“The internet is a world of unlimited opportunities.”
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before as well. And there’s no reason to challenge this statement either.
But here’s a surprise for you – it does not tell you the complete story.
Internet certainly is a world of unlimited opportunities, BUT only for individuals, businesses and entrepreneurs with a strong brand image and a deep connection with their target market.
For others, sadly, the internet is only a world of missed opportunities and continuous frustration.
Time has moved on and online selling has become much more sophisticated. It is no more about quick SEO techniques and traffic shortcuts.
You need to have a credible brand image and a long term marketing approach in order to take real benefit from the opportunities available online.
And this is where blogging comes in.
From entrepreneurs like Neil Patel and Jeff Bullas to online tools like the BufferApp, thousands of freelancers and businesses are using their blog content to stand out from the crowd and build a much deeper connection with their target market.
Not only are these businesses attracting thousands of readers to their websites, they are also making huge sales with qualified referral traffic from their blogs.
But not everyone’s getting it right with blogging.
You’ll regularly come across hundreds of dead or low engagement blogs as well. Blogs that are making zero contribution to their business performance and brand image.
So how exactly do you convert a simple blog into a powerful branding tool and a sales magnet for your business?
Here are a few tips to help you.
1. Start a Basic WordPress Blog
In an ideal world, I should not even be explaining this point right now.
You should already have a blog in order to make it more effective. So if you still don’t have an official blog for your services, start one now!
Don’t use anything other than WordPress for setting up your blog because you just won’t get the same variety of options, flexibility and ease of use anywhere else.
Install a high-class premium WordPress theme and kick off your blog instantly.
2. Write Down Your Long-term Blogging Objectives
Before publishing a single word on your blog, write down the core objectives that you want to achieve through it.
Yes, write them down on a piece of paper. Brand strategist Rosemary Plorin recommends writing your goals on a piece of paper since it allows your mind to focus better. Many leading marketers use the same approach
For ultimately making sales through your content, your objective should be to build your brand image and a loyal community of regular readers.
Keep this in your mind all the time while creating your blog content.
3. Create Your Ideal Buyer Persona
This is critical for the success of your blog.
Buyer persona is the imaginary profile of your perfect buyer, someone who’d be interested in your services. Individuals and business with problems that you can solve.
To grow your blog in the right direction, you need to accurately identify your ideal readers and build comprehensive buyer personas
To do that, look at your existing customers – the ones that are most satisfied with your services. Ask them why they pay for your services and what makes them come to you again and again.
If you don’t have any customers right now (sorry to hear that), you can have a closer look at the customers of your direct competitors.
Once you write down the main characteristics of your perfect buyer, it’s time for action!
Use this buyer persona template as a guiding tool for developing your personas.
4. Publish Content that Solves the Problems of Your Audience
Blogging is not an informal communication channel anymore. Yes, it does appear informal, but only to the readers.
For content marketers, it’s serious business.
The majority of business blogs that fail to make an impact on their audience are overly obsessed with their own products and services.
They tirelessly update their blog every day with posts about their latest product launches and the new discounts that they’re offering.
That’s not how you get customers from blogging.
Blogging is about solving problems of your target customers.
Instead of praising your products, identify the problems of your target market and create blog content that helps them resolve those problems.
Create long-form blog posts that address a particular problem in detail and help your audience take action. The snapshot blow is a really good example of what I’m saying. Instead of focusing on products, this particular company created content that revolves around the problems of their potential customers.
Source: Vive Health
Add video to your content mix to generate more interest and social shares for your content. If you’re camera shy and want to stay away from the limelight, there are many free and paid screen recorders that can be used to create video presentations.
Keep your buyer persona in mind and create content that holds value for your ideal buyer.
That’s the only way you can build an audience around your blog.
5. Publish an eBook to Instantly Boost Your Brand Image
Once you have the right kind of content on your blog, it’s time to really elevate yourself above your competitors.
Select the biggest problem of your target audience and address it thoroughly in a detailed eBook.
Then give it away for FREE!
In most cases, if you’ve been blogging regularly, you won’t need to write an eBook separately from the scratch.
Instead, you can shortlist your best posts on the topic, fine tune their voice and then compile them in an eBook format.
This is, by far, one of the most effective ways of establishing yourself as a niche expert.
Promote your eBook both within your blog content and on different prominent areas of your blog.
6. Write for the Top Blogs in Your Niche
By now, you have a solid platform on which you can really build your brand image and establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
All that’s required now is aggressive marketing, and this is where guest blogging comes in.
Identify the most useful blogs of your industry, the ones that you visit when you need help, and target them for guest blogging.
These blogs have millions of regular readers, some of them extremely influential in their own circles, and can expose you to a completely new set of potential customers.
Create high-quality content and try to get published on 5-6 to of the top blogs initially.
That’s enough to get your name out in the market.
Once you get published as a guest author, use the logos of your host blogs on your own website under the heading “Featured On”, “As seen on” or anything similar.
This will instantly add credibility to your business and boost your image.
7. Repeat Point Number 4 and 6 Regularly
Stick to a fixed posting schedule on your own blog and combine this with 1-2 guest posts on major blogs every month.
You’ll be surprised by the impact of following this strategy in the long run.
Whether you’re freelancer, a small business or an entrepreneur, blogging can be a powerful way to develop your brand image and, ultimately, build your customer base. But you need to be clear about your strategy and the value that you’re providing to your readers. By focusing on the problems of your target market, instead of your own product, and continuously providing them the right solutions, you’ll end up generating dozens of highly qualified sales leads for your business and hundreds of loyal readers who’ll bring more customer through word of mouth marketing.