Even if you don’t want to be a “professional blogger,” content is still king, and a blog can be a great way to support your side hustle or side business. How? By developing long-form content for your target audience, potential clients, customers, and buyers get a chance to know more about who you are, more about what your business offers, and truly see what you’re made of (creatively speaking.)
When I was still working full-time in marketing, I had a small “side business” as a freelance B2B marketing copywriter. I had a website separate from this one which had all of my services, my online resume, and some links to what my work looked like. Most clients, however, loved seeing this blog as proof of my work and my ability to write coherently on a variety of topics.
Even though I switched my business model from services to products and affiliates early in 2016, I’m still a huge advocate of what blogs can do for businesses (especially when it comes to building side hustles into something more substantial.)
Here are three ways you can use a blog to build a better business.
To Position Yourself as a Thought Leader
You have an area of expertise – but how else will people know you’re an expert unless you tell them? By adding a blog to a business website you can demonstrate to any potential clients that you’re the perfect person to buy from/follow/consult with on a given topic.
Blogging allows you to create a thorough content calendar filled with topics that are both of interest to you and your target audience but also gives you room to stretch, show off, and provide room for thought. I never knew someone who was an “expert” on a topic, who didn't enjoy sharing that knowledge through the art of blogging. Blogging is fun, I swear. Even if you don't like writing.
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Really, if you’re blogging as part of a business (vs. blogging as a business) the blog should only be an appetizer – what you give your audience to spark their interest and get them hungry enough to want more. A great way to do this is to create a blog with an opt-in freebie to get others to join your email list.
Then from there, you can start marketing your products and services to subscribers. After all, you already know they like you and your stuff, right? They chose to get the freebie!
Just remember with this strategy that the blog (and any opt-in freebies etc.) have to be really good appetizers – think hearty wings vs. a bowl of edamame. You want people to read your blog/fill out your worksheets and almost feel guilty they got all of your awesome knowledge and creative assets for free.
The art of authentic helpfulness goes a long way.
To Cover Gaps in Your Service Areas or Experiment with New Avenues
If you have an active blog as part of a business, this type of “advertising” is a great way to dip your toe into something new. For example, say you do life coaching, but you’d really like to start debt counseling. In order to test interest, perhaps you start writing a monthly blog about debt payoff or financial best practices. If your audience is reading it/commenting/loving it – that could be enough validation to move forward with expanding your new business.
This is obviously a very simple example. In my own life/story – I tested free worksheets on my audience, and then used their feedback to build out my first digital products, and from there my first course.
I like to view content and content marketing as a “ladder” and blogging is one of the easiest and best ways to create the base for said ladder and start climbing it.
Other Blogging Resources
The first part of blogging as a business-building component is simply getting started, and my new course (which launches this week) is the perfect way to get this done. Beginner Blog Accelerator was built with beginners in mind, those who have zero tech savvy, but the desire to blog to share their story or build an even bigger business!
- How to Find Your Big Blog Idea
- “I Don't Have Time to Blog” (+ How to Fix It)
- How Bloggers Make Money: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Strategies
- How I Made $100,000 with a Blog Side Hustle
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