell it out. List the benefits that you can offer, along with some testimonials from past clients. In some cases you may also want to list the price of your services, but sometimes you may want to ask them to contact your to get a custom quote for a project. Your services page should be easy to find, preferably included in your primary navigation menu.
#7. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs
Your blog can be a highly effective tool for promoting your services, but it can also be well worth your time to write posts for some other blogs in order to increase your exposure. Writing for other blogs is a great way to build name recognition and to establish authority in your niche or industry, and it’s also a helpful way to network with influential bloggers and editors.
#8. Be Easy to Contact
In order to have success at promoting your services you will need some of your readers and visitors to reach out to you. Make it as easy as possible for them. Include a link to a contact page in your main navigation menu, and include either a contact form or list your email address on that page. Depending on your situation you may also want to list a phone number where you can be reached.
Another way to make it easy for readers to contact you is to have an active presence at Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks that may be popular in your niche or industry.
If you’re already working in a service related industry, blogging is a great way to promote the services that you offer and to increase your exposure to potential clients. For those who are starting a new blog and trying to choose a monetization strategy, offering services is one option that can work really well. The authority and expertise that you will be working to build as a blogger can be extremely valuable if you have services to offer to your readers and visitors. If a service is the monetization method you choose for your blog, follow the tips in this post to help get the most out of your efforts.
desk of a blogger -DepositPhotos