If you maintain a blog for your small business, pat yourself on the back. After all, according to the fine researchers at HubSpot:
- Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors
- B2C companies that blog get 88% more leads per month than companies that don’t
- B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t
- 71% of survey respondents say blogs affect their purchasing decisions
And yet, I know there are many entrepreneurs out there who will wholeheartedly disagree with these stats, because they gave blogging a shot and felt it didn’t yield any significant results. Is it because HubSpot is a big mean liar? I suspect not.
Rather, I believe the problem is that many small business owners need to manage their expectations when it comes to launching and maintaining a business blog. Specifically, this is what you need to know:
1) You can’t blatantly sell on a blog
This is a major stumbling block for many would-be business bloggers. “Why blog if I can’t sell my product or service?” Because it doesn’t work that way. No person in their right mind is going to subscribe to your feed just so they don’t miss out on your advertising. What you need to do is figure out how you can help people, specifically the people who are your potential buyers, draw those people in, engage them and then when they’re ready, sell to them. By all means, have a call-to-action to buy from you on your blog, just don’t make it the primary focus of your blog.
Use your blog to build trust, engage a specific audience, and position yourself as a helpful expert in your industry. Then you can make moula.
2) Blogging requires discipline and patience
Alas, you can’t just give blogging a “a shot” and then bail on it. A lot of interesting things click into place in the beginning stages of a blog: you’ll find your voice, you’ll hone your brand, and ideally you’ll discover what kind of content truly rocks your desired audience.
But first, be disciplined. Blog regularly and consistently. And be patient. Expect that sometimes, you’re going to feel like Major Tom floating all alone unheard and unseen throughout the blogosphere. But according to TrafficGenerationCafe, your blog traffic will increase by up to 30% once you’ve published 21-54 blog posts. For most business bloggers, that could mean a year of blogging before they see a jump in reach.
3) Blogging is just a part of a bigger machine
This is a big one. Blogging is not a standalone solution for your digital marketing needs. It is a part of a bigger strategy. Support your blog with a social media presence, an email newsletter, networking and other marketing initiatives and your blog will support those initiatives in return. According to HubSpot: “Among those who use e-mail marketing, companies that blog get twice as much traffic from their email than those who don’t.”
4) Blogging will drive you crazy… but in a good way!
Blogging is freaking hard work. As a blogger, you need to be knowledgeable and entertaining. You need to be relevant and engaging. You need to be able to distill huge mountains of information down to something digestible. Blogging is part art, part science, part intuition, part marketing, part business and part fairy dust. The act of blogging will make you grow as an expert, but as all things that make you grow, it will also drive you crazy. Crazy is just a part of it. Expect the crazy. Embrace the crazy.
And remember, if it’s too much for you to handle, you can always hire a professional blogger to take it off your hands ;)
Need someone to write your small business blog and email newsletter for you? Get in touch! Nishi at NightDay dot ca.