Blogging can be an incredible tool for marketing your business and generating leads – but starting that blog can bring up a whole host of emotions!
Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task, put off by flashbacks to school essays, or worried about boring the pants off your reader, I’ve got all the tips you need so that you can begin to create long-form content with confidence.
Why do you need a blog for your business?
Let’s start with the most important question: why blog?
I’ll counter this with another question: Have you ever bought something from someone you didn’t think was an expert in what they do?
Whether you’re spending £10 or £10,000, you want to know that the product or service you’re buying will do the trick and that the person you’re buying it from is legit.
Your clients feel exactly the same way. They want to know the answers to all of their questions before signing up to your service: is it right for them? What results can they expect? What steps will they take while working with you?
And as you’ve probably found yourself, the best way to find these answers is by reading or watching the content that’s created by the brand you’re interested in.
There’s a tonne of research showing that regular publication of high-quality, genuinely helpful content sways the buying decisions of your audience – a lot!
By the same token, if you’re publishing low-quality content, or not publishing it regularly or consistently, you will turn buyers off of your brand.
This tells us that putting in the effort to publish regular, high-quality content puts you in the minority of businesses that are attracting clients with ease, and building better relationships with your audience.
How does blogging get you clients?
You’ve probably already heard that blogging boosts your SEO, but what does that actually mean for getting clients?
The first and most basic way that blogging does this is by showing the world that you are regularly publishing helpful content that your audience can rely on. Brands that do this consistently will be much more likely to be shown in search results on Google, because the algorithm will consider this a trustworthy source of information for its users.
This means that anyone who is actively searching for the answers you can give them will be able to find you. You’re not limited to the people who are using the same social media channels as you, or who have already signed up to your email list.
But in addition to helping you appear in Google search results, blogging has loads of other little tricks to continually generate new leads for your business.
It keeps all of your content in one place, safe from possible disruption on other platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. Even though these are brilliant channels to reach a wide audience quickly, if those channels are down for the day, you’ve lost your ability to reach people. But if you’ve got a library of blogs safely stored on your website, social media blackouts won’t have such a detrimental effect on your lead generation.
It also nurtures your audience without your constant input because you can tell them everything they need to know about you, your service, who you help, and how. Just write it once in a series of blogs and then leave them on your website forever, done and dusted!
What if I’m already getting clients from social media?
Using social media to market your business is a bit like busking as a musician. Even though it’s great for getting you in front of lots of people quickly, and allowing you to interact with your audience in real time, you have to do it every day to maintain momentum.
You can also only reach the people who happen to be there at the same time as you. Anyone who decided to stay at home that day would never have heard you play, and can therefore never know whether they’d like to buy your album.
The authorities could kick you out any day, if they decide they don’t want people to be busking there.
Compare this to email marketing, which in this analogy is a bit like getting a regular spot on an open mic night. The people in the pub all decided to go to the open mic night because they quite like hearing your songs. They’re comfortably sitting and waiting to hear from you, and when it’s your turn to play, you’ve got their undivided attention.
But just like with busking, once you’ve played your set, someone else will come along to play their songs, so yours might get forgotten. Or maybe one day, the people in the audience decide they’d rather spend that evening learning French than listening to you play, so they unsubscribe.
This brings us to blogging. Blogging for your business is like recording a best-selling album. It doesn’t give you the immediate audience that busking does, but it means that anyone in the world can find your songs, at any time of day via the internet. And when they do, they can listen over and over again, as much as they like.
In doing this, they can become a raving fan, waiting to hear when they can buy tickets to come to your concerts, without you doing anything more than playing your song once to record it.
So even if social media, or email marketing, or any other channel or strategy is bringing you clients, it’s worth considering whether blogging might be a valuable tool to add to your arsenal.
It’s not about cutting out your other strategies, it’s about using blogs to complement your existing marketing, or perhaps to give it more longevity so that you can step back and spend a bit more time on your clients (or on relaxing!) than you do right now.
How to write blogs that generate leads
There are three things that every blog needs to do: inform, entertain, and build trust with your reader.
But there are so many different topics and approaches you can employ to do each of these three things! In my experience, it’s this freedom that causes overwhelm to creep in when you’re new to blogging.
Here are my top tips for turning your blog strategy into a lead-generating machine, and making sure you’re never short of inspiration for your next topic.
Repurpose content that worked
Choose a social post that got loads of engagement. Add an intro and a call to action (CTA) at the end, and dig deeper into the topic. Add some subheadings and some links if that feels right.
- Transcribe a live video or a podcast you recorded. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, because speech is very different from written text. But, if you feel confident cutting through the waffle (yes, we all do it!), this could be a game-changer.
- Expand on the pages of your website, e.g. About Me, Services. Use blogging to make this information more shareable, or turn it into a story that’s more engaging to read.
Answer common objections
Every time you hear a “no” on a sales call, or a question about your service, use this as inspiration for new long-form content. In the blog, explain what the objection is and your answer to it, so that the reader can decide whether the service is right for them based on the facts.
- By using your blog in this way, you can nip the objections in the bud, so that by the time your new lead reaches out to you, they’re pretty much ready to buy!
This is my second favourite topic to blog about, beaten only by…
Talk about yourself!
Personal stories and anecdotes are incredibly powerful pieces of content because they build your know/like/trust factor.
- Ideally pick stories that your audience will be able to relate to so that they start to see you as a friend. For example, did you used to struggle with the same problem that you help with? Or do you have any interests or hobbies that your ideal client might share?
If you’re eager to learn more about how to write blogs that will grow and nurture your audience into warm leads, I’d love to invite you to join my free FB group Blog Magic: Blogging Hints and Tips for Coaches, Consultants, and Counsellors! In there, I offer support, training, and inspiration to help you show up in your content with confidence. You’ll even have the opportunity to share your blogs with the group for added visibility.
Or, find out more about me and my blog-writing services at www.katie-earl-editing.co.uk