The line between blogging and business is a very blurred one. You can blog FOR your business, or you can blog AS your business. This is not to say that blogging is not a business. However, the goals of blogging to make money solely from blogging, and blogging to drive customers to YOUR services is a significant one.
The purpose and drive of your content and marketing strategy are different when trying to use blogging to promote your business. Frequently many new online service-based entrepreneurs start following advice that comes from a bloggers perspective which does not have the same objectives.
Blogging AS Your Business Vs. Blogging FOR Your Business
Blogging AS Your Business
You write on your site for money through various channels such as ads, paid promotional posts, affiliate links. Much like how a magazine would make money (minus subscription revenue). It is the channel by which others market their business/service/product.
Blogging FOR Your Business
You have a product or service you offer and you blog to promote your expertise and that product/service. Your blog supports your business it’s not your business. It’s another channel in which to market your business.
And yes both are a business in the sense they make money but the approach and purpose of the use of “blogging” are different and if you are starting a business not a blog you need to understand that. Bloggers need to focus on audience/influence while you as a budding entrepreneur should be focused on trust and visibility as an expert for your offering.
The role of numbers and content
A lot of blogging advice focuses on building numbers (website numbers, follower numbers). Your focus for content/social media should be getting the right audience and reaching your ideal client, not just gaining followers.
Of course, the more followers you have, the higher your potential reach, that’s common sense. However, as a business owner, your numbers matter far less, who makes up your audience and their interest is much more important.
With blogging they often need those numbers to qualify to work with brands, PR, and affiliate companies, they require an x amount of followers. So it makes sense especially in the beginning for them to post anything that will drive numbers somewhat regardless of the content.
Where in your business, you want to be more focused on your message and who you are attracting. If you are offering bookkeeping services, you want to attract other business owners; you want people to follow you for your accounting advice and recognize that as who you are.
So while cute puppy pictures and rosé all day may bring you the likes and followers, it’s not doing very much in representing your service. NOW I’m not saying you can’t add personality and have some of those posts. BUT when someone comes to your feed, they need to be able to understand what you do. Random posts for popularity is not going to get your there, you are that puppy and rosé girl, not the bookkeeper that loves her puppy and rose.
These are subtle differences but important ones to make sure you are cultivating an audience that is going to actually buy from you. Your true goal with all of your content and other marketing efforts need to be to drive people to your service or product, that’s the whole name of your game.
Posting consistently as a business owner helps build trust and visibility for you and your business. However, your posting frequency is not as important; you don’t need to be posting 2 blog posts a week to gain your audience’s attention. In fact, you are better off posting less so that your audience has time to consume your content thoughtfully. And then you can put more effort into making sure they read that kickass article.
Many bloggers will advise posting more, because much of their business is a numbers game, plus some brands want influencers who put out more content. The more they put out, the more opportunity to promote their affiliate links and ads, and the more brands they have room to promote.
Being a blogger, their job is to produce content. Being a service-based business owner your job is to serve clients. And your content’s job is to help bring in those clients. You don’t need all your working hours consumed by producing content.
NEVER NEVER RUN ADS ON YOUR WEBSITE
I can’t tell you how fast I am to discredit an online business if they are running random blogger type ads on their site.
I think this is one of the worst blogger trends a service-based business owner can follow. It basically screams I just want to make money online no matter what, so I probably just picked this service with little experience or education to back it up.
It’s fine to do some smart in-content affiliate marketing for things you are already using and talking about. I do that for books, tools, and programs I use, but don’t turn your BUSINESS website into a walking billboard.
It’s so counterproductive to what your marketing goal is as a business. You are begging people to jump off your site, away from your knowledge and service to go buy that coffee mug with pineapples so that you can make 5 cents.
You Have WAY More Trust To Build
Bloggers work with established brands; their purpose is to promote and get you to engage/buy that brand. Sure the more you trust the blogger, and the more you feel engaged with them, the more likely you are to trust the brands they promote. HOWEVER, the stakes tend to be much lower. Ok, I didn’t like that coconut water but it’s not my favorite blogger’s fault, it’s XYZ coconut water fault. And it was a short-term, low investment commitment.
But when people are buying your service, they have to REALLY learn to trust YOU and view you as an expert. Most likely your service is a much higher level of commitment; it’s trusting you to build a website for their dream, helping them find their career path, or writing the copy for their emails. That’s a bigger deal than the lipgloss I have in my purse.
It takes a whole lot more effort to gain that trust than the trust level needed to promote the latest La Croix flavor. I’m not going to see a few cool pictures you post on Instagram and hire you as my bookkeeper, web designer, coach. I need to know you are an expert and can deliver; you need to show me that through your content. I need more convincing and more time to grow that trust.
Again this post is not to say being a blogger is not a business, it 100% is. It’s just that running a website for your business, producing content for your business, posting to social media for your business is different than if those actions are supporting you as a blogger. The marketing goals between the two are quite different. As a service-based business owner I want you to be aware of and question the goal of the advice you are following.
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