Maybe You Don’t Need a Blog at All
Will a blog increase your sales? Or make any sales at all? Maybe. Maybe not. Here’s how to tell.
The formula for blogging to increase sales is pretty simple:
1. Tips. Provide such indispensable need-addressing content that your visitor will provide his/her email so she/he won’t miss your unmissable content. This content should show your audience how to address their own need. All by themselves.
2. More tips. Continue providing that content so he/she will continue reading your emails when they arrive. I subscribe to maybe 25 or 30 email, but there are only a few that I would remember if they didn’t show up.
3. The full solution. Offer to address that need yourself (or to address an even bigger need).
Example: You’re a headhunter. You match businesses nationwide with the ideal candidates who can make all of their employer dreams come true. Your blog topics might be
· 10 Indicators That You’re Interviewing the Wrong Candidate
· How to Narrow Down Your Candidate Search in Three Fast Steps
· Five Things You’ll Find on Every High Performer Resume
See? Your audience is the talent acquisition/HR executive, and you’re helping make that job easier. You’re demonstrating your expertise and offering actionable intelligence that will keep that audience coming back. Then, you make your offer: you will do the legwork and deliver a field of top-quality candidates.
Believe it or not, there are still industries where the audience isn’t buying online, or at least not enough to make it worth your while to write a blog (at least not yet). Also, if your audience is a specific, small niche, it might be faster and more effective, for the time being, to go find them where there are, rather than try to bring them to your blog.
You are a fine art glassblower. You could benefit from increasing your relationships with galleries. You might consider some very targeted public relations with high-end magazines or online pubs. You definitely want to keep a very good database of people you meet at art shows. A blog might sell a few items online, but is it really worth the time investment that’s required? Probably not, especially not initially.
You sell farming equipment. There certainly are many high-tech farms out there, but did they discover their technology on a blog? Is that where farmers are going for advice? Maybe … some of them. But again, the bottom line is time. It—as we’ve all been told—is money, and all that time you’re spending planning, writing and promoting your blog could be spent in much more effective ways.
Should I quit blogging?
If you aren’t getting much engagement on your blog and your email list isn’t growing, it might be time to try another tactic for a while. You don’t have to quit your blog, but maybe you take a hiatus and reevaluate. Ask yourself a few questions:
· Is there a way I can adjust my content to better address my audience’s needs?
· Can my content be written more effectively to better engage my reader or inspire action?
· Can I make my content more visible, perhaps with some guest blogging?
If you address the questions above, and you aren’t getting traction, then you have your answer. It might be time to try some other tactics that connect you with your crucial audiences more directly.
Don’t be rash. Content marketing is a long-term investment, so I’m not suggesting that any blog is going to double your sales in the first six months. You really must think of it as investment. Put your best work forward. Show that you understand your audience. Show how you can help. Don’t give up on them.
But don’t waste your time either.
Are still not sure? Ask me. I’d be happy to give you a free assessment anytime.