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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:
- I control my blog, what is presented, the creativity, topics
- Generates business
- Allows communication with readers
- 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?
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Image via Flicker from madalin_blog
Marketing data from Hubspot show that businesses are using blogs to gain new customers. The difference in a business ability to gain additional customers with their blog is weighed heavenly on how often the business adds posts to their blogs.
100% of the businesses, who post to their blog several times a day, acquired new customers with their blogs.
90% of the businesses who blog every day acquired new customers with their blogs.
69% of the businesses who post 2-3 times a week, acquired new customers with their blogs and 58% of the businesses who blogged weekly acquired new customers with their blogs.
The difficulty comes in consistently creating new blogging ideas.
25 Blogging Ideas that you can use to help increase posting frequency.
1. News – The latest news in your industry
2. Reviews: On books or products pertaining to your market
3. Predict industry trends
4. Write about the historical changes in your industry
5. Define terms that people new to your industry may not understand
6. Tips on topics of interest to your readers
7. Write about industry conferences, trade shows, workshops and seminars attended
8. Interview successful people in your industry
9. Answer readers questions
10. Create a survey or contest
11. Publish of list of must read blogs in your industry
12. Allow other bloggers to guest post on your blog
13. Write a frequently asked questions post
14. Update old post and republish with new content
15. Write a post with the best posts in your industry over the last week, with links to the original post
16. Do a weekly roundup of posts on your blog at the end of the week
17. Write a beginner’s guide for your industry or series of posts
18. Get personal and write about yourself or someone in your business
19. Write about a charity that you support or an event that you sponsored
20. Write about a great new restaurant or play you attended
21. Write about changes in your city that will affect your local readers
22. Write about free events that are happening in your local area
23. Write a post about a client event that you hosted, like a wine tasting
24. Write about a local networking event you attended
25. Write something lighthearted and entertaining that will show a more upbeat side to your personality
I am sure that you can think of many other creative ideas to keep your content fresh for your readers.
What posting ideas can you suggest for readers that have worked for you?
Are you gaining new customers with your blog?
What I want you to do next:
Leave a comment on my Blog, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for the Financial Services Industry and sign up for my NEWSLETTER