Some business people are utterly confused by how to make their blog work for their business. They’ve bought into the concept that being active on a blog is a necessity. They know that consistent new content on their website will help their online visibility and SEO. They may even buy into having an SEO strategy, using keywords and metadata to get the most out of their content from a search engine visibility perspective.
But they have absolutely no idea how to get their blog to act as a lead generator.
A Media Hub Won’t Sell You
I often see solopreneurs and consultants create publications online that are interesting, full of great thought leadership from guest bloggers, incredibly active, and absolutely useless from a sales perspective. Media outlets are great. I regularly read Hubspot, Slate, and a variety of marketing blogs. The only one that actually makes money off of me is Slate because I pay a monthly fee to have access to some of their podcasts.
Slate is a publication. It exists to provide news and information on current events and cultural issues. It makes some money from people like me who pay for premium content. It makes more money from advertisers. This is not a business model consultants should follow for their blog if their goal is to bring in new clients.
There is nothing wrong with building an online publication. Years ago I was a volunteer editor at a site called 12Most.com. It had tremendous guest bloggers and published 3 – 9 times per day. The traffic climbed to 20K per day, but no one got rich off of it. Peg Fitzpatrick, one of the early owners, did springboard it into a viable career working with Guy Kawasaki, but the blog itself was not a profit center.
What Your Blog SHOULD do for You
If you’re a consultant it is safe to assume that you want your blog to position you as a thought leader in your arena of business. You want to be seen as a thought leader so that you can attract clients. That will never happen if you are not the leading presence on your blog, and I mean almost daily. Having your friends write for your high traffic blog is great, for them. If someone reading it loves their content and wants to pursue more information, they’re going to pursue your guest blogger, not you. And if you think that your guest blogger is likely to share in the work, it is unlikely. Chances are that they are a consultant just as hungry for clients as you are.
Your blog needs to sell you, not your friends and colleagues. It will only do that it if is representative of your thoughts and your capabilities. Of course, you need strong calls to actions and a well designed, easy to navigate site. You need to regularly provide compelling content that gets your readers to subscribe and keep coming back. And you need to ask them to buy from you through your calls to action on your site. But it all starts with you regularly speaking up about what you think and how you can help in order for your blog to be anything other than a time waster.
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