Guest Article: How can Patience Provide Rewarding Sales Growth?

Image from the blog homepage of lightninglabels.com

Summary: Over a 2 year period, Peter Renton’s blog has helped him grow his website, lightninglabels.com, from zero visitors to 22,000 visitors per month (Compete.com, 2008). This is impressive for a business with such a small niche. Today, Peter is going to discuss the rewards of patience as you build your website and how he benefited from writing a business blog. Recently, Peter estimated that his blog drives at least $2,000 per month of additional business to his website. I hope you enjoy this article.

I believe every business should have a blog, but to launch a successful blog you need to be patient and committed. You simply cannot judge the success of your blog for at least 12 months, so you need to continually update your blog even when few people are reading it. Unless you are very lucky or famous, building blog traffic is a slow and gradual process.

A blog can do a number of things for a business. First and foremost, it should provide a more personal face for your company. The blog author or authors should be visible and be allowed to write in a personal, conversational tone. A blog is not about telling the world how great you are; you should leave that to your main site. Instead, you should use your blog to educate and inform, and possibly entertain if it is appropriate.

When you start writing your blog you should do a handful of posts and then announce to the world that you have a blog. You can do online press releases, contact industry publications, email your customer list and get the word out any way you can. This should provide an initial bump in traffic for you which will hopefully result in a number of regular readers.

Our company blog is now two years old, and is the oldest blog in our industry. For many months, though, I would write blog posts and look at the traffic and be disappointed. Here is the breakdown of approximate number of daily visitors and how it has grown:

Month Daily Visitors
3rd 25
6th 31
9th 45
12th 65
18th 114
24th 147

The numbers above are for unique visitors viewing pages on the blog web site, but with any blog you can subscribe to the content without visiting the site by using an RSS reader. Our growth in the number of subscribers has followed a similar curve to that of daily visitors, and today we have about the same number of subscribers, around 140.

These are not huge numbers but for a vertical market such as digital label printing you can’t expect to have thousands of readers. One important feature that every business blog should have is a prominent link back to the company’s main web site. We get more visitors to our main site from our blog than any other source other than the search engines. People find our blog go to our web site and become customers. I estimate that we get around four new customers a month resulting in around $2,000 in sales directly from the blog.

So how do you grow the number of visitors to your blog? Here are a number of ways we have done it:

1. Search engines – every new post is indexed by the search engines within a day or two and after two years we have over 170 posts and more than 50,000 words written about our industry. All these words are indexed and able to be searched with more words being added with every post.

2. Promoting the blog – we promote the blog at every opportunity. We provide a link to the blog in our customer emails, press releases, articles, even in my email signature.

3. Commenting on other blogs – I subscribe to dozens of blogs and I regularly make comments on these blogs. These comments usually provide a link back to our company blog. One word of warning: be careful to make the comment meaningful otherwise it will be deleted as spam.

4. Blogrolls – Develop a relationship with other bloggers and you can get your blog placed on what is called a blogroll. This is a list of blogs (with links) that a blogger publishes on their blog.

5. Your main web site – a link to your blog should be prominently featured on your main company web site.

We get many people who visit our own main site, then go and check out our blog and place an order. We have no way of measuring the actual impact that our blog has on these people but I know the blog helps create the impression that we are an industry leader. Our blog is also mentioned in trade publications now and has resulted in speaking and writing engagements for me that increases our exposure in our industry. But this all took time and perseverance.

Peter Renton is the founder of Lightning Labels, Inc., the leaders in digital label printing and custom labels. He writes regularly about the label printing industry on his company blog at http://blog.lightninglabels.com.

References

Compete.com : Lightninglabels.com. “Snapshot of LightningLabels.com