Does your business have a blog?
Is it working for you?
If you said “no,” I wouldn't be surprised.
But it doesn't need to be that way.
Keep reading to discover why many blogs fail and what you can do to boost your traffic and brand.
What's Wrong With Blogs?
This platform, if done properly, can generate tremendous traffic, leads and sales for your business that you otherwise would not have had.
Unfortunately though, most businesses do not blog well. Why? Because they refuse to think like a consumer.
They refuse to tell consumers the answers to the questions they most want answered. And it is because of this approach we so often hear the phrase, “Yeah, our company tried blogging, but it didn't work for us.”
I own a swimming pool company, and when the economy crashed in 2008, it was our blog that really saved our business.
By being relentless in our efforts to walk, talk and think like consumers—we were able to garner the love of search engines like Google and thereby get huge search traffic—but we were also able to rise to the top of the entire fiberglass pool industry.
Today, as I share these blogging success principles with companies around the country, I find there are basically two ways that people receive this unique approach to blogging:
“Sure this will work for our industry!”
“Oh no, this doesn't apply to us at all!”
What's funny is that folks in the same field often make these statements, yet the only difference is the desire and willingness to experiment with something new.
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I say this because I don't want you to automatically disqualify yourself and your business from what you're about to read.
Whether you're a B2B, B2C, product, service, local, international, big or small business—there are sound blogging practices here that could truly help your company.
But enough on that. Let's talk about how you can take your blog to the next level.
5 Blogging Tips That Work!
#1: Leverage the power of “versus”
As consumers, we love to compare. In fact, we compare companies, products and “stuff” like crazy just to make sure we know we are making a sound buying decision and choosing the best product or service to fit our needs.
For example, because my company sells fiberglass pools, we are constantly explaining to our customers the differences among fiberglass, concrete and vinyl liner in-ground pools. For years, we kept getting these comparison questions on the phone or face to face from customers, so we knew it only made sense to blog about these subjects when we started this process of content marketing in 2009. In fact, the first comparison/versus article we ever wrote was entitled, “Fiberglass Pools vs. Vinyl Liner Pools vs. Concrete Pools: An Honest Comparison.”
After this article was written, I was able to see just how powerful the post was, as it ranked #1 on Google for many important keyword phrases, including:
- Fiberglass vs. vinyl liner pools
- Fiberglass vs. concrete pools
- Concrete pools vs. vinyl liner pools
- And many others
When I saw how quickly this article had captured so many long-tail keyword phrases (phrases of three or more words that have less search competition) in Google search engine rankings, I knew it would only make sense to continue with these comparison-based articles on the blog.
As you can see from the image below, the results thus far have been profound. In fact, just try searching any of the “versus” keyword phrases you see above and you'll be able to verify how my pool company is on the first page of Google almost every time, usually with the ranking of #1.
Keep in mind though these types of “versus” comparison-based articles aren't just for getting the attention of Google and the search engines. In the article that compared fiberglass, vinyl and concrete swimming pools, the comparisons were truly unbiased and honest. I didn't make fiberglass out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I talked about its pros and cons compared to the other types of pools in a very open manner.
And it was because of this (and all of the other comparison articles I wrote) that the blog soon became “the consumer voice” of the in-ground pool industry. People knew they could go there for honest and accurate information, and as a natural byproduct, our customers in Virginia and Maryland felt like they were dealing with the thought leaders of the entire industry.
So look for ways to compare the products and services you sell versus the products and services of others in your field. Give factual information about each. The opportunities here are almost endless and the amount of content ideas that can come from this one subject could very well give you dozens or even hundreds of blog post possibilities.
#2: People want the best, now give it to them
Think about all of the times you've asked the question,
“What is the best way to…?” or
“What is the best type of…?”
When it comes to researching and making a buying decision, we love to know the “best.”
There is also a very good chance the prospects and customers in your industry are online searching these types of phrases, which is why you should look for opportunities to utilize the word “best” in your content.
For example, as someone who writes about business blogging all the time, I decided to write an article on my marketing blog entitled “50 Qualities of the Best Business Blogs in the World.” Within two days of writing that post, it was ranked on the first page of Google for the phrase “Best Business Blogs,” which has generated significant traffic to the site since it was published. Furthermore, it's these types of articles that will build your reputation as an expert in your field.
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#3: Focus on problems
Let's pretend for a second you're going to buy a pool and you decide to meet with a fiberglass pool builder and a concrete pool builder. Assuming you meet with the concrete pool builder and you tell him that you're also considering fiberglass, what do you think he would say about the merits of fiberglass?
If you guessed he would likely start telling you about all the “problems” and “issues” of fiberglass pools, you're right.
In most cases, when consumers are left to debate the merits of the two pools (or anything else, for that matter), where do you think they're going to go to find out the truth and get an “expert” opinion?
The answer, of course, is the Internet. And in this case, they'll likely go to Google (or any other search engine) and type in something like, “fiberglass pool problems” or “What are the problems with a fiberglass pool?”
Knowing that people were constantly typing this phrase into the search engines, instead of being an ostrich and burying our heads in the sand, we decided to write an article on the entitled “Top 5 Fiberglass Pool Problems and Solutions.”
Immediately, the article shot up to #1 on Google for the phrase “fiberglass pool problems.” But not only that, because consumers saw how open and honest our company was about the product we sold, the article also generated many, many leads, as shown in the image below, and has been read over 100,000 times in the last two years.
#4: Reveal pricing
A few weeks back, I wrote an article on 5 reasons your content marketing must address price, in which I discussed the merits of addressing the subject of pricing on company websites. So as to not repeat that whole post, the premise behind being more open about this subject comes down to these factors:
- Pricing questions are the first ones consumers tend to ask, whether it's to Google or an actual person. So if pricing is that important to a potential customer, then we need to figure out ways to address the subject in our content or risk the chance of our web visitors looking elsewhere for the information they seek.
- Because the pricing/cost subject is so critical and a popular search term in every industry, if you address this subject you've now put yourself in the position to possibly rank for those keywords in search and experience the huge numbers of visitors that come with it.
- Be more open about pricing to set yourself apart from your competitors and garner respect from consumers who appreciate your willingness to address their questions.
Note: Just as we discussed in the previous article, addressing the pricing/cost subject doesn't mean you necessarily give specifics. It may just include ranges or an explanation of the factors that dictate what a customer ultimately spends on your product or service.
With respect to your blog and business, a good idea when it comes to price is to write a cost-related article for every product or service that you sell. For some businesses, this means dozens if not hundreds of content opportunities, which will in turn continue to aggregate more search visitors and traffic to your site for months and years to come.
#5: Break news
If you truly want to be known as the voice of your industry, the subject of real-time breaking news can have an incredible impact on your company's brand and authority.
Popular speaker and author David Meerman Scott has put a new name to this action: “Newsjacking.” He further says:
Whenever there is a hot story in the news, there is an opportunity to create and publish original content that the media will find and will get you coverage.
Newsjacking can be by writing a blog post, doing a YouTube video, creating an infographic, or even publishing a book on Kindle.
I've seen cases of “newsjacking” in all industries, but I'll just mention one of my own here. About two years ago, a major fiberglass pool manufacturer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The day it happened, a few people who were familiar with my blog emailed me the news, at which point I immediately ran a story on the event. Not only did that article bring a record amount of traffic and attention to my blog that day, but it also still ranks for major keywords as well, which means continued traffic and leads to my website.
So if you have a blog, keep your ear to the ground and listen for opportunities to present breaking news to the public. By doing this, peers and consumers alike will see you as a leader in your field, which will ultimately increase your chances of getting more business.
Now it's your turn…
So there you have it, folks—5 unique blogging tips that will boost your business and brand.
What do you think? I'd love to know if you've tried any of the above suggestions. If so, what were the results of your efforts? Which ones do you feel like you can improve on the most? Finally, what are some other blogging subjects you would add to the list? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
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