Benefits of a Business Blog Coach
"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate." - Vince Lombardi
Lombardi is arguably one of the greatest NFL coaches to ever take the field. His speeches and coaching skills are legendary. While he is often quoted for his motivational comments, he was no slouch when it came to teaching his players technique either. If you have decided to embrace Content Marketing as a strategy for your business, you're going to want to invest in the best possible blog coach you can find. Of course, before you're ready to hire someone, you need to recognize why you'd want to hire a blog coach in the first place.
First, you need to recognize that as a business owner, blogging is probably not something you already have a lot of experience and expertise in. You may not even like to write, and may be wondering what you will blog about and whether or not anyone will even be interested. While you could hire someone else to write for you, just as you might hire an accountant or an attorney for your business, blogging is something that's best done by the people in the business. No one knows your business like you do. You and your people live and breathe your company and your customers. Ideally, you will work to create a company culture of content creation so that everyone in your business is contributing in some way.
That's where the Blog Coach comes in. Your Blog Coach will help you get to the point where you and your entire company are regularly telling great stories that your customers are interested in, and interested in sharing with the people they know. Before we jump into the benefits, perhaps we should define exactly what a blog coach is.
What is a Blog Coach?
A Blog Coach is an expert at business blogging. He or she understands how to use blogging, and content marketing, to attract readers and convert them into customers. The coach also understands how website design, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media marketing fit into the blogging strategy.
A Blog Coach is someone who can not only blog, but also teach. They must be able to coach after all, right? He or she needs to be able to provide consulting and training on all the aspects that make up a successful business blog.
Let's get into the specific benefits of a hiring a blog coach:
- Better Understanding of Your Blogging Platform
Assuming you're not an experienced blogger, there are a number of technical aspects to creating and posting a new blog entry that you'll need to learn, and a great blog coach will be able to guide you through that process and get you familiar with your system as quickly as possible. Common platforms include Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, Blogger and Tumblr.
For each platform, each person responsible for posting new content needs to know how to save content without publishing it, how to insert images, set tags or categories, and edit Meta information for search engines. If the platform allows, you may also want to be able to do things like schedule when a post will go live, set it as a featured post, and other advanced techniques.
- Better Understanding of Your Target Audience
While personal bloggers can afford to talk about whatever they want, business blogs need to have a purpose. Typically, that purpose will be to educate, entertain and engage visitors, and gain increasing amounts of visitors from search engines and social networks. The ultimate goal will be to convert these readers into customers, though the path to conversion may vary from business to business.
A Blog Coach will help you identify who your target audience and visitors are, and identify the kinds of blog posts and topics that will be most interesting to those individuals. It is a combination of Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing that only an experienced professional will be able to help you implement and monitor.
- Better Understanding of Blogging Best Practices
Once you've gotten down the basics of writing and blogging, there are a number of advanced techniques that a good Blog Coach will teach and demonstrate for you. These are the kinds of things that can take a good blog to a great blog. More than just providing you with a list of Do's and Don't's, your coach should be prepared to make sure that you understand what to do and why so that you can regularly improve your writing.
For instance, a common blogging tip is to always include an image, but it's important that you know why you must always include an image so that you can make better choices on what images gets included with a specific blog post. On your site, it's likely that the image will be included along with a teaser for the article and will be one of the first things a visitors sees and potentially attracts them to the post. More importantly, when you share your post to most social networks, the image will be included. Pinterest, for instance, will be using the image primarily, so it's extremely important that the image you choose is interesting and engaging and on point. Your coach should help you understand that about images, show you where to find images that are legal to use, and countless other blogging best practices.
- Ongoing Review
As with all business skills, blogging will be ongoing process. You will get better and better with each post, and a great blog coach will review your posts and provide you with feedback.
Your readers will provide feedback in the form of comments as well, but they will be focusing on the substance of your content. Did you know what you were talking about? Was it interesting? A Blog Coach, on the other hand, will help keep the big picture in mind and look at each post from a business marketing point of view. Did that post help your business objectives? What could be improved for the next post?
- Motivation to Improve
One of the most important roles of the blog coach, just like Vince Lombardi, is to motivate you to continue blogging and improving. Unless you're a natural writer, blogging is not easy! Even worse, for most businesses, a content marketing and social media strategy will take time to get ramped up. Your first blog post is not going to get your phone ringing off the hook. It takes time to accumulate enough posts, enough followers, to achieve a steady stream of inbound leads.
The Blog Coach must help you through that initial period and make sure that you don't give up. Statistics have shown that most businesses really see a marked increase in website traffic after they've published 50 blog posts. 50! Depending on how often you can commit to writing, that may take you a long time to get there, but you will! Your blog coach will be your Gold Leader and make sure you stay on target!
The bottom line is that a Blog Coach will help you make sure that your content marketing plan achieves results. Like any marketing initiative, your blogging must provide a return on your investment. You can read books and websites and other blogs, but the fastest way to achieve blogging greatness and bring in the client leads you're looking for is to get the help you need today.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."Follow @Mike_Allton