If you are the owner of a small business and you have a blog, every dollar counts. In addition, if you are just starting out, an advertising budget is a luxury that you can’t afford. However,don’t worry, the Internet has turned marketing on its head and has given you the chance to draw visitors (and potential customers) to your blog.
In earlier WebNotes, we provided some Tips and Tools for Becoming a Blogger and enumerated Common Blogging Mistakes. Both focused on blogs that were created to draw attention to a website. However, there is another option: you can run a stand-alone blog, and through this blog, earn both a following and an income.
How can a small-time blogger make money? Ironically, through the very thing a small-time blogger couldn’t afford in the first place: advertising. Successful blogs enjoy huge revenues from advertisers, who are usually businesses who see the blog’s potential to reach certain market segments. But this can’t and won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to invest wholeheartedly into this blog and it will take a great deal of effort and a lot of patience. Expect long hours of writing, designing, networking and self-promotion.
When you write, write strategically. Figure out who your target readers will be and write specifically for them by finding a voice that you feel makes you sound both approachable and an authority on this matter. Make a schedule and make it frequent and consistent. Try to come out with a post at least twice a week.
Plan out your content, making sure that it is relevant and the kind that your target readers will share. Figure out how SEO works for blogs and as you plot out your blog schedule, find ways to get certain SEO keywords into the article. But always remember to balance SEO with your own personality and philosophy.
Get social. Get very social. Set up a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account and post links to your articles as soon as they come out to get people’s attention. However,don’t forget to interact and interact actively. Start discussions and actively participate. Then offer options for followers to subscribe to your blog.
If you have some money, invest in a professional-looking blog. Get a good designer to design your logo and branding, making sure that your branding communicates what you are about. Make sure that you are using a reliable blogging platform that is easy to use and update.
Lastly, plant little seeds. If you are only starting out, offer free advertising space to businesses whose products or services complement what your blog is about. The two-fold objective is to let them try you out with the hope that when your blog’s following grows, that they’ll be will to pay for ad placement. Also, by displaying their ads on your blog, you draw the interest of other future advertisers.