You have been blogging much longer than you realize. You probably wrote in a journal or a diary, you certainly wrote papers for school, you have crafted long emails. The key to remember about blogging is that all blogging is just writing. It’s that simple. You don’t need to be intimidated by blogging because you write every day. In our technology-driven world, we are constantly using our words to express ideas. Despite the movement of media, the one transcending factor since the dawn of literacy are words. The beauty of blogging, you determine exactly how you want to communicate – without interruption, without the fear of public speaking; you have the opportunity to edit your thoughts and express ideas.
What Blogging Has Done for My Business
Donna DeRosa of Donna DeRosa Coaching runs a Facebook group called “Blog Your Brand.” In this group, we share our weekly blogs to encourage writing, ascertain new ideas, and support one another. Donna DeRosa runs a 30 Day Blog-Your-Brand Challenge at least once a year, and the objective is to blog for 30 consecutive days. I participated in the Fall 2015 challenge and saw some results, but my business was still a baby. Fast forward to the Summer 2016 challenge and the current Winter 2017 challenge, and the results were incredible. I saw:
- 200-300% Traffic increase on my website
- 30% More sales during the challenge
- Added one wholesale account
- Asked to give lecture for creative makers in a local business
- Asked to offer blogging advice to new bloggers
- Asked to teach a series of workshops on blogging at the school where I teach (I am also a HS English teacher)
- Three particular blog posts received so much attention, they’ve been collectively shared 1000 times!
What do all of these facts mean? It means I am gaining authority in my brand, and when you have authority, you gain recognition, and recognition equals sales.
Getting Started with Blogging
- Use a site, such as WordPress.com that will host a free blog. Use WordPress’ functions to blast your blog automatically to every social media account you have available.
- If you have a website, such as through Shopify or WooCommerce, have that blog automatically imported into your website so you can draw visitors directly to where they should shop.
- Choose a manageable, but consistent blog schedule. It is much better for your customers, and website SEO, to write one blog per week than to blog every day for two weeks, and then nothing for two weeks.
- Think about your target customer and what he/she wants to learn about that relate directly to your products, these are great ways to start.
- Try not to make your blogs too sales-pitchy (save that for your newsletter). Instead, treat your blog as a way to inspire and inform your customers.
- Find one way to link back to your store in every blog.
- Treat your blog with respect by using proper grammar and spelling. People won’t notice a properly formatted blog (which is ideal), but they will notice one with lots of errors.
- Build authority in your brand by properly linking back to your source material. You don’t have to follow MLA Citations, per se, but you DO need to cite your sources. Never take credit for another person’s work (this includes non-stock photos).
- Make your blog engaging with at least one graphic.
- Break down your blog into small paragraphs, lists, or sub-titles. It makes for quick scanning and easy reading.
- Use a friendly, conversational tone in your blogs. My advice is the same for newsletters. Assume you are speaking to your smartest friend.
If you’re ready to get started blogging, or even if you’re an expert blogger, I suggest you join the “Blog Your Brand” Facebook group run by Donna DeRosa. Blogging, like everything else, takes time and practice, and the best thing you can do is to just get started. You will get better and start building a strong following.