If you are a small business, chances are you have a website and if you have a website, chances are you also have a blog.
And if you have a blog, you most likely publish something on it every so often. Every day, every week, every month, posts go up on your blog.
When writing these blogs (or having someone write them), you are investing valuable resources: time, money, knowledge, creativity.
However, how many of these blog posts bring in actual revenue? Do you track their performance in terms of lead generation? How many of these leads have converted?
To slightly miss-quote the magnificent Tim Soulo: if your blog is not bringing you business, it’s not doing its job well.
Let’s explore how you can turn your blog into a steady stream of revenue for your small business:
The first mistake most bloggers make is writing about the things they find interesting rather than writing about the things their audience finds interesting.
This means you first need to define your audience: who are your buyers, your potential leads? What is it they are looking for? How does your product or service solve their problems? How are they finding you? How are they interacting with you? What do they look for online? How can you jump in there?
Once you know what these people need, you can start providing.
Another common mistake is not working with the right keywords.
In short, you need to write blog posts people will see. And when we say people, we mean your target audience – people who have never seen them before. When you promote a blog to your existing audience, you are not driving new sales. And the way to do that is to be found online.
To do that, you will need to find keywords you can rank for. A tool like Ahrefs can be of great use here. It can help you identify keywords your target audience might be typing into their search bars, that there is not a lot of competition for, and that you can write a decent blog post for. Then you need to make sure that this post ranks at the top (by building backlinks to it), and then you can expect to see some new visitors.
Finally, another popular mistake is publishing a lot of content. This can be a pure waste of time and effort.
Instead of publishing a lot, aim to rank every blog post you publish at the top. This will mean all posts need to be exceptional, and that you need to promote them well. That is simply the only way to truly get noticed.
Of course, these posts still need to be relevant to your target audience (point A) and target keywords you can rank for (point B).
Now that we have these three key facts in mind, let’s look at some examples of good blog posts and how you can learn from them:
A great way to get a post to rank well is to make it very in-depth, but you can’t always do that, especially when discussing different kinds of products.
Here is an example from each night that can illustrate how you can write posts about products:
They provide true value to readers by comparing different kinds of mattresses, and focus on value rather than making a sale. These kinds of posts will help a visitor determine what they need to buy, and if you have a hand in helping them make a decision, chances are they will stick.
While most blog posts will now feature images, what these images have to add to the text is just as important as the copy itself. Don’t just add images to your content for the sake of adding them. Make sure they add to the post.
There are many clever ways you can do this, from images with quotes to memes and infographics: this post from Orbit Media covers the points nicely.
There is always a way to provide a genuine helping hand to your visitor: they might be struggling to fix something, or do something, or choose something, and if your post can help them out, chances are they will remember and come back or check out your offer there and then.
True, you will need to come up with answers to these potential problems, and you may be stuck for ideas.
Here, however, is an example from Baselang, who has done a great job in explaining a lot of the rules and intricacies of Spanish on their blog. If you were learning Spanish and looking for a quick and easy way to memorize something that may not be summed up in your exercise book, this post will provide the answers.
As you have already gathered, the main focus of your blog should be providing actual value to your readers, and not just ranking at the top. Because even if you manage to rank a not-so-good article well, it may not drive the revenue you were hoping for, as people won’t bother to read it, let alone take a look at your CTA and click anywhere else.
So, the value becomes the main pillar of your content as a revenue-driving tactic.
This might mean you will need to do something completely counterintuitive – like teach people to do something you are hoping to be hired to do yourself.
Here is a post from Smash Digital. They would like you to contact them to help speed up your website. However, they have taken the time anyway to explain how you can do it, with plenty of illustrations and a step-by-step guide.
And while you may think this kind of post will not convert anyone, you’d be surprised how well these posts serve to illustrate your expertise and ensure you get people interested in what you can do for them.
Blogging as a way to generate revenue is an idea every small business has in the back of their mind. But where many fail, you can succeed. You’ll “just” need to devote enough time to your blog and content to craft it and rank it well, making it that extra avenue of revenue you were looking for.
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