Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to use bloggers to grow your small business

How to use bloggers to grow your small business
This is something I have often pondered. Do small businesses know how to recruit and utilize bloggers? My experience is a solid "no". The normal small business owner interaction from a blogger perspective is, "So, you are a blogger huh?" "Sounds fascinating!" "What do you do?" If you do not know what I do, how can you possibly use me to help grow your business? The short answer is: you can't. First, let's go over the basics. How do bloggers make money?

-Bloggers write sponsored posts. A business pays a blogger to write about a product, service, or even an idea that they want to convey to a tailored audience. We can also write posts for your business blog if you feel "stuck" on coming up with your own content.

-Bloggers sell ad space on their blogs. We have ads that we sell to other businesses using ad agencies or free lancing it ourselves. In my opinion, you are better served having fresh content written about your business. However, a blogger with 50,000+ views a month with an audience tailored directly to yours can be an enticing affair.

-Bloggers make guest appearances. Sometimes bloggers make guest appearances for money, but that is really reserved for the ones making the big bucks like Chiara Ferragni. Bloggers network offline as much as we do online. Our offline network can be very beneficial for a local small business. We can introduce you to other local small business owners that can help your business grow!

-Bloggers host giveaways. Everyone loves a giveaway! It is one of the best ways to boost your social media following(and ours too). Giveaways are hosted on every social media network and we can host them on our blogs too. Be aware that local giveaways can be tough. You definitely need a strong local blogger(s) for a local giveaway. Multiple bloggers/small business owners teaming up on a huge giveaway prize is the way to go. Pay attention the next time you are scrolling through Instagram. That is the way to gain a monster following and in turn incredible online visibility.

-Some bloggers do social media consulting. Social media is what we do. We learn the most efficient ways to get our content to the most people and more importantly the right people. Some of us turn that expertise into a social media consulting business.

-Bloggers make podcasts and videos. Every blogger makes money in a different way, but always in multiple ways. I make money each month off of YouTube videos that just sit there making money for me while I sleep.

-Bloggers have side businesses. The smart blogger turns their blog into a business. They sell merchandise, t-shirts, books, speak at conferences, event appearances, or something else entirely that ties into their blog.

So you see, bloggers really are the "jack-of-all-trades" in the social media world. The next step is what to do with us? Well, I have already given you some great ideas on how to utilize us. I would challenge you, however, to think outside the box. Also, to team up with your blogger(s) and collectively collaborate on an idea that works to both of your strengths. The Virginia Bloggers Club can match you with your dream blogger, so that you can achieve your social media goals in real time. We also offer many other social media services to promote and increase visibility for your small business. Cheers to a happy and prosperous 2016!

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