Adding useful content to your website is the most important step you can take to get visitors. Whether you're selling services or products - a blog or news section on your website can mean the difference between your website getting seen or getting lost in the crowd.
Website visitors and search engines alike love high quality, informative and interesting content relevant to what people are searching for. It can be difficult to get the creative thought process going to write well-thought-out articles on your subject of choice, but it's well worth the time and effort involved to add more substance to your website other than just a product or service offering. Add social networking into the mix and you have an effective marketing strategy - not only to give advice, offer reviews or your thoughts on a variety of subjects, but also to get exposure for your main business - your amazing products and services.
The first thing to do is to make a list of the associated interest areas that your blog (and business) will cover. If you have a website that sells products for pets, then you may want to write content based around cats, dogs, budgies and other cute and cuddly critters, while writing in gentle suggestions for your best reviewed products for those animals.
Obligatory cute kitten image
Showing just how your business can help with any particular blog subject is important to get customers interested in your business and not just the article. Of course, it's important not to turn your blog article into solely an advertisement for your products and services, as your readers will quickly identify the bias and may immediately dismiss anything you have to say. Be honest and helpful with your articles - it's vital to get your readers coming back for more.
You may be brilliant when it comes to running your business services or creating amazing products, but that doesn't mean that your skill set extends to writing. If you're not adept at writing great blog articles, or simply don't have the time to write them, then outsource to someone who can. Adding extra strings to your bow of skill takes time and practice, so if you're short on either of those things it may be effective to hire someone who's ready and able to do the job for you.
You can also hunt around for guest blog writers - these are people who will write articles on your website in return for a back-link to their own website, or will work for a fee. Guest blog writers can add extra flavour to your website with ideas that you hadn't previously considered, and if your interests align to a mutually beneficial business relationship, it could be a win-win scenario for you and your guest blogger.
There's a couple of methods to attract guest blog writers for your website. You can add an extra "Write for us" page on your website with a form to collect a sample of their work and to provide details of what you're looking for in a writer (contact your website developer if you can't set this up yourself), or you can search for writers on one of the many freelance writer websites out there - some only charge a few cents per word, or offer a fixed number of articles for a monthly subscription.
Adding blog articles can help generate traffic to your website via search engines like Google, or Bing - especially if your blog is set up with good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) best practices, but it can also pay to be more proactive in your marketing efforts. Adding social media interaction to your website (social media "Like" and "Share" buttons) is almost essential to get your content seen, especially if you've invested time, money and effort into your blog.
If you have a social media account then you'll already be connected to friends and family - and quite possibly their friends too, depending on various privacy settings. If you don't already have a social media account with one of the social media giants (twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest), then I highly recommend that you take the plunge if you want to effectively market your website on social media. This initial connection to people that you already know gives you a head start in getting your website content shared.
A word of warning - don't upset your friends by continually bombarding them with commercial marketing, or else it can mean that your initial efforts are quickly ignored. It can take a tactful and gentle approach to start the ball rolling, so save the hard line marketing and product offerings for when you have a business-oriented social media account, group, or dedicated social media business page. If you have a great product or service, and back that up with some excellent, well-written blog posts, your friends and family will be happy to like, share and comment on your posts. And it could extend far beyond this with good old word of mouth - possibly the best marketing of all.
As with any business venture, start small and work hard to add great content to your website. Your hard work and persistence will eventually pay off for you so that you can start earning the income that you've been dreaming of.