Business Blogging – Interview with Heidi White
The Value of Business Blogging
Heidi White is a freelance copywriter that also teaches programs on Blogging for Business. Here is an interview I conducted with Heidi that I think you will find valuable.
Also if you need support with your blogging or anything else related to freelance copywriting services then I invite you to visit the website of Heidi White to connect with her directly by clicking on the link above.
1. Why is business blogging valuable for business?
Blogging is a valuable marketing tool for businesses.
A blog . . .
- Requires very little financial investment
- Expands the reach of a business
- Acts as a sales funnel
- Helps to build relationships
- Increases trust and respect
- Enables a more personal voice
These are top reasons why a blog adds value.
2. How do you compare the value of a blog versus other social media platforms for online business development?
There are a lot of social media platforms for online business development. The ones that come immediately to mind are Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Social media platforms fill a need and provide an excellent online venue for communicating with clients. I wouldn’t say that blogging is better or worse overall as a marketing platform.
Its value depends on:
- The amount of work put into it
- The work put into marketing the blog
- The ability of the blogger to reach and touch target audiences
Without going into detail about the abovementioned social media sites, it is safe to say that they are excellent for sharing bite-sized pieces of information or visual information that is engaging in the short term. They also work well as advertisements that place the business branding message in front of clients as they engage in other online activities.
Blogs can be marketed through social media sites, but they offer more information than social media sites are intended to handle. Rather than offering a momentary bullet of interest, blogs offer substantial information, guidance, ideas, and a whole host of useful copy to potential clients who are researching on the Internet or to existing clients who are already impressed with the business and want to know more.
3. Why are blogs so influential?
The influence that blogs have online has to do with search optimization and engaging the client. Blogs can help business owners optimize their websites by providing more pages to hold optimized copy. Each blog page can be optimized separately and this lends power to the entire site. A better optimized site is more easily found by clients as they search for information, products, or services online.
Once a client lands on a blog page, a carefully planned and nicely written blog is as influential as the voice it is written in. Blogs are made of words, sentences, and paragraphs that can be used to influence perceptions of the business or industry.
A blog might employ an emotionally engaging story to influence a client’s perception of an oft-misunderstood service. For example, a dentist might use a story to diminish client anxiety, offering anecdotal proof that relaxation techniques in the dental chair leave patients feeling more relaxed than they did prior to the visit. A veterinarian may dispense advice for dealing with common cat phobias that help clients at home and establish the vet as an expert and the best choice for future veterinary services.
Storytelling, easy-to-read graphs/charts/info-graphics/videos, well-researched articles – many tactics can be used to increase the influence of a blog.
4. What are your keys to improving the effectiveness of a blog?
The most important key to improving the effectiveness of a blog is planning ahead. Don’t just rush into a blog hoping that inspiration will spur you to blogging greatness as the months pass. The truth is many people give up on blogging because they don’t have a plan. They end up posting the first idea that comes to them in the rush to publish and then realize that they are not attracting a readership. In the worst case scenario, they may actually undermine their credibility online. Every marketing effort requires a plan. A blog is no different.
5. What tool (or tools) do you recommend to track the performance of a blog?
I am not much of a tool person, but I recommend tracking performance with Google Analytics. It is free and simple to use, so it is a wise and affordable choice for bloggers. Google analytics allows you to peek in on each page to see how many people are reading the blog and how long they spend on each page. With this information, you can determine the success of the blog and what topics are hot. You may notice that people are dropping off after a few seconds, which means that you have not engaged them. This is nothing to fear. It is information that will help develop a better blog and help you discover when your writing has succeeded. You can also see who is moving from your blog to your services pages. All of this is very good information to have.
6. What advice do you have for writing a blog post people will love?
As I mentioned above, planning is essential. Good writing will help, but the writing must not only be engaging. It must be relevant, informative, easy to read and understand, and augmented with images that draw attention. I help people develop blog posts people will love through my two-hour Biz Blogger class. I use the class to help people think about their marketing plan and how to use it to develop a successful blog. I show them the steps to take in writing up a content plan for their blog and how to use the plan throughout the year. I then offer tips for spurring the imagination, twisting old ideas to generate better and more interesting ideas, and getting past writers block. I cover optimization and other topics as well, but the point is that the best bet for writing a blog post people will love is to educate yourself about blogs and plan for a blog that will blow people’s minds. Then start writing.