Is Your Business Blog Serving Up the Right Information?

Linda Dessau Founder, Content Mastery Guide

Posted on November 18th 2013

Is Your Business Blog Serving Up the Right Information?

business bloggingOn November 7, 2013, a couple of hundred marketing professionals gathered at the Bloor Reference Library in downtown Toronto for the meshmarketing conference. A highlight of the day for me was definitely the closing keynote presentation by Jay Baer, author of Youtility and founder of Convince and Convert.

On his blog (and then again as a powerful introduction to his book), Jay writes about Geek Squad and their instructional YouTube videos. Robert Stephens, Geek Squad founder, was challenged with this question from an audience member:

Why was Geek Squad giving away the very thing they sell?

People sometimes ask me the same thing when I suggest they give their blog readers valuable information they can use to solve their problems.

Stephens explained, “Our best customers are the people that think they can do it themselves….eventually everybody will be out of their depth. They won’t be able to do it themselves, and at that point who will they call?”

The success of Geek Squad speaks for itself (they were acquired by Best Buy in 2002 and have since grown exponentially), and so does the remarkable turnaround story of River Pools and Spas.

In recounting his pool company’s blogging success story in the foreword of Youtility, Marcus Sheridan writes that when people were reading the self-serve information about pools on the company’s blog:

“They weren’t just self-educating, they were self-qualifying, too. By the time they contacted us for an in-person appointment, they were predisposed to working with us.”

Selling pools to homeowners is one thing, but what about companies that serve other businesses? Are B2B customers also looking for self-serve information?

Yes, absolutely! A couple of the presenters at meshmarketing mentioned a survey that found that, on average, by the time a B2B customer contacted a sales rep they had already completed 60% of their purchasing decision process.

That means they’ve been on your website, reading your blog posts, and looking for answers. So as you’re getting ready to publish your next blog post, check whether the information is self-serve or self-serving. Is it focused on a topic of interest to your ideal customer, or is it a diary entry about what’s most important to you? (There is a right way to use personal stories on a business blog.)

Here are some different types of self-serve blog posts to offer your customers and prospective customers

(Click the embedded links for examples.)

If you’re still feeling hesitant, Jay Baer has five great reasons to give away the recipe for your secret sauce. Remember: Your self-serve information can cement your credibility in the eyes of a prospective customer who needs the products or services you offer.

Linda Dessau and Jay Baer

Linda Dessau with Jay Baer at meshmarketing 2013


Linda Dessau

Founder, Content Mastery Guide

Linda Dessau is the author of Write Your Way to More Clients Online. She is a business blogging expert, writer and editor, and the founder of Content Mastery Guide. You can follow Linda on Twitter @lindadessau and Google+ and Content Mastery Guide on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Tracy Sestili
Posted on November 18th 2013 at 5:14PM

Great post! I would agree. I once had someone say to me, "how do you make any money when you give away so much of your content for free?" And I said, "you mean like talking to you right now or blogging?" And what I told her was that I hope that when you need something, you think of me. I believe that people remember or bookmark blogs that are informative and keep those websites Top of Mind. So later, when they need your services, you're Top of Mind. 

Posted on November 18th 2013 at 5:22PM

Thanks Tracy, that's a nice way of explaining it!

Posted on November 19th 2013 at 3:12AM

Useful Post! Thanks Linda!

Would it be interesting for blog  readers and consumers to read posts like "how our company team use our company's product to solve definite problem or task" ? 

Ajay Prasad
Posted on November 19th 2013 at 5:09PM

Yes Linda, what you are written is very true that check whether the information is self-serve or self-serving. If your website is made for business you have to think according to customer. Customer satisfaction is in Top. So content should be focused on a topic of interest to your ideal customer. Graet post. Thank you so much.

Posted on November 19th 2013 at 6:49PM

Thanks for your comment, Ajay.