Every week, Jason and I are actively engaged with our clients in projects, meetings, coaching sessions, and conversations. Without fail, and primarily because we talk all the time about the enormous benefits for companies that blog, people routinely ask us:
*What is a Blog?
*Why should I blog?
*What should I blog?
WHAT IS A BLOG?
In short, blogging is a way for you to stay top-of-mind with customers, prospects, and anyone else that is interested in your brand. What you are reading right now is the Blue Gurus blog. Jason’s first blog post for Blue Gurus was March 18, 2009 and the post you are reading right now is our 86th! We alternate the responsibility each week our readers tell us that the differences in our writing styles and perspectives keep the content fresh.
Wikipedia has detailed information on blogging that you can read here but their short definition is:
“A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.”
It goes on to define corporate blogs as “Blogs used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding, or public relations.”
(Shameless Blue Gurus Plug: You can click the “Blog” link at the top of the page and see a history of Blue Gurus blog posts. There is some great information that will absolutely add value to anyone that takes the time to read it. You can also easily subscribe to our blog from the home page by clicking the banner that says “Sign Up: Get Our Weekly Tips and News Delivered Directly To Your Inbox.”)
WHY SHOULD I BLOG?
Business owners always want to know what the Return-On-Investment (ROI) is for everything they do, so let me tease your pallet with a quick stat from an article I’ve shared with many of our clients:
“From a January 2010 study of 2,300 businesses by inbound marketing gurus HubSpot, it was found that businesses that blog experienced 126% higher lead growth than businesses who did not blog.”
Got your attention?
I don’t often link to other articles in my own blog posts, but the honest truth is that this article was very well written and summarizes many of the things a business owner should know when considering whether a blog can make a real difference.
Click here to read the full article, titled “11 Business Benefits of Blogging…are you missing out?”
WHAT SHOULD I BLOG?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
Business owners are constantly trying to figure out what people are interested in, what will make them pick up the phone and buy, what will move someone to comment on a post or share it with other people, etc.
There is no magic elixir that will give you every outcome you desire, but here are a few tried and true principles that every company that wants to be effective at blogging should know:
–Everyone loves a good story. Share the stories that happen in your business every day and if there is advice or lessons to be learned from those stories, then include that in the same post. It doesn’t all have to be about business either. Personal stories are great too…even preferred.
How did your business get started? Did you just land a big deal? Did one of your employees just get married? Is your company doing volunteer work in the community? Did one of your employees just have a baby? Do you have a new product or service that will help your customers? Do you have free advice that could help people today if they just took a few minutes read your blog?
–Brainstorm with yourself…and your team. Last week, I was typing an email to Jason telling him that I wasn’t quite sure yet what I was going to write about in my next blog post and then it hit me, in mid sentence as I was typing, “I should write a blog article about how we come up with blog topics and what our process is!” Genius, I know.
We talk to each other for ideas and about what’s been going on in the business. We think strategically about what is relevant to people we work with. We think about the questions we hear from clients and prospects every week.
Train yourself to start thinking like a blogger. Some of the best posts we’ve written have come because we are keeping our eyes and ears open to what is happening around us each and every day.
–Give FREE advice. By a show of hands, how many people like things that are FREE? Anyone? Anyone? Give readers of your blog things they can do today that can make a difference in their lives, their jobs, their companies, their homes…whatever. It is better to give than to receive and, with blogging, the more you give, the more you receive. Trust us on that one.
–Be authentic. Jason and I love the word “authentic” because we take great pride in the fact that with both of us, what you see is what you get. We truly love helping people and that comes across in the way we interact with people in person and in our writing. You will notice that we don’t use a lot of “marketing speak” in our communications. Our message is straightforward and to the point. We talk, and write, the way we like to be talked to and the way we like to read.
–Avoid the SELL, SELL, SELL approach. By a show of hands, how many people just love to be bombarded by marketing messages or overly persistent salespeople? Hello? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? You get the point. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever promote your products or services; just don’t overdo it.
P.S.-Here’s wishing you and yours a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!