I am often asked, “where do you get your business leads?” I only do two things, networking, which is building relationships and blog marketing. So, if you ask me does blog marketing work? Absolutely, if you take the time to learn how it works. I personally believe hiring a recent college graduate or outsourcing your blogs to an “expert” can be effective, but writing your own blogs is the best way to find business. No one knows your business like you know your business. Blog marketing like everything else, takes a committed investment, in this case time more than money. Here are a few things I have learned over the past years of blog marketing.
- Content, content, content The key lesson is not to hold back. You must realize you are not the smartest person to ever own a business. You don’t have trade secrets. There is always somebody building a better mouse trap. Just write about something useful or helpful. Chances are you learned a lesson from the “school of hard knocks” and if you can help a fellow entrepreneur, then do it. If you want to be seen as an expert in your business, act like one, teach your knowledge. You will be repaid ten times over.
- Never Sell with Your Blog The idea of blog marketing as I just stated is to be helpful and informative, not sell. Readers smell an advertisement within the first few words and move on. Never sell yourself or your product or service in your blogs. It must be authentic and useful to be effective in blog marketing. If they like what they read from your blog on your website, they will stay and shop around on your website, don’t force the issue.
- Titles Matter Without a clever or useful title, no one will ever find your blog to read it. The key to effective blog marketing is to drive traffic to your website to read your “useful” articles. It is the same principle as retail “give a ways” or “coupons”. You need to draw the reader in, titles are the way to effectively do that. If you wish to be found by the search engines, use key words in your title as well. I have found a free useful website to help find words people search for to assist you in choosing your titles.
- Images Matter Just like the title of your blog matters so does having an eye catching image at the beginning of your blog. Effective images draw the visual reader and the kinesthetic reader in as much as your effective title. There are great websites to find free images by just giving credit to the creator of the image. DO NOT pull images down from unauthorized websites or search engines. You can be fined for using images without permission. Use only image websites that are free or sell you the image for a very low price. You can also use your own personal images.
- Share You need to consistently share your marketing blog on all of your social media sites. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and multiple blogging sites are a great way to share your knowledge and become the expert you are online. This is how you drive traffic and pick up new clients by driving them to your website. Another good idea is to install share buttons on the bottom of each blog you write. This way a reader that enjoyed your blog can easily share it with his or her network as well.
Blog marketing takes time and effort, but like all great business ideas, this is where you will find your best clients and best referral sources to grow your business to its fullest potential. You must put it on your schedule in order to be consistent. Here’s to your writing and blog marketing!
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”– Mark Twain
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 1, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 29 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.