Is Your Blog Hurting Your Online Business? (Part I)

Blog | Online Business

 

You know your online business needs a blog. Everyone who’s anyone says it. And they’re right. So, you bit the bullet and set it up.

But, your blog isn’t doing what you were led to believe it would do for you. About 4 people are reading your posts. New customers aren’t flowing in after discovering your blogging brilliance. You’re struggling to keep up with your blog. And honestly, some days it feels like you’re wasting your time.

So, what gives?

You know those “experts” are often just plain wrong. And maybe this blogging thing is their way of distracting you while they rake in all the money?

Before you let your blog die the familiar death that so many do, let’s make sure you’re doing it right.

Yes, that expert advice you received that you must have a blog is solid advice. But, what they might have failed to mention, is that there’s much more to it than the quick and easy 5 minute install on WordPress leads you to believe.

Your blog is not something you’ll ever check off your to-do list. It requires your consistent attention. And if you’re not caring for it like it’s your child, then yes, it could actually be hurting your business. Certainly that’s the last thing you need.

Let’s get to work on fixing that. First, let’s take a look at the 3 main reasons you’re blogging. Then we’ll consider how your blog could be working against, rather than supporting, those reasons.

Why Are You Blogging?

Maybe you’ve never given this one a lot of thought past, “because I’m suppose to.” But, if you aren’t clear on why you’re doing it, then how to do it right is impossible to figure out.

1. You Blog to Establish Authority

When you want the answer to something, how do you find it? You “Google it.” And incredibly, most of us accept what we read on the internet as the truth, without much need for independent verification.

However, when it comes to pulling out the credit card and actually buying something online, we fortunately tend to be a little more skeptical. We only buy from those we trust.

Your blog provides the bridge between what you say you can do for Jane, and Jane paying you to do it. An example best illustrates this. You’re a life coach. You claim to have a 90 day program that can free Jane from her past limitations and open a whole new world of possibilities for her life. All for the low fee of $997.

Why should Jane believe in you to the extent that she’s willing to part with that much money? Because the way you’ve presented yourself on your blog, and the free information you’ve shared with her there, shows her that you know what you’re talking about. Through the relationship you’ve developed with Jane on your blog, you’ve become a trusted authority in her eyes.

2. You Blog to Build Your Email List

You may be hoping I won’t say “the money’s in your list,” but I just did. And the reason everyone’s beating that into your head is that it’s true. Or more accurately, it can be true.

You’ll make your fortune not just from any old list, but from having a targeted, responsive list of people who want to hear from you. Quality means far more than quantity when it comes to your email list.

And the best way to build a community of people who can’t wait to hear what you have to say, is to gather the email addresses of those who are on your blog and like what they see, hear, and feel.

3. You Blog to Create a Thriving Home for Your Business

One of the biggest mistakes I see online business owners make is to assume that different rules apply to them than to the local flower shop down the street. Your online business is much more similar to an offline business than it is different. Once you wrap your head around this, you’ll start making money faster.

Just like the flower shop couldn’t open its doors until it actually had doors, you can’t (or shouldn’t!) open your business until you have virtual doors. As an online business owner, your blog is the brick and mortar of your business. It’s where your customers go to get to know you, to see what you have and decide if they like it, and where they turn to when they need advice.

Why Isn’t Your Blog Working for You?

It’s easy enough to agree with these 3 reasons for your blog, but a little harder to understand why your blog doesn’t seem to be doing any of these things for you. Today I’m going to give you the most common reasons your blog fails you, and touch on how these factors actually hurt your online business.

1. You aren’t consistently updating your blog with great content

Lack of consistency sends exactly the wrong message to your potential customer. And that first assumes they even remember who you are. Because if you aren’t consistently communicating with them, they will forget you in favor of someone who does.

Lack of consistency tells people you treat your business like a hobby, you aren’t reliable, and you aren’t committed. Sound like someone you would buy from?

And yes, your content has to be great, not just readable or even good. If your audience is not impressed, they aren’t going to see you as the authority, and they’ll find the person out there who is.

2. Your opt-in offer is lame

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential email subscriber. Do you really need (or even want) another email in your Inbox?

So if you’re going to allow someone in, it better be awesome.

If what you offer in exchange for a person’s email doesn’t interest her, she’s not likely to think you have much to offer.

Even worse, if someone does take the leap and give up their email, only to be disappointed in what you deliver in return, they are going to lose the respect they had for you that made them part with their email to begin with.

I still have a vivid memory of getting a free report that claimed to have a $59 value. It turned out to be about 3 paragraphs long and contained nothing ground-breaking to compensate for its brevity. I thought, “you tricked me,” and pressed “delete” whenever I saw that marketer’s name again.

3. You’re a disorganized mess

Right or wrong, people do judge a book by its cover ~ or a website by its design. You have about 7 seconds to make a good impression, or they’re gone.

Imagine walking into the flower shop we talked about and seeing overturned vases, packaging covering the floor, and items displayed in a random and illogical manner. Amazingly, many blogs look exactly like this.

And no one’s going to stick around ~ even if you have the greatest products or services ever ~ if you don’t look professional, and present what you have to offer in an organized and logical way.

Your Assignment

Next time we’ll talk about how to use these 3 factors to get your blog working for you. Until then, I want you to have a heart-to-heart with yourself, and really take a look at whether any of these 3 mistakes could be sabotaging your online business.

So many people I work with want to initially blame it on something or someone else. But too often, what it comes down to is their need to do the work to improve in these fundamental areas. Could you be guilty of this too?

I’d also love to hear what other things turn you off about a blog, and make you click away without reading, subscribing or buying. Please share in the comments below.

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