Yes, you read that right – gifting with blog posts. I want to explain how your blog posts can serve as customer and audience gifts. And not just Christmas gifts. These are all-year-round goodies.
You might think that running a blog is all about getting eyes on what you have to offer and proving your expertise, but to me blogging is a two-way exchange. Both sides give and get, just like in any conversation.
So here are five ways you can give to your clients and audience by writing those blog posts.
Answers to annoying questions
We live in a world of information overload. Punch your question into Google and you’ll be presented with a long list of places to find an answer. The only problem with all this online wisdom is that (a) a lot of it is opinion, (b) it may not be personalised to your specific situation, and (c) you generally can’t have a chat with any of these gurus to drill down into the detail.
One of the main stumbling blocks that many people face when they’re thinking about setting up a blog is working out what they’ll write about. Answering the questions that current and prospective customers are asking is a brilliant source of subject material.
Listen out for what your audience want to know. What are their bugbears? You could even ask them what they’re struggling with. The gift in writing this type of blog post is that you can answer questions that exactly match the needs of your audience rather than provide blanket, vague replies that don’t get down to the nitty-gritty of what your customers really want to know.
Being part of a community can make you feel included, accepted, and recognised. This applies just as much to business communities. My own online communities include:
- freelancers and small businesses
- content creators
- my blog and mailing list audiences
Within these communities are people doing the same or similar jobs as me, but also current and potential customers.
When you include your blog readers in your community, you express your personality and allow them to get to know you just that little bit better. They find out whether you are the type of person they would like to work with and they also meet other like-minded souls.
For instance, you might introduce them to a member of your community who’s just put a business book out there or whom you collaborate on projects with. Or you might talk about a topic that affects your community, including your customers.
It doesn’t have to be all business and adulting; blog posts can be entertaining too. You could amuse your audience with something funny that happened to you that made you look differently at the business world. Or share the story of how an accident in your past led you to where you are now.
Entertainment isn’t about jokes and laughs so much as value, relevance, and ‘oh yes’ moments.
Share who you are, slip-ups and all, or give your take on what’s happening in the news.
Inspire your audience. Inspirational blog posts make people think differently about a topic, motivate people to do better, and generally have a feel-good factor.
It might be a blog post about the charity work your business takes part in, but equally it could be how you improved your business by changing your point of view and approach. It could be about inspirational members of your community or how tragedy created a fresh perspective on life.
It might simply be a blog post about what inspires you. We all need a little inspiration at times; don’t be afraid to share yours.
News and updates
There’s nothing more annoying than facing an out-of-date, untouched website that provides an incomplete, obsolete, or even plain wrong impression of a business. Or it might be that your website is up-to-date but the stable pages offer no way to let your customers know how your business is developing. That’s where your blog comes in handy.
Let’s face it; people are nosey. That’s why news sells. We want to know what’s going on, when, who with, and (most importantly) how it will affect us.
There’s great value in evergreen blog posts that are continually relevant, but there’s no reason why you can’t intersperse the evergreen with the occasional sprig of news. It might be:
- when your business will be closed over the holidays
- a new product or service that you offer
- the winning of a business award
- personal news like the birth of a baby
- change of address
Keeping your customers in the loop will make them feel included and valued.
See? All those lovely business blog posts aren’t just useful; they’re also your way of giving to your audience.
P.P.S. If you want to give blogging a go but you don’t have time to write those posts yourself, get in touch. Blogging is what I do.