Whether you’re considering blogging, you’ve just started blogging, or you’ve been blogging for a while, you already know that a blog is an excellent marketing tool. With a blog, you can let the world know about your business or your product, connect with potential customers and brand yourself – all with little or no out-of-pocket expense. But how can you maximize your blogging impact? Here are five ways to increase the power of your blog’s punch!
Many business owners get excited about blogging, make a handful of posts , and then promptly forget about their blog. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve seen that were started a year or two ago, sport a few old posts, and then were abandoned.
One of the reasons to have a blog (the main reason) is to drive search engine and human traffic to your business. In order to do that, you need to update your blog on a regular basis. Search engines love new content and keep coming back to index it. Your visitors and clients also like new content; it’s what keeps them coming back to read your blog. For maximum impact, blog consistently.
Use Your Blog For Branding
Your blog is a great tool for building “Brand You.” In order to maximize your blog’s branding capacity, remember that visual continuity is king. You want your clients to be able to associate your blog with your business easily and quickly and that generally means visually.
Your blog is an extension of your business, so make sure that your blog and your business website share a similar (if not identical) look and feel. If your blog is hosted on the same domain as your business web site, you should match the look and feel of your business web site exactly. This will be more difficult to achieve if a third-party provider hosts your blog. However, you should still aim to present the same brand image.
Use SEO To Optimize Each Blog Post
The purpose of your blog is to get people who are in your target market to read your posts and enter your area of influence. This can be done with simple search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
There are two types of search engine traffic: organic (or natural) and paid. Organic traffic from search engines is free, and it is a great way to get potential customers to your blog.
The first and easiest way to drive traffic to your blog through SEO is to treat each one of your blog posts as a separate file to be optimized for the search engines. Use a keyword research tool (Google has a great one that’s free) to find phrases that are related to the main subject of the post, and weave them into the title and content of the post for greatest impact. Don’t overdo it, however: Too keyword-rich and your post will be unreadable. That defeats your purpose: You want your clients to keep coming back.
Have A Special Offer On Your Blog
Your blog is a great tool for building a database. To do that, however, you must have something to offer and a means to capture your subscriber’s information.
Do you offer a free special report? Do you offer a mini course as a bonus for new newsletter subscribers? Add the offer to your blog. This will transform casual surfers into newsletter subscribers, offering you a whole new means of connecting with them: Email marketing.
There are lots of tools available to help you capture subscriber information: I use A Weber, though I’ve had good results with iContact and Get Response, as well.
Share Information About Your Events, Products and Seminars
You might think that everyone has already heard about your upcoming webinar on maintaining balance between family and work, or your e-book about successful selling on Craigslist. Don’t be so sure! The person reading your blog might be hearing about you for the very first time and have no idea about your webinars or products unless you make it a point to tell them.
As with keyword loading, you’ll want to avoid overselling: A hard sell will dramatically reduce the number of your blog readers. Do, however, let your blog readers know about your webinars and products: If you don’t tell them, nobody will.
As you can see, a blog is an excellent tool for generating additional web site traffic, harvesting newsletter subscribers and selling more products. Through consistency, continuity, SEO techniques, list building and promotion, your blog becomes an invaluable and inexpensive means of introducing potential customers to your business and cultivating and nurturing the relationship that you’re building with them.