Have you heard the buzz around content marketing for contractors? You might be asking, “Do I need a blog for my business? My topic is boring; who will read it? What should I write about?”The short answer is, “Yes;” if you’re looking to grow your business, you should be blogging. But there’s a lot more to it than that. This article is designed to be a step-by-step guide to blogging for your business. Created for service contractors, it will give you some ideas on how you can leverage your website to attract more clients.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is blogging: electrical and HVAC contractors, plumbers, and part-time handymen. The problem is that no matter what your profession, there are hundreds if not thousands of bloggers writing about the same topic that you would. It can be discouraging when you think about creating a blog for your business.But the beauty is that there is no one like you. You’re one of a kind. Neil Patel, who Forbes holds up as one of the top 10 marketers in the world, was once asked the following question via a comment on his blog.
Hi, Neil... All the articles that I write, have already been written by 20+ blogs, including the really popular business blogs such as entrepreneur.com and thebalance.com. So, is it ok to write articles on the same topics?
There’s no reason to avoid covering topics that others have covered. You have your own voice.
If a top marketer who has seen it all from start-up to multi-millionaire companies says you can write on a topic that others have addressed 100 times before, then you don’t have to worry about it. But it is important to have your own voice that will separate you from the crowd. You can present new information or present the same information differently.
Blogging isn’t a passing trend that’s going away anytime soon. A high-quality business blog can provide huge marketing leverage for your business. This is especially true for local service businesses. To explain this, take a look at what blogging can do for your business:
You can also use your blog as a dynamic portfolio of what you or your company can do. You can gather testimonials and share them through the blog. Showing your past successes will make you more likely to close more deals.
The first step of blogging is choosing the platform where you will blog. If you don’t have a website yet, you have to start from the beginning by choosing a hosted or self-hosted option to run your website. If you already have a website, you can add a blog section to it.There are also many third-party blogging platforms that you can use, such as Medium, Buffalo, or Tumblr.The self-hosted blogging platform is another option you can consider. It is a bit more complex to set up but is the better option for business bloggers.You have to buy a domain and then rent server space from a hosting company. Setting up a website with self-hosting requires technical skill and knowledge, but you can consider sites like Squarespace for quick setup without hiring someone. It also gives you the advantage of customizing your site to match your business’ personality.
If you choose to go with a self-hosted blogging platform but don’t have a website yet, you’ll need to purchase a domain name and buy hosting services.Many web hosting services provide you with the option to take advantage of free domain registration and security services. Choose your hosting services wisely. Make sure you can reach out to the company whenever you run into a problem with your website server.Once you have a domain and web host, you’ll need to install WordPress, Blogger, or any other blogging platform that you’ve decided to use.
This is the part where you can actually have some fun, but if you are completely new and don’t have the basic technical skills for it, designing your website can be a painful experience.You can, of course, hire a professional to do it for you. Before asking for outside help, though, check out some of the tutorials on the FieldPulse Academy to help you get started.Keep these points in mind when designing your website or blog.
You need to have a clear content strategy that you will follow to create content for your blog. You can’t just post or write random things in your blog.Because there are so many blogs, chances are that there are already many that cover your topic or industry. To stand apart from the crowd, you need to create a clear and unique content strategy. This will help in building your online authority and position you as an expert in your industry.Here are a few questions to ask yourself before deciding on topics for your blog posts:
Notice that didn’t say publish regularly. Instead, it said to publish consistently. Consistency is a very important factor when it comes to growing your brand online.You can publish seven posts per week if you want. But if you choose to do that, you have to do it consistently over the months and years. If you wish to publish once a week, do that consistently.Publishing once and then forgetting about it for six months will hurt your blog's SEO, and your traffic will decline with time. To keep your audience engaged, and to help search engines view you as relevant, you need to be consistent.Follow these steps to plan out your blogging tasks:
You have published content on your blog, so your work is done, right? NO. A big no.Just publishing content consistently will not bring traffic to your site. You need to promote your content as well. It takes time to build up organic (search engine) traffic. SEO is a long-term strategy.In the meantime, you have to reach out to different networking platforms to promote your content. Networking places are sites that your potential customers visit, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yahoo! Answers, or Quora.Start with one or two, and then re-purpose the social media content you post to other platforms. Doing this can increase your traffic, but only if your content is engaging and you post consistently.
Blogging does have a learning curve, and you have to exercise patience while you wait for your efforts to show results. But in the end, it’s well worth it for the traffic you’ll generate and the expertise you’ll be demonstrating to potential customers.These six steps will help you build a strong foundation for your business blog and master content marketing for contractors. On this strong foundation, you can build your marketing strategy and promote your services like a professional.