Last month, Pat Flynn made $167,314.31 from Smart Passive Income. That is his business blog.
Brian Clark built an amazing multi-million dollar business and that’s all due to the success of his blog, Copyblogger.
It’s one of the most effective ways to create demand for your products.
SaaS companies like HubSpot and Moz heavily rely on producing high-quality content on their blogs.
Business blogging can work for you too.
But before you venture into it, there are 6 important things you should know.
When you know them, you’ll save yourself lots of stress and disappointments.
#1: Socializing is part of blogging
Scientists believe we live in a small world.
A study shows that lucky people know a large number of people.
So, they are more likely to be linked to the strangers they encounter.
Having lots of connection will increase your chances of becoming successful.
The people you know are the key to unlocking the door of success.
Believe it or not, you are probably where you are today because of the people you’ve met.
People influence us.
People push us to do things.
Good or Bad.
Positive or Negative.
The same thing applies to blogging and the World Wide Web.
Socializing is a big part of blogging.
In fact, it’s the biggest part.
Search engines drive the most visits to blogs. No doubt, you’ll rely on them a lot.
But you can’t rely on Google to send you traffic when your blog is new.
It could take months, sometimes years before Google traffic kicks in.
You need love from other popular blogs.
You need love from social media.
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Even Reddit.
These are places where you can start driving instant traffic.
To succeed on these platforms, you’ll have to befriend other people.
Share stories with them.
Hang out with them.
Maybe coffee. Or, beers.
As you do all these, you’ll meet nice and friendly people.
Mind you, you’ll also meet horrible people.
But don’t worry about that because it’s normal.
As you meet more and more people who write on the web, or know someone that writes on the web, you will have more opportunities to get featured.
More traffic will start coming to you as a result of people sharing your articles on social media and linking to it on their blogs.
Without socializing, it’s hard to get off the ground.
Once you build up your social profiles and you start to become more popular, search engines will start paying serious attention to you.
As a result, you’ll see more traffic, more sales and more money, of course.
#2: Consistency is the key to successful business blogging
I’ve been reading Entrepreneur.com every week for over 5 years now.
No one would argue that the site isn’t an authority in its space.
The site has been around for so long.
But that isn’t the reason it’s an authority.
Entrepreneur.com is an authority because they publish content on a regular basis.
No day goes without new content on the site. They put up new content no matter what. That is why they are respected.
Here’s the screenshot of the homepage right now:
They never run out of content ideas.
Consistency is the key to blog growth.
You don’t publish when you feel like you have something new to say.
You have to maintain a blog posting schedule.
Consistent blogging has helped me discipline myself to stay on track with my writing schedule during the tough times.
If you really want to grow your traffic and audience, you have to stay consistent.
Consistency impact traffic.
When you take a month off from blogging, it could mean losing as much as 30% of your monthly traffic.
WordPress developer/social media manager/SEO expert Robert Ryan conducted a simple yet enlightening experiment.
In 2015, he refrained from posting any new content on his blog for 251 days. That’s eight months and seven days.
Here are some of his key findings:
- Overall traffic to the site saw a major decline as it fell by 32 percent.
- Organic traffic dropped by a massive 42 percent.
- Traffic to the contact page was down by 15 percent.
- Overall site conversions fell by 28 percent.
According to a study by HubSpot, brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month.
#3: Your email list is gold!
An email list is a list of names and email addresses of people who gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business via email.
When people give you their email address, it means they are interested in what you have to offer.
According to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the USA.
Your primary purpose for blogging should be to collect as many emails as possible.
The blog is not the place to sell.
But a place to interest, entertain and educate people to the point that they willingly give you their email addresses.
Email allows you to land into a user’s inbox. There is no ranking system limiting your reach. It is very direct, personal, and casual.
Email is Purposeful – To get your offer, a user needs to signup for your email list and confirm their email address.
Someone doing this much work is obviously interested in hearing from you, and they are much more receptive to your message.
Email is Targeted – As I mentioned earlier, the user has already shown interest in your products / content. Since you already know what they like, you can deliver them highly relevant content and offers to get better results.
This is called segmentation.
You Own Your Email List – You do not own Facebook, Twitter, or Google.
Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can go to waste when these platforms change their policies.
On the other hand, you own your email list, and it is not influenced by decisions of other businesses.
Email is One-on-One – People read email in the privacy of their inbox.
The message is not on a public timeline or newsfeed.
They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. This helps build trust and connection.
#4: Blogging isn’t free and cheap
When I first learned about blogging 10 years ago, I heard that it was free to start.
It turned out, blogging isn’t free at all.
To create a blog for business, it isn’t free.
You will need a short and catchy domain name. Your business name makes sense.
Or, you can start a blog on your company website if you’ve already got one.
But if you’re starting from the scratch, you’ll need to register a domain name.
Registering a domain name is cheap.
Namecheap is my favorite domain registrar. They charge about $11 for .com domain names.
You’ll need a reliable web hosting service to host your website.
Depending on the quality of the service, the price can be from as low as $40 – $200 per year.
If you are a small business, Canadian web hosting company HostPapa can be a great choice.
You will pay more as traffic increase to the blog.
There will also be a need for a high-quality design which isn’t cheap.
You may have to pay between $500 – $5,000 for a good web design for your blog.
And don’t forget that time is money. So choosing the right blogging platform is essential.
Creating content for the blog takes time especially when the quality is high.
You may have to buy stock photos for your blog posts if you don’t want to use the free ones from Unsplash and Flickr.
Sharing your posts on social media takes some time.
A/B testing elements on your website and conversion process also cost money. You’ll need to buy some tools.
As the blog grows, so do the emails you’ll start receiving from readers.
It takes time to respond to each email that needs response.
When you consider all these you’ll agree that blogging is not free.
Saying blogging is free and cheap is a complete lie.
Blogging will take your time. It will take most of your time if you’re really depending on it to move the business forward.
A blog post like this isn’t something you can write very quickly. It takes time.
If you’re using WordPress as your content management system, you may have to buy some plugins like Sucuri (for security) and SumoMe (for email list building).
So if you’re not prepared to spend money and time on blogging before seeing results, it’s better to stay away from it.
#5: Getting traffic is hard. Keeping them is even harder.
It takes hard work to build a blog to the point where it’s getting decent traffic.
You will have to do things like guest blogging, social media marketing and optimizing for search.
Then you move to the next challenge:
To keep visitors happy and coming back.
This is even harder.
How do you keep visitors returning for more?
My first answer to that is something you probably already know:
Write high-quality stuff.
If you don’t write publish interesting content, visitors won’t return. It’s very simple.
But it doesn’t stop there.
You need more than interesting content.
Publish a series of contents where there are different parts.
For example, you could publish part 1 of a series.
If the first part if very educative, visitors are more likely to come back for the second part. They won’t want to miss it.
This strategy is even more effective when you do video series.
Web readers love videos.
Regularly publishing series will keep people coming back to your website.
#6: Take advantage of emerging and effective new tactics and Channels
The marketing industry is constantly changing.
We see new marketing tactics every year.
Taking advantage of these new tactics can put you ahead of competitors for many months (or even years) to come.
Embracing up-and-coming social media channels is part of them.
For example, when Facebook first launched, some smart marketers took advantage of it.
They gained thousands of followers and valuable customers through the platform before their competitors could realize the power of the platform.
Medium.com is another example.
When the site launched, many smart bloggers took advantage of it and they became famous as a result.
YouTube, Twitter, Quora, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Content creators who first discovered these platforms are very successful and popular.
The same is true when infographics were new.
Smart marketers used it to gain thousands of valuable backlinks to their blogs.
Their search rankings soared as a result.
For example, here’s what Neil Patel achieved with infographics (in his words):
“Within the two-year period, from 2010 to 2012, 47 infographics generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains. They also generated 41,359 tweets and 20,859 likes.
That means, on average, each infographic generated 53,459 visitors and 875 backlinks from 79 unique domains. When it comes to social shares, each one generated 879 tweets and 443 likes.
After 2012, infographics weren’t providing the same results as before. One of the main reasons for the poorer ROI was their rise in popularity. More and more companies started leveraging them, which made them more common.
The newer infographics, on average, drove 21,582 visitors and 371 backlinks from 34 unique domains. As for social shares, each one generated 486 tweets and 259 likes.
The reason for the drop in traffic and links isn’t related to the quality of the infographics. We used the same research methods to come up with topics and the same designer in many cases. And we promoted them through the same channels.
As you can see from the KISSmetrics data, infographics still drive traffic but not as much as they used to.”
Infographics have since lost their effectiveness but Neil was able to take advantage of them to beat his competitors.
Remarketing is another marketing tactic so effective right now.
Smart marketers are using it to reach their past customers and site visitors.
And also, if someone visits your site, browses a product in your store, and leaves without buying, you’d be able to show that person an ad for that product anywhere that remarketing ads are served—other websites, Google search, even Facebook!
Remarketing leads to:
- Reduced cost per impression
- Better conversion rates
- Improved ROI
- Precise targeting
- Cost effective branding
I keep up with changes in the marketing industry by frequently reading marketing news outlets like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Social Media Examiner. Furthermore, ensuring your blog post is getting shared in a large number is also important.
Business blogging has been very effective for years and will continue to be as long as web users want to learn something new.
Keeping these things in mind is very crucial to creating a successful business blog.
Thanks for reading and please share this article with your friends on social media.