For any business, blogging should be the main component of your content marketing plan. We already know there are numerous benefits to blogging for your business. Now comes the hard part: regularly creating fresh content that will resonate with your audience and align with your brand mission.
Sounds overwhelming right? I agree. For years I avoided blogging for my business because I was scared of tackling what felt like an unattainable concept. But this year I decided to put on my #bosspants and dig in.
Read on for my tips on how to successfully blog for your product-based business. Plus, download my free content planning worksheet to keep you organized! Scroll to the end of this post for access.
GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE
Blogging is a form of marketing referred to as content marketing. This is much different than what you would typically think of when you hear the term marketing. Content marketing does not mean pitching and selling to your audience on a regular basis through your blog.
Blogging is a long game, or rather a marathon and not a sprint. Each blog post should not be a sales pitch (the take), because who wants to read a sales pitch each week? Your blog should appeal to your readers by educating them, inspiring them, or entertaining them (the give).
Blogging builds trust. You are putting content out there to attract and build a trusted relationship with your ideal customer—because readers need to trust you before they will buy from you.
So how does this break down? You should be posting quality content about 90% of the time and pitching a product only 10% of the time. It’s the same concept as Gary V.’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. If you don’t know Gary V., you should! Here’s a quick read to get you started.
By giving more than you take, you are protecting yourself from coming across as spammy in the eyes of your audience—and your promotional posts will stand out even more.
CHOOSE A THEME
So how do you come up with all of this quality “give” content? By choosing an overall theme for your blog. I choose to educate my readers on how to grow their product-based businesses. This fits with my brand motto “Work Hard, Be Kind, and Go the Extra Mile.” At Copper Bottom, we work hard to give you tools and resources to help you do business well. This is above and beyond our planner design services. We want to help you succeed long before (or after) we’ve helped you expand your product line.
What will you choose? Will you be an educator, an inspiration, or an entertainer? Here are some examples to help get you started:
THE EDUCATOR: INKWELL PRESS
inkWELL Press educates their readers on how to live their most productive life. Through their Productivity Paradox blog and podcast, owner Tonya Dalton helps you find and design productivity systems that are customized to your specific goals. Tonya is a productivity strategist—and she’s the real deal. I’ve heard her speak, and can honestly say this woman knows her stuff! Very fitting for a company that makes day planners and productivity tools.
THE INSPIRATION: KIEL JAMES PATRICK
The brand Kiel James Patrick “strives to provide quality products, redefine originality, and inspire people to live their American Dream.” This brand is all about inspiring a lifestyle. Through the fashion blog Classy Girls Wear Pearls, Sarah Vickers, co-founder of KJP, documents her days with beautiful photography. Yes, she is wearing the clothing and jewelry of her brand in these images, but they seem to be secondary to the locations and lifestyle being portrayed.
THE ENTERTAINER: DRAPER JAMES
Reese Witherspoon created Draper James from her love of the American South. The brand’s goal “is to bring contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and your home, no matter where you live.” Their lifestyle blog aims to entertain it’s readers by featuring southern people, parties, food, and fun. As a professional actress, it’s no wonder the brand’s creator chose to delight us with everything she loves about the South.
See how each blog is strongly aligned with the company’s mission and creator? This didn’t happen by accident. In order to successfully blog for your business, choose a theme that will further solidify your brand as a whole.
To help you stay on track, check each blog post idea against your brand mission statement. This will help you remain consistent among your topics.
To further expand on my point from the last section, I want you to think of each blog post as an extension of your brand marketing materials. By branding each post within the style of your business’s guidelines, your blog will appear more professional. It’s important to come up with a consistent style for your blog images, as well as your tone, grammar, and verbiage—just like you do with your social media posts and throughout your website.
Your blog will live on your website, and the content from your blog will extend into your newsletters and other marketing materials, so it’s very important to keep the style and messaging consistent.
SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE
Regardless of the theme you choose, you should always share your knowledge as it pertains to your products or industry. Not only does this make it easier to come up with quality content, but it positions you as an expert and shows your readers that you know what you’re talking about. This builds trust, and like I said before, customers need to trust you before they will buy from you.
I know it can be difficult to position yourself as an expert in your industry, especially when you’re first starting out, but the content you choose to share will legitimize your skills and experience.
When you’re working in your business day after day, you tend to become immune to how things operate. For example, I didn’t realize that working with vendors in China wasn’t second nature to everyone until I saw a post about it in one of my private Facebook groups.
You know much more than you think you do, and people are much more interested in what you do than you could imagine. So, in order to attract customers and build their trust, talk about the tools of your trade, how you operate your business, what a typical “day in the life” looks like, why you perform certain tasks or follow certain systems, etc. Not only is it fascinating to your readers, but it validates your credentials.
WRITE WITH YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER IN MIND
In order for blogging to benefit your business and be an effective marketing tool, you need to be writing for your ideal customer. Take Draper James, for example. Their ideal customer is the Southern American woman. If they posted a recipe for Boston Cream Pie, that would be strange and readers would be confused.
You have an opportunity to share content on your blog that attracts the people you’re trying to sell and market to, and content marketing is free. Take advantage of this. When you’re writing and preparing content, always keep your ideal customer in mind.
Consider which content will be most helpful for them as you’re preparing posts. What information do you have that they need? What can you offer them that’s beneficial and will keep them coming back?
Once you begin posting for your audience, it’s much easier to promote your products because your audience trusts you.
CREATE A CONSISTENT POSTING SCHEDULE
Now that you understand what to write, let’s dive into how often you should write.
Consistency is key, and when it comes to blogging, you should stay consistent with the timing of your posts. It shows that your business is professional and that you take your blog seriously. Create a consistent posting schedule, one that is comfortable for you to stick with. For some that could mean blogging once a day, for others it may mean once a month. My goal is to post bi-weekly, and at the same time of day so readers know when to expect new content.
POSTING ON A CONSISTENT BASIS IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE FREQUENCY.
Although posting daily will do wonders for your SEO (#AintNobodyGotTimeForThat) you should try to post at least twice a month. The goal is to keep customers coming to your site and online shop on a consistent basis so they become familiar with your brand. This consistency ensures that you immediately come to mind when they are looking to make purchases.
To stay on track, I schedule writing days and posting days into my weekly agenda. I write on Thursdays (and sometimes on weekends) then send the posts to one of my proofreaders to review over the weekend. On Mondays I will apply edits, add the finishing touches, and prepare the post to publish on Tuesday.
By following these tips, I can confidently predict that your blog and business will have great success. While you may not see success overnight, just remember that slow and steady wins the race!
What are you waiting for? I challenge you to write at least two blog posts this month. To help keep you organized, I’ve created a content planning worksheet. Fill in your information below to download a free copy.
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