Like an over-excited puppy, you created a blog on your website because that is what brings traffic in (all the research said so…) and you started with gusto, creating blogs that you faithfully published every week and then…
(whistles, looks at watch)
(carries on whistling, admires hair in mirror)
Why as a local, online business, you should be blogging
It’s all about content. It’s all about thriving and surviving in a competitive market place and even though you think that your local customers are just fab, you all need to sharing your eggs around your basket. Relying on one market for business, local or otherwise, is the ‘putting your eggs in one basket’ thing, hence where there are fluctuations in the market place they hit you hard, their impact magnified. Being in business is all about looking for the next thing, improving, creating and selling whether that is a local butchers with award winning sausages or a local foot clinic.
Your customers’ tastes change as they influenced by marketing, opinion shifts and budget constraints; they are busy people too so booking online for a foot treatment is great – unless they don’t find your website. We live in a 24 hour world, where we spend the majority of our time in front of different screens, from our smartphone to our tablet, then mooching around on the laptop for the next big thing.
But, people search the web differently too. They may think they have an ingrowing toe nail but how do you know? They hop on the web and do some research and guess what? Google (or any search engine) will note their location and you, wrote a blog or two on the perils on ingrowing toe nails. Google likes the look of your blog, as people have been reading it and liking it or sharing and guess what? Your website bobs up in front of their very eyes and, better still, they can book online and you have a new customers booked in for a consultation on Wednesday afternoon at 4.30pm.
Imagined if that happened once or twice a week; that’s 8 customers a month that you may not have had before…
“So I’m blogging for survival then?”
Sounds a bit melodramatic but yes and, well… er, no.
There are, the last time someone counted 164 million blogs – but that number has probably fluctuated up and down several zillion times since the man in the back room started his tally chart.
The vast majority of these blogs will have less than a 1,000 visitors a month and represent a disaster zone. Why?
You blog for months and months, seemingly for little reward and it is human nature that if you slog your guts out for months and months on something you find stressful and difficult, another tiny little thing to add to your already busy day, you will stop doing it. Fact.
How to avoiding failing at blogging…
Creating content it is GREAT! But do you market it?
If you don’t, you are not promoting yourself or your business hence you will not extend your readership passed you mum and your sister. Their ‘liking’ or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook is great, but you need more likes and shares and comments and readers…. So promote it!
And don’t forget it is not just promoting new blogs; promote older ones too. If there is an article in the news on the importance of cutting your toenails properly and you wrote a piece on it a few months, promote your blog with some well-placed hashtags.
You have permission to jump on the bandwagon.
You will then find, possibly, that people will read some of your other podiatry diatribes on the ingrowing toenails, bunions and athlete’s foot and learn something; people like being informed, hence your blog starts to gain authority with an increased following.
The next step is to start linking your blog with other authoritative sites; the ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours approach’. Again, this is all about building a reader base so why not try your hand submitting a ‘guest post’ to another site, with a lovely link to your own blog? And then, ask someone to do the same for you – they write a post for your site, and your share links and readers back and forth.
Avoid: plagiarism and replicas
What does not go down well is nicking stuff from other people or simply writing a blog that says the same as everyone else’s. This can be a bit stuff as there is only so many ways and times you can take about a subject and, if it is current and in the news headlines then a blog on it simply adds you voice to many others.
Nicking someone’s stuff that they have possibly spent hours crafting is not only morally slightly-dodgy, but can earn you a penalty point from Google and other search engines. Before you know, your blog and website has disappeared without a trace and it is very hard to get it back in Google’s good books again.
The lesson is thus…
- Creating content and posting it regular is great – once a week is fab
- Promoting it via your social media platforms is also great
- Keep promoting older blogs too
- Advanced bloggers also look to guests posts and links with like-minded blogs and websites
- Keep doing it!