How to Get Subscribers to your Business Blog: 4 Things to Keep in Mind

» Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Business Strategy, Marketing | 1 comment

How to Get Subscribers to your Business Blog: 4 Things to Keep in Mind

There are a lot of advantages to getting subscribers to your business blog.  A business email list is a valuable thing; it’s an opt-in strategy that allows you to communicate with your business community on a regular basis, which is invaluable when it comes time for a new product launch, website redesign, or event promotion.  Many readers subscribe to several “personal” blogs at once – but how do you get readers to subscribe to your business blog?  Here are three things to keep in mind when writing blog articles that will drive traffic to your site and keep it coming back.

1)       Write articles of real value.  Social media guru Michael Selzner calls this “giving away your secret sauce.”  Blog articles should not be reserved for things you feel are “freebies” or not really worth anything.  Think about it from the opposite point of view: what is the most valuable thing I can give away to my readers?  What is my very best insight or advice?  Many businesses feel that this will degrade their saleable product, particularly if they offer consulting services.  It doesn’t.  People pay for execution and specific engagement in their business; giving valuable advice or instruction in your blog will enhance your offering, not devalue it.   Do some SEO research to see what topics are the most important to your prospect base, and write on those. Do research if you need to.  If you only get one or two well-researched articles out a week, that’s OK. To start, you can check my blog on the best resources for SEO and gain a little depth in it. Read on for more topic ideas.

2)       Keep up with the news, and re-post articles of interest.  We recommend that all companies create an RSS feed for themselves, following a few top blogs and news channels on your industry.  This allows you to be a source of industry knowledge, providing real value to your readers by keeping them up to date on any major changes.  Reposting an article with a few sentences of your own comment is quick and easy.  This is a great strategy for a number of reasons: it provides real value to your readers, it creates links with bloggers and news reporters in your industry, and it keeps you and your staff on top of the news.  It’s cheap, easy, and effective.  Sometimes a writer gets a pingback indicating that their article has been reposted, and engages with you in the comments or offline.  This kind of interaction is fun, interesting, and great for business.

3)       Provide an incentive.  This part takes some upfront work, but can be leveraged for a long time.  What item of interest can you provide that would make it worthwhile for someone to give up their email address?  Ebooks are the easiest to produce and most common; but coupons, event tickets, or giveaways can also be used.  For example, the Boston Globe offers ebooks for download based on a compilation of most popular articles in several topics.  In return for registration, you can download ebook cookbooks (six months of recipes found in the weekly “Sunday Suppers” column) sports commentary, or a book of local  family activities (a compilation of another weekly column.) See Inbound Marketing company Hubspot for some great examples of business ebooks; among them are “Is your website converting leads to customers?  101 Examples of Effective Calls to Action.”   Choose your area of expertise, and put it together in a downloadable form.  Many business to business models feel that they don’t have as much to offer in this area, but it simply requires thought about the needs of your customers.  Take one out to lunch and ask what topics they are likely to discuss when they meet colleagues.

One caveat: don’t write a 100 page advertisement for your own product or service and expect it to yield results.  Your blog is a place to gain the trust of your customer community, not to engage in a hard sell.  Anyone who wants to be sold to will fill out your “contact me” form anyway.

4)       Make it easy.  Many businesses put too much emphasis on either the content side or the technical side of the equation.  Neither can be ignored.  Once you’ve got great content to offer as an incentive, offer it in a compelling way.  Your website developer will know how to put in some simple tools to collect subscriptions to your blog in an effective way.  In addition to the usual “Subscribe now” button next to your blog posts, what about a pop up for repeat visitors to the blog?   A button added to the FAQ page?  One to the list of staffers and executive bios?  Think about all of the places people might decide to engage with your business and make sure that they don’t have to leave the page to do so.

Finally, keep in mind that your blog subscribers are valuable.  They are your customers: smart, busy, and important to your business.  Craft your blog as a service to them and put the same care and effort into it as you do your customer service, and your business community will expand accordingly.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi,

    I have some information that you could blog about. All customers are looking for the lowest price. They don’t know it but that is what the Minimum Resale Price is. You can look that up. Businesses could set them and let customers know.

    Best Regards,
    Eugene Kantarovich
    6577 Windham ln.
    Long Grove, IL 60047

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