This was the session I was most looking forward to catching at the ProBlogger Conference – How to use your blog to supercharge your small business. I was looking forward to it so I could, errr, use my business blog to supercharge my small business. But also, I’ve been “encouraging” my website clients to blog for their business, however when they ask why or say they don’t have enough time or content, the conversation dries up because while I know it’s good for business, I couldn’t quite articulate the how. So my anticipation and expectations were high.
As it turns out, Dan Norris is a funny guy and he had the room engaged from the get-go. Lucky for him because I don’t get on a plane lightly.
Dan doesn’t call it blogging, he calls it content marketing – but whichever way you look at it, blogging/content marketing DOES draw more people to your website and naturally that’s a good thing (as long as the website is a good one).
Here’s a few points made by Dan the Man:
- It’s not enough just to have a website. Do you hear that everyone? It’s not enough to just have a website.
- You need to be creating regular AND relevant content
- You need to be creating and engaging with communities, not just selling
- You blog so it builds your brand (eek, that word!)
- It builds your voice as an expert in your field
- It connects you with potential customers/clients AND referrals
- Google loves new content and it will send more traffic to your site
As Dan says, blogging/content marketing is releasing something interesting that grabs attention for a business and builds trust. But he went further than that and had a slight dig at bloggers (well, that’s how I saw it!) He thinks the way to go is this (and remember, we’re thinking business here):
- Design a business worth marketing (rather than creating a blog then a business)
- Form a vision of what needs to exist but doesn’t (often bloggers will start a blog with no vision in mind and then think about monetising)
- Look to differentiate yourself in terms of content to get attention
- Test it and look for traction, see if it grabs people
- Do more of it!
- Then scale your efforts (read more on this from Dan’s site and book as it’s something I still need to get my head around)
Here’s a few more tips I found useful. And yep, I know this stuff isn’t new but it’s a good way for the unfocused of the world (me) to focus on what’s important in the content marketing world (yes, I really did just say ‘the content marketing world’):
- Care about your community. So for me, I care a tonne about my clients. This is a MUST.
- Be more generous. I reckon I fit the bill. Though I need to be mindful about not being tooo generous.
- Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. Boat rocking is good. I’m probably not a boat rocker because I think other WordPress people have it over me but I’m finding my boat rocking feet.
- In Dan’s words: Be Insanely Useful. I like this one.
- Make sure your story is better than others’
Dan’s a natural story teller so you can see why he would gain traction. He even said “shit” in his presentation. Tame really. But aside from his business, WP Curve, being a corker, he really has nailed it in terms of content marketing. His business earns something like $66k per month. And that doesn’t happen by just building a website…
Dan also likes beer (I mean, who doesn’t) so here’s a picture my partner, Anthony, took while drinking a beer at the 19th hole at RACV Royal Pines Resort where the ProBlogger event was held. I made him come with me to hold my hand on the plane. Flying sucks.
Here’s Dan’s website on content marketing. He even has a book. Go check it out. Now.