Tag: blog

TEN GREAT BENEFITS OF BLOGGING

TEN GREAT BENEFITS OF BLOGGING

Everyone already knows that I am a great fan of blogging and benefits that if offers. While there are probably hundreds if not thousands of benefits to blogging, I am going to share with you ten great benefits of blogging.

Blogging can help you:

1. Grow your business

Consistently adding posts to your blog that offers content that you target audience wants to read will help you reach people around the world that you would never have the opportunity to reach on a day-to-day basis.

Your blog will allow you to show readers how you can and have solved similar problems to the ones that they are facing. Present your personality, skills and experience to your readers.

If your business consists of primarily local clients your blog can help, you reach people in your community that you would not have an opportunity to meet or that you even know exist. You can make sure that your blog has local keywords in place so that when people search for local items your blog will appear.

If I wanted to reach more local people in or around Detroit, I would include Detroit in my title tagline. I would include local happening along with my marketing posts so that when people searched for Detroit my blog would have an opportunity to appear.

2. Get Published

Many bloggers have gained book deals from their blogs. They have had people at publishing companies stumble across their blogs, followed their blogs and offered them book deals. Publishers are still publishing books whether in digital form or paper.

Your blog will allow potential publishers see the wealth of knowledge that you have on a subject and showcase your writing skills. They can also see that you have the capability to build an audience.

3. Get a Job

Blogging is a great way to showcase your skills and knowledge to potential employers. When you apply for a job, send them a link to your blog so that they can see for themselves what you bring to the table.

Many employers are looking for people who are social media savvy across all industries. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, engineer or doctor. Social media has permeated all industries; it also means that you will need less training because you are already social media savvy. Many employers look at potential hires social media profiles and check their social media activity. Be careful, social media can also cost you a job.

4. Become a Speaker or Presenter

You can use your blog to showcase presentations that you have created, speeches you have given or just show your ability to do so. Many companies are doing online presentations, create a powerful presentation with audio, add it to slideshare and your blog. This will give businesses an idea of your presentation skills and style. Then put up a page on your blog letting potential businesses know that you are available to give presentation, workshops or whatever and include some examples for them to view. (hummm….think I will do this myself)

5. Become Known as an Expert

The more you post to your blog on your subject matter the more people will gain an understanding of the depth of knowledge that you have on a subject. This will also help when the media goes looking for experts to interview, when they do a search and your name keeps popping up, they will be more inclined to contact you. They will have the opportunity to read your blog and realize that you are the expert that they are looking for.

Becoming a recognized expert will also help you get better jobs, business and other opportunities, they sky is the limit.

6. Build your network

Blogging will help you expand your network. The more you blog the more people will reach out to you and the more influence you gain. You can build a network of people who will help you when you need help, will want to help you because they admire and want to work with you. People will seek you out for advice and trust your advice. Blogging allows you to reach others and for others to reach you. You can get the opportunity to communicate and maybe even work with people you consider big time. Whom would you love to work with?

7. Gain Influence

Bloggers are big in the world of media. Fashion bloggers have started trends. Businesses will contact bloggers with huge following and very active communities to promote products, sway opinion, highlight a cause and garner support. Your blog can make you the go to person for your industry when the media wants an opinion or insight.

8. Sell products

By building a larger reader and subscriber base, you can create products for sell that you readers will buy because they have already shown that they trust you and believe that you can help them. If they believe that you will help them then they will believe that the product that you are selling will help them also.

9. Help Others

Blogging lets you help readers with their problems. You can offer free information products, educational posts, videos, whatever you can dream of that will help your readers live better lives. Blogging can help you help people get over fears and live their dreams. You can inspire, educate, entertain, motivate and mobilize people with your blog.

10. Show the world who you are.

Your blog can show people all the great quirky things about you. People love to get to know people, marvel at their adventures, understand and sympathize with another person’s pain, laugh when they make a fool of themselves and smile tears when great things happen. You can express yourself fully and get people who have never met you believe they know you. They will become your supporter’s even evangelist and have never actually met you in person, but defend you as if they have.

Believe me there are so many more great things about blogging, this list could go into the hundreds, but I am going to stop at ten.

Have Your Say:

What do you think are some of the great benefits of blogging?

WHY I BELIEVE IN BLOGGING AND YOU SHOULD TOO

WHY I BELIEVE IN BLOGGING AND YOU SHOULD TOO

I talk about blogging all the time. Why? Because I fully believe that blogging can help a business achieve their business goals, assuming they have concrete goals.

In this post I am going to try to explain why I am a firm believer in blogging by telling you about my business and why I blog.

Why I Blog:

I blog because it is cost-effective, meaning cheap. I only spend about $10 a month to host my blog. Beyond that is all about the time that I commit to my blog. I use a free wordpress site and I make changes to the template. I am no wordpress designer; I know just enough to make a few changes. I know just enough to know what I want to change and then I search for the answer to figure out how to make the change. Please don’t ask me to help you in this respect, I really can’t. I just search and read.

I try to publish three articles a week on my blog, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I have learned not to stress over it, just do what I can. This year my goal is to remain consistent, which is why I decided to use blogging themes for each month. This way I only have to think about one blogging subject per month, yes, it gets dull but it helps me focus and focus is not always my strong suit.

If you are choosing to blog, you have to determine if it is cost-effective to blog. While it is cheap to host it, take time to research and write articles, for some it may be cheaper to outsource this task. If you want readers to get a feel for your personality than I suggest you create the blog posts yourself.

The Nitty Gritty:

I do not market my business much outside of blogging. It is the foundation of my marketing program. Yes, I use email, ECT, but it all begins with my blog. Everything that I plan to do this year begins with my blog or relates to my blog. I receive roughly 80% of my business through my blog, 15% through referrals and 5% from just talking to people. Am I rich, by no means, but the more I put into my blog the more business it brings me, this is why I love blogging.

I average approximately 2-4 contact submissions per week asking about my services, this works out for me. I am able to convert enough inquiries into clients that I keep my work constant and sometimes very busy.

I add approximately 10-15 new subscribers a month to my newsletter. This number is small enough for me to send a personal note to each new subscriber asking about their problems and how I can help them.

Blogging Let’s me be in Control:

I love blogging because I am in control of what happens on my blog. I can work hard to get more business, but I can also keep my business on pace with my blog. I like the amount of business my blog brings me, because it allows me to work from home, make money and have time with my family. I win all the way around.

Blogging allows me to keep my rates down. I love helping people and I probably give away too much freely but I always seem to benefit in the end someway, so I really don’t mind.

Blogging always me to Target the Audience I want to Reach:

Blogging and social networking allows me to reach the audience that I enjoy working. I love working with financial service professionals, professional coaches, service professionals and educational firms. While I marvel at the creativity available to other industries, it is not for me. I would love to be a marketer for music, art, restaurant and other businesses, but it would require an amount of creativity that I honestly don’t possess.

While there are times that I wish that my target audience were more willing to step outside of their box, I can understand their limitations and fears and I work within them to both of our satisfaction. I love the clients that I work with and have a great time working with them.

Does my Blog get a Lot of Traffic?

I average about 1500 page views a month, not tremendous but it is enough to keep me working. I am debating on how much I want to increase my blog traffic and yes, I would love too, but I also realize that it will increase my business. I have to decide if I increase my business am I willing to work more hours or hire help. I do not desire to manage others. I enjoy working for myself. Right now, I outsource when there is a project that doesn’t fit in with my capabilities or I am time limited. I can always just outsource more work. This is an option that blogging allows me to have and that I am thankful for.

The Cons of Blogging:

  • Time consuming
  • Constantly coming up with blogging ideas
  • Requires commitment and takes time to see results
  • A lot to learn if you do it all yourself
  • Sometimes can be disappointing when posts you think are great don’t get a lot of response
  • Sometimes get busy and blogging gets pushed to the side
  • Getting burned out, sometimes I just don’t want to blog

The Pros of Blogging:

  • Flexibility
  • I control my blog, what is presented, the creativity, topics
  • Generates business
  • Allows communication with readers
  • Inexpensive
  • Lets readers get to know me and believe in my work before they contact me
  • Pre-sells my services
  • Bloggers are a great group of people and willing to provide help and advice to other bloggers
  • The media reads blogs and sometimes will find your when doing searches for information

Plans for my Blog this Year:

This year I am planning to grow the readership of my blog and to use my blog to branch out into doing more workshops and training on blogging and social media.

I also plan to use other techniques to reach more readers such as slideshare, EBooks, podcasts, webinars, videos and a few other things that I am considering.

I am looking to create passive income such as workbooks and training programs for readers to purchase.

My Current Dilemma:

I am currently debating on whether or not to post my fees on my blog. Just like any other service provider I am concerned about being too expensive for some, too cheap to others or getting locked into a set price. I am leaning toward presenting my fees because I think it is something that prospects want to know, what the cost may be and what they will get for that cost.

Have Your Say:

What do you like or dislike about blogging?

USING YOUR BLOG AS A SELLING TOOL

USING YOUR BLOG AS A SELLING TOOL

Laura loves insurance. She loves everything about insurance. “I actually enjoy learning about insurance and how it can help customers achieve their goals,” said Laura.

What she doesn’t love is selling.

Laura dreads the thought of cold calling or knocking on doors. “I know I should go to networking meeting, go out and meet people, but it scares me, maybe I should look for another profession,” she said with a sigh.

Using Your Blog as a Selling ToolI felt bad for her as we sat across from one another me sipping on tea her on coffee. What are you going to do, I asked.

I just don’t know. I want to sell insurance, but I don’t want to go out and sell insurance, is there another way? I am going to lose my job if I don’t start making more sales.

I felt horrible as I watched her lay her head down onto her arms folded on the table, looking as if she were trying to hide her tears. I wanted to come up with some fantastic idea, something that would have her bringing is sales, yesterday, but I knew that was unrealistic.

What I did know was that she had to come up with a plan that would work for her.

Okay Laura, I said. I understand that you don’t want to go out and sell, what do you like to do?

I enjoy talking to groups of people about insurance and writing about insurance, she said.

Okay then let’s start there. How about we create a marketing plan that gets you in front of groups to talk and create a blog for you to write about insurance.

She sat up with a smile on her face. Can we do that?

Of course, we can, and so can you.

Laura’s Big Hurdle

Laura went to her boss and told him her plan. He was old school and didn’t think that it would work. It would take too long get speaking gigs, he felt she was to new and he didn’t understand blogging at all. He told her to start making phone calls and make as many face-to-face meeting with people as she could.

You know Laura, most of the agents here are involved with many networking and charitable organizations and that is how they make contacts. It works and that’s probably what you should do also. I don’t think that blogging thing is such a good idea, why don’t you try finding some women’s groups to join and see if you can make contacts and sell some insurance.

Laura called me almost in tears. What should I do? She asked.

Back to her Boss she Goes

After we talked, she decided to try talking to her boss again. She asked him if he could give her six months. If after six months she were not seeing results, she would start cold calling or find another job. Good thing for her, he really liked her and didn’t want to see her leave. He told her that he had given it some thought and read about how the internet was helping people grow their businesses and decreasing their marketing costs.

Have a plan to me in a week and I will look it over, he said. If it looks feasible, I will let you try it for six months.

Laura called me excited but before we could get off the phone, her fears began to set in. Oh no, I don’t know how to create a marketing plan, she said, will you help me?

Laura’s Marketing Plan

Laura sells life and disability insurance. We first had to decide on her target audience. Who did she feel she was most capable of reaching, understood and was able to help?

Laura’s Target Market:

Young professional couples with small children, since she fell into this category herself and could understand their concerns.

Laura’s Blog:

She decided that she would host an inexpensive blog, separate from her company. Her goal was to post two times a week on insurance related information and once a week on community activities. She believed that most of her clients would be local that found her though the internet.

She also decided that the tone of her blog would be casual as if she were talking to friends.

Laura’s second step was to create a list of topics that she would cover.

Laura last step was to create a list of online groups that she could join and become involved in the conversation and answer any questions pertaining to insurance.

Speaking:

We talked and decided that we would focus on talking to churches. Her community and surrounding communities had well over 100 churches and we begin to dig through every listing we could find to come up with a listing of local area churches. When the list was complete, she had 117 churches listed.

She began calling all the churches to see if they would be interested in her presenting to their church members a free seminar on insuring their family’s future and she described what she the seminar would offer.

Presenting to her Boss:

Laura then presented her boss with her plan. She was able to show him how many people she would potentially be able to reach through the online groups and speaking to churches. He was impressed and gave her the go ahead.

Laura was ecstatic.

Laura’s Results:

She wrote her first couple of insurance articles in advance, set up her blog, and began blogging. She wrote about insurance and local activities that she attended or were coming, local restaurants, hair salons and children’s activities. Whatever she could that was local and draw readers to her blog.

She created her presentation, contacted the churches that said they would be interested and began setting up a schedule to give presentations.

Laura ordered new business cards with her blog address printed on the card and gathered her presentation and marketing material. She began giving presentations to the local churches.

The beginning was slow, especially for her blog.

The first month she only averaged five visitors a day, but by the end of six month’s she was averaging over 100 visitors a day, many repeat visitors. She receives at least one request for an appointment from the contact form that she has on her blog.

When she reached month four she decided to begin building an email list and offered a free paper explaining how to make sure that the reader is adequately insuring their family. Within two months, she had over 150 subscribers to her email list.

Her speaking gigs went much better. She talked to three groups in the first month, but by the end of six months, she was averaging six presentations a month and had moved beyond churches. People were calling her to come speak to their employees and groups.

Laura figured that for every 10 people she talked to in a group she was able to get three appointments. If there were 30 people in the group, she would average nine appointments. For every three appointments she average at least one sale, sometimes two.

The Greatest Reward:

Her boss and coworkers were impressed with her results. Her boss asked her to help train them on how to use blogging to help grow their clientele.

Since she didn’t feel capable of doing this, she was kind enough for refer my name to her boss and I currently working with his firm and agents to help them use the internet to grow.

And, we will all live happily ever after.

Have Your Say:

Are you currently using your blog to help you sell?

Do you think that this is something that you can do?14