So, you want to be a blogger? Good choice. You’re about to enter the wonderful realm of content marketing. In fact, blogging may be the best way to start down that path.
Be forewarned: blogging can become a significant commitment. While I highly recommend it as part of your business strategy, I also want to emphasize that starting off on the right foot will help streamline things immensely.
I should note that this is for beginning bloggers. I want to help those who are starting out to focus their intention and energy in a direction that will be more productive than trying to do everything at once. Later, once you have a handle on things, you can (and should) expand your blog beyond the horizons of this article.
Now, let’s start walking through a few questions to help you find your footing in the blogosphere.
So, Why Should I Blog?
That should probably be your first question. You might want to start with “what should I blog about?”, but this is a better place to start. This question will help you tie your blogging goals into your overall business goals. There are a variety of reasons to blog. Here are my top ones.
When I come to your website, how do I know that you know what you are talking about?
Think about that for a moment. Think about how that question permeates the mind of every visitor to every page of your website. People don’t want to spend good money on a service that is likely to fail them. That’s like burning money, and nobody likes that. So, if you can’t get a positive answer to that question, you will never make a sale.
When marketers talk about building “authority”, that’s a code word for “trust”. One of the primary goals of your website is to build that trust. Through your blog, you can show people, article after article, that you do indeed know what you are talking about, and that you do indeed have the ability to help them go to the next level. By reading they discover that they can trust you with a piece of their future.
Ever hear the phrase “location, location, location”? It’s an old reference regarding the importance of having your store where the people are. If people don’t see you, they can’t buy from you.
Today, we could change that to “SEO, SEO, SEO”. While Google isn’t the only search engine out there, it dwarfs the competition. Google will decide whether potential traffic sees your listing or not.
When people search for topics, the Google search engine scours the web (at mind-boggling speed) to determine what content would best answer the search query. Then, it presents those options in descending order.
The more relevant content you have on your page, the more likely Google is to place you in front of searchers. So, the more blog content you have, the more likely you are to score points with Google.
Resources for Clients (or Potential Clients)
Time for a quiz. Who would you be more willing to work with?
- An unknown person who recognizes you have a problem and says you need to sign up for services if you want help.
- An unknown person who sees you have a problem and says, “let me help you with that”.
The person in Option A is trying to jump right in to making a sale. It’s not an uncommon approach. Too often business owners are afraid to give away free help because they see their knowledge as their business, and they don’t want to give away their business. I admit, it does make a certain amount of sense, but, this is a critical mistake that usually doesn’t work.
The person in Option B, on the other hand, is building a relationship. This person understands that trust is vital to making that sale. So the energy is spent on building that trusting relationship instead. Once that relationship has traction, a person is more willing to hire when the need arises.
Wait. Don’t These All Go Together?
Well, that depends. Do you want them to go together? Then, yes, they can. In fact, that will be an ultimate goal.
However, for now, when you are first starting out, I recommend that you focus on only one. Get good at it. Then pick another and start adding that to the mix. Then, add the third. As you get better and better, you will be able to blend them into articles that multi-task.