As creative entrepreneurs, we are faced with many common struggles when just starting out: broadening our audience, developing loyal customers, and making the leap from side hustle to full-time.
The one question I get asked most by my clients, pretty much on a weekly basis, is “How can I broaden my reach to generate more sales?”
It’s a great question because broadening your reach will undoubtedly generate more sales, enabling you to work in your business full-time.
So what’s the answer to your struggles? Blogging.
I bet you’re disappointed to hear this. Most people are. They wish I would say something sexier like upping your Instagram game or posting more Facebook lives. Blogging just sounds so intimidating and time consuming—until you understand its benefits.
I’m constantly sharing these benefits on coaching calls with clients who are just starting out, so I thought it would be helpful to share them on the blog too.
Here are 9 benefits of blogging for a product-based business:
BLOGGING PROVIDES CONSISTENT WEBSITE TRAFFIC
Much like a storefront, your website is the one-stop-shop for all things related to your business. It houses information for upcoming launches, product details, your company mission, or even a behind-the-scenes peek into your process.
But unlike a traditional brick and mortar shop, it can be difficult to get regular walk-ins off the street—i.e. visitors from an organic web search.
While posting to social media can be helpful (and fun), there’s no guarantee that everyone will see your posts. Algorithms are constantly changing, making it more difficult for businesses to get noticed without having to pay for advertising.
If you are giving followers a reason to return to your website on a regular basis through your blog, they won't miss a thing.
But you can’t just blog for the sake of blogging. Consider the blogs you read most and what keeps you coming back for more. High quality content is key. A high quality post is one that provides relevant, educational, or entertaining information written specifically for your target customer. Keep the content rich with information, full of inspiring images, or wickedly funny. No fluff!
BLOGGING EXPANDS YOUR REACH
According to HubSpot, companies who blog receive 97% more inbound links to their website than companies who don’t. Which makes sense because blogging gives your readers content to share across multiple platforms. With every share, your blog reaches a larger audience—whether it’s from a pin on Pinterest, a share on Facebook, or a link on another person's blog. Every share and link points back to your website.
And remember what I said about high quality posts. Solid blog content will lead to more shares. It isn’t likely that someone will share your website’s About page with their friends on Facebook, but they will share a blog post on Creating a Routine to Simplify Busy Mornings. By sharing high quality, helpful content on your blog, your audience will see value in your posts, and not only continue to come back for more, but share them with friends and followers.
So if you’re trying to expand your reach, blogging is a great way to get your site in front of a larger audience who will purchase your products in the future.
This is especially important for brands who are just starting out and don’t yet have a product to sell. While you are in the product development and production phase of business, you should be blogging more than ever to build an audience to sell to when you launch. This is my #1 tip for anyone just starting out.
BLOGGING BUILDS A COMMUNITY OF LOYAL CUSTOMERS
Many brands, big and small alike, are starting to include premium branded packaging with each order they ship. The whole “unboxing” experience has become a bit of a social media phenomenon these days. Brands do this because it builds loyalty, i.e. repeat business (source).
And that’s the key right there, repeat business. A loyal customer is a repeat customer, and you want customers coming back for more long after the unboxing experience is over.
So how do you keep them coming back? By offering advice on how to use and maximize the products they purchased from you. inkWELL Press does a fantastic job with this. Not only do they have a blog full of posts about productivity (plus a podcast and online course!), they’ve also created a series of videos that walk you through the set-up of your planner. This builds trust. inkWELL has proven that they are productivity experts and customers will keep coming back for more because they are confident that inkWELL’s products will help them achieve their goals.
By blogging, you too can showcase your expertise by writing posts about your particular planning philosophy and methods. The more you share your knowledge, the more you’ll be seen as an expert. The content you share will legitimize your skills and experience. Again, this builds trust, and clients are much more willing to do business with you when they trust you. (source)
Take this one step further and enable commenting on your blog. You’ll be able to build a direct relationship with your audience through each comment and response. It creates yet another touch-point for interaction and humanizes your brand, which leads to brand loyalty.
BLOGGING GENERATES MORE SALES
If you are anything like me, you hate selling. For most creative entrepreneurs, it’s the worst part of running a business.
But if you were asked about the most beneficial feature in your planner, I bet you could talk about that all day long!
Blogging allows you to educate your customers without coming across as being salesy. In your posts, highlight the beneficial features of your planner and focus on how it will help your customer solve a problem or reach their goals. The more you focus on teaching your audience how the planner will benefit them, the greater chance you have at capturing the sale.
BLOGGING GIVES YOU COMPLETE CONTROL OVER YOUR CONTENT
Social media accounts are fun and should play a role in your overall marketing plan, but you don’t own those accounts like you own your blog.
What would you do if Instagram closed its doors tomorrow? If you’d been using IG as the sole place to market your business, your entire audience and library of content would be lost. You’d have to start from scratch.
But your blog can’t be taken from you. So when the next new “it” platform comes around, your blog will still be there as a resource to pull content from. You’ll be able to share posts again on a new platform without missing a beat.
Plus, when you post high quality content on a consistent basis, people will bookmark your site and return to it often, apart from social media. You won’t have to worry about Instagram shutting down—or changing their algorithms.
BLOGGING PROVIDES A SURPLUS OF CONTENT
Blogging might take a lot of time and effort up front, but the content you create can be reused over and over again throughout the life of your business.
The lifespan of a Facebook or Instagram post is only 5 to 21 hours respectively, but a blog post will last about two years! (source) By blogging about the benefits of your products, you are creating evergreen content (content that is always relevant and never goes out of date) for new and existing customers to enjoy for years to come.
After two years, you can refresh and repurpose each blog post. If you created high quality content the first time around, you will only need to make a few minor updates before sharing it again.
Plus, if you hope to save time on newsletters and social media posts in the future, blogging lays a great foundation for content. You can break each blog post into bite-sized pieces for your newsletters and other marketing outlets. Just one blog post can provide numerous bits of content to be shared over and over again.
Do the work once and enjoy the benefits for years to come.
BLOGGING IS FREE
While it will be an investment of your time, adding a blog to your website won’t cost a thing. And when you’re just starting out, sometimes all you can afford is time.
If you blog on a consistent basis with high quality, useful content, your time will reap financial benefits in the long run. Your blog will bring in more traffic, which will turn into more sales—and as you grow, you will come to see the fruits of your labor.
By posting evergreen content in the beginning stages of business (when you have more time on your hands), you will be able to slow your blogging schedule as your business grows. The evergreen content will continue to do its job (behind the scenes) by bringing more traffic to your site.
It’s like getting years worth of free marketing!
BLOGGING GENERATES NEW PRODUCT IDEAS
Wouldn’t it be great if customers told you what new products they wanted instead of you having to guess?
Blogging allows you to see firsthand which topics your audience enjoys most through blog analytics and engagement (like comments and shares). Before creating a wellness planner, for example, write a few posts on the topic. Then take a look at your blog analytics to see how many views and shares those posts received in comparison to other topics.
Also, if you blog consistently and regularly engage with your audience, they will start to tell you what they want more of in blog comments or newsletter responses.
Customers like to share their opinions and ideas. Give them a platform to do so.
BLOGGING WILL GET YOU FOUND ON GOOGLE
Google is the number one search engine used today. Their mission is to match your search with the most appropriate content out there. They decide which links are going to appear on the first page of a search based on a variety of factors, including: keywords, the number of pages on the website, how many times the website has been linked to, and how often the website is updated, among other things.
When you consistently share new, high quality content, you’re naturally going to include keywords, more pages on your website, and more links to your site (by your content being shared), and your website will be updated on a regular basis.
There is a lot of talk out there about search engine optimization (SEO), which is a term that refers to increasing your website’s ranking in Google. But honestly, reading about SEO makes my eyes glaze over and my brain shut down. It can get really complicated, really quick and I’m no expert, so I won’t even go into it.
Just know this: In order to be found in a search, your website needs to play nice with Google. And Google likes blogging.
For any business, blogging should be the main component of your content marketing plan.
I know it’s not the popular answer, but it’s true. Blogging for your business on a regular basis is the answer to your struggles. It will allow you to appeal to your target audience, spread the word about your products, and build a loyal following of paying customers, i.e. generate more sales.
What are you waiting for? I challenge you to write one blog post this week. To help get you started, I’ve created a list with a whole year’s worth of blog post ideas for product-based businesses. Fill in your information below to download a free copy.
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