As I was updating WordPress for a client, I saw that someone had “discovered” her blog. This is not necessarily a bad thing – but this person had decided to try to use the comments section of various blog posts for HIS sales message.
I can understand why he’d like to get his message out on her business blog. Years ago when we launched her blog, I worked extensively with this client to target the keyword terms which her prospective clients might use to search for information online.
We formulated a plan and she began blogging for her business. Today she’s enjoying enviable SERPS which are the result of YEARS of consistent effort on her part.
Then this guy comes along and drops a few “turds” in her comment section. Just because he left his name and URL doesn’t make his behavior any less “spam like” and doesn’t mean she should approve his comments.
How can you avoid committing this business blog faux pas?
So let’s say you have a business that needs some serious marketing help and you don’t want to work for YEARS building a business blog. I get it. You’ve invested your blood, sweat and tears into launching this business and you need to see results like yesterday.
While it seems like a sure fire shortcut to success to hijack the comments section of a business blog with enviable SERPS… you’re more likely to burn potential bridges than build them.
Here are three easy steps to building bridges with successful business bloggers… and possibly EARN a chance to introduce yourself to an A list business blogger’s audience.
1. Launch your own business blog.
Every successful business blogger can remember a time when he/she were pounding out blog posts that no one was reading. Believe me, you’ll be in a stronger position to ask for a “favor” if you’ve already demonstrated that you’re more than willing to go through the motions of building your own blog audience.
In my own personal experience, I’ve found that comments and guest blog post requests from business owners who are NOT actively blogging tend to fall into the “shamelessly self promoting” category.
See, a business blog post is not place for a “one call close”. Your business blog is a place to woo consumers an to educate them. While your ultimate goal is to seduce visitors into becoming your customers – you first must strive to earn their trust before you ask for their business.
That’s the nice thing about business blogging – it allows you to find the right “voice” while building an impressive library of useful web site content along the way.
Once you’ve launched your own business blog, determined your marketing strategy and created enough content to showcase your your own unique and authentic voice, then you’re ready for the second step…
2. Leave PITHY comments on other blogs.
Pithy means concise and expressive. Your goal should be to add VALUE to the conversation at hand in the post – not to hijack it for your own sales pitch. You’d be surprised how much “traffic” can come your blog’s way with a well reasoned comment or two.
Leaving regular, pithy comments on other business blogs is a great way to pave the way to the third way to respectfully use other business blogs to promote your own business….
3. Guest Post
Guest posting has the potential to be a “win-win” situation for both the blog owner and the guest blogger. In my client’s case, if the author had launched his own business blog to promote his book – he could have contacted her and asked for an opportunity to guest post on her blog.
Assuming this author can write well – my client would get the double benefit of someone ELSE creating content on her established blog. She gets a break from blogging AND still gets to offer fresh useful content to her readers.
Of course, if he has a history of leaving pithy comments on my client’s blog – this author would find my client is much more receptive to his offer to guest blog post. By previously contributing to the conversation on her blog previously – this author would find my client more than willing to allow him a place to promote his point of view – and his book.
It’s a win – win – but only if the guest blogger has his own blog and has proven his ability to participate in a polite “blog style” conversation.
Guest blogging can be a GREAT way to introduce your products or services to a new audience. On the other hand, it’s WAY too easy to delete shamelessly self promoting comments.
Business blogs are not SQUEEZE pages… don’t try to treat them as such!