No matter what you do for a living, you need to understand why a blog should be higher than you might think on your priority list.
Whether you’re a small business owner, a solopreneur, a salesperson, or an online marketer – promoting yourself and your business online can be both challenging and expensive.
And there are no shortages of experts or gurus who are all too willing to sell you plans, systems, services, and software suites to solve all your problems.
You know you have value to offer, and you want to let the world know how you can help them. But it can be so overwhelming to sift through the multitude of offers and recommendations that seem to rain from the sky. Which are legitimate? And of those that are legitimate – which are worth your time and money to pursue?
The good news is that promoting yourself online doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. That’s why a blog is such an important component of your marketing plan.
If you’re a regular reader here at Reboot Authentic, you already know that I firmly believe that nearly every business should be exploiting the power of content marketing. And by “content marketing” I mean blogging.
But Why A Blog?
When I start talking about content marketing, someone inevitably asks, “Aren’t blogs those web sites that kids use to rate video games or talk about music?” Well, yes – but there is so much more to them than that. Thinking that way is like saying a car is something you buy to listen to the radio in.
A blog can be a powerful business tool.
The real power of a blog is that it’s a living, breathing community. Its whole purpose for existing is to share information, promote engagement with other people, and stimulate conversation in a constantly changing environment. A blog is an online resource full of information about your business that is available to everyone in the world with an internet connection. It’s a consultant that never sleeps and doesn’t know the meaning of “closing time.”
Someone Out There Needs Your Help
Consider that whatever your business is – someone out there has questions about what you do.
The reason why a blog is so valuable to your marketing efforts is that it allows you to regularly push relevant information about your business and your field of expertise out to the world. Search engines index that information so that eventually those who are actively seeking information about your type of business and are in need of your services will find you.
When those people visit your blog, of course they will find volumes of valuable, useful information about your topic. They ask you questions in your blog’s comment section –and you respond by personally interacting with them.
Those new highly engaged readers share your information with others who they know to be interested in your topic. As you continue to put out frequent quality content about your topic, your community grows and you become known as an authority in your field.
That’s over-simplification of course, but over time that’s exactly what you can create with some focused effort. Are you beginning to see why a blog could be a powerful marketing tool for your business?
But to start exploiting the power of content marketing – you have to start. And that’s the part that trips most people up. You have to get out of the blocks and do something. Now would be a good time.
If you haven’t yet, it’s time you start thinking very seriously about taking advantage of the power of content marketing.
For some reason, excuses and obstacles are easy for us to see. We tend to focus on them rather than on solutions. Fortunately, the barriers to entry in blogging are relatively low. Here are 10 (of many) reasons why a blog should be a part of your marketing plan.
1. Blogs drive purchasing decisions.
Blogs are a personal, interactive tool for engagement. Blogs create a strong sense of community. When someone feels like an integral part of a blog community, up to 61% trust that community enough to make purchases based on recommendations from that blog.
2. More people are online today than ever before.
Even when we do purchase products or services locally, most of us first look to the internet to do research, read reviews, and check prices. It is part of daily life on a global scale. You need to be online.
3. Blogs build real, authentic relationships.
Blogs are communities that foster real relationships. Think of your favorite service providers: Doctors, dentists, car repair, coffee shops, and restaurants. Your favorite ones are the ones that you feel most connected to. They know your name – or at least recognize you. They may ask about your family or your job when they see you. They make you feel personally engaged and appreciated. That is what a blog allows you to create with your readers. And you have millions of potential readers online.
4. A blog establishes your credibility within your industry.
Having a blog not only allows potential customers to learn that you exist in the first place, it will also help you stand out as an expert in your field. A blog shows the world that you are someone who helps people with your expertise, that you know what you’re talking about, and that you are dedicated to your industry.
5. Distance and traditional market boundaries don’t exist.
Blogs and social media work like a time machine for business. If you want to approach a potential customer on the other side of the globe, you can do it within seconds without traveling or setting up a face-to-face meeting. All of the traditional barriers of approaching prospects become much smaller – or disappear all together.
6. Blogs give you more ways to build your networks.
Traditional businesses build their local, regional, and national networks with shoe leather and elbow grease. It’s a time consuming and expensive process. This is why a blog is so valuable – it allows you to quickly and efficiently build a network o multiple platforms quickly and cheaply.
7. Branding yourself online says to the world, “I am not a dinosaur!”
How many people do you still see walking around with those old cell phones with antennae sticking out of the top? Or carrying Palm Pilots? You don’t want to be that person. Branding yourself online tells the world that you’re paying attention to the most current ways of doing business and that you are making use of every tool at your disposal to do what you do as effectively as you possibly can.
8. Having a blog sets you apart from the herd and establishes authority.
It allows you to be the innovator, the engager, and establishes authority for both you and your business. While your competition may not be taking on such progressive projects, you will be.
9. Having a blog is MUCH less expensive than other forms of marketing and advertising.
Would just a few hundred dollars of radio, television, print, or signage put you in front of hundreds of millions of potential customers? Blogging can do that for you for very little money – while those traditional methods of advertising cost thousands upon thousands of dollars.
10. You do NOT have to be a computer whiz to run your own blog. It is MUCH easier than you think.
Many businesses pay web development companies thousands of dollars to develop and maintain their web sites. Thanks to Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, you can start and maintain a blog very easily with no coding or programming knowledge.
The way your potential customers shop to fulfill their wants and needs has changed. Having a footprint online has never been as simple, cheap, and effective as it is right at this moment.
A lot of the excuses I hear regarding why people haven’t taken action on content marketing have to do with cost – or lack of technical expertise. So let me knock some of those objections down for you.
Right here on this web site, you have access to cheap and reliable information about hosting, professional blog templates and themes, Content Management Systems, Blogger Training, Email marketing, and much more. All of it is relatively inexpensive – and easy. In fact, I have a whole Resources Page that tells you everything you know to get started,
So the obvious question is…
Why aren’t you taking advantage of this?
This post features some content that originally appeared in my Free eBook, How To Alienate All The Right People. To download a free copy, enter your name in the subscription form below. Current subscribers wanting to download a copy should contact me here.
Let the discussion begin…
Do you use blogging or content marketing to promote yourself? Why or Why not?
Share your thoughts and stories in the comments section.