Is Your Blog a Waste of Time?

When I work with my direct selling company corporate clients, one of the recommendations I often make is to allow those consultants who want to to blog.  (Note here…blogging is not for everyone.  But if you write well and have a passion for it, it can be beneficial for your business.)  When done well, a blog can be a soft introduction to your business that keeps people coming back, while also helping you gain referrals.  However, I always provide this counsel to companies with a grain of salt…if you’re going to allow blogging, you must provide training with regards to what makes an effective blog. Otherwise, consultants will be wasting time that might better be spent selling and recruiting.

So what makes a good direct sales blog?  Well I’ll tell you first what DOESN’T work.  If your blog simply seeks to recreate the sales or recruiting portions of your company website, you might as well quit now.  People will not subscribe for ads.  So if you are highlighting individual products or the benefits of your opportunity on your blog, you need to stop.  It’s not benefiting your business.  While your friends and family might tell you your blog is good, they’re just being nice.  No one who doesn’t love you personally will read your blog.  I’m sorry, but it’s true.

If you want to write an effective blog for your business, here’s what it needs to include:

Articles that provide tips and advice that people can use right now without spending a dime
So if you sell cosmetics, it might be makeup tips.  If you sell nutrition products, it could be healthy living tips.  If you sell cooking products, you might share recipes.  If you sell home decor products, highlight decorating principles and tips.

Now that works for product-driven blogs.  But what if your goal is recruiting?  What should you write about then?  Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective recruit.  If they hate their job, they might go online with questions such as, “Can I really make money working from home?” or “How do you work from home with kids?” or “How would working from home affect my taxes?”  They will NOT be searching for your company by name (most likely).  So focus on providing the answers that people are searching for.  It’s not how the compensation plan works.  Instead, it’s practical information that could, honestly, apply to any direct sales opportunity. But it’s BRANDED to you.  So when people find value from your posts, and share them with their friends, people always see that it’s YOU they’re hearing from.

A Great About Page
And that brings me to the next thing you need to include…a great About page.  When people meet you on social networks, or find your content valuable, they will want to know more about you.  That’s where your About page comes in.  Talk about who you are as a human being.  Help people find common ground with you, and relate to you.  Of course, you can mention your business.  But this is NOT the place to SELL your business.  Just talk about how your passion brought you to your business.  And include a personal photo or two.  That’s the stuff that really helps people relate to you as a human being, and want to do business with you.

A Way to Subscribe to Your Blog
Make it easy for people to subscribe to your content.  People may find your blog once, and then never come back.  But if they hear from you regularly, they’ll remember you.  Make it easy for them to do so by providing subscription options on your blog.  Some people will want to subscribe via RSS, and view your content in a reader.  Others will want to subscribe via email.  Make sure both options are available in the sidebar of your blog.

A Link to Your Company Website
You also need to include a link to your personal website.  Once people have consumed your content for a bit, they may be interested in learning more, or finding out what you have to offer.  Maybe in a recipe you mention a cooking tool you sell.  Maybe you’ve displayed a tablescape you designed with your products.  You may have mentioned that you got them through the company you represent.  Make sure once people are interested enough, it’s very easy for them to find your website.  So include it in the sidebar of your blog, as well as on your About page.

A Way to Sign Up for Your Newsletter (You Do Have One, Right?)
Don’t forget a way to sign up for your newsletter!  The main conversion objective (something you want people to do on your site that benefits you) for your blog is to get people to sign up for your list, so you can easily provide them with more specific business communications.  So offer a newsletter that all readers can easily sign up for, to get more information like the kind you provide on your blog.  You still want to focus on value-driven content in your newsletter.  But you can also provide a small section with a specific business offer, once they’ve opted in.

If you’re going to put all the time into creating a blog, make sure it will actually work for you.  Don’t waste your time highlighting product features and information about the opportunity.  People won’t come back for that.  Instead, focus on providing value, and you’ll find that a blog can help to increase the leads you gain for your business.

Do you blog for your business?  What works best for you?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

9 Responses to Is Your Blog a Waste of Time?
  1. Tonya Freeman
    August 12, 2010 | 5:23 pm

    Very timely and concise information, thanks! Just got back from convention two weeks ago and I am determined to renew my attempt at providing content in my blog and the pictures of products on my blog will just have to go! Thanks again!

  2. Christine Staib
    August 11, 2010 | 2:53 pm

    I have been thinking about starting a blog. My question is do you have to blog every day? Just wondering what the protical is there.

  3. Harlisha
    August 11, 2010 | 2:34 pm

    Thank you for this article. It has actually confirmed for me that I need to shut down my blogging attempts for now and focus on other ways to build. The niche that I would have been writing about is completely covered by more established bloggers. So, I had to evaluate, and eventually came to the conclusion that I wasn’t giving people something unique. Thanks again!

  4. Linda Burt
    August 11, 2010 | 1:17 pm

    Thanks Jennifer,
    Had to print it out and re-read it when I update my blog! Appreicate the help and tips! 🙂

  5. Catherine (CathyJELady)
    August 11, 2010 | 1:17 pm

    Great Info and timely, I’ve been trying to focus on several of the items that you suggest, in addition to doing some of the things that you suggest we “don’t”.

    Later this month I’m working with several other of our reps here in Houston and helping them to get started with their blogs.

  6. Shanna Hatfield
    August 11, 2010 | 12:58 pm

    Fantastic tips and great advice. Thank you so much!

  7. Melissa H Dery
    August 11, 2010 | 9:44 am

    Excellent article!! Great advice to help direct sellers establish their own “voice” and brand.

  8. Michelle
    August 11, 2010 | 9:21 am

    Great tips! How do you setup a way for them to sign up for your newsletter?

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