For those of you who have never visited a farm before, many of them have a large brick of salt for their animals, called a “salt lick.”A salt lick is exactly what the name implies. It’s a salt deposit that animals keep coming back to—and licking — in order to ingest nutrients they need. Now, whether or not you want your readers to lick their computer screens is up to you, but you definitely want them to look at your blog as a source of “nutrients” they need to return to and consume.
A small business blog is a marketing tool, but marketing is a nebulous term, especially if you’re an entrepreneur just starting out. You probably think of marketing and sales as synonyms, interchangeable in definition and in purpose. They’re not. Sales is the process of getting a customer to buy; marketing is how you position your product, find your customers, and decide how you’re going to reach them.
Therefore, you shouldn’t start a blog simply to try to generate sales. It’s a place where you find your customers, feed them information, and position your value — the equivalent of a digital salt lick.
Why do people go to the Internet?
Believe it or not, users don’t hop on the Internet for the sole purpose of buying your stuff. They go because they want information. A lot of advertising dollars are thrown away when blogs simply push a product, but offer no information. Or, worse yet, they get in the way of a web user’s search for information.
That tells us a lot about what a blog should offer, doesn’t it? First, it should offer relevant information that people want to consume. And second, it should pave the way to finding that information without obnoxious advertisements blocking the way.
You have to give, in order to get.
Why are you an entrepreneur? Because you want to be your own boss? Because you think you can do something better than anyone else? Because you’re the expert in your industry, and you decided to go rogue?If you answered yes to any of these things, then, believe it or not, you are an expert. Maybe not on all of the above, but at least some part of it. Heck, even if you’re not an expert, you’re out there doing it–chasing a dream many other would-be entrepreneurs would like to chase. How you’re doing it and why you’re doing it are just as important as whether you’re any good at doing it!
Give this information away for free.Share what you’re learning, and share regularly so the animals, err, your readers know when and where to easily find the information they want. Do this long enough, and you’ll develop a following of potential customers who are aware of your product or service. Even if they’re not ready to buy now, your brand will be strong in their minds, and they may be sharing your site to other people who are ready to buy now.