The Edgar Guide to Blogging, Part One: Why You Need a Blog – Even if You Don’t Want One

If you want a successful social media marketing campaign, there’s one thing you need.

No, it’s not the hottest social media scheduling tool (though that helps) and it’s not a secret algorithm that tells you when and where to post.

It’s much simpler than that. You need a good blog.

That’s where this guide comes in. See, over the next few months we’re going to be giving away some of the secrets that helped Edgar become a success in our first few years of business. Why? Because we like you, that’s why.

And we’re starting with the blog, because one of the biggest reasons that a lot of people, even successful entrepreneurs, don’t “get” social media is that they’re bypassing the blog. And if you try to dive right into the social networking part without building a blog first, you’re not giving yourself the foundation you need for success.

See, people don’t share links to great websites — they share links to great content. If you want to use social media to drive traffic to your business, you need to regularly produce blog content which you and the people in your audience can share. Think someone is going to share the link to your about page or your contact page, just because they love you so much? It’s not likely — but give them interesting blog content, and they’ll link to you over and over again.

Tweet: People don’t share links to great websites — they share links to great content.

Let’s be clear — the word “blog” doesn’t necessarily mean “web log” (aren’t you glad that didn’t catch on?) or “online journal” in this guide. We’re using that term to completely encompass all of the different types of content that are out there right now. Videos, podcasts, infographics — there are a lot of different types of content, and all of them can live on your site’s blog.

Blog Elements

Your blog can (and should) be more than just words.

It doesn’t matter what type of content you’re creating, so long as you’re creating content that’s useful. But it does matter where you’re creating this content. It absolutely must be a part of your website as opposed to an external site, like Blogger.

That’s because you need to drive traffic back to your site! Too often, people send their audiences to YouTube to watch video, or to hosting sites where they can access an infographic or a podcast. When you do that, you’re sending people away from your website — which is the exact opposite of your end goal!

Even if your content is hosted somewhere else, don’t send your audience there — embed that content in your blog because, baby, that’s where the commerce happens. Check out this handy dandy chart to see what I mean:

Blog and social traffic flow

Push traffic from social to your blog, then on to your site.

That big Death Star-looking thing on the left? That’s your website. It’s got your blog in it, as well as your purchase page, your contact page, your offerings, and so on. To its right are your social media status updates, driving people toward your blog. From the blog, visitors make their way further into your website — checking out your products, reading about your business, signing up for the email list, and generally making themselves right at home. None of that magic can happen if you’re sending someone to YouTube instead of your blog. That’s why you always want to plop your own content into your blog, and to link to it there.

Whether or not you’ve tried this blogging thing before, though, you’ve probably asked yourself an all-too-common question at one point or another: “What the heck am I supposed to do with a blog, anyway?”

The answer? Whatever the heck you want!

First off, let’s address what you’re going to blog about — because even if you’ve blogged before, you might be drawing a bit of a blank. Should your blog express the point of view, the values, the personality, or the philosophy of your business? The answer is yes; you’ve got plenty of options! Remember, people get to know you through your blog. It’s where they find out what you’re all about, so make sure that it shows who you are, and that it appeals to your customers!

Did you catch that last part? I said “customers,” not “other people in your industry.” Not “peers,” or “competitors,” or “your mother, who is oh so proud.” Because this isn’t social media for fun I’m talking here. It’s social media for business. And all of the strategy you’re going to learn in this series is designed to drive sales and engagement and leads toward your business.

So when you’re brainstorming ideas for your blog, think about what your customers would enjoy. What would they want to read about? What’s going to bring them closer to a sale? It doesn’t matter if you’re an ecommerce site where the sale begins and ends in the same place or if you’re just trying to get signups for your mailing list — the purpose of blogging is driving traffic toward your site.

Social Media for BusinessWhich brings us back to that initial question — what you’re going to blog about. This is the gazillion-dollar question…

Why do you do what you do? What matters to you? Why do you offer what you offer, or make the decisions you make? One of the keys to genuinely connecting with your audience is the “know, like, and trust” factor — and really sharing your philosophy is one of those topics that helps people get to know you, like you, and get down to business with you! Another key is authenticity — show your audience who you really are, and they’ll know they can trust you.

“Know, like, trust” is a concept you’re going to hear a lot in this series, so you might as well start thinking of ways to start connecting more with your customers on that level. In our next article, we’ll share some of the tactics that helped our customers know, like, and trust us, and see if we can find some ways to apply them to your own business. I bet we can…

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