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Are Your Blogs ‘Working’ for You?

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Are Your Blogs ‘Working’ for You?

I sat next to a business owner at a seminar this week who was looking to create some local interest in her business.

All sorts of quick fix marketing suggestions started flying around the room, some tried and tested, and some a bit more far out. “Are you blogging?” I asked. I’d just sat listening to her talk about the business, and was already dreaming up a content creation strategy that would perfectly compliment her vision and existing marketing. “We tried that”, she answered, “And it didn’t work.”

I hear that a lot. The line about trying to blog and it ‘not working’. But what a lot of business owners don’t get, is that blogging isn’t a short-term marketing fix. What it is, is a long-term strategy that establishes you and your business as the go-to people, or the experts in your area.

I came home and out of curiosity searched for this particular blog, to see if I could see, where it had gone wrong. I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t on the website; there were no links to any articles on their social media. If it existed, I had no idea where it was.

All this got me thinking about all of the other businesses owners who have stood in front of me and said exactly the same thing.

So here are some of the most common reasons I’ve discovered for blogs ‘not working’ for a business:

1. It’s not visible.

Usually one the first things you’ll learn when you Google ‘How to start a blog’ is that you can start a free account on a site like Blogger.com or WordPress. While this is true, these are much better suited to someone starting a lifestyle or a personal blog rather than one they want to attach to their business.

Instead, add a blog page to your existing website keeping everything about your business all in the same place. It makes it easier for your customers and clients to find you and find out about you. And it’s one less ‘webpage’ that you need to worry about maintaining.

2. There’s no plan.

When I talk about blogging and content creation, one of my favourite things to say is, “You just need to start.” And it’s true. But you also need to make a plan. All blogs begin with good intentions, but if it has no direction, it will quickly fizzle out.

The most successful content creators have their content planned out for six months to a year in advance. They’ve planned things like topics, titles, posting schedules. Social media content and posts, and marketing around each topic.

3. Be consistent.

If you want followers, and to start establishing yourself as the expert in your area, you need to be consistent. I looked at another blog recently for a business who couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting any traction. It was July, and the last posts they had published were two close together in April, and one in January. There was no traction because there was no consistency.

Decide how frequently you want to publish your content and then build your plan around that.

4. Be patient.

Once you’ve done all this: made sure your blog is visible; that you’ve got a plan; and you are posting quality content consistently. Be patient. Very often when a business owner tells me their blog ‘didn’t work’ it’s because they didn’t immediately have customers beating down the door asking for whatever product or service they had just posted about. It takes time to build trust.

When understood and used correctly, content creation can be a very powerful marketing tool for individuals and for Small Business. And really all it takes is some planning and for you to just keep showing up.

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