Whether you are blogging already to promote your small business or thinking of starting a blog, using a blog to promote your small business is not enough in itself.
You may be considering blogging, or have been an owner of a blog for some while now, believing that this blog will bring you more customers. That’s what you were led to believe by all the hype around blogging, and possibly by your tech people too, right?
If this is you then you are not alone. Many small business owners believe, either because of hype, or from seeing competitors take up blogging, that a blog is the key to attracting more customers. In times of recession and downturn any thing that can bring in money to your business is good right?
Starting a business blog can be the worst path you will take in your business. Why? Because many times over small business owners believe that their blog will promote their business.
If this is you, thinking this way will lead you to 3 key reasons why your blog will fail before it gets started.
Key Reason 1: Not understanding the fundamental principle of what blogging is really all about.
Many small business blogs bore people (especially potential customers) with dry sales-speak such as how competitive their prices are. They use their blog to sell first and foremost. This is a BIG mistake.
What To Do Instead:
Stay away from dry sales-speak. Instead entertain and support. Use your blog to offer information that improves, saves and supports potential customers in finding solutions to their wants.
Key Reason 2: Believing that the most important task of your blog is to promote your business first and last.
This mistake leads many small business owners scratching their heads, and disappointed that no one has arrived to spend money in their business. For example, a florist may think that their blog should promote what their florist’s business does – sell flowers in beautiful ways.
What To Do Instead:
Concentrate first and foremost on becoming an advisor. This means actively stepping out of the role of sales person, and stepping into the roles of counselor, expert and leader offering interesting, useful, helpful and entertaining information that improves, saves and supports potential customers.
People are attracted by people who give them short cuts to what they want most. Become that person and people will flock to you – and your business.
Key Reason 3: They pay a lot of money to have their blog designed for them and allow these designers to design a blog that they (the designers) think is “cool”.
Cool is fine – if it sells. Trouble is most of what passes for Cool for other people, usually does not fit your potential customers’ idea of cool. Sure they may think “Wow!” when they see your super-duper blog design (possibly) but will they be persuaded to buy from you because of it? 97% of the time the answer is “No.”
What To Do Instead:
First establish your target niche. Once you have established who you want as customers, you are ready to establish what goals your blog will achieve for you.
Only when you have establish these two fundamental facts are you ready (and able) to decide what kind of blog is best for your particular business to enable you to achieve your goals. It is then that you are in a position to discuss and decide the best design for your blog. Anything that detracts, or leads away, from achieving your goals must be rejected.
Nothing must get in the way of you giving your target niche of people what they want. Establish who your target niche is. If you are a florist remember your target niche is not “people who buy flowers”. Your target niche comes from those people. But you need to hone in on who, what, when, why, how and where among people who buy flowers are your target niche.
When you have established this by answering those six vital honing-in questions, you will be able to establish the target niche – and aim – of your blog. For example, you may have established that: out of people who buy flowers in your area, your target niche are women entrepreneurs between 30 and 40 years old, who want to have beautiful flowers, not only brighten their homes, but their work places too. But they don’t want to bother with arranging bouquets themselves. Oh yes, and they’re Fung Shui addicts too.
There’s your blog’s target niche and aim: Inspiring, saving and advising these women entrepreneurs on how to best use flowers in partnership with Fung Shui principles in order to enjoy increased flows of positive energy.
The Bottom Line: