Small businesses come in many different forms, but for those that focus on physical products over services, building a blog can be challenging. After all, how many ways can you talk about office supplies, bedding, or lamps? Over time, it can start to seem repetitive.
Related blog posts and resources:
Facing this uphill battle, small businesses need to get creative to keep their blogs interesting and increase engagement with their products. If you’re seeking to expand your blog and highlight your company’s products in an exciting way, then, you need to broaden your content base. These five approaches can help you provide end users with added value, boost engagement, and – most importantly – turn traffic into sales.
Approaches To The Profile
Profiling your products is an easy way to highlight their features and build a lot of content, but from a practical perspective, this approach puts your sales strategy ahead of your clients’ needs, and that’s a big no-no. Whenever you’re developing blog posts, it’s vital that the content puts the customer first. If you want to write profiles, then you need to find ways to shift the focus, while still integrating key items.
One way you might approach the profile form other than through a particular product is by interviewing customers and staff members at your business. These profiles give you the opportunity to show that loyalty goes both ways; publicly thank top customers for their patronage, and let someone else be the booster for your products.
Examples of this include:
- Mail a Personal, Handwritten Letter
- Give a Thoughtful Gift (No Strings Attached!)
- Cover a Bill
- Highlight Special Customers
- Go Above and Beyond
As for your staff, blog profiles are a great way for you to give customers a peek behind the scenes at your entire business, as opposed to focusing only on an individual. Yes, this person’s perspective will personalize the post – and allow you to repeat the blog style more than once, but you’ll also be able to choose questions that fold your products seamlessly into the interview.
Set The Scene
While your small business blog should avoid highlighting products one-by-one, a great way to keep these items in the spotlight is by positioning them within a larger scene. If you already have a blog in place and are creating content, this is a perfect way to seamlessly integrate your products within actual value posts.
For example, these battery operated candles could be presented within the context of an entire table setting, with plates, linens, and centerpieces. Or, they could be discussed in a blog post about changes you could make to childproof your home. The approach can work for any product niche and also translates well to social media posts, including visual-first formats like Instagram.
Just take a look at the main page of their site and see the many different types of candles that are out on the market today. Scroll down and you will start to understand how an ecommerce based company can use blogging to their advantage, while also growing their business and serving value.
As we all know, pretty much everyone is heading to Google to find answers to all of their questions. The same holds true for everything relating to candles as well. If we head over to this site’s blog, we can see a bunch of detailed posts on the following topics:
- Choosing The Right Luminara Candle
- Selecting the Ideal LED Candles
- Mini LED Lights Indoor and Outdoor
- Window Candle Safety
The takeaway here is, if you can provide value to your audience and problem them with a solution to their question or dilemma (while also sending them to your site), then you can definitely start increasing your site traffic, sales, and branding in the process.
Not all blog posts need to be evergreen or even seasonal content. Instead, it can be beneficial to also develop some time-bound content. Indeed, you should never let a sale or special offer go unmentioned. Rather, posting about limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency and boost sales, whether you’re hyping your Cyber Monday deals or a sale that’s unique to you. And don’t forget: if you offer special sales to store members or other VIPs, make sure to talk about these. Your VIP deals shouldn’t be a secret because promoting them can be just what potential members need to transition to a higher engagement level.
Recap And Relate
Have you ever attended an industry event and thought, ‘Gee, I bet my customers would be interested in this’? Then why not highlight events you attend on your blog? Industry events can seem like a secret world to your customers and sharing about them is intriguing for them, as well as other professionals in associated fields. Additionally, industry event recaps lend themselves to a lot of content. You can profile speakers, talk about how you pitch your products, discuss networking strategies, and even post about industry trends. Depending on how long the event is and what topics you wish to explore, you could stretch these topics over several posts.
Here are ten of the 40 blog post ideas recommended by TheBalanceSMB to help you get started:
Don’t Forget High-Value Forms
High-value blog posts are the best way to build backlinks, yet many bloggers don’t make sufficient use of them. As you expand your blog, then, be sure to provide link roundups, cover frequently asked questions, and relevant downloadable resources. These posts are more engaging than straight product profiles, and are actually more likely to build your site’s domain authority.
Video is also gaining in popularity as a high-value format, less because it yields a lot of backlinks and more because it facilitates a high level of engagement. Users spend more time on pages that feature video, and as a business owner, you can parlay your video content into multiple other posts and use it across a variety of platforms. Video storytelling is also a great way to create a personal connection between your business and your customers.
Your company’s blog is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal and, if used correctly, it can fuel substantial growth. That’s why it’s important that you don’t limit yourself to a few formats. To broaden your base, you need to expand your blog’s horizons.
How will you think about your products in a wider context?
Do You Need to Make a Huge Blogging Shift?
Sometimes, you get bogged down with your blogging routine. Routines feel comfortable, right?
Related blog posts and resources:
But blogging is a feeling game like life is a feeling game. All flows based on your emotions. If you feel really good – first – then you take good feeling blogging actions and over time, with patience and trust, see good feeling blogging results.
Unfortunately, most humans give almost zero thought to their emotions before diving in to a blogging routine. Bloggers believe you need to do something or follow a set routine to succeed, to drive traffic, and to make money. Day after day, year after year, most bloggers follow a routine without giving zero thought to how they are feeling, if they enjoy blogging, if they have fun following the routine, and if they feel detached, patient and trusting in the process.
This is the only reason why as of about 7 years ago, 80% of bloggers never made more than $100 during their blogging careers. If 8 out of 10 humans can not make $100 through blogging over 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, 8 out of 10 bloggers clearly give zero thought to their feelings BEFORE blogging. Feel bad, and you see no money. But those 2 out of 10 bloggers who feel really good make lots of money over the long haul.
Maybe it is time to make a shift, guys.
2-3 months ago I made one shift. 1 month ago I made an even bigger shift; quite huge, for me. But what I did differently made almost zero difference. How I chose to feel marked the big shift, then, I moved into different blogging actions.
For example, I faced some deep fears, felt the fears, and instantly, after feeling pretty crappy for a short time, I felt better and better. Choosing to face fear, clear it, and feel better, helped me see things clearly. I tired of my blogging schedule, my social sharing groups, blog commenting and heavy cross promotion. In truth, I hated it. I did have some fun with each for a while but the passion long left me. Since how you feel before and while you blog means everything, my mindset-feeling shift told me I’d have so much fun guest posting. So as of about 3-4 weeks ago – maybe less – all I do is guest posting because I have fun guest posting and guest posting comes easily to me.
Making the shift involved facing deep fears of failure, loss and struggle. I had to feel the fear of letting go lifeless activities for me – at the time – to clear out the fear, and properly release these strategies, and to move forward so I could feel good, then, decide what blogging actions would feel fun and easy and enjoyable to me.
All shifts happen emotionally first, by your choice. After feeling some muck and then feeling better, you clearly and intuitively feel through the next fun-feeling, enjoyable step.
What About You?
Do you need to make any shifts with your blogging campaign? Or do you need to make one big, sweeping, all-encompassing shift?
Getting caught up in blogging routines feels comfortable, familiar and safe, sometimes. But do you feel good before you begin the routine? Do you feel good working the routine? Do you feel detached, relaxed, trusting and like you are cared for, and prospering, while following your blogging routine?
Be honest to make a necessary shift. If you love following your routine, cool. Proceed. But most humans are taught – me included – to follow some routine (no matter how you feel) to get something, specifically money, so you can avoid failure, struggle, poverty, going hungry, illness, and embarrassment. This is exactly why most humans work jobs. Follow a routine to get money even if you feel really bad or terrible following the work-routine; aka, even if you hate your job and it feels lifeless, or soul-less.
May be time for a big shift guys.
Why Comedians Teach You a Powerful Blogging Lesson
Last night I saw a funny comedian perform in Atlantic City.
Related blog posts and resources:
Chris Delia charmed the audience with his silly, somewhat absurd, level of humor.
He also explained how comedians need thick skin to become successful. Humor is a very personal, subjective topic. Some people find some comedians hysterical but never laugh at other comedians. As you imagine, bombing feels terrible to most comedians. At least until they develop a thick skin.
I once read how Kevin Hart often waited until 1 AM to work an open mic. Sometimes he waited until 1 AM and the place closed down so he never got the chance to do his set. Imagine how thick-skinned you need to be to not let that bother you? Is it any wonder why he is now worth $150 million? He became immune to criticism, failure and rejection. As a matter of fact, after developing a thick skin, he likely did not see criticism, failure or rejection.
All those evenings of 1 AM sets in front of 1-2 lifeless people or all those nights of being told to go home at 1 AM after waiting for hours to do his act purged the fear of criticism, failure and rejection from his being. Void of these fears, he rose up to being one of the most famous, wealthy and powerful comedians on earth.
Bloggers Need Thick Skin
I once promoted a course to the tune of 8000 page views before I sold one copy. Did I quit promoting the course? No. I developed a thick skin during the process. I did not see 8000 rejections. I only saw meeting and helping more human beings through my blog. Even during moments when I felt like giving up I trusted in myself and believed in the blogging process. Quitting and failure were no options for me. But in the same vein, I needed to be thick skinned to see through criticism, rejection and failure.
I needed to be aware of opportunity amid the appearance of nobody reading my blog. Toss in being patient and persistent in helping folks during my most trying times and you have a pretty thick-skinned individual.
Do Not Care What People Think
Chris Delia shared how he could care less what people thought about him. He dressed down a few hecklers during the show.
Comedians succeed because they care less about what people think of their acts; being heckled, ignored or criticized had nothing to do with their belief in self and their belief in their comedic style.
As a blogger, give no thought to what people think of you. Guess what? You cannot control your reputation. No matter how long and hard you work in life to maintain a positive reputation, you can never physically control what people think of you. I am largely a nice guy 99.99% of the time yet some people genuinely hate me. I cannot control their demons. Plus I know we see the world as we see ourselves so if someone hates themselves I cannot do anything about that self-loathing.
Focus on yourself. Focus on what you think about yourself because this is the only thing that matters. Being comfortable in your own skin aligns you with loving, loyal followers who appreciate you for who you are. Let go everybody else. Critics form an energetic yoke if you care about their thoughts but dissolve into thin air when you could care less about what they think of you.
Bloggers become successful because these few folks who have thick skins shine brightly in a world of thin-skinned bloggers who fear criticism, judgment and rejection. The few who step it up do wonders because we all want a piece of free spirits who march to the beat of their own drum without caring what people think, say or do, in response or reaction to them simply being themselves.
Do You Have an Exit Plan for Your Blog?
This past week I ceased sharing posts in blogging tribes.
Related blog posts and resources:
I finally got it; I joined tribes because I feared unless I shared other blogger content, nobody would read my content. I feared if nobody shared my content, nobody reads my content, and I needed to share other blogger content to effectively influence bloggers and people to share mine. Ouch.
As you can imagine, I put in many long, hard hours working a job, NEEDING to be online to succeed with my blog. Rewind. Working a job. Did you see this phrase? I worked a job. I needed to be online to succeed. Largely, at least. Does that sound like a business owner to you? Does that sound like leveraging? Sure I drive some passive traffic and profits to my blog but being honest, I largely worked a job and had a job for much of my 10 years online, and I did not have a pure business so I could step away from my blog and business for months, at a time. Or, forever.
I have more of an exit plan now. I have a blogging business. I am writing my tail off to be in as many spots as possible without relying on sharing tribes and other groups that require me to be online, to social share posts, so other people can social share my posts, so I get traffic and profits. I began to think; what am I doing? I mean, if you love joining social sharing tribes, do it. Nice friendship builder. But you need to have some exit plan with your business and need to see how you can step away one day so it is about a 100% passive income machine – or, so you can sell it at a tidy profit – in order for you to be a free entrepreneur, versus a bound employee.
I am having so much fun writing blog posts and guest posts daily. Plus it is easy peasy. Every piece of content is forever, unless all these blogs vanish or get closed out by all these bloggers. Fat chance. Plus I can drive to Atlantic City today with my wife and enjoy a show this afternoon into evening and my business will still grow from a heavy passive element. Even though I am online writing this morning, all my blog posts and guest posts serve as a passive promotional army for the Blogging From Paradise blog and brand.
Imagine me trying to social share other blogger posts as I am driving down the Parkway? Not happening.
Network. Have fun making friends. Build a rock solid foundation for your blog. But eventually, evolve into someone who leverages your presence so you work a business, not a job. Any strategy 100% dependent on you being online, sharing blogger content so other bloggers share your content and boost your success, is a job, not a business, because you are tied to the online world and have no exit strategy, and a light passive element to your blogging business.
Gradually place less emphasis on networking online. Focus on purely passive elements, like writing more blog posts and guest posts, which last forever. Humans change, quit, fail, change tastes; you never want to be at the mercy of the fickle human beast. Unless all blogs close down, all of those blog posts and guest posts you wrote are pretty much forever.
Focusing a bit more on things – things helping people – helps you leverage your blog and business powerfully so you can make an exit plan and step away from your blogging business for 1, 2 or 3 months. I know bloggers who take vacations for months; everything keeps growing money-wise because they leverage, and are not dependent on people for cash flow, because their system creates the cash flow.
Trust in the process plays a big role too.
Search Blogging Tips
Blogging2 years ago
6 Steps for How I Nabbed 6500 Comments on My Blog
Blogging10 months ago
113 Bloggers share their Favorite Email Marketing Tools
Blogging12 years ago
CoComment – The new way to track blog comments
Blogging3 years ago
6 Tools For Boosting Content Marketing Results Over The Holidays
Search Engine Optimisation3 years ago
7 SEO Analysis Tools Every Blogger Needs to Know
Blogging2 years ago
How to Start a Fashion Blog in 8 Simple Steps
Blogging2 years ago
How to Become a Nimble Blogger
Blogging2 years ago
57 Must-Read Books For Entrepreneurs Recommended by Entrepreneurs