The ultimate list: 7 reasons why you (yes, you) need a blog today

Do you need a blog? 7 reasons the answser is yes

Does your business need a blog?

Sometimes we do things just because everyone else does. Like wearing socks to work or washing our car on Saturdays. Sometimes we need to rethink those decisions. Especially when it comes to marketing.

In this post I will explore the question … does your business need a blog?

A bit ironic to write about this in a blog, but here goes…

Blogging has been around for over 20 years and is no longer the domain of only political pundits and geeks. According to some estimates, there are 300 million active blogs(!) and approximately 40% of businesses use a blog to connect with their customers and attract new ones.

And there’s loads of glowing statistics promoting the benefits of blogs:

Bu,t the question remains: do YOU need a blog for your business? After all, maintaining an active blog takes time, effort and attention – three things usually in short supply.

Maintaining an active blog takes time, effort and attention- three things usually in short supply. Click To Tweet

First, you have to research, write, edit and publish the blog with images and keywords. Then you have to promote the blog and worry about generating traffic and converting that traffic to sales. It’s a lot of work – especially if you don’t have a team helping you.

That’s why in this post we are looking at the WHY of blogging. You’ll want to also explore our other articles about how to write a blog, find a ghost writer, get more traffic, measure success and even overcome procrastination.

Here are the top 7 reasons that experts believe you DO need a blog.

Top 7 reasons you need a blog

1. Build loyalty

In the crazy-busy world of marketing, blogs are unique. Instead of pushing your products and services on consumers, with your blog you attract them with valuable information they want to consume. Just like a magazine or TV show; we are attracted to the content—selling is secondary.

Instead of pushing your products and services on consumers, you are attracting them to you with valuable information they want to consume. Click To Tweet

Blogs also build loyalty. Small at first, your blog will find loyal readers who value your advice, want your recipes or enjoy your unique insights on life. Those loyal readers can then join your list, attend your webinar, visit your restaurant or buy your online course.

A great example of building loyalty with the blog is Angela Liddon of the Oh She Glows recipe books. Since 2008, Liddon has built up a fan club of over 1 million readers and written New York Times best-selling cookbooks (we have 2 of them). The heart of her success started with posting to her blog 3 times a day!

Blogs can build loyalty - Oh She Glows
The care and attention to every blog post took Angela Liddon from baking and selling snack bars from her home to a New York Times best-selling author.

2. Build your platform

Of all the reasons you need a blog, the most powerful could be to build an online platform.

In the old days of marketing, we would define a market position with the 5 P’s (promotion, product, price, place, people). Now we use “platform” to refer to all the pieces you have on the Internet related to your business that create an image in the consumer’s mind and a competitive advantage in your market.

As author Michael Hyatt would say, your platform is about leading a tribe of engaged followers”.

Now we use “platform” to refer to all the pieces you have on the Internet related to your business that creates an image in the consumer’s mind and a competitive advantage in your market. Click To Tweet

Uber entrepreneur Neil Patel used his blog to build a platform as a consultant and speaker and for his associated companies, Neil Patel Digital, Crazy Egg, SproutSocial and Hello Bar.

Build your blog with a platform
When Neil Patel started to build his online empire, it all started with a blog.

3. Attract new followers

Here’s something you probably don’t know about your blog. Most visitors are new to your site. A sampling of 20 BlogWorks clients found that over 85% of visitors were new to the site. First time. Brand spanking new to your world—that’s a huge opportunity, and another reason you need a blog.

It’s like renting a hotel room and 85% of the people who walk into your evening seminar are meeting you for the first time.

What an opportunity!

Those first-time readers can join your list, request more information, watch a demonstration video, buy product or bookmark your site for future reading.

But, arriving at a blog for the first time can be confusing. As author, podcaster and blogger, Pat Flynn writes, “it’s like trying to read a book that was written on loose-leaf paper, un-numbered and thrown into the air and having the pages randomly land on the ground.”

The trick is to guide those new visitors to where you want them to go. Start with an index of the blog posts you most want new visitors to read. From each blog post direct your readers to read related blog posts or to your contact page or product page.

Attract new followers with your blog
A simple way to welcome new readers to your blog is to hand-pick the list of blogs you want them to read first.

4. Convert to sales

Of course, converting readers to sales is the most popular blogging objective. You want readers to buy your recipe book, order that exercise bike or contact you about executive coaching. That would be great.

While some readers will go straight to your sales page or fill in your contact form, it’s less likely on the first visit. What’s more likely is a reader will commit to a small first step – like joining your list.

Following that, your job is to move them to a sale.

Design Pickle founder Russ Perry does a great job of getting new visitors to watch a video before making a buying decision. After all, not everyone is going to sign up for a monthly fee over $300 on their first visit. But they will be closer to making that decision after committing to a 3-minute video (we use the same strategy).

Convert blog readers to sales
You might not be ready to commit to a $300+ monthly fee, but how about a 3-minute video?

5. Build your list

The long game with blogging is to build a valuable list of followers who eventually need what you sell. Getting to your prospect’s inbox will always generate better results compared to social media or advertising.

The good news is that list building from your blog with tools like Mail Chimp, Zoho and Constant Contact is easier than ever.

Start with a simple offer of delivering your latest post directly to your follower’s inbox, then go the next step with an “ethical bribe” for signing up, like a free ebook, or 30 minutes of coaching. Next, build a simple email sequence that starts to be delivered once a new prospect joins your list.

Referral expert, Steve Gordon makes his blog promise on the home page of his site The Unstoppable CEO “We help service businesses get great clients.” From there it’s an easy one click to schedule a call to learn more or to download his ebook “The Exponential Network Strategy” and 8-video training series.

Build your list with your blog
A clear promise with an easy call-to-action is the best formula for a high performing site.

6. Nurture your followers

Let’s imagine someone interested in your consulting company or gluten-free recipe for chocolate torte finds your blog. Great – that’s the first step. But if they aren’t ready to buy or even join your list, what will you do to stay top of mind? That’s another reason you need a blog.

As a professional speaker, I need my clients, event planners, HR managers and speaker bureaus to remember I’m still active and looking for speaking opportunities. Rather than calling them every two weeks, I send them my latest blog post by email.

Sure, I might only have an email open rate of 25-30%, but that’s still thousands of people who are being reminded of the work I do.

Nuture your followers with your blog
Instead of calling my clients every two weeks, I send them my latest blog post by email

7. Pure fun and sharing

There is nothing wrong with having fun with your blog. Blogger Tim Urban makes it clear from his homepage at Wait But Why you should expect the unexpected, starting with his promise of “We publish every sometime.”

Urban’s blog posts range from simple cartoons to tackling complicated global social issues with 20,000+ word treatise that dive deep into topics like the birth of the electric car.

These are big, hairy topics and Urban is fearless. He also has some fun with his readers, like this recent post about table-hogging at a coffee shop.

Pure fun and sharing
Sometimes the best approach to a touchy topic is with humor

 

Here’s the bottom line (funny, I’m at the bottom of the blog) – get clear about the purpose(s) of your blog and then put it to work. Nothing beats a loyal customer and your blog is one of the best ways to get more of them.

Still considering whether you need a blog and want to read more?

You’ll want to also explore our other articles about how to write a blog, find a ghostwriter, get more traffic, measure success and even overcome procrastination.

 

Want more info on How to Get The Social Media Monkey Off Your Back?

How To get the Social Media Monkey off your Back E-book

 

 

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Or contact us at yourblogworks.com/contact/

5 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers

How to get more social media followers

Some people are getting tens of thousands of website visitors from social media.

How do they do it? Voodoo magic? Blackmail? Divine intervention?

No, no, and no. That site traffic comes from having a lot of highly-engaged social media followers.

But if you’ve tried getting followers before, you understand that sometimes it’s like pulling teeth. You spend hours and hours trying to get people to click “like”, and plaster it everywhere on your site. And yet no one does.

Don’t worry. This post will teach you the best ways to get more social media followers – today.

Let’s get started.

The best ways to get more social media followers - today. Click To Tweet

5 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers

1. Join social media groups

Joining social media groups around your niche is one of the best ways to get more social media followers. As an added bonus, you’ll also get more traffic to your site, meet your industry influencers, learn more about your target reader, and make some friends.

They’re easy enough to find and join, and every niche has at least one active group. Personally, I like Facebook groups over any other social profile, as they tend to be the most active.

To find a group, just search for a keyword around your niche. For example, you might search “Hiking” if you’re a hiking blog.

Joining social media groups to get more followers

Join a few that look promising. But do NOT immediately start posting your content. You need to build a relationship with the people there first until they trust you enough not to spam their group.

Some things you can do in the meantime:

  • Comment on other people’s posts with thoughtful/helpful/insightful advice
  • Share other people’s content in the group (especially the group owner’s content)
  • Add posts with your thoughts, helpful advice, funny memes, or motivational quotes

Once you’ve built up trust, then you can post your blog content and/or your social media channels.

2. Tag your followers and the influencers in your niche

Why do people follow you?

Honestly, most people aren’t following you for your content. At least not on social media. Instead, they’re following you to learn, to be inspired, or to be social. They want to connect with you and your personal brand on another level.

The best way to help them do that?

Engage with them! Share cool or funny things and tag your followers who you think might like it. Share influential people’s content and tag them to let them know you’re in the same niche – you want to start building relationships as soon as possible. You can leverage those relationships – both with your followers and influencers – to get more followers and traffic to your blog.

If you’re not sure who the influencers in your niche are, you can use this tool to identify your influencers and easily connect with them. You can also search for “keyword + influencers” on Google, or just look for people with a lot of engagement on Twitter or Facebook.

Influencer discovery tool for social media engagement

Once you find them, head over to their blog and share one of their posts. Be sure to tag them in it and add some really insightful thoughts or key takeaways to show that you read it.

3. Throw a contest

Ways to enter social media contests

Contests are one of the best ways to get a lot of followers really fast. Just keep in mind, however, that these people may not be highly engaged with you after the contest is over – many of them only followed your profiles to get the reward and don’t want to keep in touch.

That said, if you do the contest the right way and give away a highly relevant prize, the results can be better. For example, if your blog is all about hiking, you could give away an awesome pair of hiking boots or a backpack or something. That way you’re attracting the right crowd.

Check out this guide to learn more about throwing an awesome contest.

4. Give away your knowledge

Another reason people follow other people, brands and companies is because they get things in return.

Some people give away discounts, others run frequent contests, and others give away their products. For your blog, however, there’s one thing that works way better than any of these strategies:

Giving away your knowledge.

As a blogger, you’re already giving away the things you know for free, so you have a leg up. Now you just need to do it on social media without seeming pushy. How do you do that?

Start writing “mini blog posts” on your social media profile. Facebook lets you write looooong posts – so write longer posts! Take the key points from your latest article, and give them away on Facebook as a standalone post.

You can also do this by shooting videos. Videos get much higher social media engagement than any other type of post.

By constantly giving away everything you know, you’ll attract people to your profiles through word of mouth.

5. Stay consistent

The last tip I have for you is to stay consistent. Consistency is the surest way to getting more social media followers in the long run.

If you put a lot of effort into it one month, then don’t post at all for another month, people won’t follow you. Consistency in your posting schedule helps people know what to expect when, and builds trust with your audience.

Consistency also helps you increase your social media engagement. As you get engagement, more people will engage, and it snowballs.

Having trouble with consistency? We can help! Apply to BlogWorks promotion service today.

Conclusion

If you want to get more social media followers, you need one thing:

An understanding of why people follow you.

If they’re following you to learn about your brand, show them more behind the scenes content to attract more followers. If they’re following you to get updates on your blog posts, make sure you send out updates every week.

You get the idea. Increasing your follower count with engaged followers is a matter of caring about your followers, consistency, and understanding what they want.

Not sure why they’re following you? Ask them!

Message a few of your followers and ask why they decided to follow you and what you can post that will help them out. This method isn’t scalable or quick, but the information you get from it will prove priceless to you. It will guide your social media strategy for years to come.

5 Tips to Increase Engagement With Your Social Followers

5 Tips to Increase Engagement with Your Social Followers

You know what sucks?

Spending hours on social media trying to get people to engage with you… only to hear crickets.

Social media is easily one of the best distribution channels for your site. But if you treat it as nothing more than a distribution channel, you’ll be left wanting more.

But it’s possible to increase engagement! We’ve seen posts go viral – and have figured out a few of the common denominators causing that virality.

The common denominators causing increased social media engagement are the following 5 tips we’re about to share with you!

5 Tips to Increase Engagement on Social Media

I’ll quickly outline the tips to increase engagement, then we’ll dive into explaining them. The 5 tips are:

  1. Tag influencers and followers in your posts.
  2. Share other people’s stuff (and tag them).
  3. Build relationships with social media communities.
  4. Show a little personality.
  5. Stand for a cause bigger than yourself.

Let’s dive right in!

1. Tag influencers and followers in your posts

Increase social engagement using tags

The ability to tag others in your updates is a God-send in social media marketing. Any time you tag someone, it sends them a notification letting them know they were tagged – which increases the chances they’ll see it (obviously).

If they see it, chances are pretty good they’ll like it. And they may even share it, further increasing its reach. They may also comment. And make no mistake – likes and comments matter just as shares do.

That’s because Facebook’s algorithm is set up to show your posts to more people based on the engagement it gets. So the more likes it gets, the more people will see it, the more likes and shares it gets – and thus, virality.

If you need help finding influencers, use a tool like influence.co, BuzzSumo, or FollowerWonk. (We also offer assistance with your social media scheduling, so feel free to get in touch with us!)

2. Share other people’s stuff (and tag them)

Just because you want traffic to your website, doesn’t mean you should only be sharing things that benefit you.

In fact, many of your posts should send traffic to other people. This is an excellent way to build relationships with key industry influencers and authorities.

For example, on my travel blog’s Facebook page, I built a relationship with other travel bloggers by sharing their posts and tagging them whenever I shared it. I’ve used this tactic to become friends with them, and we collaborate on projects together now, resulting in more traffic for both of us.

Tagging influencers to boost engagement

Some ideas of things you can share include:

  • Other blogger’s posts
  • News articles around your industry
  • Other people’s courses, services, or products

3. Build relationships with social media communities

Social media communities – like Facebook or LinkedIn groups – are one of the best ways to drive traffic and increase engagement to your own accounts.

However, you also have to be tactful when doing it! Simply jumping into someone else’s group and dropping your links as soon as you get in is a surefire way to be kicked out. And you should be careful with that since there are only so many contacts in any niche.

If you need help finding groups to join, check out Seth Price’s guide to private social media groups for personal branding.

4. Show a little personality

Social media isn’t a corporate board room or a place for all serious, all-the-time interaction. It’s a place people go to be social! To chat with their friends, have fun, and see what cool and interesting things are happening.

It sounds so simple, but so few businesses get this right. They continually push out update after update about their products or offerings. People want more than that – they care about connecting. So connect!

How do you connect on social media in order to increase engagement? Here are some ideas:

  • Share pictures of your office, behind the scenes. Or a night out with the employees on a “team building exercise”. Then share the post and tag them in it.
  • If you don’t have an office or employees, share a picture of you at the coffee shop on your laptop cranking away, or on your couch in your pajamas being a true solopreneur. Tag some of your favorite followers and ask what they’re doing on this fine Saturday.
  • Ask your community more questions that you care about. See what their favorite movie or past time is. Use that information to build a connection by sharing a funny or helpful video with them about their favorite topic.
  • Get on the phone with some of your followers and ask them what their interests are. Everyone is afraid to get on the phone, yet it’s one of the best ways to learn about your ideal customers and see what they care about.

Of course, not all of your posts should be super personal or fun. But maybe one in five can be that way. Experiment with it and see what works. In the end, people just want some human connection.

5. Stand for a cause bigger than yourself

I saved the best tip for last here. By far one of the best and quickest ways to increase engagement with your social followers is by connecting with them on a shared cause.

I’ll give you an example. Going back to my travel blog, I’ve taken up a cause: Helping people to embrace full-time travel, make an income for the road, and live life to the fullest. By connecting with other full-time travelers and sharing that cause with them, I was able to get TONS of social engagement. As you saw, one of my posts got over 66 shares, 40 likes, and 10 comments. It reached over 13,000 people.

So what cause can you stand for? It can be a charity or something you make up entirely on your own.

Some examples:

  • ConvertKit‘s cause is to teach everything they know and make it easier for people to build an engaged audience using email.
  • Love Your Melon is a hat store that gives 50% of their profit to improve the lives of kids with pediatric cancer.
  • tentree is a clothing store named after their cause – they plant 10 trees on every purchase to help the Earth.

Sharing your mission to increase engagement

It doesn’t have to be some massive goal to save the Earth. It just has to be a good cause people can stand behind. With that, engagement will come naturally.

Some parting words

Increasing engagement isn’t rocket science. It’s just a matter of caring about your audience, being more social by sharing a cause and tagging others, and by being engaged yourself.

The five tips in this article stand as a base for every social interaction you do. There are a million and one tactics to get better at social – posting X times per day about Y topic, following X people every day, etc. – but at the core, what really matters is the person behind the tactics.

Show a little personality, engage with your industry’s community, and become a valuable (and transparent) member of the groups around your topic.

If you found this post, please share it so we can help social media become a better place for everyone – that’s our shared cause! And as always, feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or tips of your own.