There’s no question that blogs have become a critical component of business marketing strategy these days. Since the coining of the term “blog” in 1999 (a colloquialism for “web log”), blogs have grown from very humble beginnings to catalysts for book deals, centers for up-to-the-moment news updates, and to be recognized as major creative outlets.
However most importantly, to small and large business owners alike, a blog can function as a method of communicating business values and ideas. With this in mind, we’ve outline the key reasons why you need to hire a blogger as part of your content marketing strategy, and how you can best use a blogger’s talents to your advantage.
Blogging as part of a social media strategy
While there once may have been a question about the staying power of blogs, there is now no debate: blogs are a permanent fixture. On WordPress.com alone, there are 39.3 million posts being published each month. From these posts, more than 42 million comments are generated. Since its inception in 2006, WordPress has grown from receiving just over 100 million page views per month to receiving over just over 4.1 billion page views per month. While perusing the internet, you may have discovered popular blogs such as Design*Sponge, Lifehacker, or QuickSprout. Before you know it, you’ve spent an entire hour surfing through the content and reading posts. Such is the power of a good blog, and this is why you need to hire a blogger fast!
Blogs have the ability to not only draw in readers and prospective customers, but also, and perhaps more importantly to immediately answer critical questions for them. Customers come in all shapes and sizes, and are constantly seeking evidence as to whether or not your company is the right fit for them. According to Linda Dessau, the author of Write Your Way to More Clients Online, business to business companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t blog. Business to consumer companies that blog generate a whopping 88% more leads than those companies that do not.
The reason is because in today’s market, customers rarely purchase a product or service at first glance. Instead, they research online before making an investment. When a company has a blog, this gives a prospective customer a specific online destination for concise, thoughtful information about that business. Regardless of what you’re marketing—whether it’s art, yoga, real estate, cupcakes, vacations, collectibles, home repair services, or marketing advice—a blog can help you to sell. A blog has the ability to improve your search engine results and visibility, drive more traffic to your company’s website, and improve your conversion rate. Furthermore, blogs serve not just to attract and inform your audience, but also to respond to customer comments and inquiries, helping you to establish a positive, trusted relationship with your customers and build familiarity.
Why don’t you have a blog yet? Hire a blogger and get started!
If you’re like the majority of business owners, you probably feel that time is a major factor in everything that you do. In order to write a blog, you must designate a time on your calendar each week, just as you would a fitness class or a lunch meeting with a business associate to get creative. But with the massive list of responsibilities you have to tackle, often blogs fall to the wayside, and without frequent updates, blogs aren’t effective at all. In fact, if you have a business blog that has not been updated in 6 months, this will definitely say more about your company than no blog at all.
Fortunately, despite what many business owners think, you don’t have to write your business blog yourself. Just as you would hire a plumber to fix your sink or a graphic designer to create your company logo, hiring a blogger can allow you to place your trust in the hands of someone who is a professional. A professional blogger is one who is skilled in the art of blog writing and can create rich, highly focused content for you.
How to hire a blogger for your business – 5 tips for finding the right freelance blogger
A common misconception of business owners is that once they create a blog, potential customers won’t care, or simply won’t bother to read it. But if you take the time to select the right blogger for your company, the opposite will be true. Here are 5 tips to help you find and hire the right blogger for you.
- Look for someone who understands your niche and tone. Freelance writers often create content for several companies across a wide range of industries and topics. It can only serve to make your job easier if you manage to hire a blogger who is comfortable and somewhat familiar with your industry. This goes doubly if your goal is to find a writer who can ghostwrite from your point of view. If your trade involves a lot of industry-specific jargon, make sure you let your writer know whether you want this jargon to be part of the blog. Is your goal to be humorous/serious/formal/lighthearted? An experienced blogger can tell you what his or her strength are and the tone that he or she communicates best.
In addition, an informative blog with a believable, compelling tone is most likely to get shares, links, and referrals on social media sites. Don’t just assume that a professional blogger will automatically know what your vision for your blog is, though. Management is a key part of the process of hiring a blogger, and you must clearly communicate your goals to him or her.
- Know that the blogger will need to research. It’s important to understand that even the best writers, and those who are well-versed in your industry will be completing internet research in order to write your blog. Communicate with the blogger about what sources you consider to be trustworthy. What sites do you want your blog to link to?
- Look for someone with an understanding of SEO. Today, the best bloggers have an understanding of search engine optimization and integrate it with their writing techniques. To create optimized content, a blogger should be familiar with how to optimize the title, header, and content of your blog. To use your blogger’s SEO experience to your advantage, make sure to tell him or her what keywords you wish to use, and which ones are most important for you to improve your rank for in the organic search rankings.
- Know the appropriate going rate. Do a little bit of research about rates for bloggers in your area. Remember, content is king, and if you want someone who is really going to craft customized, valuable content for you, it will cost you more than $3 an hour. Since the blog itself will come at little to no cost to you, it’s definitely worth investing in someone who’ll create high quality posts.
- Craft the perfect job posting. The more specific you can be when posting a job ad for a freelance blogger, the better. Make sure your headline clearly states your area of business or niche. State how many posts per week you want written and what your long-term goals for the blog are. Don’t just ask for a resume; ask to see work samples and links to other blogs the author has written for. Don’t make statements such as “this will be an easy job for the right person.” You want someone who cares about your goals for the blog and brings professionalism to the job, not someone who considers it to be a walk in the park.
How to use a blog to your advantage – 5 tips for creating an effective blog
Lots of people create blogs and then don’t use them. The intent is there, but in order to benefit from a blog you have to have a plan. Blogs are most effective when they are published on a regular basis, so when you’re looking to hire a blogger keep that in mind. Here are 5 tips for creating and maintaining an effective blog.
- Use videos, audio, polls, and surveys. Videos and audio don’t just educate and entertain visitors on your blog, they get people to stick around longer. Polls and surveys display an invested interest in your customers’ opinions, while allowing you to interact with them.
- Integrate your marketing goals. It’s very important to approach your blog the same way that you think about all of your other marketing activities. Aim to provide your blogger with topics and titles that specifically address and contribute to your marketing goals so as to target your customers directly.
- Communicate your values and ideas. A blog can give a reader a very strong sense of your values and priorities. If you have a bricks and mortar establishment this can be a great way to establish the feeling and environment of your business before a customer sets foot in the door. If your business is strictly a virtual space, this can help you to establish the sense that there is a real person behind the company face who cares about quality service provision.
- Use categories and tags. The use of categories on your blog can serve to quickly communicate to a reader what topics you are an expert on, therefore helping you to build your brand. Plus, it helps to keep your blog organized and easy for a reader to navigate. Before you create a category on your blog, ask yourself, “Can I create enough topics and posts to fill this category?” If not, you may wish to instead use tags. Tags are another helpful way of grouping and organizing your posts and there are many great plugins for blogging software providers like WordPress which can help achieve this.
- Focus on quality not quantity. Many blog owners tend to focus their blogging efforts on the length and number of blog posts they can publish each week. It is true that consistency and maintaining good post length are important factors in blogging however it’s a lot more important to focus on the quality of your posts rather than producing as many fluffed-out posts as you can. Most content experts agree that blog posts can vary in length as needed, and that you don’t always have to post large number of posts each week to again an audience, so keep the focus on quality not quantity. When you’re hiring a blogger ensure that you make it clear that this is your main focus and number one priority.
Blogging is a specific skill, and today, it truly requires a style that is different from any other form of writing. While you may have a genuine interest in a topic, that does not mean it will be easy for you to blog about it. A professional blogger can benefit your business by taking this topic and writing about it in a way that communicates the tone and message you desire. By working with a professional blogger, you can clearly communicate your product or service to your target audience, therefore increasing the number of leads you are able to generate, as well as your interaction with your customers.