Congratulations: you’re the proud owner of a brand new subscription box business and you’re ready to make a serious impact on the world of commerce. Your website is set up; you have a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and you’ve begun to send out your first orders. You’re poised for success — and now it’s time to give your business a voice.
Blogging can help you communicate with current subscribers and potential customers, gain and maintain a good reputation, and increase your sales exponentially. An entertaining, well-written blog breathes life into the business it serves and helps spread the word via its valuable content. In short, you need a blog to push your business’ success to the next level.
Tell Me Again: Why Should I Blog?
Blogging might not be the first thing on your list of potential marketing tactics. Maybe you’re a brand new business person and your confidence level isn’t very high yet. Perhaps you wonder if anyone will read your blog or be interested in what you have to say about your subscription business.
One of the cornerstones of any successful startup is its owner’s self-belief. If you foster your belief in yourself and in your product, you’ll improve your chances of success. Your subscription box is the best out there — believe it and your potential customers will too. Check out blogs written by current Cratejoy members like Faithbox and Wet Shave Club for inspiration.
- Blogging gives you the chance to convey the passion you feel for your product to your current subscribers and to potential future customers. If you engage your existing customers with meaningful content, some of those subscribers will share your blog posts and spread the message about your fabulous subscription box.
- Blogging provides you with an opportunity to talk about your subscription box in much greater depth. You can expand upon your short, well-written product description in a blog post and introduce potential customers to an array of reasons why they need to subscribe to your box.
- If you’ve ever wanted to inspire an audience, you’ll probably love blogging. Blogs are influential platforms for thought leaders and other inspirational people: you can use your blog to transform yourself into an inspiring online force. If you transmit your enthusiasm about your product to your readership, you’ll build a bigger audience and sell more of your subscription boxes.
- Last and perhaps most importantly, blogging is one of the best organic SEO techniques out there. Every time you create a blog post, you make your blog site bigger by adding a page. The more pages your site contains, the more significant it becomes in Googlebot’s eyes. Additionally, each new page provides another potential backlink opportunity. The longer your blog exists, the more substantial your organic SEO portfolio gets and the more effective your long-tailed customer-acquisition strategy becomes.
Blogs help build brand awareness. The more aware people are of your business brand — and its advantages over other similar brands — the more they’ll turn to you when they need artisan bacon, or handmade soap, or whatever it is you sell.
What are the Peripheral Benefits of Blogging?
Blogging can help you sell more subscription boxes — but wait: there’s more. The positive peripheral benefits of blogging are numerous and cumulative. The more you blog, the better you get at it, and the better you get at it, the more you gain from both a business and a personal perspective.
- If you’re shy or even slightly self-effacing, your social life will probably expand because of your blog. You’ll meet like-minded people, some of whom will buy your subscription. Others will provide you with valuable advice as you expand your business.
- Many bloggers find that their self-esteem and assertiveness improve as their blogs gain traction. The feedback you receive will help you develop and fine-tune your business and you’ll become more successful as a result. What better reason to feel good about yourself?
The more you write, the better you’ll get at writing — and the better you’ll become at communicating with your audience. The better you communicate with your audience, the more profitable your business will likely become.
Blog Setup Basics
So you’re ready to take the first step into Blogville. Next, you’ll need to set your blog up and ensure that it functions correctly. Several options, both free and paid, exist to help make this process easier. Two of the most prominent are WordPress and Blogger.
- WordPress: WordPress is arguably the most popular blogging platform on the net. You can choose to host your blog with WordPress itself, or you can build your blog on a site like WP Engine. Both sites have various plan options to choose from, which range from free to premium and business.
- Blogger: Create your blog and enjoy free hosting when you use the Blogger suffix at the end of your domain name, or forward blog traffic over to your own purchased domain. The Blogger interface is easy to use and you can customize your blog theme to suit your business needs.
Many other less well-known blogging options, both simple and complex, are also available. If you’re a real whizz — or you know a real whizz — you might choose to create and implement your very own blogging software.
Launching Your Blog
It’s time to press the big red “launch” button. Your sparkly new blog is ready to reveal to the world and you need to ensure that the posts you publish are actually seen. To get the most traffic, consider promoting your blog on all the social media outlets you currently use, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and yes, even Google+.
Promotional emails also come in handy here — particularly if they’re pretty, picture-filled HTML emails. If you’re not well-versed in building HTML emails from scratch, fear not: several tools, including Constant Contact and MailChimp offer very attractive and customizable templates to help make your campaign more effective. Gather your current subscribers’ emails and add friends and family members to generate the biggest recipient list possible before sending your blog launch email.
Blog Success Tips
As well as marketing your product, blogging can help you gain serious confidence as a businessperson. The more successful your blog, the more impact it’ll have on your business. To improve your blogging presence on the WWW, consider implementing the following tips:
Keywords Etiquette: Blatant black hat keyword-stuffing tactics are officially no longer de rigueur. Now, Google will rank your blog higher on its list if your posts contain valuable and relevant content. Stick to two keyword phrases per blog post and use them in a reasonable manner throughout. Put your keyword phrase in the title, within the first fifty words of your post, several times in the body of your post, and again within fifty words of the end of your post.
Optimize for Success: Various nifty tools exist to help you optimize your posts for Google, Bing, and other search engines. All in One SEO Pack, for example, is a WordPress plugin you can use to enhance the posts you write. If you’re a beginner, you can simply install the plugin and let it generate meta tags, optimize your titles and fine-tune your navigational links automatically. When you get more familiar with the plugin, you can override its automatic functions to improve your SEO evermore.
Backlink Strategy: Another good way to improve your search engine visibility is to place links to your blog on other sites. Instead of pasting a link to your blog in the comments section of another site (that’s so last year, darling), consider writing and publishing a hyperlink-infused article about your niche on a user-generated content site like HubPages. You can also publish hyperlink-centric photos and videos on sites like Tumblr and YouTube to achieve the same effect using visual media.
Post on Schedule: If you create and stick to a posting schedule, you’ll keep your subscribers regularly entertained and keep Google Panda/Penguin happy. In general, blog followers love a reassuring and reliable stream of inspiring content. When your subscribers stay happy and updated, you remain relevant over time.
Connect and Share: Consider connecting with other small business owners in your niche, particularly those whose products and services complement — but don’t clash with — your own. Offer a blog post exchange in which you allow the other business owner to write a guest post on your blog in return for the same favor. You gain access to their followers and they gain access to your followers. It’s a win-win situation and a potential subscriber boon for both businesses.
A truly successful blog won’t just highlight your product: it’ll also help you expand your presence in the marketplace and your subscription business will grow as a result. Your blog is an ever-changing and constantly relevant tool. Go ahead and get inspired — you won’t regret it.