The other day someone posted an article in one of the LinkedIn groups I belong to asking whether you should you be selling within your articles or blogs. It wasn’t really a discussion or even a thoughtful blog about the role of self-promotion and sales within your blog, it was a blog length ad for a blog writing template and software. Clicking one of the offers sends you to one of those impossibly long landing pages where testimonial after testimonial tells you in large red letters how using the software earned the user $25,000 or how it made blog writing “easy and effortless.”
Being a red blooded American I would never begrudge anyone the right to hawk their wares in any manner or format they please. On the other had I thought I would take this effort to differentiate myself from these tactics and outline how I think blogs should be used to promote your business or organization. I try to make my blogs fall into generally what is often called outbound marketing or permission based marketing. I give information and if this is what people need I invite them to contact me.
Here is generally what I try to do and not do with my Blogs:
- Give useful information:
Write blogs and other articles with information that people can use. If they find it useful they will come back. If they find it beneficial they will pass it on to others.
- Don’t sell:
Well I obviously want people to know what I do and that I’m available to help them if they need that type of work done but I don’t spend all my time telling someone why they should hire me.
- It’s not about me:
Or rather it’s not about my company or product. It’s about helping people solve problems and offering solutions.
- Be A Thought Leader:
Establish myself as someone knowledgeable in my field. Become a sought after expert.
Some people may come back and ask if I am so casual about it how do I make sales or run a business with a blog and a web site? People are looking for information on the internet. Most of the people are going to find that information and either use it or discard it. Some people will find the information and want more. My goal is to be the person they contact when they want more.
This is what I do to promote my blogs for business:
- Easy to be found:
By optimizing my blog and web site with key words I make it easier for people searching for me to find my blog using search engines such as Google and Bing.
- Use Social Media:
I use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Digg and others to let others know about my blogs and useful content.
- Useful Content:
I need to have something that people can use. If I only tell them how rich they will be after hireling me the only thing I’ve told them about is my ego.
- Easy to Contact:
Once they have found me I try to make it easy to connect with me and stay in touch. I have contact forms, email and phone numbers to make it easy to get information and get in touch with me. If the visitor to a website spends too much time looking for a way to contact you they will leave.
So I definitely think that blogs are an effective means to promote your business or organization and generate sales and business. There are lots of ways to do it and many, many people do make a living with fast talking promises of easy riches. I just prefer to do it another way. So this is where I make my shameless plug and overt solicitation. If you want to know more about using blogs and social media to promote your business or organization contact us at Image Media Partners for a free evaluation. There is no obligation and absolutely no money down. Offer void in North Korea and parts of New Jersey.
Photo credit: Juben-MorgueFile free photo