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Blogging for Business
Leverage content marketing to increase your sales
Blogs have been
around for years, and their value is often overlooked when planning a
digital strategy to increase corporate sales. The reason for this
is that at first glance blogs seem very labour intensive and they don’t
transparently show their value.
What is a Blog Anyway?
A blog (a truncation of the expression "weblog") is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries ("posts"). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the webpage. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual,  occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. - Author Wikipedia
Can a Blog Really Produce Leads?
We know from other
articles that I have written that “content is King” on the web.
Internet search engines are constantly crawling websites for new
information to index. Blogs by nature are designed to be very
easily indexed by search engines and index faster due to the constant
change of information. This means that a blog post speaking about how
to construct pivot tables in Microsoft Excel would index and answer
someone’s question about that particular problem. The pivot table post
then acts as an entrance page to your website. An entrance page
of a website is defined as a page where an end-user accesses your
website. This is extremely important to know where people are
entering your website as it tells you what that end user is interested
Example- If I look
at my website www.qacademy.ca
and I write a blog post about how to leverage Adobe Photoshop to make
money from home. From that post, I get 100 people entering my website,
and then I get 50 people who then read my Adobe Photoshop training
page. Out of that 50 people, 10 people sign up for training
classes. I then look at this as a great lead generator as those
10 people who signed up for training may never have come to my site if
they were not engaged in reading the post on the blog.
Is there an actual strategy to Blogging?
Of course, there
What I teach is to
match your blog marketing strategy with your sales strategy. I
teach people to look at their sales cycle for an entire year, and then
select the months where they need to most help to sell products or
services. Once they identify the months that they need the most
help, then they can overlay a blog strategy to produce posts the two
months prior to increase the number of potential leads coming to the
I prefer to use
multiple authors when working with blogs as sales tools. The
reason that I do this is that I can set up multiple streams to identify
with different client personas. An example of this is on the Q
Academy blog http://qacademy.ca/blog/.
The Academy is a technology training provider which means that it
provides a variety of training programs. I have identified
different client personas that I want to sell my training too, and have
found blog authors who my target audience can easily identify
By using this
strategy, I have dramatically increased the web traffic to my website,
and I am tracking where the traffic is entering, and where they are
exiting my site. The exit page is important to track as it tells
me what product or service the end-user left reading. This is
significant in understanding why that person left without contacting us
for training. I can then look at putting a better call to action
on that page, or a contact form in a more predominant place.
We are also using a
few techniques to leverage the SEO potential of our blog by using the
YOAST plug-in for WordPress to use the keywords that we want to rank
for in Google Searches. Ranking organically is always better than
having to pay for ranking as it improves the bottom line through
increased revenue and decreased expenses.
We are also using a
tried and trusted Blogging tool called Pingomatic. I have used this
tool for years. What it does is provides users with the ability
to “ping” or inform blog search engines that your blog has been updated.
I used Pingomatic
in class at the Academy to illustrate to the class
how effective it can be. I opened the stats page for
Automatedbuildings.com on a Monday and showed the students that my
article was not in the top 30 pages. I used Pingomatic on Monday,
and Tuesday, and sent the article link out on Twitter. When we
checked on Thursday, I ranked at number 15, and using Google Analytics,
found that I had 10 referrals from the automatedbuildings.com website
to Q Academy. Not very labour intensive, and it gets
Like social Media,
blogging is another tool in the toolbox to get visitors to your
website. Not only visitors but qualified visitors to your
website. Visitors who are interested in your products and
services, and have the potential to purchase from you. That is
truly the goal of any digital marketing activity: drive traffic,
qualify leads, and convert them to sales. Blogging leverages
content marketing techniques to make your blogger's influencers who
provide palatable information to influence buying decisions and trends.
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