Blogging is pretty popular right now and many people ask me if they need to start a blog to grow their business online. My answer is always … it depends.
Do I believe you need a web presence? Absolutely.
But do you need to pursue blogging? Well, do you like writing? Are you going to post high quality content that will serve your potential clients/customers? Are you going to actively market the content you create?
If the answer is yes, creating a website with a blog could be a great idea for you.
If the answer is no, I still recommend a website, but don’t worry about actively blogging.
But wait, aren’t they the same thing? No.
A website is your online living room. It’s where people go to learn more about you, see what you have to offer and, most importantly, see how you can help them solve a problem.
This information is static and usually only gets updated you change a service or need to add a product.
A blog is a just a small part of a website. It’s where you post content to help your people with a certain aspect of the problem that you have a solution for.
This content becomes part of a feed much like your Facebook or Instagram posts.
The beautiful thing about a blog is you can have one even if you hate writing. So, say you have some great content to share and you love doing video, post those videos on your blog with a small blurb underneath.
That takes so much pressure off of you to sit down and write if you just aren’t a writer.
If you hate the thought of even just writing the blurb you can always hire someone to do that for you (or they could even ghostwrite blog posts for you!).
Could you just build up a YouTube channel? Absolutely. But much like building an email list, posting things on your own website gives you control over your content – not some third party site that can change the rules on a whim or shut down unexpectedly.
And, if you embed your videos in a blog post, the people who watch them will spend more time on your site and can easily sign up for your mailing list while they’re there. Bonus.
My recommendation is to host your own website using WordPress.org. Why not SquareSpace or Wix? Again, this is about having complete control over your online home, which you just don’t get with sites you don’t host yourself.
Creating this type of website will you give you the must-have pages:
- Work with Me
And if you want to, you can also add a blog.
If the thought of doing this all on your own is daunting or you know that your efforts are better spent in other parts of your business, I’m happy to set you up with a beautiful WordPress website.
What pages do you need?
The beautiful (and terrible) thing about hosting your own WordPress site is that you can create as many pages as you want. Which means there is a huge potential for clutter.
At Tiny Unicorn, I believe in keeping things as simple as possible, which is why I recommend creating only the essential pages.
Let’s take a look at those.
This is a must. People do business with those that they know, like and trust. This is your way to let potential customers and clients know who you are and what you’re about.
More importantly, though, you want to use this about page to let them know how you can help them. So don’t just launch into your life story. This is where you can strategically showcase your experiences and show how they qualify you to help them with this problem.
It’s your chance to show them that you understand where they’re coming from and that you can help them find the solution they’re looking for.
It’s not actually about you at all. It’s about them.
Work with Me
This page can be called anything, really. If you offer services, it can say services. If you sell essential oils, it can say essential oils. If you sell ebooks and courses, it can say products.
I personally like Work with Me because it feels like an invitation to work more closely together. It just feels more personal. Anyway …
This page is where you’ll highlight what you do and give people details about what working with you looks like.
Again, focus on the problems you’re solving. People resonate with those because they deal with them in their own lives.
“You’ve tried diet after diet and still haven’t lost weight.” That’s a problem.
“You want to start cleaning with safer, more natural products but you just don’t know where to start.” That’s a problem.
“You really want to take your business online but every time you’ve tried to make a website it’s made you want to chuck your computer out the window.” Also a problem.
Your work with me page is where you show that you know what the problem is and offer a solution to fix it.
This page is essential! You need to have a place where people can contact you to work with you. Have you ever been to a website and gotten all excited about going forward only to find there is no way to get ahold of the person?
It’s like sharing your product with someone, seeing them get really excited about it and then saying, “Ok, bye!” and walking away.
Your website’s job is to get people to take the next step with you, whether that’s joining your mailing list (which should eventually funnel them to contact you anyway) or contacting you to work together.
And, if you’d like to blog, you need that, too.
So you’ve decided you want a blog. Awesome!
If you’re excited to blog, but aren’t sure what you can talk about to build your business, I have some ideas for you. Remember, you want to craft content that will help your customers and let them get to know, like and trust you.
Having a niche that allows you to stand out from the rest will really help you narrow down what you talk about. If you sell essential oils for instance, figure out what sets you apart from everyone else selling essential oils.
If you look at the most successful online oil business builders, you’ll notice pretty quickly that each person has their own niche that people are looking for more information on and they seamlessly integrate essential oils into that topic.
(Check out my coaching services if you need help narrowing that down.)
Some things you might blog about:
- Lists (x things that will help you solve x problem)
- Helpful tips
- Case studies of past clients
- Embed videos from youtube that you make or that other people have made that share helpful information about the oils
- Create a podcast or short audio clip where you share something helpful
A few other helpful blogging tidbits
Make sure you’re only using original content. Don’t take anything from anyone else and if you alter a recipe, be sure to give credit to the original creator.
Use great photos. You don’t need to run out and buy a fancy DSLR camera, but I encourage you to do some research on photography. Pinterest is a great source of blog traffic, especially if you have a great tip or recipe and people are even more likely to share it if you’ve got a great photo. I’m a big fan of Unsplash for free, high quality, stock photos.
Create flagship content. Before you start sharing your blog, I recommend having what’s called flagship content, which is just a handful of strong posts that give people an idea of what your blog’s about. You really don’t need that many posts – a handful will do, so don’t get hung up on that. Brainstorm a list of topics you could cover and get to work.
What it all boils down to is whether you decide to blog or not, a simple, well thought out website is essential for building your business online. You need a place where potential clients and customers to learn more about you and the solutions you have. A blog will just help you provide them with even more helpful, trust-building content.