AMA: Will Blogging Without Social Media Still Grow My Business?
Social media. It’s the global connector, the platform for thoughts, ideas, rants, and photos. It’s the place where strangers call themselves friends, and friends cross each other off their lists. It’s also a 24/7 ad agency for small commerce and big brands. And, if you use blogs to drive business traffic, you would never think of blogging without social media.
Or would you?
Knowing how to increase traffic to your website using social media is an all but assumed skill set in today’s tech-driven economy. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — if you’re not managing your own presence across these and other platforms, you’ve probably got an admin doing so for you.
Or do you?
The worth of blogging is in the audience it draws. Why else would you spend all that time writing blogs for business? It takes enormous effort to produce scintillating content that gives people what they want. It also takes savvy intuition and skillful expression to leave them wanting and coming back for more.
If you feel a drizzle of cortisol in your veins as you contemplate adding yet another must-do to your business growth, you’re not alone. Growing and connecting with an audience, then converting that audience to paying customers, can seem overwhelming. After all, you’ve been in the thick of creating your product or service — things you know people want and need, right? Who has time to learn all this other stuff, let alone do it?
Let’s cut to the chase. Will blogging without social media still grow my business? Change “will” to “can,” and the answer is yes.
It’s easy — almost unavoidable — to get swept up in all the assumed requirements of marketing. You assume you need to be in all places at all times, and meanwhile your bank account is starving to death.
If you pause long enough to consider one thing, you can redirect and maximize everything: Time is your most valuable commodity. How are you going to spend it?
Remember what social media is for. It originated as a means to build communities and evolved into a collateral business-building tool. It’s also trend-dependent, always watching and responding to user demands and behavior.
Remember, also, that people buy from people they know, like, and trust. Social media, when best utilized, is a means to connect and engage with an audience.
So, even if you plan on blogging without social media, your goal should be the same. Focus on the connection, and the conversion will come.
Back to the time thing….
Blogging has a few essential purposes. And first among them is your delivery of something important to your audience.
You exist, in their world and minds, to provide information that they need. You are there to answer a question — sometimes a question they didn’t even know they had. And, in doing so, you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. You become reliable, trustworthy, sought-out.
Providing that kind of freebie takes…you got it…time. You are using your blog not only to build your audience, but to build your reputation.
Social media platforms don’t lend themselves to long, information-rich content. They’re all about the scroll-through, replete with emojis and memes to consolidate information and attitudes in quick visuals.
The idea of blogging without social media, therefore, isn’t crazy or off-the-grid. You don’t need to completely nix social media as a way to grow your audience. But you certainly don’t need to devote a sixth work day to keeping up with it.
In terms of utilizing social media, select one or two core platforms and optimize your presence on them. Which platforms are best-suited for your product or service?
And where is your audience showing up?
Well, then, be there when they get there.
Get it out of your head that this is about you, and make it about your audience. What does your audience want? What does your audience need? Where does your audience spend its online time?
If you aren’t ready for social media at all, there are still ways to optimize your blogging efforts.
Informative blogs lend themselves to organic searches on the web. Someone seeking who-what-where-when-why answers is more likely to hit up Google than to scroll through Instagram.
This is where being SEO-savvy plays to your advantage. SEO-rich blogs have staying power on the web. Unlike a Facebook post that is here this morning and buried by noon, a blog written for SEO can be located years from now.
And, by building relationships with influencers, you can reap the benefits of “hanging in the right circles.” One good influencer connection can make good on the cliche, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
If you keep in mind that blogging — especially blogging without social media — is about building relationships, you will feel more natural in your efforts.
For example, it’s not just your potential customers who warrant your attention. Other bloggers can and should become part of your community. And there are several ways you can build that connection.
Blog commenting is a way to participate in conversation about a topic in your niche. Select a few blogs a week and provide a substantive response in the comment feed. Where you enter your name, include the name of your own blog. By leaving a response worth reading, you will naturally inspire readers to come over to your blog.
Sharing blogs is another way to build your community. It may sound counter-intuitive to share what someone else in your industry has to say. But, again, focus on your audience and what your audience needs.
Connecting to other well-reputed bloggers makes you look good and like a storehouse of awesome information and contacts. It also builds rapport within your blogging community.
Along the same lines as sharing blogs is guest blogging. When you guest blog on the blog of a more popular blogger, you give yourself a big boost. Think of the warm-up band at a concert. The exposure that a new performer gets by piggy-backing on a hot-ticket performer can be career-launching.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power and need for an email list. While a social media audience may grow in number of followers, it may not convert to dollars. Your email list, however, becomes your community of loyal followers and can eventually be monetized.
Blogging is an important way of building and connecting with your audience. When and where you do it is also important. Being everywhere at once and spreading yourself thin will ultimately be counter-productive.
The concept of quality time doesn’t apply only to families and friends. It applies to business, too. And, when it comes to blogging without social media, it is especially relevant.
You may not generate the sheer number of followers as social media will provide. But, if you focus on delivering a quality product to your followers and building authentic relationships, you will see the quality of your traffic increase.
It all comes down to being intentional with your business.