I don’t know how many times I’ve thought about quitting blogging. How about you?
On a scale from “not important” to “this puts money in my bank”, blogging seems to often falls left of centre. But, I keep writing and posting blogs. And in this post, I’m going to explain why you should as well.
The reality is it’s hard to be motivated about something that doesn’t have a direct impact on the bottom line. I mean, when was the last time someone read one of your blog posts and then gave you money?
Actually, that’s exactly what happens, but not in the way you think.
Now, before I get to the “motivational” part of this post, let’s talk about Alka-Seltzer.
In the 1950’s modern advertising was invented. During the post-war era of abundance, baby boomers, rebuilding, and consumerism, clever marketers were perfecting the ad campaign. In record time, products like Alka-Seltzer, Marlboro, Clairol, Anacin and Crest toothpaste gained massive market shares and became household names.
Push advertising has become more sophisticated since then, but the premise is the same: “Sell the benefits, deliver the features.”
But this only works if the consumer is already shopping. For example, if I’m in the market for a car or vacuum or girlfriend (at least one of these would be hard to explain to my wife) I might respond to your advertising. Then it’s just a matter of who has the most persuasive advertising campaign.
But, what if the consumer isn’t thinking about buying yet? Or, what if you’re more interested in building a long-term relationship with your client? What about then?
That’s where your blog comes in.
Your blog is an example of “pull marketing”—the consumer is pulled to your blog because it solves a problem. Maybe it even entertains them.
With pull marketing we aren’t so concerned about selling right away—we’re building a long-term relationship; the kind of relationship where price is not as important and shopping around is unnecessary.
That’s why we need to go back to basics.
Back to basics
If you want a long-term relationship with your clients, blogs work.
Your blog doesn’t necessarily replace advertising, promotions, events or any other form of direct selling but blogs work wonders for developing long-term relationships with your client. Even tradition companies have jumped on the blog bandwagon, like Walmart, Allstate, Whole Foods, Caterpillar, and Disney. In fact, 67% of marketers report they are using blogs to promote their business. And it’s good business sense: building a relationship with your blog readers leads to them joining your mailing list and then being attracted to your offers.
After all, who would you rather market to: people who already know you and enjoy your advice or strangers?
Now for the motivational bit…
The road to Rome
Success with your blog comes down to a long-term commitment. Just as the road to Rome wasn’t built in a day (there’s the inspiring quote), it takes time to move a reader of your blog to a sale.
The good news is that customers who regularly consume your blog are much more likely to be long-term, faithful customers. And you can take that to the bank.
The secret is to treat your blog as a marketing expense and to measure results.
So, you need to do this today.
Do this today
The most popular question we get asked about BlogWorks (formerly SOS) is “How will I know it works?”. Before I answer that question, you need to step back and look at your sales cycle.
A blog is not direct selling – where a knock on a door either makes a sale or it doesn’t and a 10% close rate is a good day. Remember, blogs are a long-term game designed to build loyal customers.
That’s why you need to be measuring performance.
Just like a grocery store can measure sales in their store and make educated decisions about product positioning and displays, you can measure consumers experience of your blog by looking at basic traffic numbers.
Your Google Analytics dashboard offers up some basic measures that are a great place to start, like: “users”, “time on site” and “source of traffic.” In this post we show you how to have the dashboard automatically sent to you every week.
Next, just like you might compare your P&L year, by year, you should track these numbers with a simple spreadsheet We look at these every week, but even monthly will be helpful.
Just like checking your weight, or bank balance, tracking these numbers on a regular basis will help keep your blog (and traffic, opt-in’s and conversions) a part of your marketing conversations.
Blogging works for the businesses who are thinking lifetime value of a customer and are willing to earn those relationships. If that’s you, start thinking of your blog as an important part of your marketing strategy. And track its performance.
On the other hand, if all you want is quick sales, maybe you should pick up the phone.