How to Turn Business Blog Readers Into Customers

Your business blog's true measure of success is how many readers it converts into actual customers. Heavy-handed promotions risk alienating visitors, but no promotional mojo at all makes your blog a vanity project. So how do you achieve the right balance?

Here's the good news: Your blog has virtually unlimited potential for converting blog readers into loyal customers.

If you can successfully use your blog to establish your company as an industry leader, readers will eventually be enticed to explore your products.

The bad news is that blog conversion isn't automatic. There several conversion factors you need to consider, starting with your product itself. If the quality or scope of your product doesn't match your blog's focus and content, it will be impossible to turn blog readers into satisfied clients.

Here are a few other things you can do to maximize the ROI of your business blog:

  • Know your demographic. The cardinal sin of business blogging is to create a blog that targets the wrong audience. If your product is consumer-based, create a blog that attracts consumers -- not just industry insiders. On the other hand, if your target is a B2B audience, focus on content and promotional efforts that are valuable to other businesses.
  • Build relationships with your blog. In theory, a blog's primary purpose is to build ongoing relationships with your customers. You can do that by creating blog posts that help customers solve real-world problems or keep them informed about current developments in your industry. Whenever possible, solicit feedback from your customers by giving them the opportunity to post comments on your blog.
  • Fill a niche with your blog. Effective blogs fill a specific niche in the industry or market place. If there are already tons of people blogging about the same thing as you, it will be difficult to stand out. On the other hand, if your product niche and your blog niche are closely related it will be easy for readers to identify you and your company with your unique products.
  • Build your brand. Blog conversion happens when your readers become aware of the strength of your brand. However, the importance of brand building doesn't give you permission to use your blog as a blatant promotional device. More than 90% of your content has to be geared toward non-promotional material. But you can still use it to build your brand by demonstrating your company's expertise and knowledge about the issues your customers care about most.
  • Leverage customer feedback. From time to time, you might want to consider leveraging positive customer feedback in your blog posts, not as a shameless plug for your product, but as a way to show that your company has value for people with whom your readers can identify. From time to time, you might even want to consider asking an informed customer to guest blog.

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