Marketing Your Business Through Blogging

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I received the following email yesterday from Becka Knight of Studio 222 Photography in Orlando. I wanted to share it not because of her praise for my blogging workshops (though I will admit I loved reading that it helped her - it's the very reason I teach them), but because it shows how instrumental a blog can be in marketing your offline business. If you want the cliff's notes version and don't want to read the entire note, skip down to the part in bold (emphasis mine).

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Liene,

I just wanted to take a minute and write you a thank you letter. I know I said it before but now that more time has gone by I wanted to tell you the big differences that I've seen in our blog since implementing changes that you talked about at your bootcamp. When I attended the bootcamp I was writing two blogs: my business one and a personal one. I'd been a blogger since high school and had always loved it. But I was having such a hard time bringing the two worlds together. After your bootcamp I started implementing simple changes like writing with keywords and using the linking rules you talked about as well as tracking my analytics and using that to help me decide what and when to post. I still couldn't merge the two blogging worlds though and ended up closing down my personal one. It was just too hard keeping my brand consistent and professional between both. After a few months I began to miss it a lot. My personal blog was where I posted recipes (I love baking), stories about Nate and I, about shopping, about life. It was where I wrote for the sake of writing (a hobby I've loved since elementary school) and I was starting to get bored to death with my business posts.

When I made the switch from Blogger to Wordpress I wasn't intending to overhaul our blog. But then I came up with the idea of having a hybrid blog. A blog that merged my personal and business worlds. I knew that not many people were doing it so I was in new territory and all the advice out there was to be careful not to be too open or too personal. Don't mix messages. Keep consistency. But I knew I had to make it work. Inspired by the Pioneer Woman blog, I asked my designer if it was possible to create a blog that was divided into sections that our readers could subscribe to separately or as one and with her help we made it a reality. Since then I have found so much more joy in blogging. I blog (usually) 5 times a week and have noticed our traffic go from in the 100-200 visitors/day to the 300/400 and even 500 visitors a day with just over 200 subscribing to our various feeds (since this past August). In the last few weeks especially (since I updated our typeface and branding to its now current look across our twitter/website/facebook page/and blog) I have gotten so many positive reactions. People have actually called me to tell me how much they LOVE how the new blog is looking. We've booked weddings because of our blog ALONE. (I just sent out a proposal today and the woman on the phone told me her deciding factor was how much she loved the look of our blog and other than seeing our photos there, our writing voice convinced her that we were a perfect match for what she wanted.) And surprisingly to me, a lot of girls tell me how much they LOVE that I've been posting recipes and that Nate is now writing a column every Tuesday. Our male readership has gone up too because of his weekly posts. And our comments have steadily been going up. We usually get between 10-30 on most posts.

I feel like we're building a little community. Our grooms are following along and commenting as well which is just amazing to me. People tell me that they check in every day at 2:22pm (because that's when we generally post) and it's easy for them to remember because it's our name and it's always the same. It's also helped to establish those three numbers as our brand and people send us photos ALL THE TIME when they see "222" out in their daily lives. It's become a fun little contest among our friends and fans to see who can send the most creative or funny images in. I've also learned that our biggest traffic days are Mondays and Wednesdays so I always post photo heavy posts on those days. On the weekends I post more personal ones.

So, thank you. Because you were the steroid shot I needed to find my way. The basics that you taught have been the solid foundation for what has become my favorite part of our marketing.

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