“Have you made any money from your blog?”

Webinar1_25Yesterday, we gave a Webinar on how to start your own blog. We talked through the business reasons for having a blog, worked with participants to help them define the topics of their blogs and then walked them through establishing the beginnings of their blogsites on WordPress.

Afterwards, one of the participants called my office and asked me, “Have you made any money from your blog?” The short answer is no. A blog is not a direct sales channel.

But the answer would be yes, if she’d asked a slightly different question. Has blogging been good for our business? Definitely. Has blogging helped us connect with people who are key prospects for our company? It has.

One of the most important benefits of blogging is that it changes the dynamics of the sales process. Instead of making cold calls, trying to set meetings with people who’ve never heard of you, blogging allows you to reach out as more of a peer. Instead of trying to force your foot in the door, you start out as part of their community already. As a blogger with a special expertise in your narrow niche, you’re beginning the relationship as someone who has something to offer, as opposed to someone trying to get them to buy something.

A blog also can give you a great excuse to introduce yourself to a key prospect. Call them up and ask to interview them for a post. If someone is a highly desirable prospect for your company, that person probably has plenty to say that would be interesting and helpful for the readers of your blog. Rather than having your first conversation with a prospect be all about you and how wonderful your company is, you begin the relationship by listening to what they have to say. Just like your mother always said, one of the best ways to make new friends is to ask questions that get them talking about themselves.

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