If you’re looking to market your business or your trade, you might want to reconsider spending thousands of dollars on a pricey marketing campaign. For a fraction of the cost, you could set up a blog to spread the word about your services. Setting up your own blog on the web is about as easy as making an account on eBay. Blogging can indeed help you market your business for free online.
Blogging to market your business
If you want to properly utilize a blog to market yourself, your business, or a certain product, you have to do what everyone else in the marketing business does to achieve success, in or out of the web: work for it. Despite the legions of bloggers praising the ease of blogging as a marketing tool, the truth is that you’ll have to commit yourself daily to your blog if you want to see any substantive results. Blogging is not a set it and forget it idea.
First things first—you need to set up your blog. Do so by choosing a clean, professional (and free) blogging platform like those offered by WordPress or Blogger.
So what’s next?
Start cranking out market-worthy content
Let’s assume that you took to blogging on the basis that you’re marketing your professional services consulting small businesses. You have a local office and you’re looking to the web to massively expand your reach in the field.
In this case, the best way to start your blog is to write regularly occurring posts offering free and substantive tips for small businesses looking for management advice. Make your blog posts pithy and informative—remember you’re looking to lure readers (and customers) browsing for services similar to yours. The last thing you want to do is bore them with writing too much content.
Aim for content that engages the reader so they can relate to your message quickly. Informative anecdotes or problem/solution posts about the industry are good examples of blog posts that hook readers.
Consider the problem/solution post: imagine a minor management issue for a small business—like a dispute between employees—and then offer a short, effective solution that would disarm the situation. This way a reader would glimpse your services in action, and may then be more inclined to contact you about in-depth consulting for their company.
Do everything to expand your readership
Blogging is about interaction. In order to further expose your services on the web, take advantages of social media networks that could spread your name to related business and professional circles. Set up accounts on services like LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter as mobile web marketing tools to reach out to potential customers.
Though social media services differ in their interface, they all serve the same function of uniting likeminded web users. Your task as a blogger is to use your social media account to search out viable customers and business contacts that can help spread awareness about your services.
When you make an account, be sure to add detailed information about the nature of your services, your professional experience and your education background. And most important of all, post your blog url! Once you’re set up with your account, take some time to familiarize yourself with the format of the social media network’s interface.
Bear in mind that you’ll search out users on each service by using their comprehensive search features. You simply type in the topic of your choosing or the name of a prominent person in the industry, and you’ll be presented with a host of users who reference or discuss them in detail. Sift through the search results and follow the users who you think could help you the most.
You can also raise awareness for yourself and your blog by offering to guest post on blogs that talk about similar issues. Guest blogging is a very effective way to get exposure. As a guest poster, you may write about topics on other blogs to showcase your knowledge or, industry savvy, putting your spin on a particular subject.
Most blogs will tell you up front whether or, not they accept guest posts in their “About” or “Contact” section. As compensation for your guest post, ask the blog’s webmaster to include a byline about your services and your blog so interested readers can follow your work in the future. It’s an easy chance at huge exposure to a new audience, so don’t pass it up!
Patience is a virtue, even in blogging
Just because blogging’s free doesn’t mean it’s easy. While blogging may exist in the fast-paced and constantly variable realm of the web, don’t expect your blog to become a success overnight. In the same vein, don’t expect your blog to acquire a handful of readers even in a month’s time.
Blogging requires time. The cultivation of a popular and reliable blog takes time, patience, and persistant hard work from the blogger, no matter what your subject may be. You have to be determined that your initially low (or nonexistent) readership will grow as you continue to write and network your blog.
If you’re willing to stick out months of blog posts with zero comments while maintaining a steady stream of high-quality content, you might just make it in the blogosphere. All it takes is to have one or two readers refer another reader to your blog, who refers another reader, and so on.
A blog’s an investment just like any other business venture; with time, it has the potential to yield great returns.
About the Author
This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities advice. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katherynrivas87(at)gmail.com.
Don’t forget to let us know how blogging has helped your business by posting your comments below.