Is your expert-driven business missing out on a big opportunity?
If you don’t have a blog on your website, I can answer that question for you…
YES, you are missing a BIG marketing, sales, and customer retention opportunity.
“But it’s only a blog” you say…
A bunch of boring articles that nobody’s going to read.
But what if a blog was more than that?
What if a blog could be the cornerstone of your marketing and sales efforts?
What if your blog was the launchpad for your next phase of business growth?
That would make it worthy of your attention…
And your investment…
Now, I know what you’re thinking…
“That’s all well and good Andrew, but can you explain how a blog will help my business?”
Well, I thought you’d never ask!
Here’s a list of…
20 Ways a Blog Can Help Your Business:
1 – Showcases your authority and know how
If you operate a tech business, the visibility and perception of your expertise can make a big impact on purchasing decisions.
Your prospects and leads are just like you…
They like working with people and companies who know their stuff.
A blog can be the perfect showcase for your team’s authority, knowledge, and expertise…
It proves that you and your team are leaders in your field.
And who doesn’t want to work with the best in the business?
2 – Improves trust in your business
Publishing regular (non-spammy) content on your blog demonstrates consistency and commitment – it shows that you’re here for the long haul.
This will increase people’s trust in your business and give you an edge over the competition.
Which brings us nicely to…
3 – Positively differentiates you from the competition
Given two comparable service offerings, what does the prospect choose?
The service business that can’t be bothered to maintain a blog
Or the service business who…
- creates regular insightful blog posts
- showcases their expertise by offering free advice on their blog
- reflects the needs, challenges, and interests of their target customers in the articles they write
4 – Grows your marketing database
Where do your new prospects (and therefore leads) come from?
If you’re like most services companies, you’ll generate plenty of referrals.
But why stop there?
Shouldn’t your marketing database be constantly growing with or without referrals?
Your blog posts can and should do that job for you.
Well, if website visitors are enjoying your blog posts, they’ll want more of the same…
Seize the moment, ask readers to trade contact details for your newsletter (where they get your latest articles) or content upgrades (e.g. ebooks, checklists, templates).
And the more articles you create, the more opportunities you have to add people to your marketing database.
And the more people in your database…
The more leads and sales your business can generate.
5 – Creates opportunities for people to become leads
Each blog post you produce is an education opportunity….
An opportunity to position your business as the go-to-solution for your target customer.
How do you get into pole position for a deal?
How do you get people reaching out and asking for help?
Firstly, by writing about your ideal customers needs and challenges – showing that you get them, and that you’re on their side.
Secondly, by generously sharing DIY solutions to those challenges.
Lastly, by offering a shortcut to the result they desire — giving people the opportunity to work with you.
You can achieve this last point by:
- Making people aware that your business specialises in solving the challenges of your ideal customer (can be done in a post header, the content itself, or the author’s bio.) – don’t assume people will read the rest of your website.
- Ending your posts with a call-to-action, E.g., book a call here.
- Offering a free giveaway that naturally leads to a first meeting or an entry level offer.
6 – Improves your search engine visibility (SEO)
Would you like more traffic from Google?
Well, if you want significant search traffic from Google, you’ll need to be at the top of the search-engine-results-page (SERP).
To get to the top, you’ll need to make and keep Google’s search algorithm happy.
How to get some Google love?
By frequently adding fresh content to your website, so Google knows that your website is…
- Alive and relevant I.e., been updated this side of the millennium.
- High quality – Google knows when people stick around to read quality content or when they quickly bounce back to search results.
- Respected and referenced by other blogs – links to your posts (from other websites) inform Google of the value and authority of your site and content.
7 – Helps your tribe: become more knowledgeable or achieve something
According to Kathy Sierra (author of Badass: Making Users Awesome)…
Word-of-Awesome beats Word-of-Mouth.
I know what you’re thinking…
Okay, let me put it another way…
Word-of-Mouth (or referrals in old money) is absolute gold dust when it comes to marketing and sales.
Who doesn’t want to be talked about in glowing terms? Who doesn’t want to be recommended?
What’s better than someone talking about your business?
Someone talking about how amazing your business has made them. Let’s imagine how that conversation might play out…
You know how I was struggling to organise the team’s meetings, and the boss was getting cranky…
…I’m now doing it in a fraction of the time. And the boss is blown away by how I’ve made it so easy for all of them. I can’t believe how bad it was before.
I found this really helpful blog post that walked me through how to organise my meetings using automations and spreadsheets.
Sounds great. Who wrote this post?
It was written by ACME experts. You should really check them out.
Pretty compelling, right?
Creating blog posts that help people, can do wonders for your business. And if people get huge value from your blog posts, there’s a good chance they’ll return for your full service.
8 – Provides great content and ideas for social media
Do you find it tricky to come up with fresh ideas for your social media posts?
Good news, your blog posts can provide you with a tonne of social content ideas, including…
- Themes and topics
- Charts and graphics
Plus, social posts about interesting articles can drive the right people to your site.
9 – Teaches people to want or need your service
When it comes to selling high-ticket tech services, your potential clients are going to be in one of four lanes:
- The pavement (sidewalk in the U.S.)
- The slow lane
- The middle lane
- The fast lane
People in the fast lane are your leads — they’ve diagnosed a problem and are seriously considering your solution.
Those in the middle lane are your prospects — people who know they have a problem and are learning about your approach and ideas via your newsletter, articles, and social media posts.
Slow lane people — have diagnosed the problem, but aren’t aware you offer a solution.
People on the pavement — aren’t even aware that they have a problem.
I bet you’re thinking…
“How do I get people off the pavement and into my slow and medium lanes?”
You do it by writing articles specifically for people on the pavement.
- Makes them aware of their problem. So they have a eureka moment and go “That’s exactly the issue that I’ve been suffering with, but I didn’t know how to put a name on it”
- By positioning yourself as an expert who can solve this specific problem.
And guess what?
If you can successfully diagnose their problem, they’ll already be well on their way to seeing you as an expert.
Aside: When you write this pavement content, keep selling to an absolute minimum. At this stage you’re just trying to establish trust and authority, not close the deal.
10 – Nurtures prospects
Following on from the previous point…
Once you’ve got people into your slow or medium marketing lanes, your articles can continue to educate and nurture your prospects.
Your business can and should be publishing the following content:
- Slow lane people — Content about the general solution to the problem.
- Medium lane people — Content about your business’s specific (and hopefully differentiated) approach to the solution
Let’s say your business sells corporate antivirus solutions.
You could write the following blog posts:
- Slow lane – How to use Antivirus software to reduce enterprise downtime
- Medium lane – Why our secret Antivirus methodology makes CFO’s happy
11 – Creates extra touch points that’ll help you win deals
What’s a touch point?
It’s any interaction that a potential customer has with your brand.
- Reading a blog post
- Phone call from sales team
- Personalised email from sales team
- Letter from sales team
- YouTube video view
- LinkedIn post view
According to industry sources, it takes between five to eight touches to close a sale.
So the more touches you have with potential customers. The more sales you’ll win.
Now. I’m sure you’d agree with me…
It’s hard to phone or email a potential customer when you don’t have anything valuable to share.
Well, your latest blog posts can you a reason to call.
And help you provide value, so that your calls and emails are welcomed by prospects and leads.
What’s more, blog posts can be used throughout your marketing and sales communications, creating those additional touch points that separate the winners from the losers.
12 – Helps you follow up in a non-salesy way
As I’ve previously written, business relationships function just like romantic relationships.
And what’s a guaranteed way of getting romantic and business prospects running for the hills?
Coming on too strong.
So how do you stop leads running a mile?
By being subtle. By not chasing people for the deal.
I know what you’re thinking…
“Hey Andrew, if I never follow up with people, how am I going to close the deal?”
Ah, I didn’t say, don’t contact them.
I said, by not chasing people for the deal.
The trick is to share useful ideas, resources, and training with your leads
And where you can find those things?
On your blog, of course.
Yep, your blog can provide you with a tonne of useful content and ideas for following up with people in a non-sleazy way.
Want to know what this would like?
Here’s an example…
We just finished this article called, How to keep your company information secure during online presentations.
I know that you do a lot of presentations at ACME Law Firm, so I thought you might find this handy.
Have a great day,
This approach ensures you remain helpful and top of mind, whilst massively reducing the sleaze factor in your follow-up.
Of course, at some point you do need to ask the lead if they want to take action. But this should be 20% of your follow up, not the typical 100%.
13 – Increases brand saturation
Before people will buy from you, they need to: know, like, and trust you.
Your blog can make it happen.
When people stick around to read your posts, they’re engaging with your brand…
…and soaking up the value on offer.
They’re getting to know you…
…and becoming saturated with the tropical-waterfall-of-goodness your brand delivers.
Why does it matter?
When people enjoy swimming with your brand (stick-with-me on this metaphor, it’s not going anywhere) you’ll find it easier to move them through the relationship waypoints of Know, Like, and Trust.
So the question is….
Do you want to give your website visitors a puddle? (your quick-to-skim service pages)
Or tropical lagoons they can soak in? (your in-depth valuable blog posts)
14 – Helps you educate existing customers
Your customers are valuable, right?
So surely, they deserve helpful ideas and valuable content too.
Wondering what to share with them?
Here’s some customer-centric content ideas:
- Product and service updates – “we’ve just added this helpful widget”
- New services or service relaunches
- Customer success stories — so they can see how companies are getting the most out of the service.
- Important industry news – e.g., discontinuation of third party software, legislation, relevant conference.
- Advanced use cases and lessons
And don’t forget — existing customers will love your bottom of funnel content too.
Sharing quality content with your customers will help your business in a number of ways:
- Decrease your churn rate — show the value you are delivering, so customers know why they’re retaining your services.
- Promote cross-sells, upsells, relaunches, referral programmes, loyalty programmes, and new products.
- Remind them of your authority and expertise
- Show that you care, that you’re focused on their needs, and that you’re not there just to take their money!
15 – Save time by turning lengthy customer emails into evergreen articles
Imagine writing a 1000 word blog post….
…and then deleting it as soon as it’s published.
That would be nuts, right?
But, this is exactly what your team is doing, when they write one-off emails to every question they receive from customers, leads, or prospects.
I’m sure you’d agree…
That investing precious time in answering, articulating, and perfecting an answer to a specific customer question — and putting that answer in the bin…
So what’s the solution?
Well, there’s actually three approaches you can take here.
(Not all three ideas are blog related, but I’ve included them to be helpful).
You can and should turn your long customer emails into evergreen….
- Blog posts
- Knowledge Base articles
- Canned responses (saved snippets in your email client)
Then, whenever a client poses a question you’ve answered before…
You can either send them a link to the relevant blog or Knowledge Base article.
Or use the saved email snippet.
Whichever option you choose, it’s bound to save your team a lot of time.
Moreover, it’ll ensure you give customers and leads your best answer, every time.
16 – Get more people to your sales pages
It’s important not to be too salesy a the top of funnel content (that’s when people are just learning about your brand/solution).
However, I also believe we also have a moral duty to help people if we can.
And how can we help people if they’re not aware of our solution?
We can’t, can we?
Don’t be afraid to mention or reference your company’s approach or solution in the post.
Just do it…
- Coherently – don’t mention it out of context.
- Educationally – i.e., don’t come on too strong
17 – Give your referral partners helpful content they can promote
There are a group of people out there, who like, love, and care about what you do.
They’re ready to spread the word and help you get new customers onboard.
But sometimes they struggle with articulating your message…
- Who you help
- What problem you solve
- What results they can expect
Wouldn’t it be great if they had a stack of on message collateral they could share with potential customers?
And where might they find that collateral?
You guessed it…
On your blog.
Yes, a well-maintained blog provides sales collateral for both your referral partners and your in-house sales team.
How to implement this
- Speak to your referral partners and ask them what kind of content they would like to share with potential leads.
- Create a resource web page for your referral partners. So when they hear a referral-trigger-phrase (example, “I’m fed up with Skype dropped calls”) they can easily find and share a relevant blog post (example, How to Install a Robust VOIP System that Won’t Let You Down).
- Use UTM’s and tracking software to track where link clicks and sales come from (ensure you reward those referers).
18 – Learn if your tribe like your new product and service ideas
Have you heard about Lean Thinking?
When you’re thinking “Lean”…
You’re thinking about how you can design, build, and implement ideas with the minimum of waste.
Why does it matter?
We’ll, I’m sure you’ve made the same mistake as me…
Wasted hours, days, if not weeks on ideas that never bore fruit.
Of course, ideas fail for a variety of reasons….
Some ideas are born to fail, some ideas are poorly realised, and some ideas have failure thrust upon them.
Now, we can do little about ideas ruined by circumstances beyond our control.
Contrastingly, ideas that are poorly realised, can be rescued with a new plan and improved execution.
What if the idea was always a loser….
What if it was destined to be unloved and unprofitable….
Wouldn’t you like to know that as soon as possible?
Wouldn’t you like to save your precious time, sweat, money, and tears?
Yep, me too!
Good news, we can use our blog posts as our MVP (minimum viable proposition).
In other words, we can create articles that test our ideas, and moreover, test the interest of our tribe and audience.
Let’s say you’ve identified a problem with — Online B2B Payment Gateways.
What’s the better option?
Option A — Spend a year developing a fully fledged solution and marketing & sales pipeline.
Option B —
- Write an article that explores the problem in-depth and hints at your solution.
- Share this blog post with your target customer
- Ask them to sign-up for product updates — this is your KPI for the test campaign
- Look at the KPI result and decide if it’s worth developing the complete solution.
I’m sure you’ll agree…
That using blog posts to implement Lean Thinking, could save you and your business a tonne of time and money!
19 – Social Proof of your business and ideas
What others think (Social Proof) massively influences our decisions and actions.
That’s why Social Media platforms display how many likes and shares a post gets. They know social proof will encourage people to engage and take action with a post. And the more people that like and share a post...the more people will like and share a post. That’s a Social Proof feedback loop!
Your business can also benefit from social proof.
If people can see other people like and trust your ideas, they’re more likely to try and buy your products and services.
How can your blog help with social proof?
- Add a comments section to your blog posts — when people see reader’s comments, they know that other people value your ideas and therefore your brand.
- When people share your posts with others in email and on social media, that’s social proof in action.
- Add a visitor-count-overlay-widget to your blog posts — this will show how many people have viewed a specific post of your whole site – this is another great way to prove the popularity of your brand and ideas.
- Add a social-share-count-widget to your posts — this shows how many people have shared your post on social media.
20 – Overcome prospects and lead objections
Let’s face it…
There’s always a reason not to take action.
“Now’s not the right time.”
“It’s too expensive.”
“We’ve tried that before.”
“It’s not something we’ve done before”
The list goes on and on.
Well, as a helpful salesperson, it’s your job to help people overcome their reasons for not taking action.
And what better way to do that in a blog post.
(Yes, you also can do this in your FAQ section.)
Let’s play this out…
Imagine you’re getting common objections from leads to your new Firewall service.
You could create a blog post called ‘5 Reasons for Not Upgrading Your Firewall’, and rather than reinforce lead’s objections, logically dismantle them step-by-step.
To make the most of this objection-destroying post, be sure to include it in your automated sales process.
21 – Helps you and your team get clarity on important ideas and processes
Don’t share this secret…
Many writers (and industry stalwarts) learn about a subject as they write their articles.
Now, I’m not saying that bloggers are totally ignorant before they start a new post.
Rather, they use the process of writing to gather and read background material, expand their knowledge, and sharpen their ideas.
So a new article is a twofer…
It’s an opportunity to educate an audience…
….and a writer.
How does that help you?
Well, if your team needs to freshen up their knowledge, or learn something new, writing a blog post will help them get clarity and accelerate their learning.
22 – Launchpad for other content
Your ideas don’t have to live and die on your blog pages.
Repurpose your blog post ideas as:
- EBook / PDF
- YouTube videos
- Podcast episode
And trust me…
Once you’ve got a quality script to work from (your blog post), it’s much easier to produce all this additional content.
23 – A long-term return on investment
I’m sure you’d agree with me on this…
Budgets are always stretched, and we can’t afford to realise every marketing or sales idea.
So we have to invest wisely.
We have to choose ideas that provide tangible value. Ideally, ideas that generate long-term value.
Well, unlike advertising, once you’ve created a blog post, it’s yours to keep…
That means no long-term costs, only long-term returns on your investment.
And if you’ve read the rest of this article, you should have a solid idea of the kind of returns a blog can generate for your business.
How To Build a Better Business Blog
By now, you should be fired-up and ready to start cranking out blog posts for your business.
But you might also be wondering how you can create winning blog posts.
Well, I’ve got good news for you.
I’ve got a brand new blogging course that will be launching soon.
To get early access to the course, all you have to do is add your name to the waitlist.
Thanks for reading,