In the next few posts, I continue to work through some of the basics of blogging for you in this "Blogging is an Art" series, utilizing my background in marketing communications, as well as my experiences with blogging for GalleriaLinda.
- Should I start a blog?
- Will a blog help sales?
- What should I write about on my blog?
- Who will read it and do I need to promote it?
- Where do I go to create a blog?
Q. I am an Indie CEO. If I start a blog, will it help sales?
The answer is....maybe....it could...if you play your cards right.
My experience considers blogs to be a "soft marketing" strategy and there are many online sellers that have gleaned some sales from featuring their work on their blogs. These sellers are also successful in bringing in reader traffic that is their target customer.
What is "soft marketing?" Soft marketing is really relationship marketing, where you build a relationship over time between you and the reader. This builds trust, familiarity, friendship, and warm fuzzies. Who wouldn't want to buy from a trusted, familiar friend?
Here is a great 30-min audio on soft marketing from Blog Talk Radio.
Soft marketing includes those things that you do for your business that are not blatant promotional selling efforts. Blogs and Flickr photos are examples of soft marketing opportunities. Sales can be had through these methods and are the result of successful "schmoozing!" It takes time and patience but can be very rewarding, not only as a customer builder but as a friendship builder.
Some ways you can utilize your blog content to enhance soft marketing for your products are:
- Be friendly and professional
- Some personal content could be good but be careful to come across as a true professional that runs a viable online business
- Open the doors to your life as a business owner, artist, designer, creative - give a glimpse into these worlds
- Build your brand by optimizing your content for SEO (using appropriate links)
- Showcase your products and creations, giving history, information, and perspective beyond what is found in your shops
- Know where and how to promote your blog to your target audience
- Encourage comments to start a "conversation" with potential customers
You can also create your blog to be your own selling site!
This is good, especially if you do not have your own web site and do not care to list on selling venues or it can be an extension of your selling strategies. There are several ways to do this that include:
- PayPal "buy now" buttons - individual buttons from PayPal that you place by your item photo
- flogd.com - selling format that can be placed on blogs, Facebook, MySpace and other areas
Don't expect the money to come rolling in, however, you can make good strides in increasing views of your work, becoming better known, branding your business, and making friendship sales from your blog.
One last reminder is that you must bring in the right people to see your blog in order for the relationship marketing to work well for you. That is another blog series to come about finding your target customer, so check back very soon!
The "Blogging is an Art" series continues in the days to come.