Have you ever wondered how the heck bloggers and social media influencers have managed to turn their digital personas into profitable enterprises? Most don’t have business development backgrounds or teams of people working with them, but they are harnessing effective marketing ideas. Small businesses listen up! I’m going to share a few of them with you.
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Marketing ideas for small businesses from the world of blogging
Any small business owner will know that getting website visitors and a loyal customer base is hard work. And much the same can be said in the world of blogging. For every blogger who gains notoriety there are thousands who give up in the first year because, frankly, it’s tough.
It’s definitely not an easy money-maker. But it is possible to turn a blog into a business if you have the right know-how and grit.
As someone who has been blogging for the past seven years and running a freelance copywriting and social media consultancy for the past two, I’m always stealing business ideas from my blogging life.
So allow me to let you in on these secrets – these gems that small business owners can steal from bloggers in order to grow their success.
1. Talk to your customers
It’s simple really; people like doing business with people. So don’t just broadcast your marketing messages on your social media, website and newsletter. Listen to them and build relationships.
Social media is particularly good for this. Successful bloggers make themselves available to their followers. They ask them questions, have live chats with them and grow communities around their niche.
Think about how you can be more conversational on social media. Even better, harness the power of Facebook groups and build a community around your business.
2. Keep content regular
Bloggers know that in order to gain more website visitors and grow their audience they need to create regular new content.
As their blog becomes more established they may cut back on the frequency but still post at regular intervals and keep an eye on older web pages.
Recent analysis by SEO expert Neil Patel has found that websites that are updated regularly will perform better in Google search results.
The reason why is that Google prefers to put active websites in front of its users rather than ones that have stagnated. They are more likely to be up to date and accurate.
Here’s more tips on starting a business blog.
3. Buff up on SEO
If they’re going to follow up on any of these marketing ideas small businesses need to learn about Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
Every blogger has a different story to tell about how they came to start their blog. Most will say it was a hobby and they were lucky to strike a cord with a group of likeminded readers. This is how they went from casual blogger to influencer.
However, when you talk to long term successful bloggers – the ones with large audiences and thousands of website visitors a day – it’s likely they are using SEO techniques.
Search Engine Optimisation is the art of understanding peoples’ intent when they open their internet browser. They are looking for something specific and may even phrase their query as a question.
The most successful bloggers create content – blog posts – that answer people’s questions. Answer the Public is a great free tool to see what questions people are tapping into search engines, as is the Google search bar itself. Have you noticed it auto fills popular searches?
4. Divide, schedule and conquer
Social media can be time consuming! But it needn’t be. Especially when you are a small business owner with 20 other jobs to juggle to keep your enterprise afloat.
Successful bloggers aren’t on every social media platform all the time, even if it looks like they are. So, how do they do it? They schedule their social media posts using tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Tailwind* and RecurPost.
This gives them more time to engage with their audience in real time.
5. Know your worth
I’m sure every small business owner has been asked for freebies in return for promotion, experience or prestige. Giving your expertise away for nothing is great from time to time. Just don’t fall into the trap of undervaluing yourself.
I know this is something that bloggers struggle with. Big brands ask them to create content in exchange for exposure. But really they are asking them to work for free. Many, myself included, have turned down these ‘opportunities’ because the return is worth less than the time involved.
As a small business owners our time is the most valuable asset we have. Don’t squander it. Tell the customer the value of what you are offering. Don’t let anyone believe that what you are giving them has no worth.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these and make a purchase then I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.