Hello all, it’s Mic here. First of all, thank you for taking the time to read the Blue Gurus blog. We appreciate you very much. Secondly, this blog post was written by Mary Hutchison, who has been a friend for nearly 20 years, helped my wife Missy and I buy and sell our first home and helped us buy our second home (she’s a Residential Realtor for Prudential Kansas City), and is also a client of Blue Gurus. She talked to me recently about how blogging has helped her business through the recession and I asked her to share her experiences with our readers. So take a look and let us know what you think…and thanks again for reading.
It’s 2009, deep into the Great Recession. As a small business owner who earns a living via commission only (I’m a real estate agent), it was time to rethink my marketing efforts. With all businesses, word of mouth referrals are crucial, but as the housing market crashed and unemployment rose, no one was in the mood to buy or sell a home.
How could I reach new customers? I decided to try blogging.
Three years later, as the economy still struggles and home values slowly inch higher, I can say most of my business now comes from new clients finding me through the internet and my blog. I believe blogging got me through the recession…and helped me close more transactions this year than ever before!
Getting started was the hardest part.
What am I going to blog about? What will my blog look like? How do I describe myself as the blog author? I’m no twenty-something techie, but I took some time and figured it out. Even now, my blog isn’t as flashy and colorful as some are—but the content is sincere and relative to my audience. I already had a website and a personable LinkedIn profile (thanks to Blue Gurus!)—blogging was the next logical step.
I believe every business, especially small businesses, should have a blog. A blog gives potential customers a way to find out about you as they research businesses online. By reading your blog, these folks get a sense of your personality and knowledge about the service they are interested in. If there is a sense of connection with you—they will take the next step and contact you.
Remember, people like to do business with people they like and trust—putting yourself out there through a blog gives you unlimited exposure to an audience researching your particular service…and a chance to know and like you as they are deciding who to contact. All for a very small cost compared to the results!
If you are thinking about blogging, don’t wait any longer. Just do it. Here are a few tips as you get started:
1) Can’t think of a topic? Start at the beginning. Write about why you started your business. What you like most about it. Review pros and cons. What gets you motivated each day? What problem did you solve for a client?
Write about your first customer. You can always research other blogs related to your business—but remember, the blog is a reflection of you as well as your business, so write what you know. Make it personable, tell a story.
2) Learn about SEO (search engine optimization) and tags. By properly tagging and using keywords in your blog, you will attract readers (and customers) to your site. Just know the basics about SEO in the beginning. As you become more tech savvy, you can teach yourself more about SEO to drive traffic to your blog.
3) Blog regularly. Try it once or twice a week at first. You’ll be surprised that once you get started, as you go through the day you will be inspired by different topics to blog about. Providing fresh content to your blog helps the search engines find you and earns you more exposure and readers.
4) Hire a small, knowledgeable social media company to keep you on track and offer valuable technical advice. Yep, that’s a plug for Blue Gurus. It’s totally worth the money. Once you get started with blogging, Blue Gurus will teach you a few more steps to keep your blog fresh and attractive. They will also help you spread the word about your blog across several social media sites for maximum exposure. They take a very patient and personalized approach that you’ll appreciate.
I remember soon after I started my blog, my family and a few friends would say “You’re blogging now? Why?” As a small business owner, I’ll try anything to attract more customers. In the beginning, I didn’t know if it was worth the time. But now, I know it works, and so do my friends and family. Blogging isn’t the trendy new thing to do … it’s an accepted and valuable part of marketing any business. So get started…I’d like to read what you have to say!