Blogging is creating content such as text, video, audio. The key is to insure the content is of good quality, and in-demand. This helps engage your audience, and keeps them returning.
Use your content to create value in people’s lives. One important aspect is to ensure you maintain convergence in the things you publish.
What is “Convergence”?
Simply put… Convergence is the combination of something you do particularly well, really enjoy (your passion), AND what other people are interested in, that they will spend money to obtain.
Blogging is your extension of that passion, that central point of convergence, used to help increase your revenue, while providing good value to your audience.
Key strategy: Grow your user base. Your quality content whether it be written, video, or audio, should provide value. It is not in and of itself providing revenue. Your content is free, however that content is used to garner readers, visitors, subscribers, followers, and so on. What you do with your visitor base, what you offer them (beneficial services and useful products), that is of value, that’s where the revenue resides.
Your content should drive (funnel) traffic towards your revenue producing products and services. In reality, this model is best used to support / compliment many other types of business models.
Understandably, this is not so much a strategy of passivity, instead requires regular follow up and regular creation of new, quality, in-demand content. Again, the upside is the improved growth of your traffic base. More so… Those who follow, subscribe, etc. are in a sense pre-qualified leads (as they are already interested in the value you offer).
Blogging is relatively easy to start, at times though, you might need some logistical support for a few technical challenges (web hosting setup, plugins, solutions, features, etc.). For the majority of businesses (that are not strong in online technical skills) blogging remains a very friendly process.
Blogging requires commitment – Or do not do this. Be consistent, and improve as you go. Your content will naturally evolve and improve, over time.
If starting a blog as a business initiative, the best option is to obtain a professional hosting solution, not a free one. A professional web hosting solution provides the support that you may need from time-to-time. This would normally be phrased as a “self-hosted WordPress” installation.
When starting a blog as a business, it’s important to remember that the content is created upfront, taking time to build traffic and visibility. It takes about 6-9 months to garner a consistent visitor following. Don’t monetize subscribers too soon (because some people want free stuff all the time, and may be annoyed) – Build traction first! Wait until you are established then decide on your monetization options. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your visitors, you’ll be surprised at the insight some of them can provide you!
How do you build traction?
Your blog gains traction primarily via value added marketing. This is where your content provides readers with value first (to attract more people), build trust, help solve their challenges, resulting in more visitors following you, resulting in an increasing your user base.
As with other strategies (such as online publishing) make sure you add value to all three blogging streams:
- Written content: WordPress (self-hosted)
- Video hosting: YouTube or Vimeo
- Podcast hosting: Audible or Buzzsprout (ACX)
Again (I can’t reinforce this enough), always focus on adding value and building a user base. Eventually when established, then you can start a revenue stream, such as adding advertising, etc.
Key strategy: A narrow niche attracts a more targeted audience. Make sure you appeal to a specific, targeted niche! Is it the right niche? Do you attract the right visitors? Don’t blog about stuff you find boring, you’ll lose your passion! And subsequently the blog will go nowhere.
Why is a Blog so Important, what’s the big deal?
Blogging is building a brand, a reputation, a relationship with people. It inherently matures the ability to influence large numbers of visitors – As such you must foster a trustful relationship.
Once you have a large audience, they want (and expect) a consistent flow of regular quality content. And… They’ll also want more of it! It’s important to realize, you’ll need to keep up with the demand for content.
Key strategy: As your demand for content increases, add more content production. You can outsource content developers (writers), etc. to take the load off you. Having regular guest writers is another common practice. Have some product or service evangelists? Invite them to create guest posts. Liaise with key people in your niche, and invite them to contribute to your blog. Reach out to your industry colleagues.
Stay focused to the niche subject matter, your blog was created for, and stick with that! The narrower the niche, the better – A well focused niche blog better helps people find what they are looking for, and enables you to provide those visitors the value they are looking for.
A blog helps build income, for those using it as a business model. Similarly, a business blog builds client leads for the business, using it to enhance the visibility of their products and services.
What Do I Blog About?
People often ask me how to come up with blog topics and content?.
One good suggestion is to use the very content people ask you for – In other words use it to answer their questions. This is a natural way of “getting” your initial content. Creating content based on the questions people have asked you, is a “no brainer” (because they are in a sense, telling you what content they want).
Key strategy: Turn your marketing into content, not your content into marketing. Thinking this way, simplifies the process.
Leverage search engines such as Google. Keep your content high quality (especially when you begin). Optimize that content for search engines (SEO) – This includes a professional hosting service, that provides improved website loading speed. Visitors will be able to find and follow your blog if content is consistent and better SEO optimized.
If you write very long, quality blog posts, you can use the content from several of them, in online publishing, such as a Kindle book, for an extra revenue stream.
What Type of Design is Best for My New Blog?
It’s important to realize that design (features, widgets, colours, pictures, etc.) of the blog are not important to start.
Remember… At the beginning you have no traffic. Best approach… Keep the design simple and clean. That’s it!
Only when you have a larger following – Then, is the time to determine a design. Very commonly I find people who are eager to have a great design from the start, not realizing that there is a better time to visit the design stage, and later, end up making substantial changes, away from their original design (resulting in increased costs and time) – Even worse… Their initial design is a liability, and the blog does not perform as well as it could. When you have traffic, you’ll also realize the best calls to action needed on your website (including any design changes).
Instead, focus on high quality content! Ever heard the phrase “Content is king”? It’s true, high quality, in-demand content wins hands down – Regardless of how appealing a blog might appear. It helps to look at other successful websites (some of the “worst looking” websites, are the most successful because they have great content, and also provide great value to visitors).
Key strategy: Do not design a blog to meet your personal (esthetic) design preferences. Remember, what you think looks nice or works well, your niche audience might not. Instead, have the design of your blog meet the expectations of your niche visitors (not yours), after you have established a larger audience.
Side note: Register a domain name for your blog, and use professional hosting. Using “free” services to host a professional website does not necessarily send the best message to many people. Additionally free services do not offer the same calibre of support as professional web hosting providers.
What Call to Action is Best?
When people visit your blog… What do you want them to do? That’s your CTA!
Within your CTA (Call to Action), furnish something of quality, that provides value, perhaps in exchange for a subscription (via entering email). Maybe a PDF of some valuable content.
After visitors act on your call to action (subscribing for example), it’s essential to continue to build the relationship, trust, etc. in the content you provide subscribers, as well as your communication with them. Offer additional products and services that are valuable and useful to subscribers.
When people find your content compelling… They are more likely to do business. Remember, in your content, leverage the CTA to funnel visitors to your products and services.
When creating a video or podcast, should I still create a written blog post?
Each time you create video content and upload it to YouTube, blog about it, and also publish the video on your website.
A good commitment, that is more likely to enhance your online business growth is to publish one video each day, and one or two blog posts each day.
Key strategy: Use all three platforms: Blog, video, and audio (just like with online publishing). This allows for three streams, as different people consume content in different ways (that work best for each person consuming your content).
For video content, optimize for the specific keyword within YouTube. Again, ensure a CTA is added, to funnel viewers to the appropriate resources. Funneling is good for visitors, as there are a number of them looking for more information, and even willing to spend money to get what they need (products + services). If you can help them by providing it, that’s a win-win scenario. Funneling can also use affiliate links (just be sure to let your audience know affiliate links are in use, be upfront and honest).
Bonus: Add passive income to YouTube by using ads. You can turn this on, to enable a small passive inflow of money.
Key strategy: Save your time, work smart, not hard! Simplify your podcast creation… Podcasts can be the audio content of each YouTube video (to clarify, only the audio track, which you can strip out of the video).
Again, with podcasting, should also have a CTA in the outro. Listeners might not be able to take action immediately, because they are not in front of a desktop computer, etc. – But, they can share a link if it’s super-easy to remember!
You could even do something fancy… Create a very short URL in your outro. Use the IFTTT (If This Then That) website to create some action when visitors visit a URL via mobile (or desktop PC). Perhaps have a message automatically sent to them with some valuable resource that listeners can make use of (when they visit that URL).
And the bottom line is…
Blog about what your most passionate, that other people will be interested in – Convergence! Once you grow an audience as well as nurture subscribers, you can better learn what they want are more interested in, and then create more targeted content, to continue to add improved value to their visits.
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For almost twenty years, my expertise in business management has helped businesses bring their goals to fruition. I provide practical, logistical services for your business website. The key strategies to help realize greater business freedom through smarter operations is paramount in today’s global marketplace.