How do you turn blog visitors into paying clients? Although we are moving away from using terms like marketing and client and moving toward relationship building and making connections, you are still in business to make money from those connections and relationships, right? Your blog can actually help you do that, despite what you may be hearing about it.
If you are starting to worry about whether your blog is helping your business, read on for 6 easy ways you can turn your blog into a valuable, profitable tool for your business.
1. Describe Your Services in a Prominent Place
You should create pages that talk about you and about your work (for a crystal clear example, take a look at Chris Brogan’s blog). Always be sure to include an About page. Then, use additional pages for the main services you offer (it’s best if you can group them into 2-4 pages). Be specific about these services (don’t use cheeky or clever titles, just be direct). For example, if you are a real estate agent, your services pages could be titled “Sell Your Home” “Buy a New Home” or “Relocation Assistance.” If you are a salon and spa club owner, your pages could be called “Massage Therapy” “Salon Services” and “Club Membership,” for example.
Create categories that have the same titles as your service pages, and be sure to organize your posts using these categories.
2. Talk About Your Clients
Check out a great example of how you can make this work: Karrie Kohlhaas of ThoughtShot Consulting talks about the Client Launch Party for one of her clients.
Your potential clients want to know you before they hire you (usually), so talk about what’s going on with your business. This is your opportunity to showcase work you’ve done for someone else. Whenever possible, appeal to people on a human, emotional level – try talking about a particularly challenging case or ask a client if you can share their story.
3. Make It Easy to Contact You
Your contact information should be plainly visible either on a Contact page or at the top of your sidebar. Always include your email address in additional to a form people can fill out and submit online. If you are a local service provider, you should always include a phone number.
4. Write for Your Clients, Not Your Colleagues
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net talks about this at length in his post, 9 Tips for Creating More Small Business Blogging Ideas. Check it out!
If you are a massage therapist, focus your content on massage therapy, not on how your Twitter account is going. If you operate a children’s advocacy program, talk about that, not about Facebook. If you are a carpenter, talk about your latest projects and how great you are at being on time and under budget, rather than about how other carpenters can set up a social bookmarking account.
The more content you have that revolves around your services, the more likely it is that people will find you in search engines when looking for your services in their area.
5. Don’t Just Link to Your Website, Integrate It
Your blog is likely to attract many more visitors than a static website, especially if your content is great and you promote your blog well.
Integrate your blog into your website or vice versa. Keep whichever URL currently has more traffic and links, and then move the other to that one. For example, if your website has been around for 12 years and gets 300 unique visitors a day, and your blog is 6 months old and gets 5 visitors a day, move your blog to your website to leverage the existing traffic.
When you connect your blog and website with just a link, you take the chance that people aren’t going to click it just because you tell them to.
6. Be Open for Business
Are you looking for business? Really? Can you tell that by browsing your blog?
It’s OK to use language like “Work with Me” and “Hire Me.” Trust me, it will not offend people who are actually looking for someone to hire or work with. It may come off as pushy to the casual reader, but that’s not your target visitor.
If you’re not looking to get clients from your blog, leave that out. But if you are, be sure to include something like that. It will make a difference, and you’ll notice that page getting visits because people will want to know how to hire you/work with you.
What works for you? Is your blog working for you or is it starting to feel like a waste of time? Lemme know!