|Elaine needs your help|
You own a small business, and business is down, revenue is down, profit is down, cash bribes under the table are down….. And what’s that I hear you saying?, “Oh, it’s the economy, that’s the problem”. Yeah, yeah. Cry me a river. Listen, if your business is off, then you need to write a blog. And not a blog like your current blog, but a serious blog that actually elevates you into the position of being looked at as an expert in your field. A person that people turn to when they have questions. A person willing to help by providing expert advice in your field. And no one is more adept at providing that type of advice than you. This isn’t something you just hire out for someone else to write. YOU write it. Otherwise it will come off as cold, off-point, and impersonal.
Now, picture yourself a year from today with this great blog that you’ve written. Lots of insightful, witty, advice-giving, smart blog articles. And instead of empty tables at your restaurant, or more employees than customers in your retail store, or less traffic to your e-commerce site than the Queen has to her Diamond Jubilee website (actually, her website is probably slammed, bad example), or less good looks than that jerk who stole your girlfriend in high school just because he had an awesome Nissan 240-Z and you had a stupid ’78 Pinto…..
Anyway, picture your business with a blog. What looks different just because you have a blog of awesome-ocity? People are now talking about your business whereas previous to your blog, no one even knew about your business. Why are they talking about it? Because one of your potential customers read a blog article of yours and told one of their friends about it. Since it was really helpful to her, she really liked it and posted it on her Twitter feed believing it could help other people in her situation too. It was seen by 81 out of the 426 twits who follow her on Twitter. And one of them was that jerk that stole your girlfriend in high school. BUT, now he writes articles for the Decatur Dispatch, that cute little neighborhood pub that distributes around 8,000 free copies per month (about 524 of which are actually picked up and read), so you forgive him (and his now rusted out 240-Z) because he wrote a short little bio of your business and actually called to get a quote from you for the article. That’s social media man. That is what I’m talking about. Your blog, if good enough, is the cornerstone of you finding your way to many many more customers than you have now. Don’t revisit this concept of writing a blog a year from now, having done nothing. Read the rest of this article to help you get going, and don’t whine about it.
If you need to build your business you need to go at this with all cylinders firing. I’m not telling you to stop the adds you are placing on Google, take down that roadside billboard you rented off of highway 41 in Hahira, Georgia, or even stop paying for that Yellow Pages ad. Well, actually, I am going to tell you to stop that one. Anyway, those are all “outbound” forms of marketing and are valid methods that can and do work. But you want to also use “inbound” forms of marketing. Inbound is marketing where customers come to you instead of you pushing ads to them. How do you do that? Well, the pillar of a good inbound marketing campaign is an exceptional blog. Let me be clear about this. If your blog sucks, your inbound marketing efforts will be about as profitable as that investment I made in online grocer Webvan.com, right before it imploded in 2001. When it was all over-with, the only thing I was able to recoup was a couple of over-ripe papayas and a broken down ’79 Pinto that was once used as a grocery delivery vehicle.
Anyway, when you write an incredible blog, people want to read it, people want to share it, and your status is elevated to that of Supreme PooBah (or at least to the level of Grand Under-secretary to the assistant to the Grand PooBah). Writing a great blog just takes some thought.
Here are the things you want to consider when writing a blog that people will want to read:
- What problem do your potential customers have that you can solve?
- Do not sell. Selling will turn readers off. They want your expertise. The selling will take care of itself.
- Write with a single person in mind. Her name might be Elaine Benes or whatever. Think of Elaine and what problem she has that you can solve.
- Write the blog in service to your customers
- Write to equip your customers to be successful
- A catchy title is a must
- If you have other content to offer, like an ebook or some other such nonsense, then have a call-to-action in your blog to download the additional content. Other calls to action might include: Follow the business on social media, Subscribe to the blog, or Join your newsletter
- Types of blog articles that go viral:
- Controversial articles- stay away from politics or the really sensitive stuff, but if you have a specific opinion on how to solve a problem, then state it.
- Motivational articles- tell them your sappy story about triumph over adversity in a down economy when everyone said it couldn’t be done, and how your high school guidance counselor said you’d never amount to anything. People love that crap.
- Instructional articles- Although this has been beaten to death, people simply like articles with titles like “3 Steps to Newsjack your Restaurant that Would Make Gordon Ramsay Jealous“
I realize here that telling you how to write a blog makes me look like someone who thinks they are some kind of expert and all smarty-pants and all. I’m likely to catch a rash of some sort from having written this. But, I’m the writer, not you, so go write your own blog…..
Leave comments to tell me what other information you’d like to know about writing a blog.
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