One question people often ask is whether they should write a regular blog and feature it on their freelance training website. Is it really necessary? What will it help them achieve? Wouldn’t their time be better spent elsewhere in the business?
While writing and maintaining a blog isn’t the right move for everyone, I think there are several important reasons to incorporate blogging into your freelance training business strategy:
A blog helps you build your authority and reputation
One of the big attractions of having your own blog is that you have carte blanche when it comes to deciding what topics to write about. Yes, your business blog should be relevant to your training business and it should appear to your target customers but these are your only real confines.
By creating regular blog articles, you can showcase your knowledge, reach out to potential clients and build your reputation and authority as an expert in your field. You can tackle big news stories affecting your industry, highlight case studies, demonstrate your experience and become a recognised voice in your field.
If your blog offers meaty, readable content that adds value for your readers in some way, people will begin to ask, “Wow, if this is what they give away for free, how much more would we get as a paying client?”
A blog helps you connect with potential clients
As mentioned briefly above, adding regular blog articles to your website can help you to connect with potential clients. Let’s imagine that you offer training for professional service firms that are dealing with challenges around mergers, meeting monthly targets, changes in leadership, etc. By writing a blog article about a topic that could affect your potential clients, it may well show up on Google the next time they run a search for ‘leadership training’ or ‘change management’. This will bring the potential customer into your website via your blog. If they then see you’ve published other articles that are applicable to them and that you offer services to support the challenges they’re facing in their organisation, they may well pick up the phone and book you.
A blog gets people engaged on social media
Every time you write a new blog, you have a reason to share a page from your website on your social media pages. If you write articles that appeal to your existing and potential customers, they’re more likely to comment on your blog, share it with their network and generally help spread the word about your knowledge and expertise.
This is a great way to boost your business’s visibility and create brand awareness, as well as to create a conversation with your customers. And the better you get to know them, the easier it is to market your business to them.
A blog drives traffic to your website
The major search engines, such as Google, love seeing fresh content on a website as it’s a sign that the website is regularly maintained and that you care about enriching the customer experience with added value, support and knowledge.
Blog articles offer ‘sticky’ content – in other words, because they’re slightly longer than the average web page, they keep people reading for several minutes. Google takes this as a clue that visitors to your website choose to ‘stick’ around and read your offering in depth rather than bouncing straight off the site because it doesn’t feature what they’re looking for.
As the search engines are constantly striving to deliver better, more relevant results pages in response to searches, websites with low bounce rates and longer average times spent on site tend to rank higher and, in turn, receive more traffic.
By having your website rank higher in Google, it’s a chance to drive more potential customers to your site, increasing your bookings and profits.
Quality over quantity
One of the biggest blocks to successful blogging is time. I know that as a freelance trainer you’re busy. Blogging doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You could decide to blog just once a month, for example, if weekly feels like too much right now.
With blogging, the key is consistency and quality over quantity in many ways. If your clients know when to expect a new blog, they are likely to look out for it. If the one blog you write a month is packed full of relevant, readable content, it will create more interest than a poorly written and uninformative weekly blog.
As I’m a big fan of breaking tasks down into manageable chunks, I tend to approach blogging in the same way by spending 10 minutes a day on these different tasks:
- Brainstorming the topic/title
- Writing a list of key points to include in the blog
- Writing a first draft
- Editing the blog
- Finding an image
- Posting the blog
- Adding the blog to my newsletter
By completing just one task a day, it’s possible to write a high quality article without it eating into too much of your time. And, let’s not forget, that if you really dislike writing or simply can’t fit blogging into your schedule, you can always outsource your blog to a professional copywriter or blog writer.