It’s no secret that blogging great content and updating a blog regularly is a phenomenal way of attracting potential customers, getting leads and eventually sales. Every time a business creates a quality blog post and shares it, they are creating more incoming links to their blog, strengthening their brand and increasing customer loyalty.
Every time a blog is updated, it’s another opportunity for Google and other search engines to pick up activity on your blog. It increases your “findability” on-line.
With all the craze around blogging though, I often get asked “How can a business like mine incorporate a blog?” So, I thought it valuable to provide some specific examples of how specific industries and niches could use a blog to grow a business, aside from just creating an on-line presence. Small businesses don’t always have big budgets for marketing but they don’t necessarily need to either.
Below are some real examples that illustrate HOW a business can use a blog to grow business, increase their reach and their bottom line.
Blogging could be an especially lucrative way for a local business like a restaurant to increase their reach.
Imagine for a moment, a restaurant blogging about their specials, local activities and contests. Imagine them blogging about their specific events at the restaurant, sharing those posts on Social Media, as well.
For this type of business, I would suggest an opt-in to a freebie/ a coupon for a discount or a give-away that would allow the local business to 1) Collect potential customers info for future marketing and promotion and 2) Encourage the customer to visit the restaurant to collect their freebie or discount.
Contests and freebies are extremely shareable. People absolutely love to spread the word about freebies and contests and since they are location specific, it is very easy for a business to reach a very targeted local market fairly quickly using these means.
The “opting-in” or collecting of emails in exchange for something of value, is not to be taken lightly. It’s powerful and it is KEY to long-term marketing efforts. A local restaurant would be wise to combine off-line and on-line marketing efforts via newspapers, postcards and flyers encouraging customers to visit the blog, enter their email address and in turn proving the business with a way to continuously build a relationship with their subscribers.
Pretty cool isn’t it?
Network Marketing/ Direct Sales
Most network marketers are still being taught to make a list of friends and family and target anyone with a heartbeat.
I am certainly not discouraging traditional off-line efforts, especially if you enjoy it and are having success with it. However, I truly believe that by providing valuable content on a blog about your Network Marketing/Direct Sales niche, you could increase your reach, become the hunted, not the hunter and potentially make money while you sleep. I have included two specific Direct Sales niches below and specific ways those businesses could grow exponentially via blogging.
Skin Care Direct Sales company
If you want to attract people interested in skin care, does it not make sense to provide incredible value and education on skin care that people are actively looking for?
Give. Give. Give.
The people on-line who will find you are looking for what you are selling. The Network Marketing rep of XYZ company is no longer chasing, you see, but is being hunted by people who are actually interested all because they are actively and consistently providing content and solutions for the people looking for answers in the skin care niche.
Here’s a tip for this type of company: I would personally capture those leads by collecting an email address in exchange for a “how to” on skin care. For example ” 20 steps to radiant skin without harsh chemicals” or ” 10 Ingredients you should avoid at all cost in your cosmetics”.
Building your Direct Sales team? Why not direct the to watch the video explaining how they too can earn an income sharing your product?
Are you beginning to see the trend here?” Get targeted traffic by creating and sharing valuable, niche specific content, collect prospect information by providing valuable information in exchange for their personal information and then follow up by building a relationship with them via email, continuously providing them value until they are ready to buy. This is where a powerful system using a blog, a Lead capture page, and an auto-responder (more on that later) can truly work for you 24-7, making you sales while you sleep!
Weight loss Direct Sales Company
While this is a very popular niche, if approached correctly, with the use of a blog you can truly differentiate yourself from the competition and dominate this niche. Similarly to the skin care example, there are many create things a weight loss blog can do to attract visitors and buyers and it could be a lot of fun too: Exercise videos, recipes, 30 Day Weight Loss challenges (everyone loves a good before and after story! and an opportunity to be part of it!)
Here’s my take on using a 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge on your blog: Share your own journey and your challenge. Blog about it. Have a Call to Action inviting others to partake in your challenge…and as part of your challenge, they buy your product. Offer support. Add them to a private Facebook group where challengers can support each other, be part of something, stay excited, motivate and refer others. You’ve just created a loyal tribe!
These are just a couple of examples of Network Marketing niches using a blog as part of their system. You can use a blog to compliment your Home Party Jewellery business (there’s only so many hours in the day to host home parties), your non-toxic home care products, herbal supplements… whatever niche you are in. Just be creative, give value and be consistent and the leads can start pouring in.
Real Estate and Mortgage Industry blogs
This is an industry I am fairly familiar with and all too often I see agents promoting their generic company website, and just posting their listings or, in the mortgage industry,-posting rates …on the off chance that their target market may come across a listing. How can blogging help with your mortgage business or your real estate business? While I can say with certainty that these are industries where you can’t exactly sell a home or close a mortgage while you sleep, there is no reason why you can’t collect leads while you sleep and have a blog working for you while you sleep.
Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate agents are busy. They don’t have time to spend a lot of time blogging. I get that. But, having a well planned strategy around a blog and using it correctly can differentiate them from all the rest and does not need to take a lot of time. Incorporating that blog with Social Media and an email marketing campaign can do far more than just sharing new listings on a generic site. Imagine sharing listings and rates with an list of 1000’s that opted in to your list and LIKE you because of who you are and the value you provide!
Here are just a few quick ways an agent can blog without spending too much time:
– Share financial tips
– Share credit tips
– Share short personal stories or case studies related to your niche
– Share a variety of tips regarding preparing your home for sale
– Re-purpose content by sharing it via video post or written post
– Share other people’s videos
– Share excerpts to industry articles with just a paragraph with your take on the article
… and again, you should have something of value that your target market will give you their email in exchange for, such as :
– a video series on how” xyz City” citizens can be mortgage free faster or
– Secrets to selling your home in “xyz city” at over asking price quickly and easily.
Set it up so that an autoresponder will send them regular emails. That is a time saver in itself. Set it up once and have the system do the work for you while you are out getting listings. Then, occasionally send a broadcast email to your entire list regarding a hot new listing or the crazy great mortgage rates we are seeing.
Non-profit/ Charities / Organizations / Churches and Ministries.
Can you see how following a similar strategy to the ones in the examples above can help various organizations and causes spread the word? In the advent of “internet-everything”, non-profits have an opportunity to have a voice on the internet and reach the masses, as well. A church can share sermons and words of wisdom on a blog and provide daily bible quotes, prayers, and keep local residents in the loop when it comes to local church events. It can be a powerful way to fund-raise and accept donations beyond just local reach.
I referenced a few tools I use and recommend when you are getting started with your blog, namely a Lead Capture page and an auto-responder. If you are just starting out, adding tools to your blog does not need to be complicated or expensive. You can start with a free newsletter like Mailchimp (it has its limitations) you can use a relatively inexpensive option but with many more features. The auto-responder I use for most of my lists and email campaigns is Get Response. (tip: Get response also now has unlimited lead pages included in one of their packages). I use MLSP for my Lead Capture page and a built in CRM
Cashing in on your passion
The above examples reference just some of the ways any business can use a blog. Most recently, I have seen bloggers blogging about their passions… yoga, cross fit, gardening, personal development.. and then they market and sell products that are completely unrelated to their niche. Their reasoning? They blog about something they love and provide such unbelievably great value, regularly and consistently that they attract tons of traffic . The more eyeballs they have reading their passion based blog leads to a greater number of people viewing the products they are selling. More views… more interest… more leads and sales and happy customers.
Cool way to make a living isn’t it?
To your success,
P.S You can learn more about getting more authority, more leads, more sales, and more income with blogging here.