- THE MAGAZINE
Blogging is a great way to communicate with your clients and prospects. In case you’re wondering, a “blog” is a web log that allows you to create an online journal about a particular theme. In our case, the theme would be centered on cleaning and restoration. Blogs make it easy for any novice Internet user to post their knowledge. If you know how to post on Facebook or use Microsoft Word, you’ll be posting to your own blog in no time. I’ll offer several tips on exactly how to use blogs in your cleaning company.
How can a blog get you more clients?
Your clients and prospects are searching online for information on how to solve their cleaning related problems. For example, the keyword phrase “how to remove paint” has about 200,000 searches on Google each month. The phrase “how to remove mold” has 135,000 searches on Google each month. People are looking online for solutions to their cleaning problems. When you have an educational blog offering these solutions, there’s a good chance you’ll get found online. You are then seen as an expert.
Plus, if you’re looking for ways to set your company apart from the competition, blogging is a great choice. How many of your competitors have blogs that actually give good information? It’s rare to find a good blog from a cleaning company. Most cleaners think it’s too hard or don’t know how to do it, so they don’t even attempt to create a blog. But this is your chance to shine. It’s great when a client calls you and says, “I’ve been reading over the information on your blog and was impressed. After what I’ve seen, you’re the company I want to hire!” This is automatic marketing at its finest.
Here are some options for having your own blog:
Free blog: Yes, there are ways you can have a quick, easy and free blog of your very own. Sites like Wordpress.com and Blogger.com are popular options. However, like with anything that’s free, you get what you pay for. You’re very limited in what you can do with the design of the blog. And with these free options, your blog is typically located on someone else’s website. On occasion, your blog can get deleted if you don’t follow their terms and conditions. The plus side is that since your blog is on an established website, you have the possibility of getting it listed on the search engines fast.
Put your blog on your existing website: Your blog can be installed on your website. This is a great option if you don’t want to change your site, but want to add something extra for your visitors to see. Check with your hosting company: They may have a free option to easily add blog platforms like Wordpress or Joomla to your existing site. In this case, your blog is installed as an extension of your website and is located on one of the pages of your site. For an example of how I do this on my own cleaning website, see www.carpetcaretips.com/spotremoval. With this option you can control the entire design and text. Plus, the biggest benefit is that you are adding valuable content to your website, which means you are sending traffic to your site instead of another site. This often gets you an increase in search engine ranking as well.
Get a new website and make it a blog: Sometimes this is referred to as mini-site. You can put up a new, separate website where your entire site is a blog. For an example, see www.carpetcleaningmariettaga.info. If you have a smaller city outside your main city area, this type of website can be great for getting you seen in the search engines. All you need to do is create a site that is relevant to the city and write occasional posts on your blog. The most often used platform for this type of blog is Wordpress. Some website hosting companies have quick installation of Wordpress, but often times a webmaster is needed to make your site look professional.
A single write-up on your blog is called a “post.” These are typically short writings of anywhere from 100 to 400 words in length. Here are some ideas of what your posts can be about:
Spot removal tips: People spill stuff. And when this happens, they search online to get answers as to how they can remove the spill themselves. You can be the hero by giving them advice.
Emergency water restoration tips: When flood emergencies occur, people are searching online for answers to decide what to do. Wouldn’t it be great if you were educating them on what to do in a flood emergency? You’d be the expert.
Video blogging: Blogs aren’t restricted to text. You can shoot short educational videos with your smart phone or flip video camera. Then post the video on YouTube and put the video on your blog.
Company news: Don’t forget to let your clients and prospects know what is going on in your company. If you hire a new employee, announce it on your blog. Is your company celebrating an anniversary? Post about it on your blog. This news may seem boring to you, but it helps you connect with your clients.
Community news: If something is happening in your community, it’s perfect to blog about it. This could be something as simple as writing a brief commentary on a matter that made the headline in your local paper. Posts like this involve you and your company with the community. One word of caution: Make sure you stay politically correct about your comments.
Cleaning offers and specials: On occasion, mention your latest cleaning offers. Your entire blog shouldn’t be a sales pitch, but it is acceptable to make your readers an offer every once in a while.
It’s easy. Just commit to posting to your blog regularly. A post every week or two is usually good. If you don’t have the time, have someone in your office write the posts. The traffic and goodwill to your prospects and clients will more than pay for the time spent.