You’re probably spending more time and money on blogging than you have to.
Blogging has been used by businesses for years for things like:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Showing thought leadership and industry expertise
- Earning rankings that lead searchers to the business website
But if you’ve been paying for blogging for any length of time, you’re probably starting to wonder if that investment is worth it.
What’s the ROI on my blogging efforts?
Is this blog actually making me any money?
How is this blog getting me the leads and sales I need to keep my business afloat?
We’re throwing the content equivalent of a hail mary when we publish X blogs/week and pray that it has some positive impact on our business.
There has to be a better way.
Who else is tired of not knowing how blogging fits into your business goals?
Go ahead, raise those hands high!
It’s not uncommon for business owners to realize that they actually aren’t sure how to justify the cost (in hours and dollars) of blogging. You commit to blogging because you’re told you should, but then struggle to see the benefit in real, tangible dollars and cents.
Thought leadership and brand awareness are great, but if that’s all your blog is getting you, it’ll be the first program that gets the ax when your net profit starts to decline.
As business owners and marketers, we understand the importance of planning programs around our goals, so why should blogging be any different?
4 signs you might be losing money on blogging
The sooner you identify whether blogging is losing you money, the quicker you can turn that ship around!
Here’s are some quick ways to tell if you’re losing money on blogging:
- Your traffic has increased since you started blogging, but leads/sales haven’t risen with it
- Your blog posts make little-to-no mention of your business or its products/services
- Your blog posts contain no calls-to-action
- Your blog posts address a customer problem, but not solutions
Sound familiar? If so, keep reading.
Story vs. Sales: Why we need to shift our thinking about blogging
There are those that use content purely as a vehicle to sell. While you’ll undoubtedly generate more sales than if you hadn’t mentioned your solution at all, selling without informing is like asking your audience to marry you before you’ve even asked them out on a date.
They don’t know you yet! Before you sell, you must inform.
Every purchase starts with a problem that needs to be solved. If you’re not using your blog posts to answer your audience’s questions and gain their trust, someone else will… probably a competitor.
Your business might have a sales-focused blog if…
- Your blog posts read more like a landing page than an article.
- Your blog posts sound like they were written solely to target bottom-funnel, money-making keywords.
- Your blog posts primarily address your business’s solutions, and not your target customers’ problems.
There are also those that view content purely as art to be enjoyed. While these blogs capture general interest, they typically stop short of turning readers into customers. This is fine if you’re a publisher that hosts ads on your site that generate revenue per pageview, but if you’re a business that sells a product or service, general interest pieces are always going to fall short of driving the revenue you need.
Your business might have a story-focused blog if…
- You’re having difficulty tying your blog posts to your business’s goals.
- Your blog posts address interesting topics, but those topics are only loosely related to your product/service (or not at all).
- Your blog posts never directly “sell” your business.
So who’s right?
If you’re doing either of these in isolation, you’re probably growing increasingly frustrated by the time and money you’re spending on all those monthly blog posts with nothing to show for it.
Sales + story: a match made in content marketing heaven
Digital content (like blogging or any other content marketing effort) needs to hit somewhere in between.
Should your content be editorially excellent? Absolutely.
Should it be used to sell your products/services? Without a doubt!
The sweet spot for your business’s blog is somewhere in between editorially excellent interest pieces and compelling sales copy.
When your content is:
- Editorially excellent
- Addresses an audience question or pain point
You’ll attract the traffic you need for a profitable blog.
But don’t stop there! When your content:
- Moves your readers from problem-aware to solution-aware
- Presents your business as a solution to said problem
- Makes it easy for the reader to become a customer (call you, fill out a form, etc.)
You not only win the traffic – you win the reader. That’s how you use your blog to generate revenue.
From traffic to customers: Using your blog to move your readers from awareness to conversion
If you want your business’s blog to be profitable, keep this rule at the forefront of your mind:
My blog post’s job is to move my readers from problem-aware to solution-ready.
Practically speaking, here’s what that looks like from your reader’s perspective:
- I’m aware of this pain point.
- I now understand that solutions exist for this pain point.
- I now know more details about the possible solutions and am considering which one is best for me.
- I’m now aware of your product/service and I know how it solves my pain point, so I think I’m ready to buy.
Why you don’t need a ton of content to do this
When it comes to blogging, more isn’t better. More is just…more.
The saying is trite-yet-true for a reason, but quality beats quantity every time.
That’s good news for you, because it means you probably don’t need to be paying all that money for X blogs/month.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be putting time into your blog. It’s just that the time needs to be reallocated.
Instead of a week that looks like this:
Exchange it for a week that looks like this:
Instead of three blogs that might get a little traffic up front from some social media referrals, you’ll have one really solid resource that will continue to add value to your site for months or years to come.
When you spend more time researching up front, you’re more likely to produce a blog that attracts the right audience (read: your potential customers!), and when you use those valuable resources to lead your readers down the funnel from awareness to decision, you can turn those qualified visits into customers.
See what I did there?
If you’re looking for an example of what that looks like in the wild, you’ve already found it!
- This post started out with a problem: My blogs are costing me money / not making me money
- And presented a solution: You can make more money from your blogs by focusing on story + sales
- Then detailed the solution: Spend more time on goal-setting, audience research, and planning
And now for the final piece – presenting the reader with an easy way to secure that solution.
There’s a smarter way to blog. One that makes you money instead of costing you money. Soapboxly offers better blogging services that not only attract more readers, but get you more customers.