So you’ve heard that you should be blogging and posting on social media, but there’s one problem – producing content that’s consistent is a huge time commitment, and one that you just can’t afford right now.
If you’ve said this to yourself, you haven’t found the connection between your business blog and your wallet – your business blog can actually make you money, today.
It’s a lot easier to justify spending time blogging when you can connect the commitment directly to your bottom line, right?
Blogging is an integral part of inbound marketing; a system that brings customers to you, as opposed to you going out and finding them yourself.
If a blog post provides valuable, rich content that solves a problem or entertains a potential customer of yours, you have an opportunity to make money from that blog post.
You can only make money from your blog post if it contains a strong call to action (CTA).
What’s a CTA, and how do you make it effective? It’s starts after you’ve written successful content – you’ve helped a potential prospect solve one of their problems with a piece of content that wasn’t a direct sales pitch. After they’ve read the post, insert a CTA (a nudge towards buying your product) that will either lead them to your product page, or allow you to capture their lead information and nurture them further down the sales funnel.
When your blog posts and CTAs are functioning properly, you can track exactly which blog posts are making you money, and see the revenue as it flows in. The key here – you need a blog that focuses on your customers, not yourself. This is the number one mistake business owners make; you’re having a conversation with your customers, not speaking from a podium.
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” Brian Clark
Both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) businesses can benefit from a blog. For B2Bs, you’ll want to focus on lead generation, while B2Cs want to focus on SEO. Check out some of my favorite tools to help you save time doing so.
For both types of business, blogging directly affects the sales funnel – here’s how you can leverage your blog posts to increase revenue starting today.
Blogging has a direct effect on the number of leads in your sales funnel.
If you’re going to start making money from your blog, you’re going to have to watch how each of your blog posts impact every stage of your sales funnel – and they do.
84% inbound vs 9% outbound marketers cite organic TOFU (Top of the Funnel) sources (social, blogs, SEO) as important. – Captora
Your blog sits at the top of your funnel, and includes the number of suspects (or website visitors) your website gets each month. Suspects are people who have landed on any page of your website, but for whom you don’t currently have any valuable information.
Once you have this information, such as an email, occupation, or need, you can use it to better target them and turn them into a sale.
How do you do this? Use your blog content to solve their problems, and your social media presence to get your blog content in front of your eyes.
The process will look like this:
- Suspect sees link to blog content (email, syndication, social media) →
- Suspect clicks link, lands on blog post, and reads it →
- Suspect sees CTA at the end of blog post →
- Suspect travels to product page, or landing page →
- Suspect either completes sale, or provides more information to move through the sales funnel.
By tracking the activity of prospects on your blog, you can calculate your blog and web activity’s direct impact on your bottom line.
If you know your sales numbers, and are tracking where your leads are coming from, you can determine exactly how many eyes you’ll need on your blog in a certain amount of time (like a month or a year) and accurately predict your revenue for that amount of time.
HubSpot provides a great example of how you can calculate these numbers using a traditional sales funnel, and starting at the bottom.
In this example, the revenue goal for the year was $1 million. The sales team knew their conversion rate from an stage three opportunity to close was 80 percent, and they had won 100 sales by the end of 2014.
From there, they used the number of opportunities in other stages to calculate the conversion rates for each, and finally determined that they needed 1,000,000 web visitors a year to accurately project $1 million in revenue.
When you take this a step further, you can dive into your web visitors and determine which web pages have the best conversion rates (and which blog content is driving most of your customers). Once you know which content is resonating the best with your potential customers, you can make more of it.
SMBs should blog at least 11 times a month to double their leads.
For small business (SMBs) in particular, blogging is a powerful tool that can double the amount of leads generated a month – but you have to do it frequently enough for readers and customers to keep coming back.
The small companies that publish 11 or more blog posts per month drive much higher traffic than companies of the same size that publish fewer than 11 blog posts.
Broken down even further, you can see exactly how incremental increases in blog posts effected traffic, and therefore sales, for small businesses of all types.
Those that published 11+ posts per month had almost 3X more traffic than companies publishing 0 – 1 monthly posts, and about 2X as much traffic as those publishing 2 – 5 monthly posts. – HubSpot
The real trick is not only to create content regularly, but to promote it regularly. Demand generation is term frequently used to describe customers that want to purchase your products and services, and lead generation is a key part of this.
If your customers don’t know what you’re offering, then they’re not going to drive traffic, leads and sales for your business – and marketers are taking notice.
Demand generation budgets will continue their upward trajectory in 2016, with more than two-thirds (67%) of marketers expecting an overall increase, and more than one-third (39%) of marketers expecting a rise of 20% or more – 2016 Demand Generation Benchmark Report.
The bad news – demand generation is an investment. The good news – you can calculate exactly how your demand generation and blogging investment will impact your bottom line in 2016.
You’ll probably make $15.9 million as a SMB in 2016 if you’re blogging for your business correctly.
Increasing the content on your website could more than triple your sales for the year, if each of your blogs is optimally positioned to convert your leads, and the traffic coming to your website is your target audience.
While the chances are your website traffic will never be 100 percent optimized, the following is a projection of what revenue would look like if all of your website visitors were your targeted audience, and were ready to buy.
These numbers are based off of a conversion by SarkeMedia, projecting the current average revenue of a small business in the US.
The average annual revenue of a small business is $3.6 million. The average annual revenue of a small business with a website is $5.03 million. More than 48% of small businesses increased their annual revenues in 2003 – SarkeMedia
Using these numbers, I was able to calculate – in a perfect world – exactly how much revenue your business blog can bring in, should all of your website traffic be optimized.
For the average SMB bringing in $3.6 million a year, blogging 11x a month could increase revenue to $15.9 million for the year – a major bump for a business of that size.
|Average Annual Revenue (Sarkemedia)||Average Annual Revenue with a Website||Percentage Increase with Website||Assumed Annual Revenue Blogging 11x Month (3X Increase in Traffic|
The bottom line – blogging can have major impact on a business’s bottom line if it’s tracked correctly and executed optimally. While it may be a major time suck, and it may be hard to come up with good content all the time, the time and effort put forward will positively affect your business starting day one.
If you’re not sure you can handle the workload on your own, consider hiring an in-house marketer, or working with an agency to supplement your own content marketing efforts. Start making money from your blog today.
Here at Creative Click Media, we specialize in improving small business with better content marketing. If you’re interested in talking about how an SEO and content strategy can help grow your business, contact us.