As a business owner, how often have you kicked yourself for not doing things that you know you should have done?
Maybe you need a timeout.
I’m closing out the year with a three-part series covering marketing tasks that absolutely must be addressed in 2014 – and should have been addressed in 2013. That means you’re behind a lot of your competitors.
In Part 1, I talked about the obsession that most people have with their smartphones and tablets – and wondered why business owners haven’t been equally obsessive about optimizing their websites for mobile and providing the best possible experience for mobile users.
Today, I want to discuss one of the most cost-effective marketing tasks that happened to take my little one-man operation from side job to full-time business.
This task is based on a statement that I find important enough to include on the home page of my website:
When you create and share valuable, relevant content on a regular basis, you build the relationships that build and sustain your business.
This is the essence of content marketing, and every business on the face of the earth is capable of capitalizing on it. How?
Start blogging. Consistently.
I don’t know what Google’s next algorithm update will be. What I do know is businesses that fail to consistently create and share valuable, relevant content will struggle to be found on Google unless they pay for the privilege.
And the easiest, simplest way to consistently create and share valuable, relevant content is by blogging.
The impact on search is the biggest reason why you see more organizations blogging today, but it’s far from the only reason. Personally, I’ve gained a lot more business from Linkedin than Google.
But if you have nothing new to share, you won’t get noticed on Google, Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter.
Blogging consistently isn’t just about feeding Google’s ever-changing algorithms that claim to reward “quality content.”
Blogging consistently is about building trust, establishing your expertise, educating clients and prospects, cultivating relationships, maintaining top-of-mind awareness and speeding up the sales process.
All of these things lead to more revenue.
Start slowly if necessary, even if it’s only once a month, with a plan to ramp up the frequency when you’re comfortable. The key is to make your blog part of your routine so it doesn’t get pushed to the backburner when things get busy.
I always tell people that my business started to take off when I got serious about my blog. That’s probably an understatement.
Over the summer, I explained how I used Content Marketing 101 to land my biggest client. Just a couple of weeks ago, the owner of a home improvement company happened to read my blog and contacted me for a marketing proposal.
On a side note, both of these companies are out of state, so if your business isn’t limited by geography, a blog can give you national or even worldwide reach.
Some might say, “You’re a writer. It’s easy for you.”
I say, “Cry me a river and stop making excuses.”
You have ideas, expertise and passion. If you don’t have the time, desire or ability to communicate your ideas, expertise and passion effectively, hire someone to do it.
There are plenty of things I can’t do or don’t have time to do myself, so I have to pay for help. The time saved, aggravation averted and investment returned are well worth it.
Enough excuses. Build a blog into your website, develop a strategy and blog consistently. Get help if you need it.
Search engines demand fresh content that people want, like, share and remember. More importantly, your customers want solutions to their problems and helpful information.
Both will reward you for meeting their demands. Both have plenty of other options if you don’t.