Build your business with blogging and your website hosting account. Not only is blogging with WordPress and your web hosting account an economical way to build a business, because of technology, there are fewer barriers for small business owners in terms of launching and building an online business. Blogging is a green way to build a business, and with WordPress, it does not cost an arm and a leg.
A blog can be the center of your entire business-marketing plan. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest social media is beneficial for business owners, but most examples of social media marketing are companies that have products with many pictures. So, how do companies that offer “services” rather than “products” get peoples’ attention online? Images should be in the central of business owner’s social strategy, whether those images be photographs, diagrams or screenshots. Even if you are selling services, such as “events” it makes sense to focus on content in terms of blogging with professional images.
There are exceptions. Facebook, for example, is actually penalizing posts with images. So, when you post on Facebook and do not include an image on the post, more people see the post. But on the other hand, posts that do have images tend to have a higher engagement, so it is a little bit of a catch twenty-two. Therefore, on Facebook, you are better off not adding images to your posts.
What can a business owner do to build their business?
Focus on written content. Focus heavily on blogging, pod casting, and use content on your blog to draw people in. If you still want to include an image, you can start using different images such as diagrams or screenshots, rather than a photograph. You can also use drawings and original photographs of a personal nature (but, not too personal). Professionally purchased photographs (also referred to as stock images) are not the only images that can be used to sell online.
Master content marketing
With the cost of advertising and the sluggish economy, many business owners are asking what they can do to grow their business. Content marketing includes everything from podcasting to blogging. Any type of marketing that has content at its core is content marketing and, as such, it is the hottest way to build an online business in today’s economy.
Get content, build content and get customers
Blogging and content marketing can help your business. Content marketing is part of a vernacular with business owners that we have not yet seen the full extent of in terms of its benefits for online business owners. Content marketing is important and has been around for hundreds of years. In the late 1800s, John Deer, for example, created documents and resources for farmers who wanted to be more successful farmers. At that time, blogs did not exist, so they created magazines as an educational resource. The idea is that companies began creating or “curating” valuable, compelling and relevant content on a consistent basis ‘to do something’. To maintain or change a behavior such as attract or retain a customer was the goal. Today, all businesses are media companies and publishers. Because there are no technology barriers, every smart company today is blogging and posting content online.
What should you do with your content?
Create content in order to create revenue. Traditional media companies create content to get revenue by getting sponsors or selling their content, such as charging for a report. Small and medium sized business owners, on the other hand, create content because they ultimately want to sell something. Business owners do not get revenue directly from the content, but rather they use content to attract potential customers to their website or blog. They are not making money directly from the content, but through that content the sales are coming at a later day and growing relationships.
The medium is cheap and free with web hosting.
You can setup a blog in seconds using WordPress. The barriers to entry are nonexistent. Many web hosting accounts include WordPress, which is the easiest to use blogging software available. Consumers are more accepting of content in different forms, more now than ever before. Customers will look at your company and, if your business consistently delivers value, that customer will come back to your company’s website or blog and become a long-time customer. Using YouTube and your iPhone, for example, business owners can create their own radio show or virtual TV show. This is what is so exciting about content marketing.
With web hosting and blogging, there are no barriers to entry for these reasons:
- Technology is so easily accessible and because
- consumers are more accepting of different types of content.
For these two reasons, content marketing is more valuable to business owners now more than ever before.
Blogging and content marketing
A blog is a tool and a very important one to business owners. A blog can help companies tell better stories. Blogging continues to be the future of business online and has been for many years. Companies get attention with stories and diverse content. It is harder and harder to advertise on television, and this is one reason that content marketing has taken off. The barriers are so little in terms of expense and time; business owners have taken content and used it to promote their products and services on the Internet.
Attract customers with content.
Blogging by posting content that solves a problem for your customers is crucial to the success of an online business. It attracts attention to a company’s website. When a company starts blogging, the first six months, it is very possible that nothing will happen. During the first six months, your only follower could be your own mother. After about six months, however, company owners start to really see things change. People will use social media to “share” your content and visitors to your website or blog will grow. With that, you are able to encourage visitors to opt-in to your email list. This way, those followers will automatically receive your articles in their in-box (after you setup your email marketing campaign or newsletter).
What types of businesses should be blogging?
The easy answer is that every type of business can be suited for blogging. It is just a tool but if you are trying to communicate your expertise in terms of getting your information out and have it found in search engines such as Google, plus allow people the opportunity to share your content on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, your information will build momentum for your company’s bottom line. There is no better way to network than by blogging with amazing information on a consistent basis.
With a blog you can embed videos, link to podcasts, and link your blog to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and grow your following. By being active on social media, you benefit your company because your content is shared more often. Any business can be well suited for blogging. Commit to your blog and post on a consistent basis, then watch your business grow.
Complex sales or the long sale cycle
This is an area where a blog comes in really handy because with a blog you are able to educate your potential clients about your products and services. Use a blog post to answer customer questions. Use it as a customer service tool. If you are consulting practice, for example, you can give away secrets so you can expand your reach and gain a competitive advantage. People that need your expertise will appreciate your blog and become more loyal and be more attentive to your company.
If you do not have a lot of time to write, you can take your content, re-package it, re-imagine it and use it over and over again on your blog (as long as it is original). If you are in a crowded industry and you do not have the money to advertise, by creating a story or by sharing your knowledge, you are able to differentiate yourself from your competitors in a very cost-effective way.
In a tough economy, consumers are not buying more, so the only way to stay in business is to take customers from your competitors. After reading your articles online, customers are ‘sales-ready’ when they come to you. In the past, customers would have to spend hours speaking to sales representatives, but with a blog you can answer customers’ questions and differentiate your company as an expert in your industry. Customers can make the decision to buy without even speaking to a sales representative just by reading your compelling content on your blog. Blogs are critical to building an organization and growing a business.
Is blogging right for you?
Advertising can be costly. In a competitive world and a tough economy, business owners need to become crafty and share compelling content. Answer customers’ questions in every way, shape and form through your company blog. The big issue is consistency. Blogging is not expensive, but it does take time-a valuable resource.
What is the difference between blogging and sales?
The value of subscriptions is infinite. Blog content that is so compelling and interesting that it encourages people to subscribe to your free, email opt-in list. By getting customers to sign up for your email list, that person is more likely to come to your events and more likely to buy things from your company online. Everything starts with a subscription. How do you get people to sign up for your email list? They come from blog content that is so compelling that people want more of it. As soon as a person subscribes to your email list, it starts the sales cycle in motion. Create the best content on the Internet and deliver it through your blog. Ninety-five percent of sales can be tracked from initial contact through a blog post.
Writing your own articles
Content creation takes time. Be consistent. Focus on strategy and sales. Get contributors from the outside to go ahead and give their insight on your blog. Tap into new networks that you never have before. You can organically grow your network. Take that content and put it on steroids by getting influential and smart people to write for your blog. This can mean the difference between good growth and amazing growth. When you create a movement, people gather around it. People are attracted to blogs that are inspiring and provide power to the reader.
How do you recruit writers for your blog?
Give content gifts. Identify the people that are influential in your industry. Get their attention by sharing their content and tag them on Facebook and Twitter. Make them look really smart. If you do this intelligently, you can attract that person’s consideration, then eventually approach that person and ask him/her to write for you. Eventually you will have people come to you to ask how they can contribute to your blog.
Website hosting and blogs
Some website hosts offer WordPress as part of their web hosting packages. WordPress has many plug-ins and themes, which can make a blog look professional and search engine friendly. By using WordPress, your posts will be indexed by Google, which in time will become the building blocks for your organic online growth.