Blogs come in all different varieties with different goals. One way of making money (indirectly) with your blog is to use it as a vehicle to sell yourself. This approach works very well for service providers, as it separates you from the competition. Even if you are not directly profiting from the blog, there are countless other benefits such as increasing the number of clients you receive, as well as the amount you are able to charge for your services.
How Does a Blog Help a Service Provider?
1 – Prove Yourself – The quality of your blog content is a perfect way to demonstrate your knowledge or expertise of the subject. Your readers will see your abilities demonstrated through the information that you provide, and they will be more likely to pay for your services. It essentially becomes a type of advertisement for your services – an advertisement that’s also useful and helpful for readers.
2 – Greater Audience – A blog can greatly increase your reach to new potential clients. Blogs draw interested readers, and those interested readers could potentially become clients. With a blog you are not limited to reaching only local people.
3 – Differentiation – Are you looking for a way to stand out from your competitors? A blog may be the answer. If a potential customer is considering two service providers – one has a blog filled with useful and relevant content that demonstrates their expertise, and the other one has very little content on its website – which one is more likely to get the business?
4 – Branding – Over time your readers will come to associate you with the type of quality content that you provide. Blogging gives you the ability to develop a certain branded image of your business in the eyes of its readers.
5 – Increased Content – The additional content on your website created through your blog will have a number of benefits including more traffic, higher search engine rankings and more pages indexed, and more resources for your readers.
6 – Repeat Visitors – Developing repeat visitors is key to the success of any website, and blogs are one of the most effective ways to build repeat traffic. Readers are likely to visit the blog regularly as new content is added. As a service provider, most of your clients have been exposed to your business multiple times before becoming a client. With a solid stream of repeat visitors you’re constantly increasing your chances of converting readers to visitors every time they come back to your site.
7 – Feedback – A blog is an excellent way to get feedback from your website visitors and potential clients. Learn more about what they want and expect from your services and help yourself by more effectively meeting their needs. This type of feedback can be very valuable if you use it to improve your services.
8 – Easy to Maintain – Regardless of your technical knowledge, you can maintain a blog without the need to rely on a programmer. There are a number of free blog platforms available (including WordPress) that require no HTML, CSS, or PHP knowledge (although that knowledge can definitely be helpful). You can use a free template or theme, or you can pay a little bit for a designer/programmer to set up a blog for you, and then maintain it yourself if you like.
9 – Connection – Potential clients and readers will start to feel like they know you personally if they read your blog regularly. Developing this type of connection with your readers can drastically increase the number of clients you’re able to generate from your blog.
10 – Offers – If you’re interested in offering special offers or discounts to generate some new clients, a blog is a great way to present your offers. Once you’ve built a list of subscribers to your blog you’ll always have an audience that you can quickly reach for free with your own advertisements and specials, and it’s an effective way to reward your readers.
11 – Additional Opportunities – Although the goal of your blog may initially be to find new clients for your services, building a significant audience will open up new ways to make money with your blog. With a large audience you’ll also be able to promote affiliate products, sell advertising, or do paid reviews.
I’m sure there are plenty of other ways that a good blog can benefit a service business, but there are the ones that I have seen specifically through my experience. One important thing to remember if that if you start a blog be sure to provide quality content that will reflect positively on your services. Poor content can have the reverse effects if it turns visitors off to your services.
A few example of service providers effectively using blogs:
SEOmoz – One of the leading blogs on search engine optimization is hosted at the website of an extremely successful SEO provider. Their blog is always bring new people to their website.
Blogging Expertise – They provide blog design and customization services, which are very successfully complemented by their own blog.