The marketing world has drastically changed over the last few years. Not only are businesses encouraging their fans to push their products via word of mouth referrals, but many businesses are making a killing by publishing daily content, or blogs to their website and social media channels. After all, 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
Evident by that statistic, blogging has quickly become one of the premier and most effective forms of marketing. Whether you are managing a company blog with 10,000 subscribers or just getting into the writing business, our five tips for any contracting blog will undoubtedly increase your online exposure and win your business new jobs.
1. Figure Out Your Goals
Before you go searching for statistics or purchasing a new domain, know your blogging goals. What are you hoping to accomplish? Are you trying to reach a new audience or entertain your current audience? Are you trying to increase traffic or gain leads for your business? Who are you targeting?
Marketers from all industries are jumping into the blogosphere with little direction in mind. This, my friends, is not the way to start blogging. If you don’t have any goals in mind, how you will know if you are succeeding? How will you know if the blog is working? Figure out a plan and then make sure each and every blog post contributes to your ultimate goal.
2. Have a Plan of Attack
After you come up with your goals, you need to decide what path you will take to succeed. In order to do this, you need to know what your fans want to read and how you are going to promote your blog.
It seems obvious, but you need to know what your fans like and are sure you can feed their needs. If you know your fans want to read more about bathroom remodels, does your experience and expertise give you enough ammo to post relevant stories on a weekly basis? After you figure out what your fans want and you have come up with your blog topics, make sure you have enough to say about each and every one. There is nothing worse than having a plan in place, but having nothing to write about because your head went blank. Make a schedule of topics…more about this below.
Furthermore, just because you write about kitchen remodels, it doesn’t mean every homeowner looking to redo their kitchen will find your blog. You have to promote yourself. Create a separate page on your website that houses all your blog posts. Share your stories and images on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. If you have a newsletter, make sure you link to the your blog posts and give people a preview. Give them a taste of the great content you are putting out and prove it is the hottest contracting blog around.
3. Create an Editorial Calendar
Every successful blog has an editorial calendar. This is a calendar that will help you organize your blog topics and make sure you are staying up to date. By having a calendar in place, you can be certain not to repeat topics on a week-to-week basis. Furthermore, if you have a team working on the blog, it will ensure all writers know exactly when their article is due and when it is set to go live. This makes promoting much easier as well.
4. Post Consistently
Posting consistently is one of the most important rules when it comes to blogging. If people start reading your stories, chances are, they will come back to read more. Never let your readers down by saying you will post a new story every week and then failing to do so. Set expectations for your readers and always meet those expectations. As time moves on and you get more comfortable, try to write and post more often. Kill ‘em with all your amazing content.
5. Promote Beyond Your Business
Bar none, the one tactic that will turn people off faster than anything else is a blog that only promotes and sells your business. People do not read blogs to be sold to. They read blogs because it brings them value they can’t get elsewhere. People read blogs to learn about a specific industry. People read blogs to connect with the writers. Promoting your business is for the rest of your website. Your blog is for sharing your expertise and teaching your fans more about the industry you love. Give them a reason to visit, and revisit, your website. For more tips on providing value to your customers, see our Blogging Tips for Contractors.
Blogging is just one of the many marketing tactics that you can utilize as a contractor to attract more customers and retain the ones you have. Remember to always provide content of value to your customers. It will keep them coming back for more!