You’ve probably seen the headlines while scrolling through Facebook. I know I did.
“Blogging is dead!” they declared.
It is so early 2000s, and now it’s all video! and Pinterest! and strategic alliances!
Which left thousands of bloggers who invested years of effort and passion feeling confused. So, this whole business I started is now, what? Finished? Business owners who used a blog to provide value to their current and prospective customers were concerned—and more than a little frustrated—that they’d have to rethink their entire content marketing strategy.
Who decides these things, anyway? Is it even true?
The short answer is no, it’s not true. Providing value to your audience is a not a zero-sum game that one single strategy is responsible for. That’s complete nonsense.
People who want you to focus on what they have to offer—say, video, affiliate marketing, or ice bucket challenges—simply want to draw your attention their way. But some of them did it in this icky way of putting down another form of marketing to try to make themselves appear better. The thing is, that doesn’t work in life and it sure doesn’t work in business, especially if you’re in it for the long game.
OK, I think I’ve sufficiently made my point.
So. Now that we’ve established that blogging is not, in fact, dead, let’s go a little deeper about why blogging is not only still relevant but will make you money. Which—real talk—is a what makes a business a business and not a hobby.
ESTABLISH THE KNOW-TRUST-LIKE TRIFECTA
As you’re building your brand, you likely know that for people to buy from you in any capacity, they need to know, trust, and like you. It’s a human nature thing: if two people are selling the same thing, we are more likely to choose the one we know, trust, and like. The reasons for this are pretty straightforward:
· Know: People are familiar with you. Your name is associated with a specific area of expertise. They’ve seen your face and know what you’re about.
· Trust: You’ve shown yourself to have credibility in your field. You’ve gained a measure of success and have consistently demonstrated that you know what you’re talking about.
· Like: The persona you present is genuine to who you really are and people like that. Your style of humor or branding aesthetic resonates with them—you’re their kind of person.
POSITION YOURSELF AS AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD
Building on the trust factor, regular blogging allows you to tangibly demonstrate that you are an expert in your field. By sharing your insights and observations you’ve made as a result of your experience, you position yourself as a reliable source of information in your area.
They return to your blog when they have a question and, if you’ve developed a strategic content plan, they will likely find the answer they’re looking for. Then, when it comes time to buy something from you, they have little to no hesitation in doing so since they’ve already developed confidence in your expertise.
PROVIDE SERIOUS VALUE — FOR FREE!
Blogging is fantastic source of free added value for your customers, existing and potential. You provide useful, practical, interesting, or just plain fun information that actually makes their lives better. This is no small thing and should not be overlooked at any level. Heck, even Martha Stewart has a separate blog-specific Instagram account in addition to her juggernaut brand account. And you know if Martha’s doing it, it’s a good thing. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
It feels like something extra, a bonus, to your readers—and it sort of is—but really, it’s just a smart move in your overall content marketing strategy. And, while time is money, this is one form of marketing that technically costs you no dollars. Anywhere I can get that kind of bang for zero bucks, I’m a happy lady.
CREATE MARKETING MATERIAL YOU CAN SHARE
Once you have a great blog, you can (and should) link to it from other relevant parts of your website (e.g., your About and Work with Me pages). Once you’ve amassed a nice little portfolio of blogs and have seen which ones generate the most traffic, you can provide a list for new visitors to your site to read to get a better sense of who you are and what you do.
Your blogs give you ideal social media content too. Every time a new blog hits, highlight it on your social media accounts and link back to it on your site. Two birds, one stone blog.
Blogs are also a fantastic way to share your business with other influencers, brands, and media outlets. Slightly tweaking your existing blog to their specific audience is a quick, easy, and effective way to get featured with people and companies with larger audiences. (One caveat: Sometimes media outlets will ask for an original piece for their platform. In this case, please write them something new rather than trying to pass off an old piece. Trickery does not a good business practice make.)
Massive platforms like The Today Show are constantly picking up popular blogs from relatively unknown people and posting them on their social media feeds (just ask Jen Hatmaker if you don’t believe me). Do excellent work now, and you never know who may come knocking!
If you weren’t sure if blogging was something your business needed before, I hope you’ll seriously reconsider that position and start putting out tremendous blog content immediately.