Jerry Suhrstedt is a Senior Marketing Strategist. He talks about simple ways your business profit from your business blog.
In order to profit from your business blog it has to become an essential part of building a strong online marketing presence and recent statistics indicate that businesses with a blog reap strong rewards, from tremendous boosts in SEO and lead generation to significant increases in revenue.
The statistics paint a very clear picture; according to Social Media Today, 77% of the world’s 2.7 billion Internet users read blogs and 67% of consumers have made a purchase because of a blog article.
Hubspot reports that companies who incorporate blogging into their online marketing strategy have an incredible 97% more inbound links than those who don’t blog, and Technorati has advised in their 2013 Digital Influence Report that blogs now outrank social networks as far as influencing consumer purchases.
Blogging has become a powerful marketing tool that businesses simply cannot afford to ignore, yet many small business owners still find it difficult to justify taking time out of their busy schedule to tend to a blog.
In many cases business owners express concern around their business blog not driving immediate revenue; it can be difficult for some to make the connection between Internet marketing and profit potential, these are busy people and keeping up on online marketing technology can be a challenge.
However, it’s important to understand that businesses do have the potential to profit directly from their blogs; the following is a list of three simple steps you can take to monetize your blog and generate revenue.
Product reviews are a brilliant way to reach your customers; not only do they enable you to show off your expertise by delivering an intelligent and professional opinion on a product you’re affiliated with, they also allow you to ‘soft-sell’ your customer by giving them a follow up link or call to action that allows them to either find more information on the product or make a purchase.
One of the golden rules of selling has always been that consumers don’t like to be sold; the mere thought of being on the receiving end of a sales pitch is often enough to make many people feel manipulated.
A focus on product reviews enables a business to communicate with customers in such a way that solves a problem for them using the recommended product while offering insight and professional wisdom as far as what’s in it for the customer.
From a consumer perspective this technique can make all the difference in the world, taking the business from an impersonal, sales-oriented enterprise to a trusted resource and this shift paves the way for both future purchases and a high degree of brand loyalty.
One very important word about product reviews; always act with integrity.
In order to use product reviews to build a long-term, sustainable business you should know your products well and be sure they’ll benefit your clients; making a recommendation for the sake of a quick sale will fast destroy your credibility.
The Relevant Resource Box
The Resource Box is a small summary at the end of each article that contains information about the author while providing links to products related to the topic of the article.
The Resource Box is a powerful asset to any well-crafted business blog; its purpose is to tie the article, the author’s qualifications AND the relevant product together in a neat little package and if the author has composed a convincing and compelling article the Resource Box can be invaluable as far as driving sales.
This technique will only work well if the offering in the Resource Box is tied to a very strong article, one that highlights a problem the consumer needs to solve and systematically addresses all the ways the product will help to solve this issue.
The Resource Box should also draw attention to the author’s expertise, providing critical information that tells consumers why the author is in a position to make a recommendation or offer assistance on the matter.
The products that are linked in the Resource Box need to be directly relevant to the article and they should provide a genuine, high quality solution; wasting your readers’ time with low-quality or irrelevant products will destroy any credibility and trust you’ve managed to build thus far.
One last note on the Resource Box; all information should be written in a clear and concise manner, and the box should contain only the most vital information.
Having read the article, the customer should already be convinced of the product’s potential value and the author’s solution; the Resource Box should be short and sweet, containing only brief and essential links and details.
The decision to put advertisements on a business blog can be a tough call for business owners; many feel that the look of the adverts cheapen the feel of the blog or make it seem like a ‘money grab’ and avoid placing ads out of concerns around turning off potential clients.
However, depending on how and what you choose to advertise, placing affiliate programs and advertisements on your blog can be a tremendous asset not only to you and your affiliates but to your readers as well.
There are a couple of ways you can go about advertising on your business blog; joining a program like Google Adsense is an option that many bloggers like and depending on the volume of your traffic there is potential to generate revenue in this way.
A second option is applying to high-quality, well-known affiliate programs that are relevant to your content, for example the Amazon Affiliate Program.
This program is wonderful, boasting not only a high degree of relevance through myriad book titles that are relevant to any number of niches but also being built on Amazon’s solid reputation for quality and there are a variety of programs out there that offer the same advantages.
There are many companies that offer affiliate programs and striking a balance between relevance and reputation will help ensure that you’re offering your readers enhanced options while increasing your own revenue.
The third option is to sell advertising space privately to small, independently owned companies who operate within your niche.
If you have built a high-traffic, trusted blog you have the option of approaching businesses and selling advertising space on your blog privately and you may also offer to review their products.
Using this method of finding affiliates for your blog not only allows you to hand-pick the businesses you work with, it can also generate much higher revenue depending on the terms you work out with your affiliates.
So while it may be difficult to see the immediate profit potential in your business blog, there are several simple and effective methods for increasing revenue through your blog.
Above all, focus on giving your readers the very best in quality and you’ll build high levels of trust and credibility, which will inevitably translate to a variety of rewards down the road.